SSAFA champions National Adoption Week
During National Adoption Week, meet a military couple who have had their lives transformed with a son, all thanks to SSAFA.
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During National Adoption Week, 4-10 November, SSAFA aiming to raise awareness of our own registered adoption agency for military families. Here we meet one couple who have had their lives transformed thanks to SSAFA’s help.
Helen and Neil have been married for nine years and always wanted to start a family but knew from an early stage that it might be difficult due to Helen’s Rheumatoid Arthritis. However when they began to consider adoption in 2011 SSAFA’s adoption agency was their first choice due to Neil’s service in the RAF.
Helen says: “Being in the forces is a totally unique way of life. An adoption agency that can understand the nuances of that lifestyle was so important to us. There was no real question of us going through another agency – it was just so much easier with SSAFA.”
The couple feel that although SSAFA’s standards for preparation were tough, ultimately it provided them with a better grounding for what was ahead. Helen says: “SSAFA helps you to become an entire package making you a great prospect for a Local Authority to trust you as parents. We always felt that SSAFA wanted us to have a child and were working together in our interests.”
Helen and Neil’s son has been with them since January 2013 and the formal adoption was completed in August. She says: “Within weeks he was firmly attached to us and comes to us for cuddles. It is such an amazing feeling.”
Neil says: “If not for SSAFA we might not be parents right now. I don’t think it would have been such a smooth process – but as SSAFA’s adoption agency is there for military people you might as well use it. We’d certainly recommend it to others in our situation. Thinking about the future – you just don’t know what is around the corner – but we know that wherever we move, SSAFA will still be there.”
And has parenting changed Helen and Neil as a couple?
Helen says: “Giving us our son has given us a feeling of completeness as a family. It is the icing on the cake. Weekends are now taken up going to see animals rather than going to the cinema – but that’s what we always wanted – we couldn’t be happier!”