Mindy and Lee
Mindy and her husband Lee, who is in the RAF Regiment, have adopted two brothers through the SSAFA Adoption Service.
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"Lee and I married in 2007 and it was probably 2010 when we really started thinking seriously about adoption. We did speak to the local authority but as soon as they found out we were RAF they were not interested. We had almost assumed we could go down the Local Authority route so it was only after having the brush off by the local authority that we looked into SSAFA.
“For me it was a long time ago that I first thought about adoption. I already had Josh, who is going to be 15 this year, but I had separated from his dad when Josh was six months old. A friend was talking to me about fostering and when I spoke to Josh about fostering he said, I don’t want to do that, I want one we can keep forever, and that stayed with me.
“After we contacted SSAFA our SSAFA social worker Natalie came to our house and interviewed us and it went really well. We were looked after all the way. We initially said we would go for four to six year olds but Natalie was concerned that if we took an older child then they might have more significant needs that might be detrimental to our existing family life so we then looked at younger children. We were keen to have a sibling group but she also advised us to start with one and then think about another one later on.
“In the end we were approved to adopt 0-4 year olds and we didn‘t mind if it was a girl or a boy. The adoption panel was lovely. We were a bit nervous but we were totally looked after and everyone was really friendly. Sheena, who was our second SSAFA social worker, came into our situation just as we were about to start introductions with Alfie* and she has also been brilliant.
“We adopted Alfie first and he came to us in the July. Then some time later we were asked if we would be interested in adopting his sibling so Max* came to us at the end of April last year. He’s now 19 months and Alfie is four in April.
“It definitely helped having had Josh. They are completely different from each other but you just have that prior knowledge of what to do in certain situations and you don’t panic. Alfie will have been with us for two years in July. Now both the boys have started nursery and are doing really well.”
*Names have been changed