Hi, there I am Fiona I’m an adoptee. I was adopted at 8 months old after being in two different foster placements and 2 hospital stays. I have my great-niece from the family I was adopted out of on a Special Guardianship Order. Unusual I know but it’s working well.
Adopting/Special guardianship was never something I was going to consider.
I spent 30+ years desperate to have a baby. Even in the height of my chaotic early years, I yearned to have a child of my own. I felt that it would fill the chasm within my heart that hurt all the time. Being an adoptee and realising I had been dumped, abandoned, unwanted or even given away with the best intentions. It still left a huge gaping hole in my life that I tried to fill with drugs, alcohol, failed relationships and literally hundreds of geographical moves. Clinging on to the sliver of hope that if I could just build my own nest that would do the job.
Baby number one was lost when a partner beat me so badly that I woke up in hospital not even knowing I had been pregnant and being told I had lost my baby. Thomas was lost at 20 weeks old. I never conceived naturally after that until 2007. In 1995 I lost twins through failed IVF. I had really disliked that whole process and refused point blank to ever do it again. In 2007 I made a trip to Dublin that I really didn’t want to do because I thought I was pregnant.
On April fools day on the last day of the trip for work, I started to bleed. Baby number four left this world. Three years later my body stopped producing eggs. Devastated is an understatement.
One beautiful moment in a dark time was a wonderful young woman in our church approached my husband and me and volunteered to have a baby for us. I was blown away at the sacrifice she was willing to make for us. She was very young and unmarried but willing to do this for us. We prayed about it and believed it wasn’t the right thing for us to do. Such a wonderful thing to happen though we will never forget that moment.
So how did our daughter come to be with us?
Well, get ready for a proper story. Will aim to keep it short. Georgie was born 26th October which I always had been told was my adoption date. Her parents were in a difficult place which meant that she had to go to foster care straight away. She had a left temporal brain bleed which meant she then spent 5 weeks in hospital before settling into her foster home.
Her Dad is my nephew from the family I was adopted out of! Yes, I know a pretty unique situation coming right up. Anyway, as you may know, we are Christians and I had been told at a conference that I would have a child at 50 years of age. This is me that has been egg dead for 2 years already at that time. At the time we knew nothing about this child. A visit to my bio half-sister brought about the conversation that Georgie was in long-term foster care and needed a family as her parents were still not ready to have her. We knew straight away that this was our child.
We felt that we could offer her a good home even until her parents were ready to manage to have her themselves. Our gorgeous Georgie arrived with us six weeks before my 51st birthday, how neat is that. We have a great picture of her sitting in a box at the top of the stairs with piles of her things surrounding her. My gosh being a parent was not what I thought it was going to be. I really struggled in the beginning. My great niece was a handful, allergic to everything, I was petrified all the time that she might have another bleed. She was hospitalised three times in the first year we had her. She was on medication for seizures that she regularly spat out over and over. Thankfully she never had another seizure and is not on medication anymore.
Our lives completely changed, everything was centred around our child and giving her the best care we could. I had to navigate buses with buggies, screaming babies on buses always used to irritate me, but now I had one. Now I knew there must be at least one irritated person sitting on our bus. We were told she may not walk and have developmental issues. She walks and runs about all day long. She has what is called complex needs.
Our Georgie is the happiest little soul, she loves people, loves adventure, loves making noise and lots of it constantly. She learns at her own pace and we have learned not to push her. I went through a season of pushing her to learn and realised I was only making her and me unhappy. Now my attitude is if she can learn to read great, if she can’t then that’s ok too.
What’s very important to us is that Georgie feels secure, she will have attachment issues and we are very ready for that. One of the great things about our journey with Georgie is that she has as much contact as she can with her biological family. She has pictures on her wall of her family. I love that she has that wonderful insight into who she is. I know that is one of the things I really struggled with as an adopted child.
Not knowing where you come from is horrible, not knowing how to answer medical questions is not nice, and not knowing if you may or may not be more susceptible to certain diseases is hard. I’m thankful that Myself and Georgie both know our medical backgrounds.