Single mum Natasha adopted through Adoption Mid and West Wales in 2014. With an open mind, Tasha, researched adoption thoroughly before she began the process alone.
Tasha, who is a teacher, adopted siblings of Thai heritage – a three-year-old daughter and a 20-month-old boy – because she knew that boys, minority ethnic children and siblings typically wait the longest to be adopted.
“As a teacher and from experience within my own family, I am aware that children, regardless of their circumstance, might grow up with behavioural issues or additional learning needs. I was lucky in the DNA lottery and wanted to support a child or children, who would benefit from stability.
“It is made clear very early on that all adopted children will manifest their trauma in one way or another at some point in their life. Some of this you are prepared for, other times it can catch you completely off guard.
“My daughter was the more anxious and hypersensitive of my two children. I think that because she was older when she went into care she has more of a recollection of neglect. My family knew to be more cautious and to give her extra reassurance when it was dark or there were loud noises - but one thing we didn’t prepare for is how petrified she was of balloons and anyone singing Happy Birthday.
“She couldn’t tell us why, but she was storing a memory we can only speculate about. It caused her to freeze and cry or come running to cling onto me. Other parents would ask why I insisted on bringing her along to parties, but I didn’t want her to miss out or have to ask the class not to celebrate birthdays, so we worked together over time to help her find coping strategies. Now, she has been to a few birthday sleepovers and will get up dancing at holiday kids’ club - she’s come a long way.”
“I remember having a friendly debate with a social worker about interracial adoption and feeling strongly about not letting the difference in our skin colour be a barrier. I was challenged on this as the social worker pointed out that I wouldn’t be the one growing up different.
“In many ways she was right, and thankfully, we have navigated the conversations about our differences easily. We have multi-ethnic friends and he often likes to point out when I am the odd one out in the car or on family holidays.
“The world is made up of so many different families and society and adoption have caught up with each other.
Not only did that make it easier for me as a single person to adopt, having examples to show how the nuclear family is varied is helping my son to understand that everyone is different. Just the other day he asked me when he was getting a dad, because everyone has one. When we revisited the story of his birth father and started going through the list of family and friends who were unmarried, had lost partners or are in same sex couples, he wasn’t so concerned that it was just the three of us.”
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