This week we spoke to Sioned, from our Truth be Told podcast. Faced with health challenges and the end of a relationship, Sioned decided to embark on the adoption journey by herself. We discussed what it’s like to adopt as a single person, how she’s found life journey work and what adoption has meant to her life.
Can you tell us a bit about what led you to adopting?
I always wanted to be a mother. I suffered from health problems and later found out I was infertile as well. At this point in my life I also became single again, so I just decided to go for it on my own because I wanted to be a mother.
Did you find it difficult to adopt as a single person?
Not at all. The process itself is the same, but of course there are some extra factors they had to look at such as the support I’d have and if I could manage on my own. The questions can be difficult but it’s important to remember they are necessary. In all honesty, I found the whole process quite therapeutic and very helpful.
Can you tell us a bit about what it was like after the first week you had your daughter with you?
I just felt a big rush of love. I really was on cloud nine. Very quickly I could not imagine or remember life without her.
My main goal was to get her settled and she did that straight away. She was very young so that made it easier, but my main goal was for us to get to know each other and develop a routine.
My mum was there for support but only for the first week so that after that, we could really knuckle down and get to know one another. We had to figure out what worked for us when it was just us two.
On the podcast, you talk about the life journey book, can you tell us why that is so important for the child to understand their history?
It’s so important. It’s a grounding for her identity and it’ll help her figure out where she fits in the world. It’s vital to be open and honest and not hide anything away from her. I want her to know that it was the situation that failed her, not that she wasn’t wanted. The life journey book will help her understand that life wasn’t kind to her biological parents, but she was always wanted. I also want her to know she’s had the most glorious impact on my life.
It’s important that there isn’t any kind of mystery, because one day she will want to know everything. It’s about trying to maintain all those connections. .
Did you ever find the life journey work and talking about her biological parents difficult?
No, because I knew how important it was from the start. I’m the kind of person who likes to understand and look back at the jigsaw of life and I think it’s really helpful that we understand where we come from in order to make sense of anything in the future. I want her to be able to have that opportunity.
It’s a process and it’s not always easy but I think it’s important to keep in mind that the child and their future has to come first, not your own insecurities. At the end of the day your main priority should always be giving your child every chance to thrive and being open and honest with them about their past is an important part of that.
Did you need any post-adoption support?
To be honest, I was a bit afraid of reaching out because I didn’t want to admit failure.I know it isn’t, but I felt like asking for help was. Looking back now I realise it would have been a sign of strength.
Our social worker checked in with us every week and then every couple of months. I could have done with knowing more about what was available but I was also glad that we could become independent as our own little family.
Looking back, I think a single-parent network might have helped me.
What advice would you give to someone who’ has just adopted or thinking about adoption?
My advice would be to go with the flow. You will be tired, it’s a very emotional process, but keep in mind that you’ll also never get this time back so try and live in the moment. Before you know it, your child has grown up and life has changed.
The reward you get back from adopting is unmeasurable – it’s life changing and it’s an incredibly special bond. I would not hesitate for a second, if you have it within your heart to be a parent and to give someone that love, go for it.
How has adoption changed your life / brought to your life?
Having my daughter has given a new meaning to my life. It’s a dream come true which I know sounds very Disneyesque but that’s the truth. It was the end of my world when I was diagnosed with my illness and I really thought that was it and I’d never be a parent, but adoption made that happen for me. Adoption is what I’m the most proud of in my life.