MOTHER’S Day on 26 March will be extra special for 57 new mums who have adopted children through Parents And Children Together in the last year.
The charity, which supports families across the south east and beyond through adoption, award-winning therapeutic support and community projects, placed 81 children with 57 mums over the last year.
There are currently more than 2,000 children waiting to be adopted in England.
PACT is particularly looking for families who can consider adopting children over four years old, with BME heritage or who have additional needs as well as sibling groups of two or more children.
Steph became a mum to seven-year-old Caitlin in 2012 when she and her husband Nick adopted her through PACT. Caitlin had been in foster care since she was three and Steph recalls how excited she was to meet her new parents for the first time, calling out “you’re my new mummy!”.
Steph said: “We had made the assumption that she would be nervous and reserved like us, but she wasn’t, she wanted a hug and immediately wanted her present, for us to see her cakes that she had helped make and to sit on my lap! We hadn’t considered that Caitlin was excited because at last she was going to get a family of her own and a chance for a new life.”
She added: “Every adopter has different experiences of the bonding process. Mine was instant. Within days of Caitlin coming home our bond was set in stone, we got each other and we understood each other.”
Steph and Nick, whose 13-year-old son from his previous marriage lived with them, chose to adopt as they wanted to have another child but Steph was unable to do this naturally following cancer treatment.
They were both very clear from the start that they wanted to adopt an older child.
Steph said: “The joy of having an older child is that they can talk to you and tell you how they are feeling. We feel that it made those initial meetings and her first few months with us easier to handle as she was able to express herself.”
She added: “Our experience of adopting Caitlin was challenging and exciting. We have never regretted our decision to adopt her and we love her unconditionally. We can’t imagine life without her. We have had challenging times when we have been awake at night discussing our little girl and working out how to deal with the latest concern, but I don’t think we are any different to any other parent in that sense.”
Jan Fishwick, Chief Executive of PACT, said: “I would like to wish a very happy Mother’s Day to all those mums celebrating this special day after adopting children.
“But there are still many children in need of a mum, many of them are aged four or over, in a sibling group or have additional needs. I would encourage anyone who feels they can offer a secure and loving home to a child in care to get in touch with us, and find out how we can help them do that.”
To find out more about adopting with PACT visit www.pactcharity.org/adoption or call 0300 456 4800.