David* and his wife Hannah* adopted three children under four years old through PACT in 2018.
Curate David had always been keen to adopt.
“It’s been something I have dreamed of doing since I was about 13. My grandma lived on a farm in Uganda and she would open her place up to orphans and people who were hard up, and my mum used to look after street kids.
“That life of generosity towards others was engrained in me from a very early age, and the make-up of what a family was going to look like for me was always going to include people who were not of the same blood.”
Hannah was just as keen to adopt, and they did lots of research into adoption, including other agencies that offered this, before choosing to proceed with PACT.
David said: “We just felt the whole approach from PACT was good. The sense I got from the people involved was good and the sense of PACT’s commitment to their adopters was good.”
David and Hannah found the adoption process rigorous but straightforward.
“We weren’t asked anything we haven’t been asked before. We’re both quite open people so it wasn’t difficult to answer some of the questions. I think also because we wanted to be the best parents possible we wanted the process to be detailed enough to know that other people also thought we could make good parents.”
Once approved to adopt, they started the process of family finding, which they found more challenging. As David is black and Hannah white, the couple were inundated with profiles of children waiting to be adopted.
“We did find that very hard, to work out who we were meant to be a parent to, and also just seeing how many kids there were with black or dual heritage background waiting for a home.”
The couple, who were keen to adopt a sibling group, found themselves drawn to a sister and brother pair, who were of dual heritage. David said their choice was not based on the children’s ethnicity, but more to do with something his wife saw in the smile of the boy.
“We didn’t set out to look for children with dual heritage. For me it’s more about giving a child a home, and who is best able to do that and give them the love and affection, they need. I think that’s what matters most.”
The couple then found out there was a third sibling due to be born later that year, and they were asked if they could also consider adopting this child.
David said: “It wasn’t even something we had to consider. We just looked at each other and knew what was going to happen. We wanted these kids to grow up together.”
After some frustrating delays and quite a lengthy period of introductions, the children moved in with them.
“When they moved in there was such a clear sense of relief, especially from my son. He just kind of relaxed and hasn’t looked back since, he became a different kid almost overnight.”
His eldest daughter has needed some additional help but David said PACT had been supportive both pre and post-placement, and that they had both found the training offered by PACT particularly helpful.
He said the children were all doing really well now and he couldn’t remember what life was like before!
“It’s not without its challenges – we are a work in progress, but things are good.
“It is harder because there are three, which means the one-to-one time we get with each child is less than if we’d adopted one or two, but the good thing about the three of them together is watching them help each other. Whereas my eldest girl might be a bit apprehensive about something, my boy will jump into the situation which then gives her the confidence to join in too.”
David said his faith had been really vital throughout the process as had the “phenomenal” support the family had received from his congregation.
“We weren’t the first family to adopt within this church but by me doing it as one of the clergy, it has led to a bigger conversation surfacing in a way that hasn’t happened before. The community has just soaked in the story of adoption and how to handle adoptive children in terms of how to approach and respond to children who have been through trauma.
“They have demonstrated such love, care and support to us, and I am so incredibly grateful to them for this.”
*Names changed in line with confidentiality