Georgia is a single adopter, she says her decision to adopt was: “Mainly based on providing permanency and security for a child who may have experienced additional traumas through being moved between temporary or short term placements”
Georgia approached PACT in February 2013 and after attending an information event decided to proceed by fostering a child at first with a view to adoption at a later date. Following Georgia’s approval in December 2013, Presley was placed in April 2014 when he was aged four.
Before meeting Presley, Georgia met his birth parent, foster carer, visited his school and had seen videos of him. She said: “Meeting him for the first time was surreal. I had received so much information about him beforehand that I felt I knew him already.”
Since Presley has been with her, Georgia has found life to be busy but also such fun. She said: “He is a genuine joy to have in my life and I feel very fortunate that we have so much in common, including a similar sense of humour. Presley is my son and my priority and it has felt very natural to act on his behalf, in his best interests and to consider what he needs as any parent would of a child.”
Georgia wasn’t necessarily looking for a child over four. She said: “I requested to be considered for a child of school age, due to my experience of working with young children. I would not have discounted any child due to age, but considered more carefully their background and experiences.”
Georgia thinks the best thing about Presley’s age is his personality, she said: “He enjoys everything we do together as well as things he does alone. He soaks up every ounce of information shared with him, takes pleasure in every experience, and relishes every opportunity.”
Georgia has found the progress that Presley has made personally, emotionally and physically very rewarding. She said: “He has flourished to be a strong, healthy little boy so quickly, and his emotional development is being nurtured through his ability to consider his own experiences and background at a pace that is comfortable and appropriate for him.
“We talk openly about his short life and he has some understanding of his past. I do not feel we would have made anywhere near as much progress if he had not been both old enough and able to verbalise or understand what is being discussed with him. He is able to question and overcome the smallest of challenges every day.”
Presley will have support from PACT’s award winning Family and Children Therapeutic Support Service (FACTS) service in the future and during placement Georgia has been supported by her social worker.
She said: I received such a marvellous level of support from PACT during difficult phases – it’s not all roses! I know I can email or call for immediate or personal support at any time. My supervising social worker I feel really advocates on my behalf at all times and knows me and my son so well.
I work with PACT and I really feel as though I am part of the team and I value the efforts that PACT reach to support me in my role while genuinely understanding my unusual circumstances. The level of support offered post-adoption is invaluable for both myself and my son by way of FACTS.”
The adoption order for Presley was granted in September 2015. Georgia said: “My life has been enriched beyond belief and this has been the most life-changing experience I will ever have, I am sure. I wouldn’t change it for the world. It is so rewarding to know that I am helping one child on the way to have a hopeful future, and we talk about his ambitions and dreams for adulthood on a daily basis.
“To dream of a positive future is surely what every child is entitled to, but whether they can reach this is often questionable or uncontrollable. I would like to say that my personal goal to offer a home and change the life of one child has been achieved.”