This morning on the walk to school our boy told me he loves it when it's Father's Day, because he doesn't have to do anything and can enjoy 'free play' while the other children make cards. I reminded him that on Mother's Day he has to work extra hard and make two cards while everyone else makes one. He slapped his forehead and said, 'oh yeah, I forgot about that.'
Our two adopted children have lived with my partner and I for three years now and I can honestly say that we haven't received one single bit animosity or non-acceptance. Not even so much as a 'tut' when we walk by. We genuinely forget that we are any different to any other family and I often describe us as a very 'conventional non-conventional' family, in that are probably a bit boring. We play in the park, we go out for dinners, we go to museums and we try to remember to get more use out of our National Trust membership every year. So far so very, very normal.
We genuinely found the whole adoption process to be quite wonderful. We never felt we were treated any differently or ever made to feel awkward. Ironically, the one person who did make us feel uncomfortable was another gay man on the training course. He made a snide comment during an exercise we did on how people fit into the world, insinuating that it would be hard for us to be accepted in our community. Well, he got that wrong.
Of course, when the children started bringing friends home for tea we got a lot of questions. Such as, 'Where is your dad?' 'Why don’t you live with them?' 'Where did you live before?' It went on and on. But we just answered them calmly, honestly and without any fuss. When children have questions they just want answers they can understand. There is nothing unusual about my family to everyone that knows us. I am friends with many of the mums in the playground. I go on school trips to help out. I work with the PTA putting on fundraising events. I embarrassed our children at the school Halloween party by dressing up in a hideous outfit, because that's what parents do.
From the very first phone call to the Local Authority Adoption Team to our family day in court, our adoption experience has been as close to magical as you can get. Every year we look forward to going to the adopter's picnic to say hello to the lovely people who helped put our family together. Our children are happy. They get treats. They get told off. They get everything you would want children to have. And they get all of this from their two mums!
For more information about LGBT adoption & fostering, please visit the LGBT Adoption & Fostering Week website or check out BAAF's Pink Guide To Adoption.