A few months ago, I was visiting my partner’s family in the south-west of England.
We had agreed to get married in December.
My family have been together for nearly 50 years and we have three children.
The only thing we can legally do is adopt each other’s children, so I asked the local council to put me in touch with a foster mother, who had recently been working in a foster home.
As soon as we arrived, we were greeted by a small group of children.
I was struck by how little the children were talking, how they looked different from their parents.
As the couple left the room, I realised they had never met before.
They were looking at me with a look of confusion on their faces.
My partner and I had been looking for foster parents for almost a year.
I had no idea how I would get into such a big deal with so little understanding of the process, but the idea of adopting a child was something we both agreed we would do.
So, on Christmas Eve, we arranged a visit to a home that had a foster programme.
I immediately noticed a lot of the children had been brought in by their parents as part of their foster care.
There was also a large group of them who had never been seen by their families before.
I wondered how I was going to deal with this.
After some awkward silence, I asked a local foster parent about adopting an adopted child.
I told her I was interested and that I wanted to talk to her.
“But how?” she asked.
“If I’m not allowed, what are you going to do?”
I had never thought of adopting children.
But that was just the start of it.
The local government was also looking for adoptive parents, and I knew that if I was given an adoption application, the application would be processed quickly.
The first step was to talk with the local adoption service.
I explained that I was the only person who was not allowed into the foster home and that my partner and we would be able to adopt the children in the foster care home.
I asked them to help me contact the family, but this process took a while.
The next day, my partner told me they had already been approached by the local authority.
I realised I had not been given enough information, and that they were waiting for me to contact the agency to confirm that they had made an appointment.
After a lot more waiting, the local authorities eventually invited me to the foster centre.
It was a very big building, and they were not able to give me a meeting with the foster parents.
I went in for a meeting, and the next day they came to my door.
The foster parents looked shocked, and said they could not let me in.
I said I was happy to talk.
The agency explained that they needed to take a closer look at my application.
I could not understand what was happening, and it took some time before I was able to understand what I was getting myself into.
The child’s mother was very upset, but eventually the agency agreed to let me go.
After this meeting, I felt a bit betrayed.
My children had never told me anything about their lives before they were adopted, and this would be the first time I was aware of their experiences.
They did not tell me that they felt abandoned.
I also had no way of knowing how they were living.
They had been separated for years from their families, and their adoption application was only made public last year.
As a foster parent, I had to tell them all this.
I knew they were different, but I also knew that I could never be sure what would happen if they became homeless.
At the time, I did not realise how much I was making them feel alone.
They are two beautiful young children with a loving and caring mother.
They will be going to a great school for the first year, and we can only imagine what they will go through when they grow up.
After my meeting with them, I decided to contact my local authorities and make an application to adopt.
After that, I found out about the foster system.
I did the same, and found out how difficult it was to get in contact with these children, because there are no services for children.
There is a small network of agencies in the area, but they do not know how to reach these children.
So I started making phone calls, asking the local agencies to call me.
I contacted several agencies, but none could contact the foster parent.
Then, one day, I started receiving emails from local agencies who were still waiting for an adoption.
They asked me how I knew about these people, and how I could help.
One of the foster agencies contacted me, but she could not answer my questions, and my email was still unanswered.
So my partner contacted another agency and told them about the adoption process.
I then found out that the foster agency had also contacted the local government.
I got in touch to get the information