Transcript for adoption video 1: Local adoption: Bill and Kate’s story
Belinda: Embarking on an adoption journey is a significant decision. It takes time, dedication and understanding; it can be highly emotional and sometimes complex. In Queensland adoption is defined as a service for children and it’s the role of the department to find families to meet the needs of the children who are unable to grow up with their birth families. This series of videos aims to help Queensland couples, who are considering adoption to understand the realities of the process and decide whether it’s right for them.
Kate and Bill adopted a child in Queensland, this is their story.
Kate: We found out with that, that I would be unable to have children. We pretty much straight from that started researching and finding out about, how to adopt and finding out that information. When we first started looking into adoption, I guess the needs of the child we were really unsure about we would consider ourselves a bit green, not really understanding what the needs would be.
Bill: I think once you start reading about it you start to go oh yes, there’s a lot more to this than you would expect.
Kate: That I was terrified that, we wouldn’t be able to meet the needs in the sense that if they had questions when they were growing up would we be prepared enough to answer those questions.
Bill: I always thought that we could, you know, accommodate any questions that they might have.
Kate: We’ve learnt that we are a very strong couple, we work very well together, I think you need to be able to communicate clearly and understand what’s going on in the process.
Bill: Yeah, it’s important to support one another through the process. And I think that’s what we’ve learnt to do, is support one another.
Kate: The, it’s just one of those things you just need to go with the flow, and learning to let that go is the hardest thing.
Bill: That’s been the hardest part for you.
Kate: Yes, cause I would be asking you the same question over and over and over.
Bill [at the same time]: Over and over and over.
Kate: I remember calling through to the department and asking for advice as to what we can do to prepare ourselves and I remember them stating that the best thing we could do is start reading and learning as much as we could so I just got into this bandwagon of reading everything that I could get my hands on about adoption to understand what was going on. The other thing that was really helpful was the education that we went to.
Kate: We were able to really go there as a couple and see that we were both on board. I think it’s important as a couple that you might be the main person going yep we need to adopt, but you both need to be on the same page so that was really important and we got a lot of good information out of it and also got to meet other couples in the same situation which really helped because sometimes you can feel with adoption that its quite isolating. And for us that was really important to connect and also meet parents that were successful in adoption was also very valuable.
The other thing I found really valuable is talking to support groups as well, so understanding what they were going on, what the key issues were, also I would connect with the department as well and ask what we should be reading as well so that we could get some guidance from them because sometimes you, you know, things are changing in the environment so that you need to understand and get up to date.
It is really important to connect with people when you are going through the adoption process, it’s great to have family and friends support you and we have an amazing support network.
Kate: But when you’re in that process they still don’t quite understand what the emotions are and what it’s like.
Bill: Cause they’re not reading about it like we are as well.
Kate: When we were at education, we met a couple there, they were moving through the process at the same stage as us and it was really good because when you have the department come into your home, you feel like you’ve got to clean the inside of your letterbox.
They also had the same stresses and they were also experiencing the same emotions that we were and…
Bill: And their letterbox was really clean as well.
Kate: We would describe our experience with adoption through, I guess, it’s you know, the process was over a few of years, bashing yourself up, it’s you know, so it is a roller coaster of emotions and you do have your highs where you get accepted and then you know, then you go and you’re on, and you are waiting and will you ever get the call and it’s just that unknown is really hard. So there’s so many ups and downs with the process and dealing with all the emotions of that. And also dealing with the emotions of, you know, my parents, you know, will they be grandparents, so you, you, it’s just, it’s massive and until you’re in that you can’t explain.
Kate: The challenges for us in the process was the uncertainty. It’s really difficult to not have a timeframe on anything, and to let go of that time, in a world where you can get anything you want whenever you want and for this to not be the case is really hard.
We managed the uncertainty through the process by keeping ourselves busy all the time and it’s just not to push the time through, it’s getting on with your life, and even though you’ve got adoption playing in the background doesn’t mean that you need to stop everything, you need to keep growing as a couple and doing what you would normally do.
I was so excited when we got the call to go through the assessment process because it felt like we were moving forward through adoptions, so I was so excited to have someone in our home and asking us questions so for me it wasn’t a fear at all it felt.
Bill: Yeah it felt good, it finally wasn’t a piece of paper it was a person.
Kate [at the same time]: It felt really good.
Kate: For us the assessment process was really, not liberating but it was good, it was really positive.
Bill: It was positive; it felt like we were moving forward and making, making progress.
Kate: It’s really a relaxed conversation and even the one on ones were fine as well because you can’t control everything so you’ve just got to answer the questions honestly because you’re talking about a child, so it’s not going just for a job, your, it’s a child’s life.
Belinda: In Queensland, a small number of children are adopted each year, if you feel you have the right qualities, can provide a loving home for a child and want to make a real difference to a child’s life, please go to the departments website for further information about taking the next step.