Alison's story

Adoptive parent Alison is "immeasurably proud" of her adopted daughter who is taking part in an ice show this Christmas - but not for the same reasons as the other skater's parents.

Alison said: "Christmas is my daughter's second favourite time of year. She prefers Hallowe'en - hanging out in the dark with her friends, free sweets, safe thrills. But she loves Christmas too. And for the second year running she's in the ice show - a cabaret on ice at our local rink. I'm immeasurably proud of her five minutes in the spotlight, but probably not for the same reasons as most of the other skater's parents.

"My daughter has stuck with ice skating lessons for a year-and-a-half despite the fact that she struggles to follow instructions and has very poor self-confidence. She doesn't lose the plot when she gets mildly told-off by one of the coaches, and she only hates herself briefly for not nailing new techniques straightaway. In last year's show, she fell over in-front of 200 paying spectators. I held my breath; she picked herself up and carried on. A couple of years ago, I wouldn't have believed it." 

As a member of Adoption UK, Alison is full of praise for the support she has received from the charity.

"I went to the annual conference the year before my daughter came - it gave me a boost during a low period when nothing seemed to be happening - and I went to a couple of Adoption UK training courses before placement," she said.

"Just being with people who were in the same situation as me was enormously helpful, and the training helped me get ready for the massive change that was about to happen to me. I used the online forums a lot while I was searching for a child, and got lots of good advice and encouragement.

"In the weeks before my daughter came I was an obsessive user of the forums - chatting to people who'd survived introductions and the early months of placement kept me sane. It's an indescribably intense time, and only people who've experienced that precise set of circumstances can really hold your hand in the way you need," Alison added. 

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