by AUK staff member

“We think you would be great, but can you just wait?”

“Wait? How long for?”

“Ummmm until you’ve lived together for at least two years.”

“But we are married…”

“Yes I know, but we can’t allow you to continue this process for another 6 months.”

And so, as soon as we had begun our adoption journey it was delayed and my personal degree in maintaining patience - in a world you feel you have little control over - began.

When we made the proactive, positive and happy decision to adopt we couldn’t wait to get started. We knew it was the right route for us to take, but within two months of starting this journey someone had placed a firm, fat roadblock in the way and there was nothing we could do. They said 6 months, but we knew it wouldn’t suddenly start after the 6 months were up, so it seemed like a never-ending wait stretched out ahead of us. It was frustrating and I can imagine currently echoes the feelings of many prospective adopters across the UK. Your hands are tied, we are all in lockdown and there is nothing you can do - right? Well not entirely… the time can be spent proactively and stand you in good stead for the future. Here’s my top tips to ride out the waiting game, stay sane and try and regain some control.

  • Talk to family and friends – these guys will be your network throughout your journey and beyond. We found the whole process easier being open and honest with our friends and family with our plans. We didn’t want adoption to be a taboo in our world – nor for the world we were creating for our future little person. So, we talked, we sought out books for them to read and things for them to watch. And they supported and read and watched – with interest. Three years down the line and we still have a supportive network, who still want to learn more to help support us and our little one. We currently all have time to connect with our closest loved ones in different ways, so use that time and use it well.


  • Read, read, read and read some more – the happy accident of my husband and I reading a library of adoption books (anything we could find) meant that when our social worker visits started we were able to present her with a reading list. This then went on our file as additional evidence of our commitment to adoption. The main benefit though was it opened our eyes. We wanted to be connected to people who had gone through the journey and were now building families of their own, so we read books (Sally Donovan a particular favourite) and joined AUK, which meant that every couple of months we received a copy of Adoption Today magazine.


  • Sign up to the AUK forum – Another way to connect with adopters in all stage of the process was to sign up to the AUK forum. It was a safe space to talk through questions that we had with experienced adopters and others that were or had experienced similar things. There’s even a prospective adopters thread which has an archive of relevant content.


  • Social Media - #ukadoptioncommunity #ukadoption and #adoptionuk are just a few of the hashtags that bring the adoption community together on Instagram. I have found this platform to be one of the most supportive and inclusive and I have learnt so much and made several connections and even a friendship through Instagram.


  • Write a diary – it’s something I still do even now, and I hope that when old enough my little one will read with interest about his own early life with us and our journey to get there. I poured out my thoughts and feelings, which helped me make sense of everything that was going on.


  • Exercise – whether it’s running, biking, yoga, dancing, walking…exercise really helped clear my head at times when we felt a little lost at sea. Walking then became a great way to bond with my little one when we went exploring the countryside in our sling, and exercise continues to be an important part of my self-care.


  • Watch – when we started our adoption journey there really wasn’t much on YouTube that was UK specific. There were some interesting TV shows that I managed to find, but that was it. Now though there is so much more out there. Aimee Vlogs, Daddy Life London and Emma Adams Vlogs are a few accounts that are great and AUK are adding more videos to their channel too.


  • Learn – now more than ever digital channels are being to host webinars, training sessions and virtual meet-ups. Taking part in this additional learning and connection will really help you feel that you are doing something proactive and will help expand your understanding and could help expand your network.


  • Connect – Whether you are a single adopter or in a couple my advice is the same – use this time to connect with the people you love and enjoy the things you love doing (within current lockdown restrictions). Have that cheese and wine virtual party, take up yoga, have long conversations with your friends on FaceTime, or simply have a bath without a plastic frog sticking to your bottom! Believe me, once the small ones do come into your lives your time is shared and all these things become (happily) a little more trickier!

The 6 months was up – did our journey run smoothly? Not entirely - it was quicker than some and slower than others and a rollercoaster of emotions.

Was it worth it? Totally and utterly – without the waiting, the delays, the cancellations and frustrations we wouldn’t be where we are today; with the little person we are proud to call our child.

Now more than ever it is so important that you try what you can to ride out the waiting game in a way that suits you. However, know that the dots will eventually join, the wait will come to an end and after all of this we will all be able to make sense of the process and understand why we have arrived where we are meant to be.