Adoptive parent Scott concedes that Christmas is his least favourite time of year – but he’s now hopeful of navigating his family through the festive break by lowering his sons’ expectations.
Scott and his civil partner Tristan, have adopted three boys, Frasier, 18, Brandon, 17 and Jacob 10.
Scott, a senior manager for Adoption UK, said: “We hadn’t realised the children would be excited, nervous and anxious. It still amazes me how disappointing Christmas can be.
“Working for Adoption UK I can often be seen as the ‘Bah Humbug’ – however, I think that my colleagues actually know, whether they’re adoptive parents or not, that Christmas is a tricky time. To be able to work in an environment where I can say: ‘Actually, this is the worst time of the year’ – makes a huge difference to me.”
Scott says his sons’ expectations remain low around Christmas because of the impact of their earlier childhoods.
“They know it should be a special time, but the trauma and guilt of enjoying themselves means that they cannot get into the full swing. The one expectation that they do have is that they’ll receive lots of gifts. That’s hard when you are attempting to keep things low-key, and of course, this is the one thing that’s difficult for them to understand,” he said.
“We don’t go to family on Christmas Day. Our family understand that, and we always do something else to bring everyone together, like a lower-key ‘Christmas Day’ – just not on the 25th.”
Scott says Adoption UK’s online community has helped him through the highs and lows of adopting.
“It provides a sense of community with one common goal – we all want what is best for adopted children, whether that’s supporting our peers by just being there or being able to signpost to specific services – there really is someone for everyone within our membership.”