Renfrewshire Council

This personal story was published in November 2018. 

Barry and Lynn: our first Christmas together was incredibly special

Barry and Lynn explain their experience of the adoptions process.

Barry and Lynn say that Christmas of three years ago was their most special ever, as just days before their adoptive baby son came to live with them.

After three failed rounds of fertility treatment the couple from Renfrew had decided that adoption was the way forward for them.

After they registered their interest in becoming adoptive parents with Renfrewshire Council, they were visited by a social worker in the first step of the process.

Barry, 38 said: "We had already talked about it when it became clear there were issues with us conceiving. The fertility treatments were hard on Lynn and we decided not to go down that road any further."

The next step was attending 'Preparation Groups', set up to ensure prospective adopters are equipped for the reality of parenting. The groups also allow them to meet others who have already gone through the process.

Barry said: "It's almost like training in what kinds of thing you can expect and also like an informal interview with social workers. They present the realities and make it clear that there is some hard work involved and that children will come from a variety of backgrounds with sometimes traumatic experiences.

"After the first session we actually laughed because our brains were so full of information. But the great thing was we heard the stories of other adopters because you were hearing the ups and downs of real stories. You're getting it warts and all and it just brought it to life."

The couple were originally matched with a two-year-old girl and had got as far as being given a description of the child, when the adoption fell through.

Barry added: "The circumstances had changed and it was disappointing as we had been elated to get the news. But you have to trust it's been done for the right reasons and when we heard later we understood why."

Just eight weeks later, the couple's social worker contacted them to say they had another child in mind for them, an 11-week-old baby boy.

Barry said: "We were excited and apprehensive because of what had happened before but it all went without a hitch.

"Our situation is fairly unique as it's very unusual to get a baby. We also got to name him which was pretty special."

Like all new parents, Barry and Lynn said that having a baby in the house was a shock to the system.

Lynn said: "No matter how prepared you think you are it turns your life upside down but we absolutely loved it.

"Because he was so young we weren't worried that we wouldn't bond with him and we got lots of information from the foster carers he'd been with. We still visit them to this day because they love hearing what our son's getting up to.

"We wanted to keep in touch because we thought it was an important part of his story."

Their son started nursery school last November and Barry added: "We've had a lot of support from the social work team and that's still ongoing if we need it.

"There's a lifelong commitment from them to you and your child. Some people want to adopt and get on with their own life but we've kept in touch with some of the other couples.

"It's great to chat about how they've dealt with certain issues, especially with some of the ones who have older children. "

Barry and Lynn have a 'life story box' for their son full of mementoes and photographs to explain his background to him later in life.

Barry added: "When he's old enough will sit down and have a proper conversation with him.

"Being able to have our son has changed our lives."