When I first heard the words ‘you are not likely to conceive naturally’ I knew I was sharing an experience with thousands of others and yet it was the start of a lonely, difficult, but ultimately fulfilling journey. My husband Rob and I eventually navigated our way towards adoption and our two children moved in with us ten years ago. The experience of adopting children who have been neglected and abused has changed our lives significantly and forever. It has challenged and often changed our views on a wide range of issues such as identity, parenting, family and education and has sometimes left us feeling misunderstood, unsupported and misrepresented.
Throughout this experience I have kept a diary and have drawn on this personal record to write a memoir. It is no tale of misery but an honest, and I hope humorous and current, take on what it feels like to tackle parenthood a little differently. My book faces up to some difficult questions: what it is like to contemplate never having children, what it’s like to parent children to whom you are not biologically related, what the impacts are of early abuse and neglect and how does society and the media view children and families who do not quite fit the norm.
My book No Matter What was published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers on 23 July 2013.
I contribute articles on adoption reform and therapeutic parenting to the online Social Work magazine Community Care for which I won the British Society of Magazine Editors Business Columnist of the Year 2013.
My literary agent is Genevieve Carden of the CardenWright Literary Agency (www.cardenwright.com) and she can be contacted on .
its about time that others know what it is like to parent our poor traumatised children, I had thought of doing something like this, but my children would not like it. but it nneeds to be told.
I’m hoping that adopters will be able to read something that at last looks something like their lives and also that those who have passing association with or interest in the subject will enjoy the book as well.
I have involved our children in the writing process, they have read bits of it and are excited about it. In a strange way it has helped us all. I have however had to create a very complicated alter-ego to get over the confidentiality issues. (Nothing is ever easy!)
Thanks for reading, Sally
What a fantastic website!!!! It is so good to be able to read about the ups and downs involved when you have taken the huge step to adopt a child/children. This offers not only support but humour on those days when it is needed!! Keep up the good work….it is brilliant!!!! xxxx
My husband and I have just been allocated a social worker and begin our home study May 1st we are very excited but also cautious. Thank you for a honest reflection of real life. We have certainly found it reassuring in its truthfulness. Wish us luck as we head down the next path on our journey to adoption.
Thanks for your comment Louise and I’m glad that you found the site useful. I worry that I may put off adopters with my honest approach so I’m very happy that this has not been the case for you! I wish you the best of luck with your homestudy and the rest of the process. Adoption is certainly not the easy path but has been very rewarding for us.
I will be payiing close attention to this site; your subject matter needs to be shared with others – great stuff very weel done
I took a look at your site too. For any man and couple coping with male infertility it is a must read.
Thanks for reading.
You are my hero! I started my own blog about 6 months ago and have only found your infinitely superior version today because of your article in Adoption UK. THANK YOU! Your experience is sooooo close to my own (although your son is I think a couple of years older) I feel truly blessed to have discovered a kindred spirit and look forward to your future inspiring posts. x
Thank you for your very kind words. I know from experience how useful it is to connect with other people going through the same trials. There are a number of adoption bloggers out there now, most of which I’ve linked to on my blog. There is also a lively and supportive twitter community, so if you ever feel like joining in then find me at @sallydwrites you’d be very welcome.
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Thank you for writing this blog and for your book. I wish I had been able to read it three years ago when my husband and I started the journey to adopting my amazing children. It followed our story so closely I was in tears when reading it.
Sally, I started your book on 23rd December whilst waiting for my adoption medical at the doctor’s surgery. Despite all the Christmas festivities – I couldn’t put it down. I just finished it yesterday and it moved me so much I couldn’t really say anything for about an hour.
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I hope my partner and I can find your strength, belief and honesty as we embark on our own journey…
Thank you Jo, firstly for reading my book and secondly for taking the time to write a comment. I’m glad you enjoyed it and I wish you well with your journey.