Hello. I'm Ruth, married to Sam and we have three beautiful daughters.
If you had told me 10 years ago that I would write that sentence, I wouldn't have believed you! Our journey to becoming a family of five has been a long one!
Sam and I were unable to have birth children and decided to adopt. God had planted a seed about adoption and fostering when I went to Brazil and worked in a girls' home when I was at university. He had also given us an enthusiasm for working with children - we are both primary school teachers. We felt that adoption could make a difference to a child's life. We wanted to adopt more than one child as we felt it was very important for siblings to be kept together and for them to grow up with the same story and a member of their birth family.
Our adoption process from enquiry to placement lasted almost exactly a year. We had so much support along the way, from our family, in our church and at work. However, the home study and preparation course was intense and, at times, frustrating. One issue was that we had our hearts set on adopting siblings but, because I am an only child, I was questioned extensively on my ability to cope with siblings, having not lived with any. I found this upsetting and frustrating. I just wanted to be a parent! We also had little or no information about other Christians’ adoption journeys. I remember googling 'Christians who adopt' and we were swamped with sites from the US but very little from the UK. We felt quite alone. I am so overjoyed that Christians now have the "Home for Good" resources to help with their decisions. Oh we would have loved to have had Home for Good back then!!
We were matched three months after approval with two little girls aged two and three. We doubled our family overnight! (I am actually writing this piece on the 7th anniversary of our two girls' dedication day at our church!) Our church and house group have been very supportive. Transitioning from no children to two children overnight is completely overwhelming, so our friends and family have been key in keeping us going! They’ve come to doctors’ appointments so I can go in with just one child, helped me at toddler groups, recommended clubs and activities, and prayed for our children. Friends from the church cleaned the house every week for me so I could spend precious time with our new arrivals. The practical, powerful and prayerful support has been mind-blowing. Love in action.
Three and a half years ago, we had a HUGE surprise in finding out that I was pregnant! Hannah Joy arrived in August 2011.
I am so happy to be a champion at our church, supporting a foster family, seeing more people apply, being approved and waiting for their new little ones! Home for Good is championing this cause and there is so much more information out there than even a few years ago. If you are thinking about adoption, go for it! Soak yourself in prayer and accept any offers of support or help. It will be one of the most challenging things you ever do, but also one of the most rewarding things you do too!