Louise’s story

Louise and her adoptive mum Erin share their personal experiences of contact with Louise’s birth dad.

Home for Good is passionate about care-experienced children and young people being supported to better understand and make sense of their life story and feel secure in their identity. Where possible and appropriate, given every child’s unique experiences, contact with birth family can be deeply beneficial for adopted children. We would always recommend that any contact beyond existing arrangements is planned with social workers and other professionals so that everyone involved has the support they need, including the birth family member. We are so grateful to Louise* and her adoptive mum Erin* for sharing their personal experiences of contact with Louise’s birth dad with us.

When I was 11, I asked my mum if I could meet my birth parents. I wanted to meet them because I felt there was a gap in my life. I wanted to fill it, and I thought the best way to do that was to meet my birth parents and build a relationship with them.

I waited two years for it to happen, but we finally arranged with everyone for me to meet my birth dad. I had so many emotions; dread, excitement, happiness. During those days leading up to the date we arranged to meet, I was so nervous and tingly – but mostly excited. I found my mind wandering in lessons and I wasn’t able to concentrate.

On the day when we were going to meet him, I was shaking. I couldn’t think straight because I knew I was about to meet someone I hadn’t seen in 12 years. I tried to distract myself with Mario Kart (which I’m usually very good at) but I lost most of the games because I was shaking so much. We’d decided to meet at a bowling alley. The staff were really nice, they took me and my parents to our lane and let us sit there until the social worker arrived. We got a bit bored with all the waiting. When the social worker arrived, I got even more nervous.

I remember I was sitting on a sofa just talking to my mum when I looked up and saw him standing there. It all happened very suddenly. I was so stoked at seeing him there, and the suddenness of it made all my emotions that had been building up inside for the past couple of weeks come out in tears. He gave me some presents. He gave me a football (we had written to tell him that I like football) and a Pandora bracelet. I love them.

The most awkward bit was probably just talking to him and trying to have a normal conversation, because it felt so weird talking to him – he was a complete stranger to me. I think the best bit of it was probably finding out that I get my “freaky fingers” from him because we are both double jointed in our hands; it was quite funny. If I had superpowers and I could change one thing about the whole meeting, it would be my decision to order the spicy chips in the restaurant – they made my mouth feel like it was on fire!

I didn’t expect meeting my birth dad to go so well. Part of me really thought it would end in disaster and that I wouldn’t be able to see him again. But I’m really happy with the way it turned out because we managed to just talk and begin to build that relationship that I had been hoping for. I feel calm now that I have met him because I’ve finally started to fill in the gap I felt. However, it’s not totally filled because I don’t have a relationship with my birth mum. I haven’t had the opportunity to meet her yet.

My birth dad can’t, won’t and doesn’t replace my ‘real dad’. But I’m excited to carry on building the relationship with my birth dad because now that I have met him once, I will be able to meet him a lot more. I’m looking forward to having the chance to meet my half-brother and half-sister and my birth dad’s new partner in the Spring.

I love my parents more than anything in the world and I am really thankful that they helped make this possible.

*names have been changed for anonymity

Author:
Louise - a care-experienced adult


Date published:
July 2022


Tags:
Stories


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