Catherine

I met Catherine online in one of my favourite local adoption groups on Facebook called Passionate about adoption – if you’re looking into adoption or have already adopted, then make sure you join this group! Catherine is the lucky Heart Mama to little Charlotte and manages to juggle motherhood as well as her job as Director of Pay it Forward, a foundation which aims to uplift a child’s life through education. Thanks for sharing your story, Catherine.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your family.

I am a single mother to Charlotte and I have two siblings. One brother who is 5 yrs older and a twin sister, both of whom are a great support to me.

Did you always know that you wanted to adopt?  

I often thought as a child that I would love to adopt, however this idea faded and when I was married as I thought I might have biological children.

Did you use an agency or did you adopt through Child Welfare? What would you recommend?

I used a private social worker and I found the process gentle and very thorough.

What was the hardest part of the process?

The we’re many challenging times through the process- I went through times prior to Charlotte’s arrival that I doubted my decision and I found it very challenging to be patient in not knowing when my baby would arrive.

What was your first night together as a family like?

Although I was prepared practically, I had no idea of the reality of Charlotte’s arrival. My family and best friend arrived that evening and it was surreal having her cousins (my sister’s children) and her aunts and uncles with us that evening. It was very special. I remember feeling so alone and scared when they all left that night.

Advice for the screening process?

I was terrified! I thought it was a pass or fail test and having consulted a friend who did the process she recommended that I just be myself. Remember you have so much to offer and the screening is more about matching you with the right birth parent/s and child than you passing or failing. You are worthy of being a parent.

How can friends and family best support those adopting?

I feel that sharing information and creating communities of like minded people is helpful and educating parents and children in schools about diversity is so important.

Top tip for doing life as a rainbow nation family?

Just be honest – it is naive to think we live in a colourblind society – say it as it is and don’t be afraid to talk about colour and race. It is real and we need to be colour conscious.
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