When Worcester couple Lucy and Rachel tied the knot in 2015 they had already decided they wanted to adopt children, and about a year later, after undergoing adoption assessment and training they were matched with three young siblings. In a matter of just a few weeks they went from a family of two to a family of five and say it completely changed their lives for the better.
Lucy said: “We made the decision about three years ago that we wanted to adopt. It was our first option really. We'd never really considered anything else. We always said as well, that we wanted siblings as we'd both grown up with siblings. It's the road we'd always wanted to go down."
The couple contacted the Adoption Service and went along to their first meeting to learn all about adoption and the process.
Lucy added: "The first meeting was really good and we learned a lot about adoption. We went away from it thinking there was so much to consider. At that stage we said we were in no real rush to adopt. We wanted to take our time and be 100 percent sure it was what we wanted and the adoption team was fine with that."
Six months later, the pair entered the first official stage of their adoption journey and they underwent some training sessions.
Lucy added: "We had four days of training in total. We then met a social worker and she talked to us individually. They really do pick your lives apart but then I guess adopting a child is such a big thing they really do need to do that. There was still no pressure at that stage to commit. “
"Being matched with a child seemed to happen quite quickly. We got an email from our social worker and she said three siblings had come up. She sent us some information and their pictures and told us to have a read. From the moment we saw them, we knew they were right for us.”
"After we'd met the foster families who were looking after them, we then went to the approval panel. It only took 10 minutes. We left the room, went back in and we were told we had been approved. We were over the moon."
Rachel said: “It didn't take them too long to settle in. They are such happy kids. They love nothing more than going to the park which is good because of course it's free.
They don't want to go to expensive places and we don't need to take them on fancy holidays. Because of their difficult start to life, all they want is to feel safe. They love being at home and just love being with us."
"I recommend that people adopt. People may be scared of the process but you just have to be patient. Having siblings is just phenomenal as well," Lucy adds.
ACE is particularly seeking adopters for sibling groups, babies to 10 year olds, children with a level of disability and those of minority ethnic backgrounds. Anyone interested in adoption can visit the ACE website: aceadoption.com or call the ACE Hub on 0300 369 0556.