Our second PAC-UK guest blogger this month is @LifeofLauraVlog, first mum to two boys who are adopted, and one girl who she raises. A huge thank you from all at PAC-UK for sharing your personal experience in this guest blog.

My husband and I had already faced a very difficult journey in trying to conceive. We sadly suffered four miscarriages from 2011-2013. When we were ready to try again, we then faced two years of unexplained infertility. Then a Christmas miracle happened and on the penultimate day of 2018, we finally saw those two lines on a test. It’s hard enough to go through that and be happy after suffering four losses, harder still to know you will then have to struggle through a serious pregnancy related illness like I do; but the worst part for me was knowing that this was the start of a bigger fight, one that started in 2006 when my first son was born.

Even though I was confident enough time had passed and I would be able to show this clearly, I held my breath as I dialled the number for social services to tell them I was pregnant again. I’ve faced a different type of loss in my life you see, I lost two sons to adoption in my late teens and early twenties. I lost the courage to call myself a Mum, and I became afraid to even be around children. I was always afraid that people knew I’d had my children taken away and that this meant they didn’t want me around their kids. It felt wrong to be around any child after that.

Each time I had been pregnant I’d always called social services to tell them, being told the same thing each time ‘We don’t need to know until you are 12 weeks’, but I never wanted to be seen to be hiding it. Desperate for them not to have a reason to say anything negative. The first four times it became irrelevant. This time round, I expected the same but then 12 weeks came around and I was still pregnant. Whilst I was in and out of hospital with the pregnancy related illness I get, I called them again to let them know I was still pregnant. It took them several weeks to assign a social worker and longer still for the social worker to come and see me. When she did, it gave me hope that she too didn’t feel there would be any concerns this time. Gladly, although our daughter is registered as a ‘Child in Need’, this has simply meant a monthly visit and the whole process has been pretty smooth sailing so far and we are hoping to get the ‘all clear’ in the next few weeks. There have been hiccups, mainly due to social services being understaffed and over working the people they do have.

During this process I was honest about how nervous I have been about becoming a Mum again. I am incredibly lucky to be in a situation where I have direct contact with my sons and a fantastic relationship with their parents. It is incredibly clear though that I am in a somewhat unique situation where by the relationship that I have with the boys’ parents is so good that I don’t have that yearning for them, the way I did when they were first taken away. I know where they are, I know they are safe, healthy, happy and so very loved. They are complete as a family, together. I will always be a part of their puzzle; their life journey and I love them dearly. However, I am at peace with them being with their parents. Since I came to this realisation, I have said that I no longer regret what happened, only how it happened. I am more than grateful to have the contact that I have with them and we have been lucky enough to develop this situation into something beyond what any of us ever expected it to be. Instead of allowing the pain of having my sons taken away to tear my soul apart, I worked hard with their Mum and Dad to build a friendship and ensure they never had unanswered questions. I put in the effort to keep contact going. I eventually worked though the trauma I had during therapy and together we created something special out of the ashes of something heart-breaking.

It has been a challenge to work through my fears all over again since having my daughter. I can’t pretend there hadn’t been a deep-rooted fear that Ava would also be taken away; but I am happy to say that we were recently permanently signed off from Social Services. Throughout it all I have slowly come to realise that it is possible to find that happiness again. Having your children taken away, doesn’t have to be a life sentence. You can find yourself again. When you lose a child, you don’t have to lose yourself too.

@LifeOfLauraVlog | March 2020

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Please note, all content published on this page is provided by our guest blogger/s, based on their real-life experiences. We invite you to discuss this blog via PAC-UK's Twitter profile and ask you to tag @PACUKadoption in to your posts and use the hashtag #PacukBlog

This blog is the fourteenth of our monthly 'guest blogger' platform which we started in 2019. We would love to hear from adoptees, birth parents (and relatives), adoptive parents/carers, special guardians and professionals who are interested in taking part in future blogs. If this interests you please email leon@pac-uk.org.