Men often bring up another man’s child which is a big responsibility, but for a woman to bring up another woman’s baby, is rare.
Despite her initial dismay at my decision for us to take H on, within 36 hours of him being with us, baby H was one of her own.
My wife has amazed me. She put personal and business goals on hold to take on the baby. My wife is also not white and the baby is fairer skinned than Casper the Ghost! The first couple of weeks after taking him in, looks in the playground at the buggy she was constantly pushing led to some interesting glances and conversations. It had all been very hyperthetical until the 24 hours of it becoming likely and then the few hours of finding out it was becoming reality.
She will tell you more about her perspective in a later post but this is what taking a little one – my great nephew, meant for me.
I have 2 children of my own with my wife. I worked very much full time when they were babies. I left my full time job in 2014 and took a part time job whilst working a “work from home” business. My children had both started full time school at this point.
My full time job saw me doing long hours, two or three overnight stays most weeks and I missed a lot of their growing up.
Both of my children were 100% breastfed when they were born. They wouldn’t and couldn’t take a bottle.
Having H with us from 3 weeks old, he was obviously bottle fed. I no longer worked long hours.
For The first two weeks that he was placed with us i was finishing a part time night job before starting an additional flexible role with the same company I promoted for my work from home position.
I was able to do night feeds, look after him independently if my wife was at work and share a lot of the moments I often missed with my own children.
He is family. He’s adorable. He is a happy baby, very bright. He very quickly began to sleep through the night (something that our two never did when they were babies).
He’s been worth the headaches, the stress and the drama. As I write this he is 18 months old. For 6 months he was with us under a temporary care order. Since June 2016 we have had a special guardianship order so he will be with us until he is 18.
As my great nephew he is a blood relative to me. It has been a tough process emotionally. Prior to H living with us I was very involved in my niece’s mental health, support, stepping in when someone from the family needed to, facilitating meetings and also supervising contact between my niece and her other children.
Going through the SGO court process was tough. We were allowed to be in the court room [it is quite rare for potential SGOs to be privy to the information at the court hearing and are normally only called in if needed]. It was emotional. We also met H’s dad for the first time. He was serving in prison at the time and was under prison guard. It is the only time my wife has met him.
Due to events that had happened whilst H was under a care order with us, we were successful in obtaining a non-molestation order against his mother, my niece. This meant she was not able to contact us directly, indirectly or even come into the immediate vicinity of our home. (Being a relative, she knew exactly where we live).
The non-mol order meant that our ties with her were cut. This was for the safeguarding of her child, my two children and also me and my wife.
This whole process has amazed me and made me extremely proud of my own two children also. They both wholeheartedly accepted H from before they had even laid eyes on him in our home. They see him as a little brother.
The whole experience has brought us closer together as a family unit. More struggles and challenges will come I am sure, but, for the last 18 months the little one has found himself well and truly loved and has bound our family together even tighter than ever before.