“It feels like Ted was always meant to be with us”: A mum’s adoption story
Read one mum’s heartfelt thoughts about the adoption journey of their adorable little boy, Ted.
“Even though you weren’t born to us, you grew in our hearts. We will be forever connected because love is what makes a family.” — Deanna Kahler, author
Aimee is a successful magazine editor and entrepreneur. Most importantly, she is mummy to 2 beautiful little boys – 4-year-old Harry and 9-month-old Ted. Here is her story of adoption in Singapore.
Adoption in Singapore: Aimee’s story
After Harry came along, Aimee and her husband David decided to try adoption after their attempts to conceive didn’t work out.
Six months ago, they became proud parents for the second time when their son Ted came into their lives. I spoke to Aimee about the family’s experience with the adoption process and about her precious new son Ted.
How did you make the decision to adopt?
“While we were both healthy and presumably fertile, we had more trouble conceiving our second child than we did with our first.
Rather than pursue more invasive fertility investigations and treatments, we decided we preferred to direct our energy into helping an already-existing child who needed a home.
As we moved through the process of being deemed “fit to adopt”, this was still quite theoretical for us. But after learning the reality of the conditions of many children waiting for adoption, we were convinced this was the right step for our family.”
What adoption options did you consider?
“We really only considered adopting internally within Singapore or externally from Ethiopia. Once we learnt about the waiting lists and uncertainty of the Singaporean adoption system at the time we wanted to adopt, we decided to pursue Ethiopia instead.”
Tell me a little bit about your adoption journey and how you felt through it all.
“We first saw a picture of Ted at 1 month old and met him in person at 6 weeks old in Ethiopia. By 3 months old the adoption was finalised and we flew back to Singapore as a family of 4 together.
It was a bizarre and intense time, but also joyful because it was how Ted came to us. Being in a developing country, completely out of your comfort zone and with no certainty that you will achieve the outcome you want is a stressful situation to be in.
But ultimately our patience and doggedness was worthwhile.”
How did your elder son Harry react to Ted’s arrival?
“Harry was 3 when we adopted Ted and we made sure to include him in every part of the process. He was with us every day when we visited the orphanage and he came to court with us when the judge granted us the adoption order.
We have been very transparent about everything going on to try to normalise the situation as much as possible. As a result, he has been very receptive.
He really dotes on Ted and is a better big brother than I could have imagined. Bringing a baby into the house has helped Harry to grow up a lot and he has demonstrated no jealousy or difficulties at all – he is only ever loving and protective of his baby brother.
And, of course, Ted thinks Harry is the most awesome person on the entire planet!”
How is Ted getting along?
“Ted is a very easy baby. He rarely cries, he sleeps well and he is generally a joy to be around. It honestly feels like he was always meant to be with us; there has been very little difficulty in transitioning.
I suppose the major difficulty is that I was not working the first few months after I had my first baby.
This time round I am juggling my business ‘suitcases&strollers’ along with Ted.
Luckily he is very happy to bounce along in his little jumper next to my desk while mummy types away all day.”
What advice do you have for parents considering adoption in Singapore?
“Be realistic about the bureaucracy, huge volume of paperwork and frustration that will be involved. The laws and procedures around international adoption in particular are changing all the time.
You must go into it with an acceptance that you will be doing a lot of form-filling, photocopying, pointless running around and generally feeling anxious and like you aren’t getting any answers.
This is normal. If you don’t prepare yourself to go through all of this step by step and focus on the bigger picture, you won’t make it to the end without having a breakdown.
My website has a story on where to start if you are considering international adoption. I have a lot of people asking me about this subject, so I always point them towards this”
Have you considered adoption or do you have an adoption story to share? Please do share your story by leaving a comment below.
These stunning pictures of the family are courtesy Carolyn Soemarjono of Melia Photography.