The Lady Behind the Stork.......

Hello!!! My name is Gem aka.....  

Three Become Four.  
These days I'm a stay at home mum. I'm what is politely termed a Geriatric Mother which I find slightly offensive (take note medical community)!

My husband, otherwise known here as Daddy or TCM (This Charming Man - although he thought it meant The Cookie Monster so I'll leave you decide which one you want to think of him as!) and I have been together for 26 years.  We live in the south of the United Kingdom.  


I am a trained counsellor, specialising in working with young people.  In my most recent role I was also a trainer and teacher for Sex and Relationships Education. I love dancing and am a keen tap and Mo-jive dancer and yoga enthusiast although a Vitamin D deficiency has resulted in me having chronic fatigue and I've had to take a break from my exercise pursuits for a while.  I am also a Reiki Master and Angel Healer which is a great passion of mine.  We have spent the past 2 years totally redesigning and extending our house and have recently moved back home again.  I now have my own healing room and will soon be able to restart my Reiki practice which I aim to build over the coming years offering Reiki treatments to humans and animals).

In 2011 I became a Champion for the BAAF and am passionate about promoting adoption because many people are put off by negative and often quite scary stories. More recently I have become an Adopter Voice Adoption Champion for Adoption UK working alongside my local authority to improve local adoption services.


TCM and I tried to start a biological family for nearly 15 years.  After losing 10 babies to miscarriage, and more heartbreak than we could have imagined, we decided to complete our family through adoption.  After an intense year in 2009 being assessed as adopters, we were approved to become adopters in December 2009 and matched almost immediately with our daughter, Katie, aged 2 years and 3 months when she joined our family.  Our lives were transformed beyong recognition in the space of two weeks!  In 2012 we decided to do it all again and Katie's brother Pip joined us aged 7 months in 2013. Our family was complete.

This is my family!

Daddy (TCM)




and Pip

We have two furry Maine Coon members of our family......

Leo and Willow

 The "Life With Katie" Blog

I initially started my blog as a way of keeping friends and family up-to-date with our introductions with Katie but decided to keep the blog going as a record of our lives together.

I share my blog to help adopters and prospective adopters get a sense of what our life is like as adoptive parents and to keep myself sane as I try to understand the challenges that being an adoptive parent brings. I also hope that, one day, this blog will serve as the story of Katie and Pip's life so I can offer them memories and a sense of their childhoods, something which is very important to adopted people.

I love connecting with other adopters and bloggers through this blog and Twitter and Facebook and receive emails from many different people who often share their adoption stories with me. "Life with Katie" almost has a life of its own now.

What are we doing now?

We are enjoying (mostly) life as a family of four which is definitely still a work in progress.  Life has definitely settled into a sense of normality now although Katie's recent diagnoses of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) are bringing new learning and new challenges every day.

Four definitely won't become five though (unless you count all the cats) because I know I've reached my parenting limit and my name definitely isn't Ma Walton!


  1. I very much enjoyed reading your blog post and I admire your openness and honesty. I wish you well with the process. Tell me is the paperwork really 32,000 words? For a Phd you only need 90,000 words!! Much joy to you and your family. And to you a very happy Mother's Day for Sunday.

  2. Hi Vivien! Oooh maybe I could get a PhD in Adoption then eh? That was the figure that wa quoted on the course. So glad to hear that you enjoy reading the blog. I love writing it. Looking forward to my third Mothers Day tomorrow! Much joy to you as well.

  3. Hi Gem,
    I discovered your blog last night and have now (2.23am) finished reading it! We have our linking panel on 5 Sept and meet our little girl for the first time on the 16th Sept. A huge mix of feelings at the moment and reading your blog has really helped,

    1. Hi and welcome Anon. It's lovely to hear that your adoption adventure is so close now. Would love to hear more if you want to email. Wishing you good luck for both dates. Your endurance medal for reading the entire blog is in the post! Lol x

  4. Hi Gem, I found this blog last week in my search for blogs regarding adoption. I am at the very early stages of adoption. I tried for a baby for 7 years and then put everything off for 4 years having been told I could not have a biological child. Now 11 years later I am now starting the adoption process as a single adopter. I have read many blogs but your is by far the most insightful and honest and I have sat here and read all your blog entries over the past few days. Thanks for some great reading material.

  5. Hi there. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate hearing from people. I wanted to wish you good luck and hope that you have an easier journey now than you've had so far. It sounds like you've been through a lot and I can empathise with that. It can be an emotional and exciting time when you're going through the adoption process. I wish I'd been able to relax more but so much was riding in it for me. I hope it's a swift outcome for you. Gem x

  6. Hi Gem. I wanted to write to say how relevant and comforting I find your blog. Our adopted daughter (aged 6) has been with us for 10 months and we recently had our adoption day in court. So many of the behaviours our daughter presents with are mirrored in Katie's behaviours - it is as though you are describing our child. Thank you and please keep it up!

    1. Thank you for your reply. I'm so glad that my scribblings are able to bring comfort and a shared bond of experiences.


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