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

Hello!!! My name is Gem

As I edit this intro in 2022 to give it a much needed update I reflect that I’ve been writing this blog on and off for 12 years. That’s a long time and much has changed since I first started journaling our road to becoming parents through adoption. How I see my identity currently has changed from when I first started writing. Back then my professional days working as a counsellor, personal adviser and SRE/PSHE teacher weren’t far behind me. I stopped working when we adopted Katie. Over the time since I started writing I opened my own business working as a Reiki therapist which I loved. I also started working part-time in a complementary medicine centre which I love. The impact of the recent pandemic on Katie and Pip meant I had to close my business, I hope, temporarily to care for them whilst they are out of full time education. It’s been two years however since my business closed. I feel the loss of my work and the identity for myself that comes with my work. Writing and my work helps me keep grounded and in touch with who I am. I developed chronic fatigue syndrome not long after we adopted Pip and have also developed fibromyalgia as well. I’m lucky in that I can manage from day to day with the quite intense needs of the children but my dancing days of tap and mo-jive have had to be retired and I have to manage my energy levels carefully. Anecdotally I hear of quite a few adopters developing such medical issues. 

A little history

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. The children are now (in 2022) 14 and 9 years old.

In 2019 TCM and I separated and I am currently full-time parent to Katie and Pip and I am working part-time. I moved with the children to our new home in March 2021 in the middle of a lockdown, which is not an experience I’d ever want to repeat. The children and I now live with our two cats, two Guinea pigs and two tanks of fish. Guess who cares for all the animals? 

Katie was diagnosed with FASD and ADHD when she was 8 years old. This diagnosis was reconfirmed when she was 11 at the FASD clinic in Surrey and an additional diagnosis of Autism added. She also has developmental trauma and sensory processing difficulties. Pip is still undergoing a diagnostic process. He has been diagnosed with significant dyslexia and developmental trauma and is being assessed for ADHD and he will also have an Autism diagnosis. Lack of evidence on his CPR means he cannot be diagnosed with FASD. Both children experience intense anxiety. 

 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 stopped writing the blog for a few years to focus on our separation and the emotional needs of the children but I have found the process of writing to be very helpful and cathartic over the years as I navigate my way through our lives. Writing has helped me understand and process my own emotions and to try and understand the children on a deeper level. I am grateful to everyone who reads and comments and sends me emails. To know that what I write has touched and helped people too is a blessing.

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. The blog has evolved as we have and is written with as much honesty as possible. 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. There is much that comes with adoption. It can be a very emotive subject which is often at the forefront of my mind. We are finding our way through all the highs and lows much as any family does.

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.


  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.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts