Audrey is keen and engaging when we meet on video, and most of all passionate: passionate to share how she has helped her child maintain his sense of identity during the upheaval of adoption, and passionate about the general role of birth parents during adoption.

“Lots of pictures and visuals,” is the answer when I ask Audrey how she set to task in creating her child’s life journey story.

“I felt it was important from the start, I wanted him to know about his extended family and history.” she says.

Audrey recently won an award in our most recent Life Journey Story Awards, the award was based on the fact that a lot of the story created – Audrey did on her own initiative: her passion and care shining through.

Contact with birth families is understandably an important and sensitive topic in adoption, and something that needs to be considered and thought about by adopters from an early stage.

“I just feel that there are negative views of the extended family by adopters in general, and maybe a little fear.

“At the end of the day I want the same for my little boy that his new family want – for him to have the best life possible.” says Audrey.

Some examples of Audrey’s life journey stories

“It just needs to be carefully managed to avoid things going wrong.”

A child’s Life Journey Story is based from when the child was born and illustrates, usually through the use of colourful images and emotive language, the child’s entire passage up to adoption.

The story plays a major role in helping the child maintain stability during times of emotional turbulence and uncertainty. The aim is to help alleviate issues which can emerge as the child gets older, particularly issues of self-esteem and identity.

“That’s my motivation for the life journey story work, to show that he was loved by us, and he is loved also now by his new family. There has been no rejection.” says Audrey.

Any final words then for adopters who are currently thinking about birth parent contact?

“Well I just feel that it’s really important for the child to have that contact, I don’t think it’s wrong.

“It just needs to be carefully managed to avoid things going wrong.”

Full support then from the agencies involved and workers, and of course none of this will work without the full buy in of adopters and birth parents – with the shared objective of the child’s wellbeing at the centre of all of this.

Adopting for the third time with Dan. From zero to siblings…to three!Meet our children and young people’s go to, errrm, people!