Martin, Josh and Jack*


“We’re settling in ok, it’s been about 5 months since initial introductions and so much has changed, he’s a right little character.

“Terrible two’s here we go!”

Martin and Josh are as affable as ever, understandably though our conversation via TEAM’s has a slightly less excitable tone than the last time we caught up – the day they were approved as adopters last February.

“He’s teething, continues Martin

“Goes to bed around half 7 then we don’t hear from him again until next morning.”

The current world feels a very different place to the one last February. Covid was a distant murmuring in faraway lands and the promise of spring and adventure hung high in the air.

“There have been some delays with the adoption order, we were looking forward to celebrating that.

“It is what it is, says Josh

“It will be sorted and there are no objections from the birth parents thankfully.”

“I had had to hold back the tears a bit for his sake, but it also felt really comforting”

These are emotional and challenging times for everyone, exacerbating this the guys have had some really unpleasant times recently with the passing of their beloved St Bernard Chico.

“Jack said ‘night, night Chico’ when we had to break the news to him.

“I had had to hold back the tears a bit for his sake, but it was also felt really comforting, says Martin.

“It’s all been very sad but I’ve definitely felt in my heart that Chico was passing on the baton a bit, he could see that we are ok now and set up as a family.”

Chico could never be replaced of course, but another dog sometime in the future maybe for the guys?

“Probably not, says Josh “I know having a dog is not a barrier to adoption, but due to Chico’s size it did raise some issues at panel.

“And we definitely want to adopt with Western Bay again in the future.”

“Jack is saying certain things now, says Martin

“His personality is starting to come out, he has his choice of cereals in the morning which he picks.

“He’s a bit like a little old man!”

“We’ve really had to draw on Josh’s family during lockdown”

The summer of 2020 was of course, glorious. Restrictions were lifted, Covid was put to the back of most people’s minds, and families across the country enjoyed their new found freedom and natural surroundings.

Then came the local lockdowns in September as numbers starting rising again, faster than anyone could have anticipated during the heady days of summer.

“We didn’t have the family support to start, says Martin

“But Josh got in touch with our local AM to help us get access to Josh’s parents and grandparents as an extended bubble.”

“We’ve really had to draw on Josh’s family during lockdown.”

“They’ve been brilliant, says Josh.

“We expected another lockdown, it wasn’t a shock. I was back in work, says Martin “we had the best PPE and safety measures in place, I knew the risks – but it doesn’t stop you worrying.”

Martin works as a Nurse for the NHS and like many others in the service has really had to dig deep at times during the pandemic.

“There were some dark times, mind racing at 2am in the morning thinking ‘What if get it? Would I have to move out to protect my family whilst I am working?’

“We got through it thankfully and Christmas was magical”

“We stayed together, adds Josh, “we were keen to build attachment, it so important in those early days more than ever.”

“We got through it thankfully and Christmas was magical, says Martin his face lighting up again.

“We had to show him what to do with unwrapping as he is so young, there was also plenty of strange wide eyed looks from him when  Josh and I would have a little Christmas dance to our favourites,  with of course mulled wine.

“Jack eventually got involved, copying my moves, I like to think he’s starting to learn and adopt my rhythm.”

“I hope not, adds Josh.

“You can see his creative side coming through”

“We’re looking forward to the upcoming therapeutic parenting course – that will be helpful no doubt.

“Everything is just pushing on now, at speed.

“You can see his creative side coming through, says Martin

“You do wonder sometimes what’s going on his little head and all the new connections being made.

“He loves ‘The Chase’. He will be happy just sitting there picking his nose!”

“That’s definitely something he’s picked up from you, adds Josh.

“He copies us all the time, the way Josh eats, the faces we make. If there is something he doesn’t like he makes a sick face.

“He gets his little hoover out and follows us around the house cleaning, such a busy boy, says Martin.

A happy ending for the boys then after some not so pleasant times.  We’re not out of this yet of course but it’s heartening to hear about the new family bonds being created, lives being lived and beautiful memories being made in the midst of Covid.


Catch the final chapter here


For more information on the adoption process please click here.

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*Some names have been changed to protect identities.


Lockdown Love Stories Chapter 1Lockdown Love Story – Chapter 3