Zahra’s Story.

Zahra’s Story.

‘‘It’s probably the most challenging experience I’ve gone through… but also the most rewarding.’’

Zahra and her husband Amir assumed once they got married, the journey to having a child of their own would be pretty straightforward – however, that was not the case. They realised after a difficult few years that they would have to explore other options if they wanted to start a family. Zahra explained that that when she thought about the reason why she and her husband wanted children, it was to build a family, they wanted to provide a loving, stable home to a child, even if that child didn’t biologically come from them. 

Unlike many Muslim adopters, Zahra and Amir had some knowledge of adoption; Zahra’s best friend in school was adopted, and Amir’s aunt was a foster carer. Their extended families were supportive of their decision to adopt, witnessing first-hand the difficulties the couples had experienced with trying to conceive a child. Admittedly, Zahra’s family were a little more apprehensive, and were worried about whether the child given them to would be troubled. All in all, they were supported and encouraged by their family and friends to go ahead with adopting. 

Their real journey began all the way in 2008, and not knowing where to begin, Zahra google ‘London adoption agencies’. She contacted a few agencies and found one she liked and contacted. 

When asked if their adoption process was easy, the couple explained that it was a hugely positive experience, but by no means an easy one. At the time (much like today) the agency had very little, if any, BAME and/or Muslim adopters and they were a little apprehensive about moving forward initially. They were told that BAME children were usually left the longest in care as they were no suitable matches for them. Zahra described their social worker as one of the main reasons why their experience was positive, explaining that she was incredibly supportive, patient and understanding with the couple. In total, the adoption process from start to finish took around two and a half years.

 We also asked them what the hard parts of the process were. The couple stated that the intrusive questions presented to them during the initial stages, the waiting, and the lack of control when they were being matched with a child proved to be quite difficult. Zahra warns prospective adopters that the questions and stages are trying and are a huge test on your relationship with your spouse; but the pros outweigh the cons.

Zahra and Amir were matched with two biological siblings, aged one and two. Four months into their placement, they received an urgent call from a social worker who wanted to visit, and to their great surprise another baby had been born from the same mother and father as the two children already placed with the couple. Although they were slightly fearful about taking on a baby whilst simultaneously caring for two toddlers, they knew in their hearts, that this was a true blessing. They ultimately made the decision to care for all three siblings and create their own special family. 

Fast forward to 10 years later, they’ve got the family they always wanted.

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