When you hear about adoption, you see images of babies or children. But adopted children grow up, and Tara Sutton is a shining example of how adoption moulded her into a dynamic and compassionate young woman.
Between running her growing cleaning business, and planning her own wedding, Tara recently organised a ‘DIY SOS’ type makeover for an elderly lady’s house pulling together a team of volunteer painters, cleaners, and even a dog groomer.
“I was adopted age four after being in and out of foster care,” she said. “My adopted parents gave me all sorts of opportunities I wouldn’t have had such as horse riding, ballet and tap. Like most kids I never fully realised how much they’d done until I had contact with my half-sister and heard her stories – the childhood I could’ve had. I then saw they’d recognised what I’d needed.”
Some adopted children can suffer from insecurity and anger, blaming themselves for being adopted.
“I remember a kid at primary school saying I was adopted because no one loved me. At the tender age of five that cut deep. I used to dream my real parents were movie stars or would one day arrive on a white horse and whisk me away.
Adopted parents and children can access of types of support.
“I had massive help from a lady called Jacky. She helped Mum and Dad correspond with my birth mum and helped me open up. Even now we’re still in contact, and I still talk to my foster parents and their daughter, who’s my godmother.”
Tara’s parents also adopted a boy with physical disabilities. “We can fight like cat and dog but he's my brother through and through. Because of the problems he's faced, I’m super overprotective of him, which I think drives him mad as sisters are supposed to!
“Parents hold you when you’re crying at night, walk the mile to school with you and then pick you up, whatever. They subtly rearrange the Christmas tree lights to make them symmetrical, and watch you hurl around at 100 miles an hour over horse jumps in the pouring rain. These are parents, not people who just give birth.
“Being adopted has made me strong, made me believe in myself and believe that everyone deserves a chance, no matter their past. To anyone else, they may just be people or adoptive parents, but to me, they’re my world, my daughter’s grandparents and the only parents I'll ever have.”
Find out more information about adoption on Adopt Thames Valley's website.