The day motherhood arrived on my doorstep

Heartfelt honesty from a mum who adopted.

And there I was, just turned 40, a business woman, having celebrated my birthday in style with friends at a manor house in the Cotswolds. Gloriously naive. Exquisitely ignorant of what was about to occur.

Having recently completed the adoption process, a 13-month-old and a new born sibling had been matched as my 'forever children', both born to a biological mum trapped in alcohol and drug abuse. They arrived the day after the festivities of my birthday concluded.

I wondered what the bemused looks were for, or why so much nervous laughter was to be heard from family and friends when I explained that I would manage this transition with excellent logistics and planning. Surely organisation was the key? After all, how hard could it be?

Tania Bright with her two children

Fast forward three days. Now a mother of two tiny children, wearing the same pyjamas as the day my boys arrived. Greasy hair in a ponytail, sleep-deprived, anxious, unsure of myself and utterly baffled by sterilising units and the quantities needed for milk formula. I was falling over large clothes parcels gifted by generous people and had absolutely no idea which baby cry meant we had a life threatening emergency or just meant: "Oi you! Strange bedraggled lady, we're hungry. Again."

At this point, a miracle happened! Like a swooping team of Mary-Poppins’, in flew local friends and mothers alike. "We thought we'd give you a little time to settle with them on your own before we offered our help." I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

Words did come ... "Thank you for being here ... I just need some help." They hugged me, held the babies, and packed me off to sleep. A deep, deep sleep filled with images of blue flannelette and white liquid. Over the following days and weeks, they sorted clothes into bundles and sizes and recapped on bottle techniques. They showed me methods for getting babies to sleep, listened to my concerns, took the babies for pram walks so I could occasionally have a bath. They worked through routines and most importantly of all, they gave me confidence. A big, fat, wedge of mother-confidence that hasn't left me.


Today, I’m now the proud mummy of a 4-year-old and a 5-year-old. They are remarkable boys, alert, funny, fantastically fearless, giddy with joy.

They are challenging at times because of the effects of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. The confidence instilled in me by others still plays a lilting tune in my memory bank. When it's hard, I remember I can do it; when it's lonely I remember I can do it; when it's joyous, I remember how I was equipped to do it.

We all need a little help – or more than a little in my case! And ‘grateful for it’ is an understatement. My wish is to help mothers at home and abroad, and that’s one of the reasons I sponsor a three-year-old boy from Uganda – it’s a practical way that I can support a mother living in the vulnerability of poverty by helping to lift some of her burdens. I also recognise the wealth and endless opportunities my adopted children and I have here in the UK, whether that be access to education, healthcare, dental services, or a Bible on every shelf – all the things we can take for granted. My hope is that my small contribution will open up a world of opportunities for my sponsored child, opportunities every child deserves. I always smile when I tell people his name – our little boy is called Gift and that’s exactly what he’s been to our family.

It takes a village to raise a child and I'm privileged to be a part of my Compassion child's global village.

You can offer the same generosity of time, love and spirit to other mothers when they too need a helping hand by sponsoring a child through Compassion.

Find out more here

Tania lends her professional acumen and 14 years ministerial experience to a variety of high impact organisations such as Love146 Europe (CEO); Chapel Street (Group Director); For Refugees (Executive Director) and Spring Harvest (Member of the Board).

WORDS : Jennie Taylor, Tania Bright

PHOTOS : Compassion UK

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