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Posted 20 hours ago

Meant to Be

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Angela had given me a brand-new changing bag that she had been given (and hadn’t used) and I was scared that they would think that I hadn’t listened to anything they had said about being very low-key and keeping everything the same. When Lisa Faulkner learned that she wouldn't have biological children, her plans and expectations for her life were derailed. For anyone who has ever found themselves facing the unexpected in life - whether that's infertility, adoption, grief or any other personal challenge - this is an uplifting and honest account of finding love in unexpected places, and building your life on your own terms. But, in the months and years that followed, she discovered that there was more than one way to build a family – and that there is a lot of joy to be found in life’s unexpected detours. We gave Billie lunch and dinner and bathed her with her new bath toys and wrapped her in a new pink snuggly towel.

I would get used to these meetings and they would become almost second nature over the coming months, but for now, it was all so new to me and I was terrified to put a foot wrong.

In hospital, we found out it was an ectopic pregnancy; it was in a fallopian tube, rather than the womb.

The weeks before had been so intense, and we were – and would continue to be – under such watchful eyes. It was so easy to empathise with her on her journey to motherhood and she describes what she went through to get there in an easy to understand but well written way. I had 3 attempts but like Lisa I only have fleeting memories, I think it was all too sad and hidden away.Lisa's first book was published in 2012 and was a Sunday Times bestseller, and she has subsequently written 3 other cookery books. In a raw and inspiring story of one woman's journey through motherhood, family life and self-discovery, Lisa explores the many forms that family can take, and discovers the power of embracing your Plan B. Lisa takes you on an emotional journey of the challenges she and other couples have faced to become a parent.

I think the grief was so acute because the minute the test is positive, you map out your whole life with that child. Every time it failed, I felt my body had betrayed me, that I hadn’t looked after that precious embryo well enough. That first day we took her to the park and played on the swings, we fed the ducks and then came home and played with her toys. It covers some really powerful topics such as miscarriage and the struggles of those who are trying to have a family.

This was really just a meeting to see how we were all doing now that the care plan had been carried out and Billie was starting to settle in with us.

In a raw and inspiring story of one woman’s journey through motherhood, family life and self-discovery, Lisa explores the many forms that family can take, and discovers the power of embracing your Plan B. This book is about Lisa’s quest to be a mum and pretty much reflects my personal experience too ( just the surrogacy consideration was different). I do believe you are given what you need, although it might not be what you think you want at that time. One minute she was in a foster home, now she was with us, a different set of people looking after her, yet within the space of a day, things felt almost normal.I cried through a lot of this book, not for sadness of what was not to be but of the grief I felt at the time and wasn’t able to express. There were certain precautions that we needed to take to ensure we didn’t all get too attached and because at this point we were officially foster carers. We recently went to see the film Instant Family, which is about adoption, with a friend who has two adopted children, too. Our names were to be used at all times – we were Lisa and Chris, not ‘Mummy’ and ‘Daddy’ and we knew and respected this.

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