An aspiring prison psychologist who credits her adoptive parents with giving her the chance of “a brighter future” is encouraging other families in Essex to consider adoption.
Honey, 22, was taken into care aged three after her birth father suffered with alcohol and drug abuse.
After spending time with three different foster families, she was adopted aged five and credits adopters Brian and Kim with completely changing her life.
She said: “I went into school not really having had the best start in life so I was quite behind, but my adoptive mum was a teacher so while other people were making allowances for things she was encouraging them to push me and that’s what I needed.
“It sounds really clichéd, but being adopted was genuinely life changing.”
Having worked hard throughout school, Honey passed all of her GCSEs at Shenfield High School, went on to achieve good A Level results and was even presented with a special award for determination in year 13 in recognition of her achievements in difficult circumstances.
She recently graduated from a psychology degree at Buckinghamshire New University and is now applying for jobs in the prison service, where she hopes to use cognitive behavioural therapy to help inmates reflect on what they’ve done and prevent them from reoffending.
In the meantime, she is also about to start a job working with care leavers.
Honey, who lives in south Essex, said: “I’m really not sure I would have got my A Levels, got my degree and got where I am now if I hadn’t been adopted.
“Life in general is so much better than I think it would have been.
“I have the chance to build a brighter future and I just have a better chance in life than I would have had.”
The focus of National Adoption Week this year is sibling groups and, although Honey was not adopted with her own siblings, her adopters already had an adoptive son and she is in no doubt about the benefits of families adopting brothers and sisters.
She said: “By adopting siblings the children have another form of support.
“I wasn’t always very confident in other adults but with my older brother I had that extra support and someone to look out for me.
“That definitely made things easier for me and it helped having someone who completely understood things from my perspective.”
National Adoption Week takes place from October 16 to October 22 and Essex County Council is encouraging families to consider whether they could give children, particularly groups of brothers and sisters, a loving home.
Of the 41 children in Essex currently awaiting adoption, 23 are part of sibling groups of two or three children.
Unfortunately these children often have to wait much longer until a loving home can be found for them.
The council is hosting special sibling-themed adoption information events at County Hall in Chelmsford on 24 October and 7 November.