[For my Home Page, please click on Travels with my Son at top of page!]

When I reached the age of 40 and I still didn’t have a child, I knew I had a problem. If I’m honest, for the last few years I’d wanted the child more than I’d wanted the boyfriends….. so you won’t be surprised to learn that not only was I childless but I was single too.

Adopting was my salvation. My funny, handsome, clever son came to me in summer 2005, after a very difficult start and 4 years in foster care. He was six and three quarters. I’d had 18 months of intensive preparation for adoption to get me to this point. A team of skilled social workers taught me about the effects of early trauma on a child, and helped me understand how I could use my strengths to become a therapeutic parent. I will not deny that I have sometimes found parenting immensely challenging. But nothing beats it, and I am happier now than I have ever been.

My early journeys with J were short and sweet. But as he has got older, we have travelled further afield and J has thrived on the variety of experiences in a way that I never could have anticipated when I was preparing for adoptive motherhood.

These days I work more than half the week in a London university, managing programmes for students from overseas, which is a job that I love. My first career though was in tourism, where I spent 13 years, latterly running the youth travel division of a respected tour operator. My enthusiasm for scheduling every last minute knows no bounds, as my family can attest! So now I also offer, from home, a professional trip planning services for individuals, families and groups. I’d love to hear from you if you would like more information!

Finally….. I have had such a positive experience and would love to see more ‘older children’ (those aged 5 years plus) being considered for adoption in this country. I would like to be involved in raising the profile of older children adoption in any way I can, and welcome all and any suggestions. Please use the Contact Me button to get in touch.



  1. Hello Izzwizz – thanks for visiting my blog The Reluctant Retiree. Just had a look around yours. You have a fascinating story. I will follow along ….

  2. Hello Gwendoline! Thanks very much for taking the time to have a look around… I really enjoyed reading about your experiences too, and will be keeping in touch x

  3. Hi Izzwizz, thanks for finding and following my writing blog. Hope you enjoy reading. Wishing you a happy 2014! SD

    1. Thanks Sandra and a happy new year to you too! Really enjoyed your writing on my long browse through yesterday evening 🙂

  4. Just had a bit of a mooch around your great blog. What a rich history you are giving your boy, along with the help to understand his own start. I’ll keep on reading 🙂

    1. Dear underbrella… I’m glad you’re enjoying it! I have been lucky to adopt a fearless adventurer so life is good 🙂 just about to take a peek round your blog too

  5. Uncle Spike · · Reply

    So I guess you have just become one of The Spikey’s, that small clan of folk known to be followers of Uncle Spike 🙂

    Thank you… I really appreciate that as I for one, know how many interesting and entertaining blogs are out there.

    My aim is to deliver an eclectic offering of posts, from my ‘point n shoot’ attempts at photography, to the sharing of my travel adventures since the 70′s, as well as day to day happenings on the farm. Oh, plus a few observations on life as I see it. Of course, if you have any suggestions for me, I’d love to hear from you, serious.

    In return, I promise not to be overbearing with perhaps 2-3 posts a day tops. But if you are at a loose end one day, maybe you’ll enjoy trawling through some of my older stuff too. I have added plenty of categories to help in said digging process.

    Thanks again for your vote of confidence, and hope you have a great day…


  6. You are a complete inspiration. I struggle with my two with the support of a husband and mainly good health! Well done you. Looking forward to reading more….

    1. If only you knew… 🙂 Ups and downs here too but no rocky passages for a while now. It does mostly get easier as they get older

  7. This is a lovely story, my own son won’t go anywhere with me, and all I want to do is escape from our flat and travel! You are an inspiration…

    1. Don’t worry, I know that feeling too. He sometimes does that thing of walking three paces behind me when we’re out shopping…. drives me mad! But he’s got more sense than to do that when we’re visiting a Moroccan soukh! One day I might pluck up the courage to write about when I lost him (or he lost me) for several hours abroad..

  8. Hi Izzwizz – thanks for stopping by my blog. I love what you’re doing here! And I will follow along too… Caroline

    1. Thanks. I loved your pic of pots drying in the sun.

  9. Thank you so much for the follow. I loved watching your son ‘the foodie’ as a little one and now he’s so grown up! Beautiful–and so happy for you…and him.

    1. Yes, you’re right, there has been quite a transformation…. in both of us! I think writing it down has helped me understand that. I came to your writing via a single photo but have been transfixed by your accounts of working in prisons. I am glad to see you describing the people you work with as good people who have done bad things (paraphrasing, sorry). Here in the UK, 23% of the adult prison population has been in foster care, and I expect it’s the same kind of story where you are. As a society we let our children down so badly sometimes. Rant over! I very much look forward to going back to your blog and reading more over time. Thank you for commenting.

  10. Abby's Kitchen · · Reply

    What a beautiful introduction to your about page! Love your brief synopsis and photo of you and your son. You both look so happy. 😀 Sounds like a match made in heaven! Thank you for visiting my blog today, because I got this wonderful opportunity to discover yours.

    1. It’s true that I always said and still feel that J is exactly the son I always wanted, so I feel very lucky. It’s wonderful how these things happen.
      I loved the look of your recipes… Couldn’t resist stopping by!

  11. Hi izzwizz, I guess this is such a rare blog indeed. 🙂

    1. Yes, there probably aren’t many blogs mixing adoption and travel, you’re right! But I see yours is very specialist too 🙂

  12. Globalresidence · · Reply

    Truly fortunate to have found each other! Not easy but will be satisfyingly rewarding, I think! 😃☺️

    1. Yes, I hope so!

  13. Thanks for following The Immortal Jukebox. I hope you have found some entertaining music and writing and perhaps made some discoveries. If its been a while since you last visited come on over! Good luck with your whole hearted and Inspiring blog. Regards Thom

    1. Thanks Thom. I’ve not been on WordPress so much recently, but I have always enjoyed your writing and will definitely be revisiting.

      1. Great to hear that – let me know your favourites! Thom.

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