Matthew Munson: Adoption is something to be proud of

Matthew and Bryan

I’m writing this week from a hotel room in central London; we’ve been up here for a couple of days visiting family (Bryan’s siblings), and it’s been wonderfully tiring. Bryan’s siblings are a joy and giving them the opportunity to enjoy each other’s company as often as they can is a privilege.

It’s been a lovely Easter holiday; Bryan and I have spent time together, but given that he is 11, Bryan enjoys spending time with his friends as well. He had some time at the excellent St Lawrence Holiday Camp, had fun with his nan and granddad and some of his friends, and spent time playing with me as well – for me, that was the best bit. If you asked him, I’m sure I’d feature in his list of the top ten favourite bits of the holiday!

It’s hard trying to strike a balance between wanting to spend time with my son and making sure he gets opportunities with people he cares about; I can’t expect to have him all to myself, as much as I thoroughly enjoy his company, and he wants to have a variety of experiences. I also work, so I have to weigh that up as well, so when he spends time doing activities, it’s important to me that he really enjoys them – after all, as I tell him regularly, why do a hobby or activity if you really don’t enjoy it?

We’re continuing to approach the end of an era; Bryan’s time at primary school. He has thrived so far, having made some firm friends and met adults he has grown to genuinely like and respect. He loves school, and I’m confident he will like St George’s, but he’s becoming slowly aware of his new beginnings. Given that he changed schools three years ago, it’s hard for him to have to consider yet another move – but this one is a move that everyone in his year group is facing, and so I can only hope that he will draw some strength from that fact; that he is just like everyone else, moving like all Year Six students. Another form of normality, and that’s a good thing – I want him to feel normal, because he is. His adoption doesn’t make him stand out (it makes him special), and he is equal to others.

We don’t think about him being adopted very often; obviously, his siblings live with parents who chose them, but that’s also just become natural. We don’t often think about it these days; we have a brilliant family dynamic, and that’s all there is to it. The amount of times I’ve had people tell me that Bryan looks just like me is unnerving; not because it’s true (it is), but because Bryan is entirely comfortable with saying, “You won’t believe it, but I’m adopted.” I promise you, he’s used that expression more than once, and he makes me smile every time he says it, because it comes with such a clear sense of pride.

Adoption is something to be proud of; a child has left a difficult situation and come into a situation which (hopefully) is joyous and more hopeful. They are so often coming from a traumatic background, but that doesn’t mean their futures have to be traumatic as well; I get to introduce Bryan to new opportunities, fair boundaries, and fun, and that is something I always try to make myself very grateful for. I can’t imagine ever becoming a dad to anyone else; Bryan is the only obvious choice for me.

He goes back to school next week, and he is so very excited; I am too, on his behalf. Not because I want to get rid six hours a day, five days a week, but because his mind will be exercised even further, and he will thrive on more facts and knowledge than I could hope to share – although I do my very best.


  1. Ever thought of adopting a cat? My neighbours is always trying to get into my bungalow, and its killed at least 3 of my wild birds!

  2. Ever thought of adopting a cat? My neighbours is always trying to get into my bungalow, and its killed at least 3 of my wild birds! I have never suggested this before, but its worth a try!

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