Chris Ormrod, Managing Director of the Ministry of Cake, a dessert manufacturer based in Taunton, has spoken about being adopted at the age 11.
Mr Ormrod, 52, has shared his story in support of Somerset County Council’s campaign for National Adoption Week (19-25 October) 2015. You can read it in full here: www.fosteradoptsomerset.org.uk/ministry-of-cakes-chris-i-was-adopted-at-11
The theme is ‘Too Old at 4?’ – highlighting the fact that children aged 4-plus, siblings, disabled children, and children from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, who are awaiting adoption, can often find themselves waiting longer for an adoptive family than babies or toddlers.
The Adoption Service is currently actively seeking adopters for a number of children who are awaiting an adoptive family. They are all around the age of 4 or older.
Chris is married and has three sons. Aside from his commitments at the Ministry, he is a governor at Taunton Academy and a board member at Richard Huish College.
He says: “I think my mother, if she’s very honest with herself, married too early… She had me when she was just 20 years-old; a relatively young age to be a mum… As the years passed, the marriage drifted into trouble.
“My grandparents technically became our foster carers, and looked after us beautifully, for what ended up being 3 years. For all intents and purposes we didn’t see our mother at all in that time.
“Then, when I was 11, one day, I remember coming home from school. There in my grandparents’ living room, was a woman. I recognised her as my mother.
“She was with this bloke, her then boyfriend. It quickly emerged that Keith was a lovely individual, and thankfully he went on to become her husband.
“Keith volunteered to become my adoptive father, and by the age of 12 I’d been formally adopted by him. I’ve never seen my real father since that time.”
Reflecting on how the experience has shaped him, Chris says: “I’d like to say that being adopted by my step father hasn’t affected me, but I am fiercely protective of my own family, and because of what happened when it all went pear-shaped. My grandparents were outstanding and brought us together very well.”
He adds: “Thinking about how I was at the age of eight, if Keith hadn’t had the courage and the bravery to take me on at the age of 11, and my young sister and brother, I would’ve grown up without a father figure. God only knows how that might have ended up.”
To enquire about adoption or fostering with Somerset County Council, visit http://www.fosteradoptsomerset.org.uk or phone 0800 587 9900.
To find out more about how Somerset has rallied together for National Adoption Week 2015, or to watch a short film about Somerset’s Adoption Service, click here: somersetnewsroom.com/2015/10/20/somerset-supports-the-number-4-for-national-adoption-week-2015
Mr Ormrod would like to give any individual or couple who adopts a child aged 4 or above with Somerset a complimentary cake from the Ministry of Cake, to help them celebrate and welcome the arrival of their new family, until National Adoption Week 2016.