Bill and Hollie Speed knew early on in their marriage that they would have to adopt. Mrs. Speed suffered several miscarriages, and their one child, Stephen, died three days after birth. But the Speeds soldiered on. They were determined to be parents, and they were more than happy to open their home to a child in need of love and care.
After devoting many years to their business, the Speeds finally felt ready to begin the adoption process. Little did they know how long and arduous that path would be.
The couple moved from Norfolk to Scotland to Wales in an effort to find an agency receptive enough to give them a child. They were repeatedly denied, being given such reasons as living too close to a river, being too old (they were in their mid-forties when they first tried adopting) and being too neat (seriously?).
More than a decade passed before they were able to adopt. The Speeds jumped through a thousand hoops and suffered a thousand disappointments, but in 2002 they were informed that a special little girl would be theirs.
Lucy had been taken from her birth parents at the age of two and been shuttled between foster care homes for years. She had an undiagnosed lazy eye, and could barely read. Once Lucy was placed with the Speeds, two more moves followed in an effort to give her the perfect home, with the family finally settling back in Norfolk. Bill said of the moves, "It's all been for her. We will do whatever it takes to guarantee her welfare — and it's been wonderful. Not roses all the way, but wonderful. We could not possibly have found a lovelier daughter."
Under the Speeds' care, Lucy blossomed. She is now a happy, healthy 19 year-old with a bright future ahead of her.