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What I'll be looking forward to this Mother's Day

Chris Devine knows only too well how difficult it is juggling family life but with three grown-up children, rather than taking things easy, Chris adopted three children, two of whom have learning disabilities. Chris has also fostered two four-year-olds and an 18-month-old baby. Chris tells us why this Mother's Day she's looking forward to being at home with her former RAF daughter, Annie.

Annie was just 24 when she was confined to a wheelchair. She suffers from a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome which gradually took away strength from her arms and legs.

Chris Devine with her daughter AnnieShe was an Aircraft Technician in the RAF – she'd always wanted to serve; both her father and I were in the RAF – I was a caterer, based at Chequers, where I served under Margaret Thatcher – and Annie's grandfather, grandmother and uncle also served in the RAF.

Annie was over the moon when at 17 she was accepted and moved to RAF Marham over 250 miles from where we live in Bridgend, Wales.

Annie is my only daughter and it was upsetting for me when she had to be discharged due to her condition. And then, being the incredibly independent woman that she is, she was trying to cope alone after she was in a wheelchair, living in a completely unsuitable flat - she'd burn herself while cooking, or fall out her wheelchair.

She eventually moved closer to us – which of course I was delighted about. But again the flat she lived in was unsuitable and that's when the RAF Benevolent stepped in.

They've converted my garage into a bedroom and a wetroom so Annie has been able to move in with us. Even more exciting is that they've bought Annie a house close by which she'll be moving into in June. It's specially adapted for her needs so she can retain the independence she craves.

So this Mother's Day will be a special one as Annie will be home with me. I'll no doubt have breakfast in bed and flowers and she'll help the family with lunch and dinner – I'll get the whole works. She'll treat it like a military operation – ordering everybody about! Later on we'll be able to have some real quality 'girlie' time, painting our nails!

All the children will be home, and for the first time in years, Annie can stay here on Mother's Day. That's what will make it the best Mother's Day yet!

By Chris Devine

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