National Adoption Week 2017: So what is it like adopting siblings?

National Adoption Week 2017: So what is it like adopting siblings?

It’s almost six years since we brought home our two adopted children. I won’t lie, adopting a sibling group is bloody hard. But it’s been the best thing we have ever done. If you are thinking of adopting, or are in the process of searching for your prospective kids, could you, would you think about adopting a sibling group?

So what’s it like adopting siblings?

Walking, talking and toilet trained. That pretty much what it boiled to when we decided to adopt siblings.

I was careering through my forties. The cloud of miscarriages and failed IVF was behind me. Nope, I wasn’t going to do babies. And being Asian, of Christian heritage, we were advised that we wouldn’t be matched with babies.

Anyhow, I’d moved on, and older children, ones that can talk, tell me their problems was becoming more appealing. I needed more than gurgles, burbles, wee, poo, and vomit.

And I could get a full night’s sleep. I’m a harridan after a night of broken sleep.

OK, I am being glib. It wasn’t all about me.

There’s a whole lot more to adopting siblings.

It’s tough, it’s tiring, there are days when it felt like I was being torn apart, and there were days filled with tears and tantrums. Theirs and mine. And there were, and are days when it is bloody terrific.

Could you, would you adopt sibling?

You know when you think about it, there are a lot of advantages to adopting siblings.

  1. By adopting siblings, that long, intrusive home study – we only had to do it once!
  2. With a sibling group, it’s more than likely that you could be adopting older children. But with older children, their developmental issues are better understood. For us, this meant we could equip ourselves with the necessary help and support for our children
  3. Our adopted children are total besties, they have each other and really do support each other. And this will last a lifetime. Who else can you talk to about your three mothers?
  4. Our children’s shared heritage makes it a whole lot easier to talk about their life story. We only have one story to tell. They have a shared past and will share their future
  5. From off they were vocal. They tell us how it is, how they felt and what they needed and wanted. I love that they can tell us their worries, share their fears and dreams
  6. And did I say no sleepless nights? Our kids are full on, it’s non-stop, all day, but when their heads hit the pillow, they sleep 12 hours straight
  7. And finally, when they arrived, BOOM! Instant family

Surely it can’t be that easy, otherwise, everyone would be adopting siblings

Of the 2000 children who are waiting to be adopted, 61 percent are part of a sibling group. And as part of the 2017 National Adoption Week, there is a real drive to get people to think about adopting siblings.

The early days were tough. And we still have rough days, when I feel like I have crawled out of an emotional boxing match.

But I am getting better at predicting when the storm clouds are going gather, I  can anticipate the warning signs and spot the triggers. And if all else fails, run for cover.

Seriously though, having two, older kids parachuted into our lives, demanded our attention every minute of every day, draining our energy, then the realisation there is a whole new level of exhaustion.

Also, as our children were older, there were residual memories and feelings of their neglect, trauma and abuse. This was expressed both verbally and physically.

I felt the full impact of their damaged attachment. This started us out on a long journey to heal their emotional wounds, and fill in the gaps in their nurturing. I have come to the realisation that some wounds may never heal. And this healing journey may last a lifetime.

Our children have needed a lot of support from outside agencies, and this hasn’t always been easy to secure. We have had to fight to get support. But we have been lucky to have benefited from CAMHS, Place2Be, Occupational Therapy and Theraplay provided by our adoption agency TACT. Also, our schools have had incredible SENCos who have really tried to understand our children’s issues.

And now, here I am, a fierce advocate for adoption.

So do you think you could adopt siblings?

Don’t rule it out, it could be the best thing you ever do.

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