We have found the adoption process exciting, daunting, have felt well equipped and also completely clueless. Adoption is something that we have always wanted to do. Allen was adopted at seven months, and as a couple we decided that this was the way that we wanted to start a family.
We attended the Adoption Panel in January 2013, after nine weeks of home visits with our social workers, and were unanimously approved to adopt up to two children. Prior to the Panel, our social worker began to provide us with some sibling group profiles. We really prayed that we would be filled with an amazing sense of joy and know which sibling group God wanted for us. Allen received the profile of our sons before Karen and we both looked at them independently. The reaction however was the same …. joy and much laughter. We knew that these were to be our sons.
The Matching Panel took place in May 2013 and in June we met our older son for the first time and began ten days of introductions before he came to live with us forever in July. A week later we met our younger son for the first time and started eight days of introductions shortly afterwards. He came home for good in August 2013 and we took a few months out to just to establish a routine and bond as a family of four.
We were aware that siblings tended to be harder to place in families than single children and were saddened that many siblings are split up and adopted separately. It’s so much fun watching our sons grow up together, witnessing their similarities (and differences) and enjoying the close bond that they have developed with each other and with us. It’s amazing to see the bond between them, seeing them recognise each other as being brothers and also witnessing how they play together, learn from each other and bond more and more.
One of the things we love to watch is the way that as soon as they wake up they run into each other’s bedrooms to check on each other. They are always so excited to see each other and immediately start giggling. We have noticed how much they love each other, for example when our younger son was ill, our older son brought every teddybear in the house and surrounded his younger brother with them.
Our sons have a shared family identity being adopted into our family, being brothers living together and also in terms of their birth family identity. We hope that they will be able to share their experiences of adoption and support each other as brothers, who have travelled the same journey. We think that being adopted together offers our sons a sense of security and a common bond.
Our church has been very understanding and supportive of our adoption process and has welcomed our sons with open arms. People have been able to provide prayer, support, advice and provide things that we needed for our family. For example, one of the congregation members gave us a double buggy, another a bicycle, and we have had so many toys we could start our own shop. We are so thankful for the generosity of our church family.
We are truly blessed having our sons and know anyone else considering adopting siblings will also be blessed.