Kathy and I have been married 16 years and both have strong memories of a happy childhood growing up in loving families with siblings. We realised for us the value of family was more important than having a baby so decided that adoption was right for us since we could provide a loving home and were happy to adopt siblings at the same time.
We adopted Bradley and his little sister Kaitlin four and a half years ago. Bradley had just turned four and Kaitlin was two. They had been in the same foster family together and had slept in the same room so had a strong bond and social services felt their needs would be better met by being adopted together. Their foster family were active members of a church and had done an amazing job in caring for Bradley and Kaitlin’s needs and preparing them to move on to their forever family. We have maintained contact with their foster family and thank God that that he was involved in their lives long before coming to live with us.
We found having siblings helped in the first few weeks of placement as even though our children were in a strange house with new parents, they had the security of each other. It is now wonderful to see two smiling children playing happily together and the best bits are doing activities, going on holiday together or playing a game or sharing a joke together. It is great to know that they are building shared memories. As a dad I am happy to say that I am so blessed to have 2 fantastic kids to be part of my family and it shows that adoption works.
Of course it is not always an easy ride. At times it can be incredibly demanding. At first our children wanted to do everything together. They have now started to develop their own interests but they would still become very jealous if they perceive that one is getting something more than them. This can be hard when we celebrate birthdays. Last year one became jealous of the other and then acted out this anger by biting another child later that day at the local leisure centre!
Our two children do have two older siblings and they have direct contact with them and look forward to this and have fun together, however the bond is not the same that our children have from being together every day as part of the same family so they are very happy that they were placed together.
Our church is very supportive of vulnerable families and our children are made to feel that they are an important part of the church; as adoption is part of God’s story it is something that can be talked about.