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Rosie: When we got married, we talked about adopting or fostering children, deciding early on that it was something we wanted to do.

We thought that we would try to have biological children first, but that didn’t happen for us. We could have pursued other options at that point, but we’d always known that we wanted to adopt.

We took some time because we knew we needed to grieve the fact that we probably wouldn’t have biological children and waited until we both felt ready to move forward with the adoption process.

The process itself was well explained, really straightforward, and the training we did was brilliant.

It is quite an intense process, you do a deep dive into your own lives, but I actually found that quite therapeutic and really enjoyable.

Dave: As part of the training, you’re shown example cases of children who are in care, and we saw our girls’ profiles. Something about them really piqued our interest. So, after one of the sessions, we asked if we could find out more about them.

Rosie: We’d always imagined we would adopt younger children, so we were surprised to be drawn to the girls as they were both over 4 years old. We knew we needed to take our time, because this was something different to what we’d planned, but there was something special about them.

Dave: We started to go through the matching process with them alongside completing Stage 2 of the adoption process, so our adoption journey was actually quite quick.

We knew the girls had additional needs, so we did a lot of research and came to the conclusion that however their needs developed, we were prepared and committed.

Rosie: We were introduced to the girls gradually over 2 weeks, so when the day came for them to move in, we were all excited to begin our new adventure together as a family.

On one hand it seemed very surreal, we couldn’t believe that they were actually going to be living with us, but at the same time it seemed really normal.

Dave: Adopting older children has real benefits. There's a clearer picture of their development and needs so we were able to prepare and anticipate what may lie ahead for us. The girls were also able to understand their adoption and it's been a privilege to journey with them as they make sense of their life story. 

Rosie: Adopting children with additional needs isn’t as scary as you might think. We've had to adapt to meet their needs but life is just "normal" to us now and we love it.

Dave: And you’re not on your own. Through Together for Adoption, we were able to access a form of therapy called "Theraplay", which really helped us bond and form strong attachments to each other.

Rosie: School has also been great. They've been really supportive and the girls are thriving and doing much better than expected.

Dave: Of course there are challenges, parenting is hard! The early trauma the girls experienced still affects them and we are continually learning how to best support them.

Rosie: But they bring us so much joy, and each day is filled with many magical moments.

Dave: My advice to anyone reading this is to be open to adopting children who you may not have initially considered.

Rosie: And if you are considering adopting children with additional needs, we would definitely recommend doing lots of research. Find out as much as you can to understand their needs, read books, find other people’s stories, go into adoption with your eyes wide open. Embrace it and enjoy it!

Adopting the girls has been the best thing we’ve ever done.