We already had two birth children and wanted another child, so when we discussed our options, we felt like adoption was the right choice for us.
Our little boy was 6 when we adopted him, which meant there was a very natural age gap between him and our other sons.
I do understand why most people might want to adopt babies, especially if you haven’t had any birth children, but I’d had two babies and so that wasn’t something I felt I needed.
Older children do get overlooked and I think that’s so sad, to be facing a life in the care system at 6 years old.
For us, there were so many benefits to adopting a 6-year-old. You’re able to get much more background information about the child you’re adopting, for example about their health and how they’re doing in school, so you know what you’re getting into.
There were practical benefits too, for a while all the boys were at the same school, which made things easier.
As he was a little bit older, he understood what was happening. On that first day when he was finally coming to live with us permanently, he was so happy. We picked him up from his foster carer’s house and the adults were all emotional about it, but he didn’t have a care in the world.
We took him to get his hair cut and bought him some matching clothes and trainers that fitted him properly and these were new experiences for him, so he was really excited, he looked like a different little boy afterwards.
As time has passed, you can see a massive change in him. He’s grown so much and he’s doing well in school, he’s in the top set for maths and he’s an excellent reader. He looks up to his two older brothers and one is about to go to university so it’s great that he has them as role models.
People sometimes ask how his brothers adapted to having a new little boy in the house, but they were involved in the process and their views were listened to, so they’ve always been very relaxed about the whole thing. One of my highlights from the past few years is seeing our adopted son playing guitar in a school production with one of his older brothers, it was fantastic.
If you adopt an older child rather than a baby, there will be times when they are not quite themselves and don’t react how you’d expect a child to react. Our little boy was completely overwhelmed by things like Christmas presents at the beginning, as it wasn’t something he was used to. He would open each present really carefully and he values every gift he is ever given and takes good care of everything.
The main advice I can give is that you need to put your trust in the matching process. It can be disappointing if a match doesn’t go ahead when you’ve got your hopes up, or when you feel like the process is taking a really long time.
But everyone has your best interests and the interests of the child at heart. It’s a very rigorous process but it’s like that for a reason and I think in the end you adopt the right child for your family.
It couldn’t have worked out any better for us.
If you’re thinking about adoption and want to know more, contact our team by completing our online enquiry form or call 01942 487272.
You can also find out about the adoption process at our monthly virtual information sessions.
Posted on Monday 5th July 2021