Caroline and Scott have adopted four siblings in two stages. Two of the children have additional needs. Caroline shares their story and her tips for anyone considering adoption.
We originally thought we’d adopt one child – but then we were approved to adopt two children.
We were matched with siblings who were aged three and a half and two when we first met them, and we knew we wanted to help them stay together.
Our first adoption was several years ago (the children are 11 and 10 now) and things were very different then. Now you get a lot more background information about the children so that you can be more prepared and the ways you’re introduced to each other is more carefully managed.
After we adopted the first two children, we always said that if more siblings came along, and if we were asked to, we would adopt them too.
Two years ago, that phone call came. There were two more siblings who were ready to be adopted.
We talked to the older children first as we wanted to make sure that they fully understood what was being suggested and were included in the decision making. We’ve always been very open with them about everything and as a family we decided to go for it.
We had to move house, but we’d talked about moving anyway, and the children really took things in their stride.
The first time they all met was so interesting. We had a ‘bump into’ meeting in a local park and when the children came together it was like they were meeting mirror images of each other. They all looked the same. They all gelled immediately. They started playing together, the older ones helping the younger ones on the swings, it was amazing, like they already knew each other.
When we brought the younger ones home and they were all together at home for the first time, it was such a nice moment. You could see that they were all really happy. We knew and they knew that there was no going back – this was their home.
My main tip for anyone who might be considering adopting siblings would be that consistency is important. Two of our children have additional needs so it’s especially important for them to know where they are going and what’s happening next.
We plan key events and discuss with them how many days there are to go. Before we took them on a plane for the first time, we spent a lot of time looking at YouTube videos of plane journeys!
Communication is also very important. We encourage them all to talk about what they’ve been doing and what’s coming up next. We often sit down and have a chat round the table so that there are no distractions.
It’s also important to be honest with yourself. Adoption can bring up lots of emotions for you as well as the children so being honest with yourself and each other about your feelings can really help and can show the children that it’s ok to talk about how they’re feeling.
With four children of different ages, there’s never a quiet moment, but I work in education so for me that’s just what life’s about.
I actually can’t remember what it was like before we had the children, but I know they bring so much life into the home and it’s so nice. I love that we’re giving them a stable environment to grow up in.
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 Thursday 8th December 2022