When we started our adoption journey we were looking for a pair of siblings. Unfortunately, we just could not seem to find a match. We decided to start looking at only children and found a perfect little girl for us. Whilst my hope for my daughter growing up with a sibling looked less likely, we felt it was in her and our best interest to become a family of three. Our story is slightly unusual in that B did have a brother who was exactly 2 years younger than her. We found B when she was 2 years and 3 months old and so her brother, P was just a little baby. Our understanding from the onset was that he was being adopted by a family member and as such never contemplated him being available to us. This actually was not the case. The family member withdrew and so P then needed a home and some parents too!
After wanting two children for so long and then adapting our mindset to accept that one was more than enough, along came the curveball. Since B and P had never lived together, there was no bond between them as yet and so we carefully deliberated whether taking him as well would be the right thing to do. For me, being one of four children and having always wanted a large family, this was like a dream come true. That being said, whilst it was easy to get carried away by the emotion of it all, it needed to be right for B and my husband as well as myself.
After weighing up the pros and cons we decided that we wanted P to join our family and be able to grow up with his sister. And so we became a family of four. We were fortunate in that we had B at home for 8 months before P came home and she was incredibly secure and settled by that time. From the moment we met him there was no doubt he was our son and B’s brother. Whilst daunting and scary, we did wonder how on earth we would cope with two children – we just did. Having two children could sometimes be much more demanding than we expected but nothing we couldn’t handle.
The best gift in the world we would ever be able to give B was a baby brother. I look at the two of them together and cannot believe how lucky they are to have one another. They are best friends and just adore one another. These children are also not perfect! They fight. They bicker. He pulls her hair. She hits him. They steal toys from one another. But . . . they also laugh together and play together really nicely. P can’t wait for B to get home from school and B constantly talks about P to her teachers at school. When he falls, she picks him up and gives him a magic kiss. When B’s upset, P tries to comfort her with a cuddle. They are like two peas in a pod and so caring, mindful and loving of one another. If B’s gets a piece of fruit, she will always ask for one for P. There are too many examples to give but I hope I have given you an idea of the closeness that they share.
One of the reasons we wanted for them to be together was that in years to come, when they become curious about their past, they will have each other to lean on and understand what each other is going through. They may easily accept the fact they have been adopted or not but they will have each other by their side to share the experience.
On being asked what it means to have adopted two children words can’t really express the feeling that I have inside when I think of this and when I look at B & P together. It means everything. Still after almost two years as an adoptive parent (15 months with two children), I can be watching them play together and this wave of emotion comes over me. Not only do I feel so fortunate to have these beautiful children in my life but that they have each other to turn to and depend on. I entitled this piece the joy of siblings but actually it does not do justice to what adopting a sibling group has brought to our lives. Having a sibling group is hard work without a shadow of a doubt but the rewards that it brings are immeasurable.
To anyone thinking of adopting, I would recommend, in a heartbeat, that they consider adopting a sibling group.
Ellie and Paul, Adopters and Mummy and Daddy to siblings.