Samantha and Stuart, aged mid-30s, have a birth son, David (now eight) and adopted Dan, (now five), in late 2020:
‘We looked into adoption three years ago when we discovered we were unlikely to have any more children. We talked it over first with our birth son, David, as we wanted him to be okay with it and he was keen on having a little brother.
Stuart’s work colleague said a friend had had a good experience with Faith in Families. We went to an FiF ‘First Thursday’ information meeting in July 2019 and left feeling upbeat.
We began our adoptive parents’ training in October 2019. Stuart found group role-play uncomfortable but Samantha was fine. They’re clear about adopted children’s issues and our trainers were very good.
Our April 2020 approval panel was ‘virtual’, due to Covid-19 restrictions, but by then we’d settled on a child. The January before our FiF Social Worker, Alice, had shown us a child’s profile, to get used to looking at them. We made a connection! He looked very like our birth son, David. It was Dan, who’d become our son.
To be certain, we did go on Link Maker and see other profiles and attended a ‘play event’, where you play with children waiting to be matched with families or who already have an adoption plan in place, but we never really waivered from Dan.
Dan’s local authority Social Services briefly considered placing him with an, as yet unborn, birth sibling. We said we didn’t feel we could take on both children.
It worked out in the end, though, and we were ‘introduced’ to Dan in late October 2020, with him coming to live with us shortly after.
You do parent adopted children differently to your birth child. Dan’s experienced trauma David hasn’t, so we ease Dan into things and prepare him more for any surprises; though we’ve found this therapeutic parenting extending to both.
David was wary of his new brother initially, so we gave lots of extra cuddles and assurance. The first few months we were always around when they played together, but now you’d assume they were birth siblings. They quickly asked to share a bedroom.
We’re lucky in how Dan has quickly settled into our family; thanks to his previous foster parents’ great care and Faith in Families’ help, which has been brilliant’.