Why adopt a sibling group?
We adopted our three fabulous children nearly two-and-a-half years ago now. At the time they were three, four and nearly six years old. Why did we adopt a sibling group? The most obvious reason was that we had always wanted a big family and it seemed logical to us that if we were going to adopt more than one child then it would be nice if they came together and had a shared history. Maybe a less obvious, but more emotive, reason was that we both have fond memories of growing up with our own siblings. When we read that sibling groups that cannot find adoptive placements together can be placed separately, it really broke our hearts. And finally we felt that we had so much love and devotion to give our ‘prospective children’ that we were likely to overwhelm just one child!
So why adopt a sibling group? I would never encourage anyone to take on more than they think they can handle – and believe me there have been times when I think we have. However, I thought I should list the reasons why I think others should consider adopting a sibling group:
They have some stability and consistency in just having each other. Our little cherubs have had to deal with a lot of change in their short lives, and when they moved in with us everything they had ever known changed again. Just for one moment imagine that’s happening to you now. One day you’re living in your home with people you know and love, going to your familiar job and meeting up with your friends. The next you are in a new home, with people you do not know or care about (yet!), going to a new and unfamiliar job and meeting lots of new people. Scary stuff. Now imagine all that change except you can take one (or more) person you love along with you.
They automatically don’t feel alone as an adoptee. They not only have someone to experience the pain and joy of being an adopted child, but they also have a shared history. They are not alone in their experience by default. At the moment our children have very different ways of dealing with the fact they are adopted. The youngest is fairly indifferent, the middle would rather he had been born from my tummy, and doesn’t like to discuss it, while the eldest has clear memories of the birth home and a sense of sadness and loyalty to her birth parents. As they grow older we hope that they continue to explore and understand their feelings about what has happened to them. We think that having each other will help with this process.
And finally, I asked my children what I should say to potential adopters about why they should consider adopting a sibling group. The youngest didn’t really know, the middle one said ‘tell them it’s fun’, which it is, and the eldest said ‘tell them that the brothers and sisters might be split up if they don’t’. When I asked how that would have made her feel, she simply said ‘sad and lonely’… what more can I say?