After trying for a family for 10 years Kathryn and James adopted siblings and have never looked back
We always wanted more than one child and James really wanted a daughter, but we didn’t really discuss adopting siblings. We had spent 10 years trying for a family and had talked about adoption for a few years before attending an adoption information event and starting the assessment process. Six months later an adoption social worker told us about two sisters aged two and three and asked if we would be interested. I said yes!
It was a gut reaction and we felt an immediate connection - these were the girls we wanted. All the way through the adoption process we worked towards the two girls. We were told they were small for their age so were having some genetic tests to rule out any issues. We waited for the results and it was all we talked about all week. Thankfully, they were fine and soon afterwards we saw their photos and learned their names. And that was it! They were who we wanted and we didn’t see any other children.
The first time we saw them was at a ‘Bump Into’ meeting where the girls walked into the soft play area where we were waiting. It was just amazing to see them - they were such gorgeous girls. Isobel was quite attention seeking and wanted us to watch her play on the slides while her little sister Rose was quieter and didn’t give as much away. It was so lovely to finally meet them.
The first time we were properly introduced Isobel said to James, ‘You’re my daddy!’ And that was it. I was trying my best not to cry.
There were a few issues in the early months as the girls had been neglected from birth, not fed properly or cleaned and had spent time in hospital. They had been living with a foster carer for 16 months who had worked hard to help them. Despite that they were terrified of the bath and it took a while to build confidence and trust.
We’ve been really lucky though and they have settled in well. Almost immediately Isobel said, ‘You’re my mummy and daddy,’ but for Rose it took a bit longer. Isobel is now five and happily settled at school while Rose is four and enjoying playgroup and time at home with me. We have bonded really well and Isobel is definitely a daddy’s girl.
The best thing about adopting siblings is that they are just such good friends. They play together and fight together - they love each other so much. They chat and giggle and make up silly songs in the back of the car. It would have been awful if they had been separated. When they are apart they always ask, ‘Where’s my sister?’
Looking back, it must have been terrifying for them in the first few weeks – adjusting to a new home with new people. Having each other made it less scary and helped them to settle. They have something permanent together and that really helps. And we have an instant family.
Adopting siblings was the best thing we’ve ever done, but it is hard work. No amount of training can prepare you for it. The first few months were a bit of a shock having gone from working full time to being at home all day with two toddlers.
I would say to anyone thinking of adopting siblings to just do it - it’s amazing. We wouldn’t change a thing.