As it’s National Adoption Week I wanted to write a short (ish) blog about why we chose to adopt our second child. The following are not in any sort of order but hopefully explain why we chose the path we did to expand our family.
- I’m 40 (almost +1), and to be honest the thought of sleepless nights, nappies and chasing a toddler around the house didn’t really hold any appeal. I love babies – I really do; with their squishy little feet and cheeks and their cute baby gurgling noises but I love sleep and sanity too.
- It was something we had always talked about and wanted to do. It’s been something in my head since I was a teen. I can’t explain it – I find it hard to explain my motivations for wanting to do it but I knew that I did. After years of teaching I knew I was able to easily bond with children, I always felt I didn’t need to grow a child to develop that bond and that fierce protectiveness of a parent.
- Our son is diagnosed with ASD. Babies crying put him on edge. He has just started to develop an interest in small babies and toddlers but until very recently, they provided no entertainment or friendship for him and therefore he showed little interest. Adoption was a great opportunity to provide him with a sibling with who he could begin to bond with and develop a friendship with immediately.
- It’s a cliché but I really do feel that there are too many children in the care system waiting for homes. Sometimes it amazes me when I see posts on social media looking for kittens and puppies. People are very quick to respond with “don’t buy, adopt – there are too many animals without a forever home’. I totally understand the biological and psychological need to make, grow and give birth to a baby but maybe if more people gave adoption a deeper thought, we would have more children in their forever homes.
- The ugly truth that when children reach a certain age (a fairly young age) they are unlikely to be adopted and this did not sit comfortably with us is one reason that we chose Barnados as they specialise in ‘harder to place’ children. Harder to place can be for a number of reasons e.g. sibling groups or contact arrangements, age, behaviours that may be difficult, health reasons from severe 24 hour care needs to minor sight issues etc. We had a spare room, a lot of love, parenting experience and experience with additional needs – there was a child out there who we could provide a forever home for.
- I hated pregnancy and giving birth. Don’t judge! Short version; I was sick for 7 months, I didn’t gain weight until month 6, I had severe selling in my joints and feet, I lost my waters and contractions began 3 days before I gave birth, J was back to back until near the end and it was just awful. I’m aware people have much worse and I am aware that some people thoroughly enjoy their experience. I only have my personal experience to go on.
In summary, these are my views and they were our family’s choices. Some may think our reasons were a little selfish, some people have said we’re amazing. We’re neither – we chose the best option for us as a family and it’s not easy but it’s working beautifully.