Adoption real life stories - seeing them grow

We decided quite early on that we didn't want to go through the baby stage. If we were going to adopt we wanted to adopt a little person we could meet and get to know.

The really hard thing was picking up the phone to start off with. I plucked up the courage and rang up and there was a really friendly person on the phone saying they would send some information. So first of all we had to read through the information and then the next step was to meet up with our social worker.

We were delighted to discover that you could adopt siblings at the same time. We'd always hoped to have more than one child.

You feel you are very much in control of the speed and it will go as fast or as slow as you need it. It's a very thorough process and you have to be able to be very open and to share your lives with other people but it never felt intrusive.

Over time we got to know more and more about Tim and Kiera and finally got some photographs and got to meet them. I will never forget seeing their faces in the photo for the first time, you are meeting your new children and it's just wonderful.

They haven't been able to stay with their birth family and they'd had lots of challenges, lot of difficult things to deal with at such a little age. Sure we've had difficult moments, challenging times, ups and downs but it doesn't seem any different from being a parent to a child you gave birth to, there are ups and downs and bumps along the way.

Unlike the stereotypes they were almost too well behaved - they'd learned to stay quiet and keep their heads down. We've had some good moments when they've had real tantrums and we've looked at each other and thought that's great!

That's the really amazing experience you get everyday is seeing them grow and become more them, that's what's really fantastic, just seeing them blossom really is a profound thing to do, it's amazing.

You have to accept and welcome the birth family almost as part of your family. We don't have direct contact with them but they are there and this is something that you grow to understand. I think that's one of the things that a lot of people who haven't adopted might find challenging because they might feel they want to burn the records and start from scratch but you need all that to fill the gap for the child and help them understand their own story.

The bottom line is that I can't imagine this experience being any better. They are my children in every way.

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