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Going round in circles!

(12 Posts)
bibbetybobbityboo Fri 09-Jan-15 21:27:37

I have posted questions on here before in the past but we are now moving towards a point where if we are going to adopt we are ready to begin the process. The problem is every time I read a bit more my head spins a bit more and I just don't know what to do for the best.

We have a birth daughter who is 5 and any future pregnancy would be high risk, to me and the baby, so we decided early after her birth that this was not a risk we were willing to take. We have talked about adoption being something we might consider since before we had our daughter and after she was born and we realised no more birth children would be an option we started to think about it more seriously. We sent off for info from LAs then knowing it was too soon but it gave us a bit more of an idea what to expect. More recently we have read several books and I have read loads of info on the net about adoption, attachment disorders, fas etc.

I would desperately love another child, I always thought I would have more than one. I have sort of raised the possibility of another child with my dd and she says she would love to be a big sister and knows that would mean sharing both her things and her mummy and daddy. We even talked about how she would feel if her things were broken by a sibling and she gave a very mature (I thought) response. I realise the reality wouldn't be quite so rosy but I feel this is a good starting point with her.

I read on adoption forums though, that adopting with a birth child is a terrible idea, that they will ruin her childhood, that she will resent it etc. and I just don't know what to do. I realise there are risks when adopting and I probably do have the rose tinted glasses that come with wanting another child badly but is it really the case that my children could never have a 'normal' loving sibling relationship? Is it really a guarantee that adopting will disrupt our lives immeasurably? Am I being selfish I wanting this and in fact risking everything?

I think we would be willing to take on certain disabilities and health problems though I will be honest and say that I don't think we would be able to cope with a severely disabled child, and I say that as someone with a severely disabled sibling. I know behavioural issues are not something we can easily predict and I do worry about putting dd at risk from that point of view.

I'm not sure what I'm asking for really; positive stories, words of advice, helpful information, the answer perhaps. Don't feel I can talk to anyone about this in real life really, partly because we don't want people knowing until we have made the decision to apply and partly because when I have people say just get a baby then they won't have been through any trauma or won't remember....erm helpful, thanks!

Anyway, I'd be grateful for any hand holding available as we make this massive decision one way or another!

Whatutalkinboutwillis Fri 09-Jan-15 21:44:41

It is scary isn't it. We went into it thinking we will do this until it doesnt feel right but the further in we got the more we realised it was right.

Our birth ds was 6 when his 3 year old adopted brother came home. They could not be more bonded if I had given birth to ds2 myself. I don't know what the future holds but for now we have a stunning happy healthy little boy who is a joy to parent. It's been hard at times but 14 months in I can truly say we are a family and I would die for that child. My elder son is so happy to be a big brother and for us it's been a success. I can't say what will happen as they get older or how ds2 will be when he understands the situation fully but he knows his brother grew in my tummy and he grew in my heart.

Take things one stage at a time and see how you feel after the prep course. Also see if you can talk to some couples in real life who have adopted with birth children. Good luck to you

bibbetybobbityboo Fri 09-Jan-15 21:51:45

Thanks for your message, it's so good to hear things really can go well! I think you suggestion of moving forward until it doesn't feel right sounds like a good way of approaching it.

MoJangled Fri 09-Jan-15 22:14:27

Hi Bibbety I could have written your post. We're approved adopters at the start of looking for a match, with DS age 4. I alternate between sunny optimism and abject anxiety, and so much latent guilt about either adopting and ruining his life, or not adopting and ruining his life.

I agree with the 'go with it if it still feels right' approach, which is basically what we've been doing. My mantra has been that I will commit to my child, but all points before that are not a commitment, they're fulfilling a process - it allows me to participate while keeping my options open and my sanity intact.

But the huge fly in the ointment is the terrifying scale of the unknowns. Tuesday's Ministerial webchat exposed the things I fear: incomplete information at matching, undiagnosed or undisclosed mental health/SN in the birth parents with genetic links to children, impact of unknown early experiences on future development... I would really love to think that love, stability and dedicated parenting would be enough, but experiences on this board show that they aren't.

So no answers from me, but a big endorsement of your questions.

woundbobbin Fri 09-Jan-15 22:35:00

I have two adopted siblings, I was about 3 when we adopted 1st time round and about 7ish the second. Both my adopted siblings have significant additional needs. Whilst my glasses are not rose tinted enough to say it was all perfect I don't ever consciously remember being resentful although I do remember times where I wanted us to be 'normal'. I love my adopted siblings as I love my birth siblings and they always bought much more happiness than they did anything negative. Although I must say I have excellent parents! grin

SoonToBeSix Fri 09-Jan-15 22:39:26

As an adult who was adopted to parents who already had a birth child I would have much preferred any siblings I had not been my parents birth children.

christmaspies Fri 09-Jan-15 22:49:42

Whatyoutalkingabout- I love your 'you grew in my heart' smile

Italiangreyhound Fri 09-Jan-15 23:52:31

bibbetybobbityboo (great name).

I will answer your points with my own thoughts, not to advise you what to do but just to share where I am coming from. My dd was 18 months old when I was told we would not have any more children biologically. I didn't believe the doctors and years of fertility treatment followed. We were told DD had to be 5 before we adopted but now it is different, younger birth children are sometimes OK. We ended up looking into adoption when dd was 7, starting the process when she was almost 8 and adopting when she was 9.

It is not always easy, my dd (who can be a handful) can be jealous and so can ds! But they love each other, care for each other and are in many ways like regular sister and brother. My son has few issues, so far, he was three when placed with us, not far off 4. There is a big age gap, almost 6 years. I believe this can be very helpful and is advised. But do read up.

Re your points....

I read on adoption forums though, that adopting with a birth child is a terrible idea, that they will ruin her childhood, that she will resent it etc. and I just don't know what to do.

I expect for some it does, some it doesn't and some are in the middle. But remember people usually post threads when things are going badly, or at least I think start threads when things are not going well. If things are going well you may reply to other threads but are probably less likely to start threads or discuss, 'normal day today, all well!'

Re Is it really a guarantee that adopting will disrupt our lives immeasurably? Am I being selfish I wanting this and in fact risking everything?

There are risks, no one can tell you there are not, but there are also situations where children placed can live relatively 'normal' lives. But more than that the children may well thrive and your dd may rise to any challenges.

I also think that in the past families might have either tried to treat adopted children very differently (either well or badly) and set up resentments etc or tried to just treat everyone the same, and not recognised attachment issues and other problems and suitable help may not have been available.

You are not selfish!

Re ...I do worry about putting dd at risk from that point of view.

You would be able to talk to social workers and family finders about what you feel you could and could not handle, you and your dh would need to know your own limitations and be on the same page. I also feel a big age gap does enable your child to be the bigger one so as children their is more chance your child will not feel bullied or whatever by the newcomer. But you may see some sad aspects of it as your child may be the one doing the bullying! They may resent the new child, but that could (and often does) happen with any new sibling! My poor sis tells some tales about me!

You are also right that being a baby doesn't make them 'immune' to issues or problems or trauma, and if they are pre-verbal they may not be able to talk about stuff or understand it. I think there are a lot of factors, attachment disorder, lots of moves, alcohol in vitro etc etc but some children may have a very rough start in life and still be able to bond and connect well. You would need to continue reading (here is a great place) and trust your own judgement once you are informed.

Good luck.

Wrote all this and then read * Whatutalkinboutwillis* post and should have just said.... What * Whatutalkinboutwillis* said!

Italiangreyhound Fri 09-Jan-15 23:52:48

woundbobbin how lovely thanks for sharing.

Italiangreyhound Fri 09-Jan-15 23:53:07

Mojangled I remember you or old - waves to you, my dear! We must meet up one day!

Italiangreyhound Fri 09-Jan-15 23:54:59

SoonToBeSix would you be willing to share why you feel that way? Was it something about your particular experience?

I really really never want my son (who joined our family by adoption) to feel any negative feelings about having a sister who joined our family by birth. So any insight into how I could avoid that would be very gratefully received, please. Sorry to hijack, thread!

bibbetybobbityboo Sat 10-Jan-15 11:06:03

Thank you, these are much more positive responses that I have read else where. I think the advise to see how we feel as we go through the progress is really good and I will talk to DH about this later.

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