Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.
Going from 0-2(42 Posts)
Hi everyone! I am a bit of a newbie but often lurk, coming out to say hello!
Inspired by another thread about which was the hardest stage, going from 0-1 child, 1-2, 2-3 etc, I wondered if anyone could tell me about their experiences of going from 0-2 (ie. adopting siblings). DH and I have been considering adopting siblings, particularly two boys under 5, for a while and would love to hear about people's experiences - particularly if you didn't have any children before this (though all thoughts/experiences are appreciated!)
Hi kumquatmay, I don't have experience in this but wanted to say hi as we are in the exact same boat as you and your dh, going from 0-2. We have our first home visit Friday next week.
Oh great, Choco! Is this the pre Stage 1 home visit or the first Stage 2 home visit. Hope it goes really well!
Should be a question mark in there somewhere!
Yes, we did this. Had no children and bought home a 6 and a 5 year old last year.
It's been the hardest thing I've ever done and life has changed in every imaginable. But I'm now just starting to enjoy it (almost a year in).
Having adopted one I can't imagine how hard two must be and personally would definitely do one at a time to build a relationship with each and develop a parenting style. However by adopting siblings you will only need to do the process once and they will be there as a support to each other and will be blood relatives. I know many people irl and on this board have adopted siblings and I take my hat off to them! Just remember to look after yourselves too
We adopted 2 boys aged 3 and 2 and had no children previously. We're 6 months in. We were adamant we wanted to adopt siblings from day 1 and didn't even look at profiles for single children.
Simply put... It is hard work! In fact when the eldest started nursery and we realised how much easier 1 was, there was a part of me that did think, bloody hell what were we thinking lol. However, despite that I wouldn't change it, honest! I do wonder if 2 with a bigger age gap may be a bit easier?!?! As the main carer, they both want a piece of me all the time. The tantrums over who is sitting on my lap, who im cuddling, who I pick up, who I put shoes/coats on first etc. are endless. You'd obviously get this with 2 birth children close together but it's different because as a birth parent you'd have had that baby time to bond and now you're trying to do it all at once with two children who are also more fragile due to their experiences and need that time and therefore are also more demanding of it. I would also say getting a break is harder because instead of your partner taking the child out for a sat morning for example, you tend to use that time to split the children up to give them that 1 to 1 time cause this benefits them.
However, only got to go through adoption process once and our family is complete. They'll always have each other and when they're not in tantrum mode, 2 are way more fun and I honestly love it.
If you go in with your eyes wide open and still think it's for you, you'll probably have doubts at your decision at times but you won't regret it
Hi Kumquatmay this is pre stage 1 visit on Fri, (if I don't have an anxiety induced heart attack before then!) What stage are you at?
Me I am a wuss, my 8 came singly however my favourite cousin who none and then had 4 under 5yrs then 2 under 4 and finally 4 under 6 yrs.
I don't think (no I know) I could have coped but she was a reception class teacher but is completely bonkers.
But it can be done!!
WereJamming you cheeky little whippersnapper
Thanks everyone, this is really helpful.
It sounds like it being hard is the name of the game!
choco we're off to an information evening soon, but been thinking about it for years. good luck with your visit!
crackerjack, WereJamming and iwishkids - are there specific areas you found most difficult/challenging? eg. trying to keep a constant eye on 2 rather than 1, not much support, discipline and behaviour, that sort of thing. And did you often have much 1-1 time with them? I hadn't really factored that into my thinking.
2old did you adopt 8 times over?! and I can't believe your cousin had 10!
Thanks everyone for your input!
Keeping an eye on 2- this is hard work! Not really an issue but adds to the tiring bit.
Lots of support - LA fully aware that adopting siblings is much harder and they don't take this lightly, so we've had lots of support offered.
Behaviour and disipline- well the advantage is a level of competitiveness where rewards are concerned which is helpful. However, if adopting toddlers, bear in mind that all toddlers tantrum. Now if you have a child from birth you have a couple of years of yes hard work, but time to bond and fall in love with a baby who apart from crying gives you mainly just cuteness and not much else, the toddlerness is eased in, with adoption you're just thrown on in at the deep end to fall in love with a child that's at that difficult tantrum stage. Now imagine there are 2 toddlers. This means when it's not one it is often the other, or sometimes both together (I've had this when out and on my own...sheer hell!), they often set each other off fighting over the same toys or wanting mummy to themselves etc. or one starts crying so the other isnt getting attention so then they start and all this is draining...very very draining. You need stamina for it!
one to one time - If you have one child spending some time at nursery then that helps (albeit only with one child). We find doing bed time stories each night separately builds some time in and using weekends to do activities separately with them is good. This is really important but even more so with children with certain pasts but social services will expect you to be able to plan out how each child will get their own time to develop their own personalities and relationships with you.
Erm....I can't think of much else. You probably should factor in money, 2 do cost more than 1 obviously (currently looking at childcare for when I return part time in 6 months...urghhh)
Hope that helps
Good luck to you all who starting off on the best journey ever!!
Oh yes, I should say, as already mentioned by another poster, you have the added problem that the younger child copies the actions/ behaviour of the elder....sometimes helpful, sometimes the exact opposite of helpful.
We went from 0-2. Didn't know what had hit me for the first 3 months and then it got easier. Ours were 2.5 and 8 when placed.
What was hard was making sure that our eldest got quality 1-1 time when I had a big baby always needing attention.
Other hard things included, but not limited to:
- generally sharing attention equally
- crowd control when out and about
- always having to think about where toilets were and getting meals on time
- DH disappearing off on a 2? night trip only a couple of weeks into placement (good for me really)
- having to emphasise to DD1 that I was the Mum wrt DD2
You kind of have to go for it really and just go headlong in. Plus from the start we alternated bedtimes (so I did little one one night and DH did elder, then swapped the next night) even though ADD2 cried for me as she went up with DH most nights for 2+ years (usually fine by the time they had reached the top of the stairs).
What has been fantastic is my DDs have each other. Always. They have a fantastic bond emotionally. No regrets here.
My husband worked away Mon-Fri for the first 8 months (came back weds evening but only about half an hour before bedtime which was more a hindrance than a help), so that colours my view, but specific challenges....
As I say, going from being totally organised and in control to exactly the opposite. Shopping was a nightmare (toilets, shoes, coats, into the car... Sounds easy hut I longed for the days of just nipping to the shop quickly)
Managing 4 diaries instead of 2. The amount of paperwork churned out by the school has to be seen to be believed.
Trying to discipline 2 children who don't give a damn about having things taken away from themselves (they had nothing before, not food or clothes, so why worry about a teddy being removed?) and aren't attached to you, so couldn't give a toss if they upset you/make you cross.
The slow, slow progress . I have done 2x5 min sessions everyday on times tables with my kids for 4 months. They still can't score more than 3 out of 10 on a school test. We're taking 2, 5 and 10 times tables here.
DD waking up crying several times a night every night through anxiety (as we now know it to be). She was 5 when placed, fully articulate in some ways, but we couldn't soothe her fears with words, it just took time. It was very frustrating/tiring
Difficulties now? It seems one is always 'up' and one is 'down'... I mean by that, one is always regulated, the other disregulated and 'acting up'. Rare is the day when both are settled.
That being said... I'd still choose siblings over a single any day of the week and don't regret it at all.
We had no birth children. We really wanted siblings ( we were approved in Early 2013) but couldn't find an appropriate match and the ones we were interested in, we lost out to other couples.
I wasn't working at the time and really wanted to just get on with it - so I agreed that if a suitable singleton came along, we wouldn't rule he/she out. I did this to (a) appease our SW who I think thought I was being too fussy and (b) to try and be broad minded.
A month later the profile of our DS was sent to us - and after reading It and then his CPR I just thought "hang on. I know I really wanted a sibling group but this little boy ticks all the boxes for us." So I thought - better to feel I got it right with one than none...so we went forward and he moved in 5 months later.
I still hanker for a sibling for him and haven't ruled out doing it again but if our DS is all the children we end up with - I will be happy. He is not without his challenges (there have been times I have wept over his behaviour) but I feel incredibly blessed he came into our lives.
I would hold out for siblings but also perhaps Indicate to your SW that you might be prepared to consider a singleton after a while or in certain circumstances.
I have found it tough and I think there are pros and cons to doing it both ways.
I should add - when I was going through my desperate attempts at having a family (including 7 IVFs), a friend said to me "Hels20 - if you have one child, I think it will satisfy that maternal urge." She was right. My maternal urge has been satisfied though I still hanker for a larger family but am also accepting that if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen.
Thanks for starting this thread, because all the people I know have adopted single children so it's helping me to know others are experiencing the same. Having said that, your potential siblings will vary the outcome. crackerjack Your patience must be amazing, we are lucky that both our boys are quite bright (our eldest could count to 4 when he arrived, by 3 months in we had him counting to 30 and writing his own name, having never done anything other than scribble with a crayon), they are behind but they have the ability to catch up fast so we don't have that stress, my heart goes out to you...and my respect! We also have had it quite easy with the boys, 3 months of nightmares by both were tiring but completely gone now, they've settled exceptionally well against other adoptive placements. But we've been very lucky and we know it. werejamming I'm now dreading school for the paperwork! We're not so lucky in that our eldest loves to play with adults, so even if he's got his brother with him it's 'play with me' ALL the time. If someone comes over for coffee or we go to a toddler group etc. he's attached to me not other children most of the time, so don't rely on that happening in all cases. And YES werejamming to twice the ironing but no time to do it! Take your eye off the ball for a minute and one ends up in tears.... All I feel like I ever do is wash jeans lol!
Not only will the children make a difference but your situation will too. I have no idea how a single adopter handles adopting siblings! My other half arrives for bedtime story but other than that its weekends only. If you have a partner that's around for breakfast and in the door by 5:30 that will help a lot!
Obviously making you aware of all the pitfalls here but there are so many positives too It's nice having 2 very different personalities in the house and they both bring such different things, so twice the fun. When we're all sitting at the dinner table their interactions with each other are like a comedy double act, we wouldn't get that with one. And twice the output but twice the love back....though again, we've been very lucky they've settled SO well and attached SO quickly.
Gosh - thankyou so much to everyone who has taken the time to reply. I'm so encouraged by everything you've written and it's given me alot to think about.
DH and I are currently trying to decide (at least in theory) who would make the best SAHP - I'm leaning towards him but it all depends on whether I can earn enough (and adjust to going back to work while we adopt!). The things you've talked about will really help with the decision making process.
Thanks again so much
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