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Bring on your sibling tales...

(22 Posts)
ScoobySnacks2017 Wed 16-Aug-17 11:51:00

We're exploring the possibility of adopting two little toddler/pre-school girls, sisters. They've been in fc together. Clearly, there's a lot to consider that's specific to them but I would also love to hear some of your experiences of adopting two at once. My feelings change on a twice-daily basis at the moment!

OP’s posts: |
Jellycatspyjamas Wed 16-Aug-17 12:35:53

I'm right in the middle of sibling heaven/hell - mine have been with me for two weeks and there are bits that are so lovely, but very challenging too.

The lovely bits? They look out for each other, and mostly have a really lovely relationship. Their chatter is so funny and they joke with each other a lot. They're both very cuddly children and need a lot of physical affection - little people cuddles first thing are lovely.

The challenges? They both need completely different things from me and one can't tolerate the other having time with me when they don't so giving them any kind of individual attention is hard going. My husband and I find ways to separate them and give them 1:1 time as much as possible. They fight and play out their experiences with each other which can be very hard to hear. They also have different capacities for understanding their feelings etc so often I'm needing to support two children who have experienced the same losses but understand them differently and have differing emotions.

Very practically it's hard work just running a house with two new little people. In saying that, I always knew I wanted siblings and, hard as it is, I don't regret my choice.

TripleB32 Wed 16-Aug-17 13:53:06

I'm a year (tomorrow) into having a sibling group of 3!
They are very very different beings; with very very different demands. If you have any specific questions then i'm happy to answer if you PM me?
It's hard work, and initially not remotely rewarding. But, I can hand on heart say that I wouldn't change anything. Some days I regret our decision, but those days aren't all that frequent now, and I am so pleased that we adopted siblings. The rewards are continuing to grow.
I always knew I wanted a family with more than 1 child, and I wouldn't have wanted to go through the process again, when already having a child in situ. Siblings were the best route for us.
Good luck with your decision.
xx

ScoobySnacks2017 Wed 16-Aug-17 14:04:05

Thanks both, good to hear you're happy with your choices, albeit knackered! Interesting that you both highlight the difficulty of their differing needs.
Jellycatspyjamas - what an amazing time for you. Sounds like you're doing great.

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Alltheusernamesaretaken321 Wed 16-Aug-17 16:08:19

Just jumping on as I'm nowhere near the stage you are scoobysnacks (waiting to to be able to register our interest still) Hope you don't mind! One of my concerns about siblings is sleep! I'm expecting nighttimes to be tricky for AC and sleep to be very disrupted. Just wondered if those of you who adopted siblings found this was hard to manage with more than one child?

Jellycatspyjamas Wed 16-Aug-17 18:42:17

Our DC sleep has actually been ok - they both have got into a routine fairly quickly. We expected both to struggle because they had in foster care, but they've been totally fine.

The thing that's driving me batshit crazy is toileting and clothes changes. Both of mine struggle with being too excited to stop what they're doing and go to the loo, one soils herself at any sign of anxiety or uncertainty and the other hates any kind of dirt or wetness on his clothes. For example, he splashed himself with the tap water washing his hands and wanted a full clothes change. I can go through 6 full changes of clothes each - this morning my DS needed a full change at 8.50 having been dressed at 8.00am. That's the thing I really struggle to keep patience with and sometimes have been quite shouty about. And I do a lot of laundry!

I'm saying that because my sense is all kids come with their own quirks and the things you think you'll be fine with might be the things that actually drive you mad and the things you think will be hard may not be an issue.

Alltheusernamesaretaken321 Wed 16-Aug-17 19:11:29

Oh bless you, that does sound really tough and assuming your daughter is in 'big girl' pants a really unpleasant mess to clean up too. Its funny you mention the wetness thing with your son...that's one of my little quirks...can't bear wet spills on clothing. I don't do a full Mariah Carey style costume change each time though...I use the hairdryer 😂

I totally see what you mean, that the thing that's problematic for us might be either something that had never occurred to us at all or something that we thought we'd be completely okay with. Sounds like both you mummies are doing absolutely fabulous jobs with your LOs! flowers

Polomintini Wed 16-Aug-17 21:12:57

I have 2 girls. They are each other's best friend and worst enemy about 150 times each day! What I've found difficult is that they compete over everything especially my time, but I now have them trained to accept 121 time with the other as they know they will also get some time. However they are doing really well and I hope when they are older they will appreciate that they have each other and they stayed together.

G1ggleloop Thu 17-Aug-17 19:57:33

I have three as well. We adopted two and then six months later their sibling was born (didn't come to us until 11months). They were very cute at first. Completely inseparable, they even had their own little language. Quickly the younger sibling became quite aggressive while the older was a lot more subdued and it's only now 3 years later that we're beginning to get into his issues. Also now they all fight for attention, toys, food everything. But I wouldn't change it for the world. We're even considering a fourth.

UnderTheNameOfSanders Thu 17-Aug-17 22:27:48

We adopted DD siblings, 10 years in now. The age gap was 5 years so quite different from you.

They have always had a really good bond, but it was exhausting in the early days, I was desperate for DH to get home from work to help out. We alternated who did which bedtime from the start to ensure I got some kind of a break and that DH could do both bedtimes.

It's been great that they have each other. They have same background and same contact. I don't think we would have adopted a second time if we hadn't done a pair, for us it would have been too risky for upsetting the first.

Cantthinkofanythinggood Thu 17-Aug-17 23:01:25

We are just coming up to panel & considering siblings too. We're considering a sibling group of 2 or 3, currently on linkmaker & had a number of expressions of interest. I would love to hear more experiences & advice from ppl too!

Chicklette Thu 17-Aug-17 23:16:29

We adopted a 6 month old and an 18 month old at the same time. It was very very full on for quite a while as we had two babies who were strangers to us, in nappies, competing for attention, grieving, traumatised etc etc, whilst trying to be these amazing therapeutic parents, responding to each kids needs immediately etc! It really was quite exhausting, although it was also an amazing and lovely time ( in between nappy changes!)

When they were toddlers the level of night time (and daytime) nonsense was pretty high! Nothing traumatic, just giggling, mucking about etc which tested my patience. Also, with teething, feeding, insecurities etc, we definitely had a lot less sleep than ideally I would have liked! They clung quite quickly to me, rather than my partner and needed a lot of 'me' which was quite draining and hard- but also quite a privilege.

They are now 5 and 6 and are great fun, great pals (when they are not poking, hitting or nipping at each other). I feel like we probably have it easier than people parenting only children as they amuse each other no end! I do wonder what parents of 'only children' shout at their kids for though, as the main source of irritation in our house is sibling squabbles!!

I can't really undersell how fraught and stressful parts of the first year or so was- we funnelled a lot, responded to their needs, did a lot if carrying which was physically hard, adoption in general is emotionally hard, but there was lots of good times, the kids are amazing and funny and settled and great. So wouldn't change it for the world.

They both draw a lot of comfort from the other and I believe their relationship is the main protective factor for them. They get so much confidence from each other and they really are very much a team! I love watching their relationship with each other and they learn so much from each other, it's quite amazing!

Good luck!

EmilyBStarr Thu 17-Aug-17 23:29:20

D

Twogirlsandme Fri 18-Aug-17 06:01:06

My girls have been with me almost 10 years. They came home aged 2 and 4. They are each other's only constant as they have always lived together. They are very different and have a complex relationship. Big is very bossy and has always tried to interfere in anything little does. Over time I have learned this comes from a need to protect little. She was her protector in foster care (not great experience) and she finds it hard to give that up even now. Little finds that increasingly difficult/annoying as she gets older.
It was the right decision for my girls to be placed together, although I have lots of friends who have adopted siblings and I no longer believe that siblings should be together no matter what. Has a sibling assessment been done for these little ones?
Good luck in your journey. Adopting and becoming a mummy to my two beautiful girls has been everything that I dreamed it would be, a hundred times harder but also the best thing I've ever done.

ScoobySnacks2017 Fri 18-Aug-17 09:34:54

Thanks so much for all your stories - they encourage me of the value of that sib relationship (in certain cases). From the info we're getting ( from the awesome-sounding fc), the girls we're considering have a strong bond too (usual sibling rivalry aside).

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itsbeenaverylongweek Sat 19-Aug-17 20:18:04

Cantthinkofanythinggood I just wanted to give you a word of warning on Linkmaker, as we were on there and also approved for up to three. We went through a while where we were having two or three expressions of interest a day, which was very overwhelming & difficult. It felt for a while as though every social worker with a sibling group was messaging us. If you're happy with your SW then I would let them deal with requests for you so that you only have to see any that they feel are a serious possibility.
Good luck all, we're managing at the moment to juggle the needs of 2 girls and a boy, although every day is a new challenge.

tldr Sun 20-Aug-17 13:21:19

scoob, if their cpr says 'usual sibling rivalry' ask lots of questions about that. Since cprs tend to focus on the good, I'd be concerned that if it serious enough to warrant mention in a cpr, it's not 'usual'.

My two have been home 4 years and have a very complex dynamic, similar to what PPs have said.

ScoobySnacks2017 Mon 21-Aug-17 13:00:23

Tldr - good point, but that 'usual sibling rivalry' phrase was mine, based on some quite detailed info from the fc, not the cpr. I still want to see a robust sibling assessment though!

OP’s posts: |
Jellycatspyjamas Mon 21-Aug-17 13:46:44

Be prepared for "usual" behaviours to be magnified by 100. When I talk to parent friends about the challenges of my two I constantly here "ah that sounds really normal". And it makes her be, some of the time. But the degree and intensity of the behaviour and the constancy of it is very different. So while most kids will struggle with mum being out of sight for too long from time to time with mine too long is 5 seconds and it's every waking moment - especially with two.

In marching and linking I filed a lot of behaviour under "usual" for age, stage, siblings etc because that's what it sounded like but actually it's far from usual other than you can see the roots of it in usual behaviour.

Nannplum666 Fri 25-Aug-17 20:59:32

We adopted brother and sister when one was a baby (10 months) and one a toddler (19 months). We are a year in and it's brilliant seeing them together. They make us laugh all the time and although they didn't play together at first due to 10 month old not even sitting up on their own they now play (and fight) together all the time.
The first few months were hard ! We hadn't been parents before and the toddler hadn't had any boundaries set in FC. We were lucky to have us both at home full time for a few months before I went back to work and I honestly believe it could have broke down if one of us had gone back to work within the first few weeks. It was also a massive strain on our marriage and I missed sleep, eat when I wanted and being able to sit and do anything other than play or watch cartoons.
However it is brilliant to see them together and they are the lights of our lives and I wouldn't have it any other way.
We are now in the middle of terrible twos and a threeangher who is just in the middle of potty training !
Be prepared for lots of hard work, your lives to change beyond recognition and you won't go wrong. Feel free to ask any more questions smile

adoption2017 Fri 15-Sep-17 10:00:38

Our friends had 3 placed with them. Boy (5), girl (3) and boy (2).

After 6 months, eldest boy started displaying exceptionally disruptive behaviour with violence toward siblings, particularly youngest child. Escalated to pushing siblings down stairs at home and school (even in front of SW at one point), throwing toy cars which on 2 occasions cut youngest's head then culminating in being caught sitting over youngest, during middle of night, holding pillow over his face.

SW's called parents "alarmist" but said if anything had happened then they would both be arrested.

The joys. Eldest was returned to care. Then it all came out - withheld information, recommendations that eldest should not be placed with siblings under any circumstances etc. SW response was "it would have been a shame to split them up despite warnings" (not shared with parents and that they wanted to "suck it and see".

IllhaveaPpleaseBob Fri 15-Sep-17 17:18:36

We adopted a 3yr girl & 4 yr old boy siblings 10 years ago. As others have said, the first year was really hard (even though our eldest was at school). Trying to give each enough individual attention, whilst still wanting to do things as a family, was tough. Ours probably have a trauma bond & our son continues to display jealous & bullying behaviour to his sister. It came to a head 2 yrs ago - we had to seriously consider if our son would remain at home, & various professionals have acknowledged they probably shouldn't have been placed together. But things are improving & overall I don't regret it as we love them both dearly. But it took us to hell and back. The sibling rivalry is still fierce, with parental love measured out by them in mIs of fizzy drink, packets of sweets or any other inconsequential treat ("it's not fair he ALWAYS gets.."). I can't imagine they'll have much of a relationship with each other when they are grown ups. Their shared history means we only have to tell one life story, so they can't compete about that! But their huge individual needs are hard to meet, emotionally, & our son in particular still feels like an unfillable pot. Good luck with your decisions!

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