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2nd time adoption experiences

24 replies

MinnieMouseMaze · 04/12/2019 08:05

Just wondering if anyone can offer us some advice. We had our 9 month old placed 2 years ago. As a baby he had huge challenges but once out of hospital and settled with his foster family he has thrived. From placement we had the normal grieving process but I think we would say he has attached to us incredibly well. We are a very happy family unit of 3 and things seems to be going well within normal toddler realms. LO does like a lot of attention and although good at playing alone at nursery etc we find at home they are quite demanding!

We've recently been thinking about starting the process of a second which feels us with dread as we know what it involves this time! I always thought we would do it again but there is just that niggling feeling of should we. I mean things are really good at the moment and we understand that may change and want to always be able to give all our support and love to our LO they may need as they get older. Having a second may complicate that or make it harder and do we really want that?

On the other hand we have a spare room though smaller and always thought we would, in an ideal world we would. I really wish we could look into the future and know what is best! We don't want to leave it too much longer before making a decision as we know how long it all takes and want the age gap not to be too big.

Has anyone been through this recently and made a decision, how did it work out for you? Need other people's thoughts as we both keep going around in circles Smile

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EightWellies · 04/12/2019 12:46

We've adopted twice. DD2 came home 2 years ago. In some ways I didn't find the process as bad second time round. The wait didn't feel as lengthy because we were busy parenting DD1. We were lucky enough to have the same SW again too, which helped.

On whether it was a good idea..I honestly don't know. DD1's needs have increased quite dramatically in the past two years and I do worry about how fair it is on DD2 to be growing up in our house. It's also much easier to parent therapeutically when you are 1 on 1.

On the other hand, they adore each other and I have no doubt that they are building a bond that will serve them the rest of their lives.

It's more fun with 2, but when you're talking about adopted kids, it's a lot more work and a lot more guilt.

We have a 4 year gap btw.

ifchocolatewerecelery · 04/12/2019 18:19

We're about to start the process again to adopt a second child and genuinely can't decide if it's the right thing or not in terms of what will happen in the future as they grow up. However both hubby and I have siblings and having work in various care settings over the years I have seen the importance of family, siblings especially. I want that for my LO and we always intended to have 2 children, it's why we bought a 3 bedrooms house in the first place.

MinnieMouseMaze · 04/12/2019 19:25

Thank you @EightWellies that is really helpful. I'm never sure if there is a right or wrong age gap wise but we always felt we didn't want it to be too long mainly as we will be older too! And toddlers are exhausting 

@ifchocolatewerecelery we were the same, we moved house this summer specifically as it was the forever home and felt it would be more stable for any future LO. It's funny how we've planned so much around it but when it has come to do it we are just going around in circles. Genuinely don't know what to do for the best. SW suggest the process teases out some of the complexities etc but I'm not sure how much I trust that in reality and it's a shame second time adopters no longer get a days training.

Any more experiences welcome and how it worked for you!

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MinnieMouseMaze · 05/12/2019 17:05


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Hels20 · 05/12/2019 18:36

We have adopted twice - three years apart. There is a 4 year age gap between our two which initially I wasn’t happy about (not least because I found the toddler stage really tiring). But they have a lovely bond - and in fact our eldest AC has a tendency to regress in his play so the age gap hasn’t really been that noticeable.

But boy has it been tough. I am not sure if the adoption of AC2 caused AC1 to start having major problems or whether it would have happened anyway but I always have a niggle that it triggered a massive sense of insecurity with AC1. Both our children are hugely challenging in different ways and as I approach my mid 40s I am exhausted. The days are long even if the years are short.

Would I have adopted again if I had known the huge issues we were to suffer with AC1? I honestly don’t know. I love both to bits but I worry that we will never get the happy child AC1 was before we adopted again.

It has been very very tough.

MinnieMouseMaze · 05/12/2019 20:23

That's really helpful thank you @Hels20. I guess this is what keep us up at night. And once you've done it it is hard to go back. As I say LO is very settled and it's seems worrying to disrupt that. But I do worry about the 'only child' affect. Wish we had a crystal ball Sad

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MinnieMouseMaze · 05/12/2019 20:25

@Hels20 May I asked what age they both were at adoption?

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Pookythebear · 05/12/2019 20:56

We did our second adoption when DS1 was 3.5 (we’d had him from 18 months of age). Although DS1 has always been reasonably high maintenance we always knew we wanted two children and stuck to that and instinctively felt he would embrace it.

DS2 isn’t biologically related to DS1 - we did FtA and got him at 12 weeks old, very different child, very different (easier!) process. Don’t regret it for a second - I think having him as a baby helped (it made a lot of sense to DS1 that this was his ‘baby’ brother to nurture and to ‘show the ropes’) and of course by the time DS2 was walking and talking DS1 was a worldly-wise 5 year old Smile.

4 years on and now they just gang up on me with various antics and squabble. Grin But truly the best thing we ever did.

MinnieMouseMaze · 05/12/2019 21:06

Thank you @Pookythebear that's a really useful different experience. We are starting the process again and hoping some of the stage two 'assessment' will help us decide if it's the right thing or not. Not sure how naive that is but not sure how else we will ever know! F2A is tempting but we did our original training with one of the unfortunate examples of where it goes very wrong and so are very wary.

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user1471555041 · 05/12/2019 22:56

We have adopted twice. Our AD came home at 7 months and was 3.5 when out AS who’s 1 came home 4 months ago. There is only 2.5 years between them and it’s been really tough.
AD has always had quite high needs but these have been amplified by her brothers arrival. At times she regresses quite significantly and it’s like we have adopted the two of them at the same time. It’s also made her think about her own story and lots of professionals in our lives again, SW, foster carer has been quite unsettling.
I have never felt so old and knackered but I would not change it for the world. We have started to see glimpses of them building a relationship and it makes us so happy x

MinnieMouseMaze · 06/12/2019 06:18

Thanks @user1471555041. I guess it's tough without the adoption element anyway but adoption ups the risks/complication. The difficult thing is most people who say they've done it, it is really tough but they wouldn't change it for the world Smile

The fear is us rocking what feels like a very stable family unit at the moment

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121Sarah121 · 06/12/2019 13:31

I have two children - birth child and adopted child. When I couldn’t have a 2nd birth child adoption felt so right. I wanted her to have a sibling she could play with and explore the world with. It’s been tough but I think it was the right decision. They are unbelievable close. Only 2 years apart. They have truly claimed each other.

We were happy as a family of 3 and to be honest, not always a happy family of 4 but that’s life. We are only a year into placement and I hope it gets easier.

My eldest is the sweetest most compassionate 6 year old and I believe that is living with my youngest trauma. She was secure in her attachment before so has so much patience and understanding.

Would I adopt again? Absolutely not!! My youngest couldn’t manage that at the moment and I don’t see that changing. Only you know your child and if you go ahead matching is much more crtitical as you have two children to consider.

Sending best wishes as you explore this

Hels20 · 06/12/2019 18:04

We adopted AC1 when they were 2.5 and AC1 when they were 1.5.

What I would say is that AC1s problems didn’t start to manifest until they were 6. Similar age to another friend of mine’s AD.

Maybe AC1 was always going to have all these challenges and struggles. Maybe adopting again unsettled them. Maybe not. But I wouldn’t have been so far pushed to the brink if we only had AC1.

But life is never certain and everything could be fine with your second adoption.

MinnieMouseMaze · 06/12/2019 19:42

Thanks all really appreciated Smile

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Barbadosgirl · 15/12/2019 22:31

Adopted our big boy at 8 months and just over three years later adopted our little boy at 4 months. The second time we were done and dusted in six months (first sw visit to intros). It was really plain sailing. There are 3 1/2 years between them and they love each other and also knock seven bells out of each other...just like my childhood! It has been awesome. Wouldn't change it for the world. Don't think we are doing adoption right though as we have not had any real issues. Our lives are not much different to other parents of 2/6 year olds. Maybe will be hideously punished in the teenage years!

MinnieMouseMaze · 19/12/2019 06:50

That's helpful @Barbadosgirl we feel like that too at the moment and are so scared of rocking the boat!

Well our experience has been very slow just like the first time! Promises of running stage one and two together haven't materialised. Our LA is under a lot of pressure and had a lot of scathing remarks over the past few weeks and clearly are still not in a good place. Sad as it is the little ones that suffer ultimately just like our LO did. Hoping things improve soon.

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Barbadosgirl · 19/12/2019 08:28

Sorry to hear that! Can you go with a neighbouring LA? That's what we did.

GrinchmasCheer · 19/12/2019 09:05

Don't think we are doing adoption right though as we have not had any real issues. Our lives are not much different to other parents of 2/6 year olds. Maybe will be hideously punished in the teenage years!

Yes! Me too! I only have one daughter, 4.5yrs and come home at 9months. Apart from being a little behind her peers, she is warm and loving and has actually been easy to parent so far. We have just started to have the feeling we would like another one but don't want to rock the boat. I think DD would love a sibling but the reality is I'm not sure she would cope with sharing the attention. That's normal for most kids but adoption adds that extra layer of uncertainty. I don't want to risk rocking the boat.
We are undecided. Luckily there are no biological time constraints so it doesn't matter if there is a big age gap. Perhaps that would be for the best anyway.

We've always said that if a biological sibling came along we would very likely adopt them, that would be different.

There are no answers sadly!

P0ndering · 19/12/2019 20:24

We've done it 3 times! Not entirely to.our plan / timing. Always wanted more than 1, and our oldest DD was 10 months at placement and slottex right into life with us, she was eazy delightful and settled. 15 months after placement we began process for number 2 and having expected to wait for months after approval were shocked they had a baby boy waiting for us who moved in 6 weeks later! There was exactly 2 years between them and he moved in at 7 months old. We subsequently had a quiet year and a then a house move where we didn't want to rule out a number 3 but equally were going to wait til they both hit school age and would think about it after our (highly stressful) house move. We'd been in our house 2 weeks I was busy painting and Social Worker rang to say DD's birth mum had had another baby and he's in care. We'll be in touch when we know what his plan is. Cue 6 months of massive uncertainty and careful consideration and we have 3 children, just 3.5 years between them. That first year was very very tough. There are days when it still is (today was one of them) but they joy they have together, the support they are together, the team they make, they face these challenges together, and I'm so so glad they do and we have our busy, crazy, house full of children. I gave no idea wgat our future holds, wgat our teen years will be like, how their identity issues will raise theirs heads, but I'm so grateful for the uniqueness they each bring to our family.

BlackNails · 27/12/2019 09:12

I adopted number i in 2007, number 2 in 2010 and had all the doubts you mentioned. DD1 was so perfect - how could I get that lucky again :) What if it was bad for her? What if it ruined what we already had? But, of course, it didn't. DD2 has had quite a few health challenges over the years but is still absolutely perfect. DD1 has benefited from not being the center of my world (I am a single parent and it is good for her to share my attention). DD3 came home a week ago and is the apple of her sisters' eyes. I think the fact you have questions and doubts is good because it shows you are seriously and thoughtfully aware of the challenges of adoption and very child-centered in your thinking. There's almost 3 years between DD1 & 2 and of course there was jealousy and sibling rivalry. But the benefit they get of from their relationship with each other outweighs that of course. DD3 is 19.5 months old and currently getting all the attention from everyone lol and increasing the joy one-hundredfold. Good luck with your decision making.

MinnieMouseMaze · 27/12/2019 18:19

Thank you @BlackNails it all makes sense of course. Such a difficult one but genuinely think we need to progress to talk through our PAR again and see where we are at Grin. Such a weird feeling from the first time when it was all we could focus on, in a lot of ways the pressure feels far less for now at least Smile

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MinnieMouseMaze · 27/12/2019 18:20

Thanks to everyone on this thread it's been helpful to read your thoughts/experiences

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Minnie888 · 01/05/2020 20:03

So little update. I had a voicemail today and it's crunch time....we opted to take the 6 month break between stage one and two for a bit of breathing space and now they need to know what we want to do.

I and DH are 90% sure we aren't going ahead with a second adoption. Our 3 YO is still very demanding with our time and we both work full time and there doesn't feel like an awful lot of space for anything else. We do worry how LO would cope quite honestly with a sibling sharing attention, perhaps it would have a good affect as some of you have suggested. With adoption it's that extra element of how their needs may change and also introducing another birth family. Little one is now starting to understand his story a little and you can tell they find it difficult. On the other hand it's feels like drawing a line under it. Perhaps we will consider in another couple of years. I feel very sad about it, it's what I'd hoped for but I think the risks are too high Sad

Minnie888 · 01/05/2020 20:05

I had a name change Incase you hadn't guessed Grin

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