Friday, 7 November 2014

The Unexpected Post...

Today's post was supposed to be about the success of National Adoption Week, about the National Adoption Awards and the fun we had followed by a successful presentation to would be adopters with the LGBT group Spectrum at Barclays.

I say supposed to be...

As I was putting my notes together this morning there was knock at the door - the postman - he usually delivers the registered letters and parcels for everyone in the street to me, as I'm the only one at home all day. We joke that I run the sorting office for the entire street. Its not a funny joke but we make it every time.

But this time I had to sign for a letter for myself and Dylan (I'm using his name now - so he doesn't feel like chopped liver). I sat down and opened it and onto the kitchen counter fell a picture of a beautiful little girl. I then opened the rest of the letter. I didn't need to read it. I knew who it was.

It was the first picture we had seen of the boys' sister in nearly 5 years - the only picture we had previously was one in their life story book of a grinning baby.

As I said in a previous post, the social workers had managed to misplace our contact agreements and as far as the sister's family knew we didn't want to have anything to do with them. However, that has all been resolved and we agreed to swap photos and letters once a year. I had sent mine off last month and today theirs arrived.

It was a lovely photo of a beamingly happy little girl who was the mix of both of her brothers - she had KC's incredible hair colour - the hairdresser is always telling him that 'people pay to have their hair coloured like yours!" and TJ's cheeky little grin.

I looked at the photo of the little girl with a fat dog in her lap and cried. I just cried - ridiculous - but there it is.

I am one of three - myself, my brother and our baby sister - just like our kids. My only thought was - what would have happened if my brother and I had been separated from our sister (whom I love dearly).  We are even similar in age gaps.

Of course, the sister is completely happy and probably blissfully unaware of two brothers she has never met - but to the boys? I'm not sure - they know about her. We have talked about her and they have asked after her. Now we shall sit down with them and chat about this picture and how happy she is without yet knowing if and when they can meet - and should they meet? Would it be more damaging? Are we going to get family jealousy - 'Why didn't I live with her parents?' etc - is this constant sense of insecurity peculiar to adoptive parents alone?

I'm forever concerned that my boys will one day wake up and realise that I'm a fraud and have no idea how to be a parent.

As National Adoption Week has focussed on siblings this week I think it is also pertinent to look at those that can't be together and the incredible job of the adoptive parents to manage that contact - as was said at the awards on Tuesday, brothers and sisters are all we have once our parents have gone - they are our immediate family and that bond will and should always remain.

To be honest, I don't really speak to my brother now - he distanced himself when the adoption went through - whatever his reasons are I know one day we will all need each other again.

But for now...

I think I want another child...

Maybe I'm just being sentimental...



  1. I don't think it's ridiculous that you cried, I found this post very moving and I'm just reading about your life. You are living it and so it will be a very emotional moment for you to see your boy's sibling. My two boys have a brother which we can't see because he still lives with a birth family member, however I really wish my boys could see him. You are doing a wonderful job and are definitely not a fraud, I know that by how you are obviously so emotionally invested in your family. Keep up the great work.
    Thanks for sharing on #WASO

    1. Thanks Sarah... That is a lovely comment. X
      #WASO is a great idea... Fantastic work!

  2. Hi James,

    Please pardon my ignorance. Is there a reason for the exchange to be only once a year than a more frequent basis?

    1. I think it can be more often - if both parties agree to it. Once the adoption order goes through then you are asked to sign a letterbox contact agreement and the other party also signs one - in our case the agreements were miplaced. But now they are up and running it may well be that we agree to further contact between us.
      I think contact between siblings is probably easier to manage than that between birth familes as both sets of parents are in the same boat. (If that makes sense)
      I'll let you know how things transpire.