At SEWAS we think hearing an adopter’s story is the best way for people to understand the process. We reached out to one of our adopters for an honest story of adoption. Here’s what they said…

Rock ‘n Roll Superstars

I don’t really know if I will ever be able to thank my children for what they have given to me. This is not some sickly fairy story of how perfect our lives or our children are. Things have got tough and can still be very challenging. However, these moments have been a catalyst to changing the way I view myself, my husband, my children and the world around me – I have had to. Without them I wouldn’t know my limits, know the real meaning of self-care or pushed myself to complete a BSc in Psychology. I certainly would have missed out on a phenomenal amount of joy and happiness.

My children (my dolly and my dude) both came to our family at the age of 9 months, my dolly first followed by my dude a few years later. They are now nearly 7 and nearly 4. They are not birth siblings and very different in character, have different likes, different abilities and due their differences every facet of my character is in permanent use – which quite honestly is exhausting.

My Dolly is full of life and true grit and was livewire from the moment we met her. She is determined and ‘knows what she knows’, something we try and encourage which we believe has enabled her to grab hold of everything life has to offer. She does get anxious sometimes and her ‘fear monster’ manifests in outright anger and rage but this seems to be something she and us are learning to communicate around. We help her to work out what she is worried about/frightened of, however badgering her to do it whilst in a fit of rage doesn’t help at all. The real work is done later when tucked up in a bed and it all comes out. We also have made peace with the fact we will need to continually remind her that we are going nowhere, especially since we lost my mum to cancer 2 years ago. That said, these days she is a mostly happy little girl who is performing in a show in the theatre in soon, gained her badge 5 gymnastics on the trampoline, been elected as the year 2 representative on the school council, has learned to swim like a fish, will jump on the highest roller-coaster, has lots of friends and is always the last one on the dancefloor at party or festival (day or night). I am proud of her and love her beyond belief.

My little dude is the most loving child I could imagine. He is developmentally behind other nearly 4 year olds and can have moments of poor impulse control, which we think we may be a result of FASD. This has been tricky at points, especially apologising to a line of 10 parents at the soft play. However, his language is developing slowly, alongside his ability to communicate and he is cultivating a very wicked sense of humour. There is a gentleness and softness in the Dude that melts the hearts of people he meets. He may not be able to count to 5 yet but he can hold and strum a guitar with the best of them and loves music with a passion, enjoying performing to his grandparents when occasionally given a chance of the limelight by his sister. Little dude is extremely affectionate and will throw his arms around and squeeze me till I can barely breathe and say ‘you mumma’ (which means I love you). I love him beyond belief and sometimes after a bad day I will go to him for cwtch and it breathes life back into my tired bones. Ironic that his 4 o’clock wake up’s are what made me tired in the first place.

Music is recurrent theme in our family. Along the lines and advice of transition objects etc. we came up with a family team name and a logo after watching a film where a band had their own chant as their ritual before a performance. We all came up with name ‘Rock n Roll Superstar’s and a logo for keyrings. When one of us it a little wound up or there is transition ahead or anytime really we put out hands on each other’s and chant Rock n roll superstars and they really identify with it. It is particularly cute when little dude shouts ‘ol soostars’ at the top of his voice.

Even though they are not birth related our children are very close to each other and fiercely protective of one another. That said neither one would think anything of giving a punch in return for a stolen mouthful of coco pops, typical siblings I suppose. We have been extremely open with Dolly (little Dude doesn’t understand yet) about their origins, birth parents and their early life and it works for us a family. Empathy for everyone is our no1 goal. Until coco pops are involved, obviously.

Amongst this wonderful busy life we have learned that routine is the most calming thing we have provided them with and to be honest my husband and I are reaping the rewards also. We have never been so disciplined out of necessity – meditating, reading and lights out at 10pm has its obvious benefits for us.

Once upon a time my husband and I were in a band, spent a lot of time on the road and enjoyed all the fun that came with it. Life is almost unrecognisable now, mainly revolving around being parents of 2 very different demanding yet phenomenal children. We wouldn’t go back and change it for anything in the world – well most of the time.