- Trauma triggers. Even though we know that all adopted children experience some type of trauma, when adopting siblings we were told that they might trigger trauma in each other. Sibiling groups often carry a collective memory of their past. There was a chance that they would trigger memories for the other, which although good to bring out, isn’t safe if an adult isn’t there to help heal.
- Attachment issues. Another possibility was that the children would be content with their attachment to each other – and therefore block any other attachment to us. A bit like ‘we are OK just the two of us, we don’t need anyone else.’
- Sibling rivalry. Of course, pretty much all siblings have rivalry with each other. But social workers, and documents we read, suggested the often when adopting siblings this can go above and beyond the regular sibling rivalry. In fact, it can be a rivalry to get the most amount of love as children sometimes believe that there is only a finite amount of love to go around.
We listened – we read – we took it all on board. And we decided that adopting siblings was the right way for us to go. We both have siblings and knew we wanted our children to have that love/hate relationship where ultimately you know your sibling will always have your back. So, with that in mind, we went ahead and adopted Little Sir and Little Miss. Two years later, and at the beginning of the long 6 week summer holiday, I can sit back and take stock. Sitting in my living room at 2pm in the afternoon, I realise what I have known all along – adopting siblings worked for us!
- The children always have a playmate. They are almost exactly 2 year apart in age, and seriously love playing together. This morning they have played houses, schools, superheroes and dinosaurs – no arguments, no disagreements and no need for mummy!
- They learn from each other. Little Sir is the conversationalist – he learns fast, is interested in the world and loves to share his ideas. Little Miss is sporty, pretty determined and very arty. They are ying and yang. And it works so well – Little Miss is learning to have a conversation from Little Sir, and Little Sir is becoming determined to keep up with Little Miss in swimming. They are role models for each other.
- They adore each other. They are each other’s best friend, cheerleader and supporter. They will always have someone by their sides as they go through life!
So, for us, adopting siblings worked perfectly! In fact, I now have to get used to the new reality – they are growing up, becoming much more independent, and ultimately I appear to be needed only for food and cuddles, rather than as a playmate. It’s going to take some time to get used to it!
Have your children started to become more independent and need you less? I’d love to know what strategies you use to keep yourself from being bored when they no longer need as much attention! Let me know in the comments!!