a different shaped family
It's been nearly 4 years since I used the forum. I have occasionally lurked but only recently thought people might be interested in an update.
It's 24 years since our eldest two sons joined us aged 8 and 6 . Seven years later we added to our family by adopting two more sons also aged 8 and 6.
Our experiences as adopters has ranged from watching two of our children compete at national level in disability sport (one at international level ) to visiting a son who was in prison for 3 years.
often we had surreal days eg on the day one got a regional award for his volunteering and fundraising obe of our older sons was arrested!
All our children are adults now. 2 live precarious lives in supported housing. Our contact with them is a mixture of the Jeremy Kyle show and Eastenders! There is always drama and situations to negotiate with them. Eg one arrived on Christmas eve without his current girlfriend with a black eye and bruised finger(from a fight on the way to us) but had made up with her over the phone and asked us to drive 40 mins on Christmas day to pick her up. After negotiation we did and we had a calm Christmas day.
One has 2 children who he doesn't see but who we see monthly .they come to stay we are taking them on holiday in the summer and last Sunday we watched one of them get through to the national finals in their chosen sport.
Our youngest graduated . Is working for a well known charity. Has a busy life still playing sport at natiinal level.training for the marathon. Seeing friends from school, uni, sport and church
What prompted me to write was our third son. He moved to live in central London from a rural area. He struggled with the busyness and multicultural life in London. He completed an apprenticeship and worked for a couple of years. He withdrew and started gambling and puffing. A year ago he decided to move back to his home area staying with his birth cousin (we had an open adoption ) then a YMCA. He spent time reconnecting with wider birth family (who all work and are in good places). Also spent time with birth dad.
He cane to understand more about why he ended up in care. Why no one locally wanted to take him or his younger brother. He discovered the lack of corner shops and transport in rural England!
Came off the puff. Stopped gambling. Decided to emigrate.
He has a job .a car friends and is now involved in a very trendy church in NZ. He is happy. He says he is making his own identity. Still connected to us . Speaking through what's app every week. But also keeping in touch with his wider birth family .but he is 12.000 miles away and living his life away from both his families !we have friends who live in the same town in Nz who he sees and who report he is happy and relaxed!
Our family is a different shape to many of our friends. Our older children will always be vulnerable adults connected to us through a thread of love that at times is very stretched but never completely breaks. One is connected by what's app! One is living at home saving to move out.
We enjoy our grandchildren. Plus the grandchild we have aquire through being surrogate parents to an overseas student who lived with us for 8 years. Married from our house and lives 30min away.
Our friends don't have quite the same dramas with their adult children !but we have no regrets and enjoy our different shaped family.