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a different shaped family

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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.


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31 users have supported this.

Thank you for sharing steps. Very inspiring. Best wishes to you, your children and grandchildren.


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7 users have supported this.

Lovely to read an update Steps. Has it really been 4 years??


I always found your posts inspiring and this one is no different!


Our son is 11 now. It will soon be 7 years since he arrived and life was never the same again Smile


Larsti x


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17 users have supported this.

Good ness is it really 4 years since you last posted! Great to hear about your family and how they are all doing now. We are 10 years since our two came to us. Loads of grief and trauma. Plenty of diagnosed mental health problems, and not just thei's! But we are getting there as you say. I wish you and your family all the best for the future.


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9 users have supported this.

Hi I remember reading some of your previous posts, but I don't post often. I adopted a sibling group of 3, they have been with us 8 years. Two of them have caused few problems so far and are doing well, the other is quite wobbly, We take one day at a time, as none us know what is round the corner.


It is great to hear how adult adoptees are doing,


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24 users have supported this.

Lovely to read Steps. I recall so many of your children's trials and successes and shows us all how success can often evolve from the most unlikely of origins.

Really this should be a 'pinned post' on the adopters or prospectives boards.


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7 users have supported this.

It's great to have your update Steps. I often wonder how 'older' posters are doing now their children are grown up, but it's not often we get to hear anything. Thank you.


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13 users have supported this.

What a lovely post. We are only nearly 3 years in and about to adopt number 2. I for one would love to see more posts like this if people were willing to share. They would be really valuable to adopters like me nearer the beginning (though the challenges feel like I have been at it for 20 years already!) and also to prospectives. Well done steps and partner.


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12 users have supported this.

Lovely to hear your update


Your son in New Zealand is inspiring. The idea of forging your own identity, but staying in touch, not easy I think, but he is making a success of life on his terms. I think that will resonate with many adoptees


And well done to all those athletes of yours !


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9 users have supported this.

Lovely to hear how life has progressed for you and your children x


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6 users have supported this.

Great to hear from you again! And fantastic to hear the positives in your post!


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5 users have supported this.

Steps, my friend Smile lovely to read an update Smile pleased to see that your lot are going along, still think your 'glide' mentality to approaching eye watering trials is magnificent X


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7 users have supported this.

Lovely to read your posts and well timed as we are also reflecting on our journey. we adopted 30 years ago and had no idea where the journey would take us. it's had huge highs and lows for all of us. it has shaped who we are as people as well as altering the course of our lives. The emotional cost has been huge at times but we have no regrets. Our faith has sustained us throughout and we are forever thankful to widespread and faithful support network. No family raises a child alone - for good or ill we are part of a wider community. For those considering adoption - this is a totally unpredictable life changing roller coaster but if you are secure in who you are and surrounded by resilient friends and family the commitment to the children is priceless. it has taken 30 years to see one of ours settled but the unconditional love we have for them both has never wavered. Adoption is for life!!


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16 users have supported this.

Well time flies when you are having fun....lol, really four years, but I am so glad to read that you now have your granchildren over to stay and are able to look forward to a holiday with them. We are about to have our third grandson due in May, we dont see our first but do write to his mum and get photos, second grandson comes and stays with his parents (our son and girlfriend) every couple of weeks,, and third grandson (middle daughter) is due in May,, she is not in a good place with her MH and is in supported accomodation and will have to move when little bump is born...sadly there is no way she can live with us and this is not something she even wants to attempt..but WE are still all around and in a strange way we still support our brood. Good to hear from you. xx


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6 users have supported this.

Hi Steps, lovely to hear news of you and your boys. Mine are pretty much official adults too, and a different shaped family as well. Hope you are well yourself and having some time for yourself now that they're a little more independent. Lxx


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7 users have supported this.