Friday, 16 August 2013
Siblings, Separation and Sadness .
I have been thinking a lot about the title Siblings and working out what it means to Amy and Lauren in the grand picture of their lives.
Amy and Lauren came to us as our new family .The day we brought them home to live with us they were our children and we were a family of four .This would appear to be a very standard 2.4 children family if the word Adoption wasn't involved .
In the girls lives their have been many changes ,many losses and many tears around siblings .The girls were from a family of seven children ,the two older ones stayed connected to the birth family but the younger five were placed in foster care when their birth mother Dawn could no longer care for them , due to her alcoholism .
Amy and Lauren were placed with Kirsty .Toni and Kieron were placed with a separate family in the same county .
All five children met weekly at the local children's centre ,this was combined with visits with Mum.The children would often be left very sad after these visits because Dawn sometimes didn't turn up .
The two foster families did their best to keep the children's relationship together and they often had sleepovers at each others houses to normalise life a bit .
The meetings continued for the two years Amy and Lauren were in care but gradually they were prepared to separate as it was hoped they would be adopted by different families .
Contact was set up at our placement meeting for three meetings a year .Originally this was to be six times but was too much of a commitment to keep in place due to travel and school timetables .
We did our best as a family to keep the contact between the siblings in place ,but due to many complications (see my previous postings ) it eventually became difficult and at times heart breaking if visits were cancelled at short notice by the foster families .
Both girls have have contact with all their siblings if they wish ,having been reunited with all their birth family since they were seventeen .
Social Media although a stress to us when the girls were younger now gives them choices at how often they connect .
The strange thing for us as a family is the sibling group has expanded .The girls have half siblings we have never heard of but they all see themselves very much part of their growing family network .
Amy and Lauren have different dads who have spread their love in many areas !!!!!! Lauren recently acquired a new half brother and I have lost count of Amy's other siblings as their are so many.
I remember once the girls having an argument about not really being sisters ,as they had different dads. In my attempt to stop the row I explained that as far as we were concerned we adopted them as our children together ,so they were full sisters .Odd explanation but it worked . in Adoption you try anything once .
Regardless of how strange this may appear to most , the truth is this is the reality of adoption today in the UK.
Within my heart , I do not agree with siblings being separated in Adoption .These children have suffered so much ,to break the bond with their siblings was a very cruel decision by the people entrusted with the responsibility of their futures .
We were naive when we had our children placed , totally unprepared for the backlash of grief that came with this separation .The sibling bond is far greater than we had ever imagined .
John and I did our utmost to keep their relationship open , but it was still not enough to prevent the disappointments and complications that erupted as the years went by .
I understand it is hard to keep large family groups together but separating them causes massive heartache to all concerned .
Although the girls speak often with their siblings it still causes pain .Recently Kirsty found it very difficult that she couldn't be with Amy when she gave birth to Georgia .
The pain they all felt resurfaced and highlighted the past yet again .
As an adoptive parent , I realise we would not have been parents to Amy and Lauren if they had not been separated .However knowing first hand the problems that arise , I am 100% anti siblings being split up from each other.
Through all of this , the one thing that has been consistent in Amy and Lauren's lives is the bond they have had together . Regardless of all their pain and loss they have always had each other .
As younger children they squabbled and fought like most children but when the going got tough they stuck together like glue .
Recently they have become closer again , thanks to the lovely Georgia .Lauren stays at Amy's most weeks for a night and supports Amy in supporting Georgia .
Having Georgia is helping Lauren heal from the pain of never being able to spend time with Kirsty's babies .
It's now 2013 a lot of years have passed but the cycle of siblings struggling to stay connected still goes on ,this cycle I expect will carry on for many years through many of their siblings families.
I have decided to write on Disruption in my blog today. This week was a sad week as I heard that my very good friends finally could not do ...
I have thought a lot about how I am going to write about such a sensitive subject .There are so many theories and books written on attachmen...
IAmy has very kindly offered to write a short piece on her experience of Adoption ,another chance for me to reflect on how far she has come ...
I decided to write this post as the world seems to have gone completely mad over a certain Royal baby born yesterday to William and Kate . I...
I have decided to write another post about Depression and how it can affect you when you Adopt children .Its Mental Health Awareness week an...
Yesterday I wrote on the girls behaviour that was emerging and I was going to discuss my Post Adoption depression. Please be patient , I wi...
The other day I asked my daughter Lauren to write me a few lines on how she felt growing up as an adoptee .I feel touched at the piece she w...
I am writing this today as I am unable to apply myself to much and thought it might help me to reflect on how sad but truly grateful I am . ...
Last night like many of us I sat down to watch "Long Lost Family ", this was the third series and I settled myself down to be mov...
The theme of @adoptionsocial this week is stories , immediately the importance of reading to your children comes to mind . If you ever had a...