Adopting with Birth Children – Guest Blog from author Molly Ashton
Adoption is a hugely positive option. It’s not something that just “happens”, it is a rationally thought through choice. By the time most parents meet their new child, they have generally been through years of longing, have shed countless tears and have learnt which shopping centres to avoid as they are filled with smiling mums with buggies. Our children are wanted! This is the most wonderful fresh start you can give to a child. Hi
The outcomes for adoptive children are very good. As parents we tend to compare our children with national pre determined averages (ie reading ages) or with children of similar ages we know. I don’t think this is a just or true comparison. Our kids are starting way back from the start line and are carrying heavy rucksacks from their early life experiences. The comparisons which are more fair are those comparing children in like for like living circumstances, and it’s here that children adopted into into stable, loving families do very well.
Like most adopters, I had longed to be a mum for years. We were able to have two amazing sons by birth, which I didn’t take for granted. Then we choose, as a family to adopt. We adopted our first daughter about 10 years ago. In those days the process took much longer, so we waited years for her. She was just as much longed for as her brothers. We then went on to adopt another daughter, a decision made by all five of us. She has a kaleidoscope of extra challenges but is a delight and brings joy to my heart and tears to my eyes in equal quantities!
When we adopted our first daughter there were no books I could read to our two young sons to help prepare them for an adopted sibling. In fact, there were no books in our library at all about adoption! So, our social worker suggested I write one, and so I did (details below).
It follows the stories of two children, Archie who longs for a sister, and Posy who needs a forever home. As rejection is something adopted children often struggle with I wanted to write a story where Posy was wanted from the beginning. I have tried to follow the adoption journey in the UK from a child’s perspective explaining the roles of social workers, foster carers and adoption panels, and tackling some of the harder issues like challenging behaviour. I’ve also given space for Posy’s birth mother as the third part of the triangle.
Adoption is messy, but then life is messy. Parenting these children in this way has rubbed many rough corners off me. It has been a family journey. Our four children squabble like any siblings but they love each other and are loyal to each other. We talk deeply and openly. We face hard issues. We pick each other up when we’ve fallen and we say sorry on the many occasions when we get it wrong. We celebrate together. We laugh together. We are a team. I don’t regret for one minute, even in the toughest times, that we are walking this journey. It’s a privilege. Each child is a gift to us. We are family.
If you’re curious to know more about adoption, do contact your local agency and find out more…
Molly’s wonderful book – The Kite’s Tale – is now available thorough all major book sellers and on amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kites-Tale-Molly-Ashton/dp/152899101X