Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Adoption through the eyes of a single dad

In today's Father's Day series we hear from a single dad who adopted.

"We have been a family now for over three years. The adoption process was long and arduous, but nothing that was unexpected. The approval panel agreed to a sibling group of two. Shortly after panel the details of the children were sent and 6 months later they moved in. When friends and family heard of the plan to adopt they were not surprised and very supportive.

"The day the children moved in we were sat around the table having dinner and one of them asked: 'Why don’t we have a Mum and just a Dad?' The other replied: 'Because we ARE a team.'

"So we became a team. We don’t see anything different or unusual as we have never known anything else. Occasionally the subject is brought up, but less and less now.

"My biggest regret over the time we have been a family is not writing a diary. I would then see how far we have progressed in such a short time. When they first moved in they had lots of problems. They would run around the screaming. They would run at doors to open them, disappear out of the house, never quite long enough for the police to be called. Meal times had to be exactly at 8, 12, and 5. They could not tell the time, but knew when to panic about food not coming and they ate with their hands.

"I bought them dummies to help them sleep on a night. I would carry keys around the house as they would lock me in or out constantly. They would indiscriminately go up to strangers and cuddle them. Supermarket shopping would involve coaxing one of them down from the highest shelf they could find.

"On the day they were supposed to start school they came out in a chicken pox rash each, and were not allowed to go to school. I was simply desperate for them to start. During the summer months they would wake at dawn and fall asleep at dusk, they would be on the go constantly. I lost so much weight friends were noticing! We would be out of the house as much as possible as their screaming and shouting was less confined.

"So now? Well they can read, swim and ride their bikes. They go to bed at 8.30, and generally sleep through to morning. We still need reminding about table manners at meal times, but delay food without panic. The screaming and shouting has stopped, but we still have the random clapping and trying to make people jump. If we had a list of rules I suppose we would remember our manners, no shouting out, and keep our rooms tidy (mine included!).

"Do I have regrets? Yes, the main one being is that if we had not become a family they would still have had access to so much support, which after adoption becomes a battle to get.

"Would I do it again? I don’t know if I would as it has been the most difficult thing I have ever done.

"Do I wish we had not become a family? Not for one moment. I have experienced so much life through them. We have laughed so much; we have experienced so many highs as well as the lows. I am so proud of them and can not believe what they have come through. There is nothing special about us, we are not unique, and we simply blunder our way through life like everyone else. We simply ARE a team!."

For more information about how to apply for adoption visit our Be My Parent website.

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