Vale, Valley and Cardiff Adoption
Rosie and Paul knew from the beginning of their adoption journey that age would not be a factor for them.
Initially specifying an age range of 0-6 years old, the couple decided that having a baby was not the most important factor – the opportunity to create memories and a great life for a child was.
Adopting an older child meant that they were able to continue to do the things they loved with a child that would be at an age that they could also enjoy the experiences.
Here’s their story…
“After a failed IVF attempt, we soon decided that we wanted to adopt to make our family.
We took time out to process this and make sure we were making the right decision and that we were completely ready for our adoption journey.
“At the beginning, we set our age range at 0-6 years, but towards the end of our journey we realised that we wanted to consider children aged 4 years and over.
It was clear that adopting an older child would be better suited to us, we’re both very outdoorsy and were enjoying our careers.
We worked out what our strengths would be, as parents, and felt that these aligned with the needs of an older child.
“Meeting our child, we had a sense of serendipity. She couldn’t have been more perfect for us.
Within the first few weeks, we went on a trip to the beach. Our child was completely fearless – she took off down the beach and started wading in the sea, soon after we took her to swimming lessons as it was clear how much she loved being in water.
We’ve learned that she is a very sensory child – movement is her thing. If we’re out for a walk, she’ll be climbing up a tree or walking over a wall; the world is like her obstacle course.
“She needs routine and structure but definitely prefers a relaxed routine – as she doesn’t very much like being told what to do.
We’ve learnt various techniques and methods to help with transition periods, such as going from play to bedtime routine.
You almost have to be a detective to your own child and work out what they need, where they thrive and where they struggle.
Whenever she meets an adult, she goes into survival mode which manifests itself as being very friendly and charming.
Early in the adoption, she assumed that any new adult may be her new mummy and daddy.
She has no problem showing affection, when we first met her, she opened the door and shouted ‘mummy, daddy!’, but we’ve learned that this is a manifestation of an attachment issue.
“She had a complicated early life which included being moved around foster placements and loss of key caregivers – it meant that she’s struggled to feel connected to us.
The first time I noticed this was when I sang Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star to her. She was visibly uncomfortable – squirming around and unable to make eye contact.
We received some Theraplay to help support us all and build the bonds of attachment.
“People can’t help but be charmed by her charisma and energy. She takes pleasure in playing practical jokes.
When she gets married, and I have to give a speech, I will be sure to remind her of a time in John Lewis when she shouted, ‘mummy pull my finger’ and proceeded to make a very loud fart noise, despite being surrounded by shoppers.
“We are very different, better people, having met our daughter. We’ve learnt to pick our battles and not sweat the small stuff! The biggest lesson she’s taught us is to live life in the moment, she just always wants to have fun.”
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