Single parent, Sarah’s decision to adopt was heavily influenced by her career as a youth worker. She adopted sisters aged 4 and 6 in 2019 through St David’s Children’s Society and talks openly about their journey on her blog, 2StarfishSolo.
“I have worked with so many young people – many in the care system – who would have benefitted from earlier intervention to help them manage their behaviour and process their adverse childhood experiences.
“I would often get bogged down in the unfairness of it all, then I worked at a summer camp for looked after children between the ages 6-to-11-year-olds. The thought that by this age it was unlikely that people would want to provide them with a home was heart breaking. I realised I might not be able to change the world but if I could give at least one child a sense of security that would be a start – I ended up with two girls.
“My girls have dealt with significant challenges in their lives but one of the most heart breaking thing for all of us is their conflict between their loyalty to me and to their “tummy mummy”. It is so important for me to put my feelings aside and show them they can talk to me about how they feel, we have a safe space to be open about their emotions and I am here to help them work through it.
“The biggest thing my girls have taught me is that loving them equally isn’t the same as treating them equally. They are ying and yang. I love them the same, but I parent them differently. My youngest responds to humour so when she gets angry, I can do something silly and it cracks the moment so we can talk about things calmly. My oldest needs a lot more reassurance so it is more about cuddles and comfort.
“I used to worry people would look at how I parent one more softly and the other more firmly and think it was favoured, but ultimately I know what is best for them and how to get the best out of them. So, I would say to other adopters to trust your instinct and be led by your child’s needs.”
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