Our daughters Joanna and Charlotte were adopted at 4 and 3 respectively. They’re now 8 and 6. Although my feelings about National Adoption Week are decidedly mixed (short version: I wish they put as much energy and cash into post-adoption support as they do into recruiting adoptive parents), in honour of the occasion I thought I’d ask our two what adoption means to them and what they’d say to prospective adopters. Here are their thoughts on the subject.
Me: What do you think about adoption?
Charlotte: Adoption is a good thing because if you have songs on your phone then you can dance to them. And you get lovely cuddles. And you get to make stuff and your lovely mummy and daddy help you make things. They can also help you read especially when you’re grumpy and they can help you calm down. They walk to school with you even when you don’t want them to.
Joanna: Adoption is good because you get a nice new mummy and daddy that look after you properly and you get to have fun with them and they help you learn lots of new things. And they give you proper cuddles because your old birth mum and dad didn’t give you proper hugs but this mum and dad give you nice hugs. It’s good having a new mum and dad because they love you properly and don’t hurt you. Your mummy and daddy can always help you stop arguing and fighting and solve problems with you.
Me: And what would you say to someone who was thinking about maybe adopting children?
Joanna: When you have adopted children they can sometimes be jabbery so please be warned! You can adopt a child if you want to because you can give them nice food even though you have lots of meetings. But they will like being with you and you will be a happy family. (That is a compound sentence.) And also you can help them with their homework and have a nice family cuddle and a nice family chat and watch films together.
So there you have it. (If you’re new to my blog and considering adoption, you might also like to check out some of my previous posts about the reality, including a typical day in the life, our experience of child-to-parent violence, and our relationship with our post-adoption support service.) It’s not always dancing and cuddles and happy families, and Joanna is not wrong about the number of meetings. But if I’d known all this, would I still have done it? Absolutely.