Rachel and her partner Glyn both had sisters so wanted a big family of their own. Having a child naturally wasn’t possible for the couple, so they underwent IVF and had their first son. Despite the difficulties and emotional exhaustion of previous unsuccessful IVF treatments, the desire to have a larger family didn’t go away, so three years later they decided to adopt and give their son a brother.
This is their story…
“We both grew up in loud, hectic households, and value our relationships with our siblings; we wanted that for our own family. When we couldn’t conceive, we looked at all the other options and spoke to people who’d had IVF, used donor eggs and sperm, or gone through a surrogate. Even though we were successful the second time with our son, we didn’t want to go through it again to have our second child.
“We had our blinkers on when we first entered the adoption process. But after much discussion, we knew we needed to think about the children in care and what having a family would mean for them too. Glyn works in outdoor education and has always felt rewarded by seeing the difference positive guidance has on children – many of whom come from difficult backgrounds.
“We also had to consider the effect adopting a child would have on our birth son. We knew an adopted child would need extra attention which might impact the time we could give them both and we were nervous about how their relationship would develop. It has grown naturally, and like most brothers, there are days they get along just fine, then others they have each other in a headlock.
“I have had a very comfortable upbringing and if I am honest thought most children were adopted because of neglect. I didn’t consider their exposure to drug and alcohol abuse, nor the associated trauma of having multiple foster homes.
“Our son’s behaviour is challenging at times; he was removed from his foster home at the pre-verbal stage and even now he is five he operates more on the level of a toddler. He is in a great school with a special needs department who have helped us spot some aspects of his behaviour and supported us through it.
“There are definitely family moments I was looking forward too that have turned out different to how I’d imagined. Like our first trip to the cinema. I was excited to take them, get popcorn and sweets, you know. Instead, I spent the whole time on the floor trying to keep our son happy while our eldest enjoyed the film.
“You have to plan that little bit more when you adopt and expect that not everything will go to plan. You are very much led by the child and what their behaviours are telling you but the moments you have are no less special or enjoyable.”