If I could give you one gift it would be to see yourself through my eyes and then you would see how special you really are.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Sibling contact

When child 4 arrived the only birth family contact we were to have was a twice yearly letterbox contact with his birth parents. We know that child 4 has half siblings but his social worker did not feel that it would be in his best interests to arrange any contact.  An avoidance of contact with siblings is not unusual especially if some siblings still have contact with a birth parents as they are fostered or looked after by an extended family member (special guardianship). After all children are children, they do not understand that adoption often means confidentiality about new family addresses or contacts.

We were surprised when the letterbox department contacted us to ask how we felt about letterbox contact with a sibling. They had received a request from the special guardian for one of child 4's siblings for contact. We didn't need much time to decide, after all, all our decisions regarding all our children have always been in their best interests. We feel that for both of these children to have some contact can only be a benefit, they have something in common and they will at some point be able to share their commonalities, as a family we cannot understand how it feels to be removed from your parents, to be taken in by another family to grow up unsure of your roots ~ why do you like certain activities? Why do you struggle with your anger? Why are you different? A sibling has the potential to help with these issues, a shared experience can be massively supportive especially in adolescence.

The contact we have agreed to is letterbox, twice yearly. We will be fully in control so if the children start to "colour outside the lines" we can step in. The last thing young teenagers need is emotional stress, so anything more than letterbox until they are at least 18 is not necessarily the best thing.

Of course there are pros and cons to this decision, but we have already taken a huge step in adopting, and by doing that we have bought into the whole package, this means that sometimes we have to follow gut instinct and our hearts.

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