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Keeping siblings together - meet Julie and Chris

To mark National Adoption Week (November 3-9), and in keeping with this year’s theme of 'Celebrating Siblings,' Sefton Council is asking local people to consider adopting sibling groups who are currently waiting for permanent, loving homes.

Adopted children have often had a difficult start in life, meaning that the stability of being with their brothers and sisters can make a crucial difference to their life jouMeet Julie & Chrisrney.

Sadly, sibling groups are among those children who wait the longest to be adopted. Without enough adoptive parents to give these children a secure and permanent home together, brothers and sisters will wait longest for a family or be split up and adopted separately.

In 2012, Julie and Chris, from Southport adopted two sisters through Sefton Adoption Service. 

Recently, we caught up with the couple to find out about their journey into adoption and their family life.

Chris: “Our assessment actually took around 8 months, to be honest for us that felt about the right time. You need some time to get your head around everything and allow you to prepare for what adoption entails. It also gave our family time to adjust to the idea of us adopting” Julie: “I had worked within social care in the past so I had an idea that the assessment would be in-depth and I think it needs to be. We actually found the process very enlightening; talking about our own childhood helped us to prepare to be better parents”
Julie: “As the assessment is so in depth we saw our social worker Debbie regularly, she supported us throughout the process. For the first few weeks of the children living with us, we would ring Debbie every night just to check we were doing things okay. It was fantastic to have that reassurance. Just knowing we had support on hand helped enormously with getting the girls settled in.”
Julie: “It’s changed in every way, but it’s changed for the better, we’ve got the family we’ve always wanted. Although our house looks like a cross between a toy shop and a laundry, and of course there are no more lie-ins, I never knew there were two 6 o’clocks in a Saturday! Adoption has enriched our lives so much we would not change back for the world!”
Chris: “I didn’t expect that they would feel like mine as quickly as they did, of course I wanted them too, but I didn’t know what to expect, but it felt right straight away. The process of them integrating into our extended family was just as natural.”
Julie: “Initially we were thinking of adopting one child. However, within the early stages we attended the Preparation Groups and it just started to make sense to adopt siblings. We didn’t really want an only child so the more we spoke about it the more we began to think why would we not adopt siblings? It just seemed to be the best fit for us. I actually think it’s easier having two as they have each other for support.”
“For us one of the biggest challenges was being the parent they need straight away. We had to learn to manage two very different personalities. At first it was hard to feel secure in the decisions we were making and setting boundaries, when we felt inexperienced. Our confidence quickly grew though. I remember the turning point when I knew what we were doing was right!”
Chris: “Just do it! For every challenge the rewards are three fold!” Julie: “ If we had our time over we would do it again in a heartbeat. If you’re thinking about it, make the enquiry.”

Keeping siblings together - meet Julie and Chris

To mark National Adoption Week (November 3-9), and in keeping with this year’s theme of 'Celebrating Siblings,' Sefton Council is asking local people to consider adopting sibling groups who are currently waiting for permanent, loving homes.

Adopted children have often had a difficult start in life, meaning that the stability of being with their brothers and sisters can make a crucial difference to their life jouMeet Julie & Chrisrney.

Sadly, sibling groups are among those children who wait the longest to be adopted. Without enough adoptive parents to give these children a secure and permanent home together, brothers and sisters will wait longest for a family or be split up and adopted separately.

In 2012, Julie and Chris, from Southport adopted two sisters through Sefton Adoption Service. 

Recently, we caught up with the couple to find out about their journey into adoption and their family life.

Chris: “Our assessment actually took around 8 months, to be honest for us that felt about the right time. You need some time to get your head around everything and allow you to prepare for what adoption entails. It also gave our family time to adjust to the idea of us adopting” Julie: “I had worked within social care in the past so I had an idea that the assessment would be in-depth and I think it needs to be. We actually found the process very enlightening; talking about our own childhood helped us to prepare to be better parents”
Julie: “As the assessment is so in depth we saw our social worker Debbie regularly, she supported us throughout the process. For the first few weeks of the children living with us, we would ring Debbie every night just to check we were doing things okay. It was fantastic to have that reassurance. Just knowing we had support on hand helped enormously with getting the girls settled in.”
Julie: “It’s changed in every way, but it’s changed for the better, we’ve got the family we’ve always wanted. Although our house looks like a cross between a toy shop and a laundry, and of course there are no more lie-ins, I never knew there were two 6 o’clocks in a Saturday! Adoption has enriched our lives so much we would not change back for the world!”
Chris: “I didn’t expect that they would feel like mine as quickly as they did, of course I wanted them too, but I didn’t know what to expect, but it felt right straight away. The process of them integrating into our extended family was just as natural.”
Julie: “Initially we were thinking of adopting one child. However, within the early stages we attended the Preparation Groups and it just started to make sense to adopt siblings. We didn’t really want an only child so the more we spoke about it the more we began to think why would we not adopt siblings? It just seemed to be the best fit for us. I actually think it’s easier having two as they have each other for support.”
“For us one of the biggest challenges was being the parent they need straight away. We had to learn to manage two very different personalities. At first it was hard to feel secure in the decisions we were making and setting boundaries, when we felt inexperienced. Our confidence quickly grew though. I remember the turning point when I knew what we were doing was right!”
Chris: “Just do it! For every challenge the rewards are three fold!” Julie: “ If we had our time over we would do it again in a heartbeat. If you’re thinking about it, make the enquiry.”