Bank Holiday Weekend Opening Times

This Bank Holiday Weekend the office will be closed from 4.30pm on Friday 26th May – 9am on Wednesday 31st May.

Our Drop In Session on Monday 30th May is cancelled, but will resume as normal afterwards.

You can still email us at info@stdavidscs.org and we will respond to your enquiry on our return.

Enjoy the weekend!

Adopting – A Birth Child’s perspective

Hello, my name is Bethan and I am 14 years old. I enjoy going to Lifeguards and to the beach with my friends. I dislike the rain and dull weather. I have a little sister called Ellie who is 8 years old and she is adopted. When we adopted Ellie, she was nearly 2 and I was 7.

I had always wanted a little brother or sister because I was lonely as an only child. That is why I was very pleased when my parents told me we might be adopting. I was slightly nervous about what was going to happen next, but when we met with another family to talk about their adoption experience, it answered a lot of my questions.

When I first heard about my sister, all I had was her name, age and a photograph. It seemed like a long time between getting this information and actually meeting her. Before I was allowed to meet Ellie my parents had to meet her a few times first. This is because it wouldn’t have been good for Ellie to meet too many new people at once. Although I understood, it was still very frustrating.

We went to her foster mother’s home and got to do things like feeding her dinner, bathing her and putting her to bed. This was great because we got to know her a bit before she came to live with us.

Before Ellie came to live with us, I had many worries about what it would be like having someone else around the house and having to share things with them. Not only did I have to share my house, my toys and my space etc, I also had to share my Mum and Dad’s attention and time. I was worried they might love her more than they loved me.

When she arrived I realised that my parents would never love one of us more than the other. I did have to share my time with my parents, but my Mum and Dad set aside time specifically for me too. Ellie was jealous of my relationship with my parents too.

When I knew Ellie would be coming to live with us, I was very excited that I was going to have someone to play with all the time. However, when she did come she showed us all that she had a mind of her own. I never thought that she wouldn’t go along with the things I wanted to do but would want to other things instead. This is because an adopted sibling’s personality is usually already formed, unlike a baby that is born into the family. This isn’t something I had considered.

Even though my parents and our lovely social worker, Jane, had told me that things wouldn’t be straight forward and easy, I didn’t expect it to be so difficult to get Ellie to show affection towards me. That could partly be due to her personality but it is also down to the fact that she had come to a new family so she had only known me for a short amount of time. This is something I wish I was prepared for, as although my parents and Jane had reassured me, I still thought that she didn’t love me.

Another thing that I was unaware of was the fact that she had a birth brother and sister. This made me feel very insecure at first, as I thought that Ellie may prefer them to me, as they are her blood family. I have now come to realise that this isn’t going to happen. We sometimes meet up with Ellie’s brother and sister and their adoptive parents. I often think that as Ellie has grown up with me, she knows and loves me more and that it is a relationship that is stronger than blood sisters.

Although me and Ellie argue a lot, like most sisters do, there are so many positives. For example, she is the first person to stick up for me in any disagreement with my parents!

Most of the time I forget that Ellie is adopted. Although we argue a lot, she will always be my sister and we love each other very much. I honestly could not imagine my life without her. Adopting Ellie was the best thing that my family has ever done and despite the negatives of having a sibling, I would not change it for the world.

Adoption is a very positive, life changing option for children in need.

Adoption is a very positive, life changing option for children in need.

St. David’s Children Society.

 

Keeping children safe is the foremost consideration for all adoption professionals. Adoptive parents come from all sorts of backgrounds and are trained and supported with the child’s safety and wellbeing as paramount. For the overwhelming majority of children who are adopted, it provides them with a safe and loving home for life. Adoption provides essential security and belonging not just for very young children but also for older children, brothers and sisters and children with other needs such as medical uncertainty or complexities.

 

In the year ending 31st March 2017, 4,350 children were adopted in England while 304 were placed for adoption in the same period in Wales. The research evidences that 97% of these placements will endure, though some will require ongoing levels of support. St. David’s continually reflects on how we develop our practice and ensure that we offer ongoing training and support to these unique families to help children be the very best that they can be – they deserve nothing less.

 

There remains a critical shortage of adoptive parents in Wales and children continue to wait for adoption placements. It is important that we continue to address this shortfall through our recruitment of adopters to meet this need and reduce delays for children in their adoption journey.

 

Gerry Cooney

CEO

St. David’s Children Society

Adopting an ‘older child’

We were approved at panel in February 2015, and then told there were fewer children in the system waiting for their forever family!  The disappointment was palpable, after an exhausting assessment we were both extremely disappointed.

Then in early July came the call we’d been waiting for: ‘it’s a boy!’

I keenly remember the description: ‘A’, a five year old, 6 the following month. Part of a large sibling group, hyper aware, too compliant then the dreaded words – Neglect, Abuse, Cruelty!

Following a meeting with his team it was agreed in principle that we were a good match and we worked towards matching panel.  The days dragged on. You see, we had fallen in love with our little man, we may not have met him but we cherished the one photo we had been given.

We met with all the people involved in his short life and gained as much information as we could about him, ready to welcome him into our lives.  The days dragged and dragged and our hearts ached for this little boy, but procedures had to be followed and he needed some sessions to ensure he was prepared too.

We thought we were prepared! I think as much as you’re given ‘worse case scenarios’ and talk through what is going to happen, until you have another little person in your home it’s impossible to know what to expect.  From the moment we met our son, our lives have changed for the better but things haven’t always been easy.  Just understanding each other’s ways, his little foibles and manners takes time.

The first few weeks were difficult.  It might have been easier if we’d known the right things about him and his ways.  Although the foster carer was kind she portrayed him as the perfect child and led us into a false sense of security.  Nothing major, we just could have been better prepared. For example we specifically asked her if he suffered nightmares or bed wetting – her answer was no, but he did!  We could have ensured we had more linen (we only had two sets thinking he could choose his own once he settled) so when he’d had numerous accidents in one night there were no more!  After his first nightmares we made dream catchers for him, and only this week, almost a year later, he shouted down the stairs, ‘Mum, can you please empty my dream catchers I think they’re nearly full?’

What we’d almost forgotten in our excited preparation was that our little boy has his own personality, he could communicate his like or dislike of something – for the first few days all he would eat was jam sandwiches! But as someone very wise told me, ‘the only control he currently has is what he puts into his mouth’.  This statement made me realise what a brave little boy he is.  At 6 years old he moved into a new family, new home, new city, new school and remarkably endeared himself to all who met him.

I didn’t carry him for 9 months, or give him life, or see him take his first steps or hear him speak his first words but I’m his mother.  I’m there when he falls over and grazes his knee.  I’m there to help with homework, I’m there to empty the full dream catcher, and I’m there to help him to become a confident, happy, loving little boy.

My husband and I are the luckiest parents, to have him, as each day he makes us smile and brings a tear of joy to my eyes.