16 October 2017

It’s national adoption week (16th October – 22nd October) and Sheffield City Council is asking for more families to help change the lives of children throughout the city by adopting a child.   Seven children in Sheffield under the age of eight need adoptive families, five of these children are under the age of three.

One of our adopters Andrea has shared her diaries of their first few days with her new family. Andrea Taylor has two adopted children, Annie, age 2 and Tom, age 5. Her children first came to live with her and her husband just over a year ago.

Day 1: The children arrived with us early evening. Our social worker stayed a while. We were expecting a lot of upset and an unsettled night as they had come straight to us from their birth family. Tom was immediately engrossed in the toys and loved our dog. Annie crawled for the first time as she had not been around sensory toys before. She loved her bath and enjoyed copying out facial expressions and noises, smacking her lips and blowing raspberries. She soothed herself to sleep, would not accept cuddles and was very distracted by our presence whilst in her cot. He enjoyed a hot chocolate and lots of stories at bed time, gave me a huge cuddle but wouldn’t cuddle Carl. He went to sleep without any fuss and slept right through. Great start but worrying in a way at how settled it all was with no pining for their birth parents.

Day 4: Annie is so happy, she is enjoying one on one time, singing songs and loves to pass toys and say “Ta”. She just loves to imitate us, especially coughing and sneezing. She is doing a lot of smacking. So each time we are teaching her “gentle hands” to which she is responding. She is very jumpy with any sudden sounds. Tom is very protective over her and calls her “my baby” She is loving bath and bedtime routine. They are both delightful. Tom has such good manners.

The council is holding drop in sessions for anyone thinking about adopting on the 17th October, from 10am-4pm at an information stall on Fargate and on the 18th October in the Winter Gardens.

Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families said: “I really hope that Andrea’s experience inspires other people to adopt. We encourage applications from a wide variety of people and need to find forever homes for children of all ages and all backgrounds. The adoption process can take time but our role is to make sure that we create families that are right together, right for those people who are adopting and right for the child or young person and to ensure it will be their forever family.

“We need more people to come forward so we have enough families for the children and young people in our care. Why not adopt – you can and will make a difference to someone’s life chances Please, do come forward to speak to us we hold information evenings so you can speak to adoption team in person, or there is always someone ready to talk to you on the phone if you’d prefer .”

Adopter Andrea said: “To anyone considering adoption  if your relationship, support network and you yourself are strong and really have an open heart then absolutely go for it. It’s not without its challenges but neither is life. It’s a rollercoaster but one I don’t want to get off. We find it so rewarding putting our love in and being loved back.

Talking about the adoption experience she added: “I enjoyed it and we really couldn’t have been matched with better children. It was good for us to be open about everything and it was great to learn more about each other’s upbringing and childhood. The training we did was great. And whilst parenting is an on-going learning adventure, the preparation meant we felt as ready as we could.  By the time we got to panel, we felt confident and had the support of our social worker.”

To find out more please call us on 0114 273 5010 or visit www.sheffield.gov.uk/adoption