Samantha and her husband Brian were 27 and 34 when Samantha's two neices came to live with them. Six years on and Samantha talks us through her do-it-yourself adoption journey, tells us about the girls, now aged 7 and 9, and gives us her thoughts on adopting siblings.
Why Do-it-yourself Adoption
We had already made arrangements with my sister, so for us it was just a matter of going through the legalities, and after Googling around and reading about the possiblities online, we decided to take the do-it-yourself approach.
The Adoption Process
Adoption for us was a relatively smooth process and took only six months from initial filing of the paperwork and petition. We both thoroughly immersed ourselves in the research and home study phases. We did lots of reading, talking and asking questions. The whole process was quite therapeutic for us, bringing up issues that we needed to deal with or investigate further. We both feel it prepared us well for what was ahead of us.
Bringing the Girls Home
It felt great the first time we brought the girls to our house. We walked in and both girls headed straight for the stairs. I asked, “where are you going?” only to be told in unison, “to my room!”. We knew we were doing the right thing by taking them out of a rather toxic enviorment and into a caring family. Certainly the first six months were challenging. Brian and I talked at length every night about our day like a debrief session: what we had achieved, what we’d done wrong and what we were going to do better. I think the love we share and the fact that we kept communications so open have helped us be the family we are today.
Life After Open Relative Adoption
They’re great at giving each other fashion advice (even when it’s not asked for), always look out for each other, love each other fiercely and would defend each other to the end. The girls each have something very unique and special to bring to our family and I couldn’t imagine life without them.
Open Adoption is the best thing we, as a couple, have ever done. We have a much longed-for family, we have two little sisters who now live happily (most of the time) together and will go through the rest of their lives together. With it being an open adoption, and us deciding to do it ourselves, we only had to go in front of a judge once to achieve this. The best thing of all…it did not cost us a fortune.