Lockdown Love Story - Chapter 3

March 04, 2021

Rob, Rich, Seb and Anna*

 

“It was a bit of a tumultuous time for our eldest Sebastian when we had our little girl, explains Rob.

“He had just come out of nursery and was starting a new school – then lockdown.”

“He’d always wanted a brother, says Rich, “His face dropped when he found out he was getting a little sister.

“She wasn’t particularly mobile to begin so he found her a bit boring.

“There were a few power struggles in the beginning, explains Rob, “He would get annoyed when she comes into his room, knocking stuff over and taking toys.”

“Proper World War 3” says Rich.

Their little girl Anna was just 8 months old when she came into the guys lives. There’s a fair gap between the two siblings with Seb now being 4.  The early teething problems were exacerbated by attachment issues and of course, lockdown.

“We had to adapt and think about how we managed this as it was a big change from just having Seb, says Rob.

“He was a bit jealous at the beginning, so we had to divide our time with both of us spending one on one times with each child.”

“They loved this” says Rich.

Throughout the various lockdowns the family has remained together. Rich explains how extended family support has been so important.

“We had to call in air support, jokes Rich with another military analogy, “Our parents allowed us to spend alone time with each child.”

“Seb was essential to Anna settling”

“Anna has thrived from the alone time, says Rob.

“It was just me, Rich and Anna during some periods of the lockdown. She loved it, we would just go out for walks in the summer and people watch.

“Seb then started to gradually become more helpful, trying to feed her things.”

“Anna is more mobile now, says Rich, “He’s starting to learn that he can actually play with her now, pushing her around the house in the trolley.”

Lots of change, challenge and progression for everyone then, set against the backdrop of unprecedented times. How did Anna settle?

“Seb was essential to Anna settling, explains Rich.

“The foster carers dropped her off following the week of introductions on video. The way she would look at Seb – having that other child really settled her.

“She couldn’t take her eyes off him.

“They’ve started to develop into a little double act now, says Rob, “If he does something mischievous she cackles with laughter!

“And as she has got bigger they rough and tumble with each other.

“We were worried about the things he’s doing, if they were too rough but she’s so resilient and tough.”

“She just laughs!” says Rich.

“Their grandparents are desperate to step in and help.”

Rob and Rich explain how their new family unit has wider repercussions across the extended family network.

“We didn’t think about this impact on the wider family, says Rob, “You don’t think about the positive impact on the wider family, as you focus on your own desire to become a parent”

“Their grandparents are desperate to step in and help.”

Both children were transitioned from foster care and in a touching coincidence both of their carers were called Wendy.

“We have to pinch ourselves sometimes, we’ve got two children here that we are responsible for.”

“They’ve both got that shared experience now, a Nanny Wendy, says Rich.

“We are contact with the carers and would visit them pre-covid, he says, “It really helps having that shared story and solid foundation for both of them.

“Seb was with his Nanny Wendy until about 20 months.

“You can tell when he gets a bit wobbly as he mentions his Nanny Wendy, bless him.”

“We’re big advocates of adoption, Rob moves on to explain, “Its life truly life changing and transforming.”

“We have to pinch ourselves sometimes, says Rich. “We’ve got two children here that we are responsible for.”

With as many as 1 in 5 adoptions in Wales now to same sex couples is there a real sense of progression and acceptance in regards to LGBTQ+ adoption?

“Of course, we’ve come a long way, some of the LGBTQ agencies are proud of their adopters and it’s still quite a new thing in a sense, says Rich, “But I think we are getting to the stage now where it is getting normalised.”

“It’s good that Seb now isn’t the only boy in school with two Daddies. It’s definitely more common” says Rob.

“Keep faith in the process, draw on your strength and hang in there!”

“We would definitely go with Western Bay again and had a good experience it’s not of course without its challenges, says Rich.

“It can be quite draining, you’ve been approved but the matching process can take ages. It’s not something that can be rushed of course.

“We were matched with Seb, we knew he was out there but it took so long before he was finally home.

“You know he’s out there and he’s so young and developing so fast. You don’t want to miss a moment.

“You have to use all your resilience and really cling together says Rob, “In the end Seb was just outside our age group but you have to extend your parameters and keep an open mind.”

In order to increase their chances of being match successfully Rob and Rich used Link-Maker which allows agencies to increase the choices available to adopters.

“It was a positive experience because we ended up with Seb!

“Keep faith in the process, draw on your strength and hang in there!” concludes Rich.

For more information on the adoption process click here 

Keep up to date with our real life adopter stories on our social media 

For more information on LGBTQ+ Adoption and Fostering Week click here

#OurFamily

 

 

Lockdown Love Stories Chapter 2The world of a family finder