Sponsored content from our fostering and adoption partner - Barnardos
How we became a family of five
We always wanted to be parents. We heard that Barnardos did same-sex adoption, so we gave them a call and went along to an information session. When we found out that Barnardos often found it difficult to find a home for siblings, we decided we wanted to adopt siblings – so they could grow up together. The assessment and training period was full on, but we appreciated being able to learn about childhood trauma and it helped us understand what children in foster care had been through.
We were accepted as foster carers with a view to adoption in 2013 and not long after we got the call! Barnardos told us they had a four-year-old girl named Jaya and a two-year-old boy named Zion and asked if we were interested in meeting them. It was such an exhilarating and scary decision but of course we agreed in a heartbeat as we were more than ready to become parents.
We found that Jaya – even at only four years old – was used to being the “parent” to Zion. She was independent and headstrong and strongly resisted any change that meant we would be the parents. The training we had received came into its own as we had the insight to know how to respond with love, patience, understanding and setting boundaries and a routine to make them both feel safe and secure. After a while they both settled in and began to flourish! Zion’s language came along in leaps and bounds and they both began to trust us and become confident little people in their own right.
Then in 2016 when Jaya was 7 and Zion was 5, we got a surprise call from Barnardos. Their younger sibling Xavier who was 14 months old had entered care and would we consider taking him into our family? It was a no brainer for us as we wanted the children to grow up with their new little brother and we had more than enough love to go around. Jaya and Zion were so excited and counted the days until he arrived. A year later in 2017, we formally adopted all three. It was the best day of our lives! We are a big happy family of five.
A lot of people wanting to foster and adopt tend to worry about dealing with the birth family, but we realised it was so important for the children to know where they came from. We were committed to forming a good relationship with their birth mother from the get-go. We’d talk about her at home and get them to draw pictures for her and take photos to show at our visits. Jaya and Zion have a large extended family with aunts and uncles and cousins who have since embraced us into the family which is wonderful for all of us. Our kids are our world, and we wouldn’t have things any other way.
Today Jaya (14), Zion (11) and Xavier (7) enjoy life with their adoptive dads’ living in Sydney’s Inner West. Paul and Trent continue to support Jaya, Zion and Xavier’s understanding of their adoption story and maintain strong contact with their family of origin who they consider a part of their own extended family.
Barnardos needs more carers and prospective adoptive parents like Trent and Paul who can provide safe nurturing homes to siblings either in short term care arrangements, or through offering long term care or adoption. Barnardos offers training, an allowance and 24/7 support. Enquire now 1800 663 441