Par­ents pass on adop­tion suc­cess story

Sunderland Echo - - News - By Fiona Thomp­son fiona.thomp­son@jpress.co.uk Twit­ter: @fionath­omp­sonjp

A Sun­der­land cou­ple who com­pleted their fam­ily through adop­tion have spoken of their ex­pe­ri­ences as they reach out to oth­ers con­sid­er­ing do­ing the same.

An­drew and Anne-Marie Calder wel­comed two sis­ters to their Ash­brooke home after they found they could have dif­fi­cul­ties hav­ing a chil­dren of their own.

Now they have opened up about their own jour­ney as they sup­port to National Adop­tion Week, which runs from Mon­day and this year fo­cuses on sib­ling groups.

Chil­dren from the same fam­ily of­ten wait for longer than sin­gle chil­dren to be placed with their for­ever fam­ily.

An­drew, 39, who is self­em­ployed, said: “We’d al­ways liked the idea of adopt­ing and it just seemed a nat­u­ral thing for us to do.

“Al­though it was nerveto wrack­ing, we knew from the off we wanted to adopt two sib­lings.

“We knew sib­lings of­ten wait longer be­cause many peo­ple feel more com­fort­able adopt­ing one child at a time, but we felt this would make our fam­ily whole right away.

“We de­cided to ap­proach To­gether for Chil­dren, who took us all the way through the adop­tion process.

“It was re­ally in­for­mal and re­laxed, with lots of sup­port and train­ing along the way, which re­ally helped pre­pare us for our new fam­ily.”

After start­ing the adop­tion process in Fe­bru­ary 2016, An­drew and An­neMarie, 34, have now of­fi­cially been par­ents to their two girls for al­most a year.

An­drew added: “I can’t be­lieve it’s a year since we first adopted the girls.

“They are amaz­ing and as good as gold, all our fam­i­lies are smit­ten with them and we can’t be­lieve we’ve been so lucky.

“We thought it might take them a while for us all form a bond, but we all just clicked.

“The sec­ond time they met us, be­fore they had even moved in with us, they came run­ning out with their arms open and it’s been a fan­tas­tic ex­pe­ri­ence ever since.”

Across the North East al­most 68% of the chil­dren wait­ing for adop­tive fam­i­lies are brothers and sis­ters in groups of two or more, and more than half of them aged un­der four.

To­gether for Chil­dren will be host­ing an in­for­ma­tion evening on Wednesday, Oc­to­ber 18, at Silksworth Well­ness Cen­tre, from 6.30pm.

There will also be an free sem­i­nar Prospect 9 on St Peter’s Cam­pus, hosted in part­ner­ship by Sun­der­land Univer­sity and To­gether for Chil­dren, from 9am to noon on the same day.

Places can be booked by email­ing stephanie.hunter@sun­der­land.ac.uk.

Any­one who wants to find out more can visit www. to­geth­er­forchil­dren.org. uk/fam­i­lies/adop­tion

An­drew and Anne-Marie Calder have told their story as they en­cour­age oth­ers to get in­volved in adop­tion.

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