Here we meet adopters Natalie and Oliver alongside their six-year-old twin boys, who tell us all about their experiences of adopting. We sat down with the family as part of our ‘Better off Together’ sibling campaign which we launched with our partners at Adopt Coast to Coast.

Unlike many people who start researching adoption, Natalie and Oliver always thought that they would like to adopt more than one child, with Natalie saying: “We chose to adopt siblings because it can be quite an onerous process to adopt. It was fairly painless for us because as adopters we were pretty straight-forward, but it’s still a process we had to undertake. We knew we wanted two children and we thought that if we could keep two children together by adopting them together, then that would be the best thing for them, and the best thing for us. 

“At one point I remember us saying that our ideal scenario would be to have twins. It really was because they would do everything at the same time, and they’d always have their closest family member with them too which was important to us. We were very lucky in that we were matched with twins, and it was a bonus that we only went through the process once.”

When it comes to adopting more than once child, prospective adopters can have a multitude of concerns about their own time, space in their homes, the cost of raising two children as well as the practical considerations relating to day-to-day logistics such as managing drop-offs and picks ups; but for Natalie and Oliver they took it in their stride and see it is a bonus that they don’t know any other way of parenting.

“We really benefit from the fact that we don’t have anything else to compare it to – we’ve only ever known what it’s like to have two children.  We’re just not aware of how much easier it could potentially be with one. You just get on with it don’t you? We’ve got two and that’s the way it is – we don’t know any other way, but it works perfectly for us,” said Natalie.

Oliver added: “Going from zero children to multiple children is something that’s probably more challenging for the first couple of years, but once they start to interact and play with each other the tables turn and you feel like you’re having an easier time.”

Family life

Like all brothers Reuben and Isaac have their small fall outs. When asked what the most annoying thing about his brother was, Reuben was quick to say: “He fights with me”, and Isaac was just as quick to reply with “He fights with me too”. But when asked about their favourite thing they do together the boys really lit up and were quick to reel off a collective list of “Football, rugby, tennis, basketball, canoeing, paddle boarding – lots of sports. We like baking in the house together – we like chocolate brownies, biscuits, and cookies. Mummy is better than daddy at cooking, but rugby is daddy’s favourite sport.”

For parents, Natalie, and Oliver they couldn’t agree more. “The best thing about having the two boys is the way they play together and the way they entertain each other, and just the fun that they have. The way they make us laugh. It’s great.” said Oliver.

Natalie agreed saying: “They’re best friends, they really are. Don’t get us wrong they fight like cat and dog at times like all brothers, but they’ve always got each other’s back and they get a lot of confidence from each other as well.

Even the boys agree, with Isaac said: “I like having a brother because I like playing games and sport with him. I love my family.”

Echoing his brother Reuben added: “I love my family because they play with me and because I love my mummy and daddy, and I love Isaac.”

“We’re very fortunate in that we know a lot of adopted children, so for them it’s completely normal. But if we did live somewhere where there wasn’t a cohort of people who understood, it would have been even more important for them to have each other.” added Natalie.

The benefits of two children

Many of our adopters agree that moving children into a new home together can help them settle quicker – with many attributing this to the fact they have a familiar face throughout. Natalie felt this to be true for her boys, saying, “They settled in very quickly. With retrospect it took a little longer for one of the boys, but the other settled in immediately.  We didn’t realise it at the time because they slept 12 hours the night we brought them home, but a lot of that was probably down to the fact that they were together. They had always slept next to each other in cots and even though one-year olds don’t interact very much, they are taking comfort from having the presence next to them.  I really hope their closeness lasts.”

We asked the boys why they think brothers should live together with Isaac saying: “It would be really boring without my brother.” With Reuben keen to agree and very cutely adding: “Because I love my brother.”

Natalie said: “Despite being twins they’re very different people and have very different characteristics which we find fascinating, but they are also best friends and they have so many of the same interests. They have the same hobbies, friends and they’re in the same class too.”

“They also benefit from time away from each other if we get the chance on the weekend. They enjoy the one-on-one with each of us – probably more than they even realise. They don’t ask to go out with us separately, but they enjoy it when we do.” Oliver added.

“We do too. It’s lovely to have the one-on-one time with them – and it’s a lot easier.” Laughed Natalie.

Advice to others

There is a lot of information about adoption and lots of research into adopting siblings, and when asked what advice they would offer others considering adopting biological brothers and sisters Natalie said: “If someone was thinking of adopting siblings, I’d say just go for it. They’ve already got a little family together and it becomes part of your family. They always have their closest genetic connection with them, and while I don’t think family is just about genetics, it’s nice for them to have that growing up and as they get older.

“I think when you’re taking children from one environment to a completely different household you’ve no idea what’s going through their heads, but I imagine they seek a lot of comfort from each other, which made the process a lot easier for them, and for us.”

Speaking about the impact of adoption on their lives, Oliver said with a smile: “It’s made me realise that all of those times that you thought you were busy, was actually free time. It’s been great adopting kids – there’s a lot of rushing, toing, and froing, buying food and doing the laundry but it’s all great. It opens your perspective to a new kind of enjoyment.  They are bundles of energy – with good appetites and grazed knees – all of that good stuff.”

“We’ve never been busier, but we wouldn’t change it for the world.” Concluded Natalie.

Final word goes to the boys who summed it up perfectly, by saying:

“If I didn’t live with my brother, I would be sad.  Really, really sad.”

If you have been considering adoption and would like to find out more we would love to hear from you. Please complete our enquiry form and a member of our experienced team will contact you at a convenient time to answer questions and chat to you about your circumstances.