No going back

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I guess it’s always difficult to know when it’s the right time to tell your child they’re going to have a sibling. As a parent you want to protect them from as much heartache as possible. Until the new baby is safely in your arms, there’s always a chance something will go wrong. Telling your child too soon risks unnecessary trauma for them if baby wasn’t meant to be. Waiting too long doesn’t give them much time to adjust.

We’d planned to tell little Miss she is going to be a big sister when we’re on holiday. We’re going away with my family and we thought it would be good to tell everyone then. I was therefore slightly panicked when our social worker said she needed to speak to little Miss about baby sister. We’re aiming for August panel so the report has to be complete at the start of the month. That means we had to tell her before we go on holiday at the start of the school holidays.

We hadn’t planned on adding to our family but now that we are, I obviously don’t want anything to go wrong. I’m a cautious person and didn’t want to tell little Miss until we were as sure as we could be that it was going to happen. Having to tell her now felt like we’re tempting fate. What if we don’t get approved or matched? She’ll be heartbroken knowing she has a sister but she can’t come and live with us.

So, we’ve had to take what feels like a giant leap of faith and trust that we wouldn’t be asked to tell her if there was any doubt about our suitability. Little Miss asked to look at her life story book last Sunday and asked a lot of questions about her little brother. That seemed like the perfect time to tell her she was going to be a big sister.

I wish I’d taken a photo of her face when we told her because she was sooooo excited. She looked absolutely thrilled. She’s told pretty much everyone she’s seen since then that she’s going to have a baby sister. If we needed any reassurance that we’ve made the right decision saying yes to baby sister, that was certainly it.

It’s very easy when you’re a parent to over think things. Add adoption into the mix and it’s even worse. Little Miss doesn’t care one jot how baby sister comes into our family, all she cares about is that she is. I think we’d got so wrapped up in worrying about the assessment and what could go wrong, we lost sight of the basics. Whatever happens, little Miss isn’t going to have this time again. She should be able to experience the excitement of preparing to be a big sister. For her, it’s as simple as that. It’s been so lovely to hear her talking about baby sister and how she’s going to help daddy paint her bedroom.

So, despite our initial thought that it was too soon to tell her, it has been exactly the right time. We just have to make sure we don’t mess up the rest of the assessment! Now there really is no going back.

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