Next up in the Small Business Spotlight is Sunshine & Rainbows created by Joanne and Adam. It’s so lovely to see so many amazing businesses being created to support adopters with products and books.
Read on to find out how Sunshine & Rainbows came to be. I love the meaning behind the name and the products they create.
Sunshine & Rainbows: for adopters, by adopters
I’m Joanne, and I’ve been married to Adam for nine years and together for 20! We are the very proud parents of two beautiful children, who we adopted in 2018 and 2020.
Our journey to becoming a family started way back in 2012, the year we were married. We’d always spoken optimistically about ‘when’ we would have a family rather than ‘if’. Never in a million years did we think the journey would take us such a long time and have so many ups and downs. Not to mention the emotional rollercoaster of twists and turns. But here we are, we made it and are now a family.
We welcomed out second child during lockdown. After 12 months of adoption leave, our little one still required more time, structure, and routine to help her fully settle into family life. It was just too soon for me to return to work.
This inspired us to create Sunshine and Rainbows. We’ve always been strong advocates of adoption, and this new venture allows us to use our passion and experience to support others going through the adoption process.
Why Sunshine & Rainbows?
The name has lots of special meaning to our family. The name ‘Sunshine and Rainbows’ was inspired by our two very special little people. ‘You are my sunshine’ and ‘Somewhere over the rainbow’ are songs forever linked with our children.
I’ll always remember the final day of introductions, otherwise known as moving in day, with our first little one. The car journey home, our son in the back, tears streaming down our faces. It was a mixture of pure happiness, equally balanced with pure sadness. Yes, it was the start of our family life together, but it was also a time for our little one to grieve yet another loss after been with his foster carer from birth.
It was an incredibly emotional day for all concerned. As we drove home for the first time as a family, the song ‘You are my sunshine’ started playing on the radio. Since that moment, this has become ‘his song’ and is very special to us.
Our second little one came to us in 2020 during lockdown. Images of rainbows were everywhere. They were a symbol of hope and a promise that everything will be ok. It was a natural connection to make and a sentiment that was so important, especially considering the journey she’d been on already.
One day on the way home from her foster carers during introductions, our son burst into the song ‘Somewhere over the rainbow’. He said he’d like to sing it to his ‘sister’ next time he saw her. Our hearts melted right then and there. And so, this song became ‘her song’. It is equally fitting that the first letters of the words Sunshine and Rainbows are their initials. It was all meant to be.
Our little one’s early life experiences are well documented. It makes for sad and traumatic reading. People talk of the process, and how pleased and relieved they are once it is finally ‘all over’ and the adoption order is granted.
But we believe the journey doesn’t end there. It’s a continuation. A new chapter perhaps? One story doesn’t end, and another begins. It’s all part of one story, one journey. As adoptive parents, we have a responsibility to respect and continue their story.
At Sunshine and Rainbows, we want to celebrate that all families are different. Every story is personal, and each journey is unique. We understand and appreciate the intricacies involved with adoption. The long journey, the emotional turmoil, alongside the pure joy of finally ‘becoming a family’.
The world is made up of a whole range of diverse families. Parenthood is a wonderful thing, no matter how it comes to you. This is something we feel passionately about and was another driving force for us to get Sunshine & Rainbows up and running. Let us help document the memories, the unique moments, and celebrate the love that makes a family.
Inspired by Introductions
Our adoption training and learning taught us how incredibly important introductions are. This wasn’t only a chance for us to meet our little ones and get excited about our new family life together. More importantly, it was a very carefully planned series of events, put together with utmost care and consideration. Introductions served to keep the needs of the child at the centre, build trust, and to nurture a bond between adopter and adoptee.
When we were going through the adoption process, we found it difficult to find appropriate introductions gifts. We wanted something personal, child friendly to start the process of building bonds and attachment. Nothing seemed to encapsulate our feelings or have the right sentiment. It seemed that the adoption community were very much underrepresented. Most gifts and cards were centred towards birth families. We found this incredibly frustrating and disheartening to say the least!
With this at the forefront of our minds, we started to put together a range of age-appropriate introduction buddies. We welcomed ‘Bertie’ the journey bear and ‘Sweep’ the scruffy dog into our collection. I’m so proud knowing there are Berties and Sweeps dotted around the country, helping to capture happy family memories.
As well as introduction buddies, we stock a range of books to help and support families through the adoption process and beyond. Most of these books sit proudly on my own bookshelf. I still dip in and out of them from time to time, three years on. All the featured titles have been recommended by adoption agencies and provide a thorough overview of all things relating to adoption no matter where you are on the journey.
We also offer a range of keepsake gifts. Amongst these are our ceramic wall hangings. They celebrate adoption and give thanks to the important people connected to your journey, such as foster carers and social workers. The keepsakes can be personalised with your little one’s name or your family name in recognition, thanks, and celebration of the adoption journey.
You can keep up to date with our own personal adoption story and product offers by connecting with us on Instagram and Facebook. I’m always keen to connect with the adoption community and I invite you to join our new Facebook group ‘Adoption & beyond – chatter and support’. A supportive group of like-minded people. A safe place to discuss all things adoption, wherever you are on your journey to parenthood. You can join the group through our Facebook page.
I’d like to wish anyone embarking on this wonderful adoption journey, the very best of luck. Just remember, it’s all worthwhile in the end!
To read about more adoption small businesses, click here.