Belonging for life

Adoptive parents Paul and Ronnie saw the importance of keeping siblings together and maintaining a connection to birth family for identity and belonging.

I wish more people would think about sibling adoption and about adopting older kids.

Sydney couple Paul and Ronnie both really valued their sibling relationships growing up.

So it was a natural step for them when they decided to foster three young siblings aged four, five and seven in need of a permanent home, in September 2016.
It was an “amazing yet petrifying” week when the children first moved in, the couple reflects. Despite this, Ronnie says it felt right. “This was fate and these kids belong with us and it’s the best decision we ever made, from the very beginning. And since they were adopted in June this year, it’s a whole new level of normal. You wouldn’t believe the sense of peace and love and security that the kids are feeling.”

Barnardos provided the couple with training and support every step of the way to ensure they were aware of the challenges and understood the importance of open communication with the children about their history. “Being adopted is something that they’re proud of,” says Ronnie. “It’s not a stigma and it never will be. It will always be part of their history, they’ll always have a connection to their birth family and we embrace it.”

Paul says the connection to their children’s birth family is vitally important for all of them and they look forward to sharing birthdays and Mother’s Day and Father’s Day together.

“Every single day we’ve realised we’ve made exactly the right decision and I wish more people would think about sibling adoption and about adopting older kids.”

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Meet Ronnie and Paul