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What was it like to adopt two children close in age simultaneously?

Share Your Story: May/June 2003

After three failed adoptions, we brought home our newborn son. Three days later, our attorney asked if we’d consider adopting a three-day-old girl! We said yes, and it was the best thing we ever did. When they were small, Aaron and Allie were so funny to take out: our biracial son was very “white,” like my wife, and his sister was dark-skinned, like me. People would look at us and say, “How did you do that?”
—Reggie and Ann Redmond, Madison, Wisconsin

When we traveled to Kazakhstan to adopt, Aidana (Bethany), was 12 months old and the most beautiful Asian baby I’ve ever seen; Nurlan (Trevor), was eight months old and had red/blonde hair and gorgeous green eyes.
We knew that we wanted two children—though we had no idea they’d be four months apart. Bethany hit the terrific two’s and is happy all the time. Four months later, Trevor hit the terrible two’s and refuses to agree with anything. I wouldn’t change any of it. I just take life four months at a time.
—Sharon D. Perkins, Louisville, Kentucky

In 1998, we adopted Eric and Amelia, ten months apart in age. It was great—one trip to Russia, and we were on our way home with two wonderful children. They got along so well, we joked that we couldn’t wait until they fought like other brothers and sisters!
At first, they would speak only to each other, so we had to separate them in kindergarten. Eric had gone to school in Russia, so we moved him up a grade. Soon they found their own friends, but they’re still very close. If one goes to a party, he or she always remembers to bring something home to the other. These children are the biggest blessing in our lives.
—Mike and Renee Graf, via e-mail

Last summer, we adopted two three-year-old boys from different provinces in Viet Nam. Our sons had never seen each other before we brought them together, but sharing the experiences of being adopted and coming to America have bonded them strongly to one another. Half a year later, they’re inseparable. There’s some normal sibling competition for toys and attention, but on the whole, their relationship is overwhelmingly close and positive.
—Gene and Pat Buchman, Framingham, Massachusetts

My husband and I adopted Nicholas, then 39 months, and Yana, 19 months, from Sterlitamak, Russia. Nick had a number of delays at first, so they were closer developmentally than their ages would suggest.
Adopting two at once was a shock to my system. I experienced bouts of depression, my frustration level was at times through the roof, and my expectations were much too high. But with help from my family, visiting a counselor, and finding some “me time,” I’ve discovered the joy of loving my kids for who they are.
I would advise anyone considering adopting two at once to make sure you have access to support. It takes tremendous time and energy but is worth all the effort.
—Donna Gorham, Massachusetts

Eight months after we became foster parents to newborn twins, we welcomed a three-month-old into our family. Now, all three are just over a year old and running our home. They are excellent companions—playing, yelling, dancing, and sleeping simultaneosly. We also have five small dogs—the kind who love to join in when the children sing! God has blessed us tenfold.
—Carol Sanko, Dalton, Pennsylvania

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