Grandparents through adoption

Kathy and Pete became grandparents for the first time when their son Mark and his partner Laurence adopted siblings Cait* and Oliver*, aged eight and six, through PACT in 2016.

Kathy said it had been lovely getting to know the children, although they had been careful to take their time doing this.

"We were apprehensive at first as we were not sure how they would react to new grandparents. It took a while to get to know them but we knew it would be a slow process."

Kathy is adopted herself so said she had some  insight into how they would be feeling. To help further understand what the children were going through they met with Mark and Laurence's social worker who was helpful at explaining the reasons for certain behaviours and how they could help.

Through regular visits Kathy and Pete gradually got to know Cait and Oliver and they now really enjoy spending time with them, watching them learn new skills such as swimming or cycling, or having a game of football together.

"We also love taking them out to parks, zoo, farms and the beach. We always get together for birthday celebrations and had a lovely holiday last year in Devon.

"We love seeing them and it is amazing how much they have grown in confidence over the last two years."

Kathy and Pete, who now have a third grandchild, say they really enjoy seeing the three of them playing together.

Kathy said that both Cait and Oliver had also developed a close bond with one of their aunties.

"They have settled in really well, are enjoying school and are very happy children - they are a pleasure to be with."

Laurence's parents Christine and Arthur already had grandchildren, including a grandson who was adopted a few years earlier, but said they had also been initially nervous about meeting and bonding with Cait and Oliver.

Christine said: "We were aware that there were issues in the children's past that might make forming a bond difficult. However, we have had a lot of close familial experience of the adoption process, so we were not stepping into the unknown.

"We shouldn't have been concerned. We both quickly found that the children were open to the idea of new grandparents, and the makings of a bond was forged.

"We let them decide the pace, but I think they found our easy-going attitude non-threatening, and we really did not find it difficult to get to know them."

Christine said being grandparents was a great joy, and that they always had a lovely time with Cait and Oliver.

"We like going out on walks with them, visiting National Trust sites and having picnics. They are easy to like as well as love, and it is fun being with them.

"They are receptive to us both and seem to love us as much as we love them."