Sibling Perspectives on Adoption

I have had the honor of working in the field of adoption for 17 years.  Ok, that makes me feel old!  Anyway, I have learned so much and feel the best teachers are adoptive families, birth families, and adoptees.  One family has shared a poem with me that was written by their daughter. It is written from the sibling of the adoptee, sharing her experience as her parents were in the process of adopting her little sister.

Can you call her Grace, the expectant mother asked

Time turning back, a year
A stranger walking into our house,
Hi, I’m Hayley
Talking about all the different possibilities,
Boy, girl, young, old

My brother wanting a boy, me wanting a sister,
My mom and dad say they don’t care, anyone is wanted here
Still dad is hesitant, not quite sure that adopting is the way
But Mom?
Mom is 100% on board

Hayley going through her mountain of papers, notes, and options
Telling us the waiting game has started
And it’s the hardest game we will ever play

Still we think about what’s to come,
Smiling in anticipation
But as time ticks on,
The waiting game makes itself more present
And it gets harder to ignore

Because you know that it has to end eventually

After 6 months of waiting,
Someone calls,
Mom and dad come home for the long meeting,
Talking about how we are getting a baby, and soon

They walk up the stairs,
Smiles hanging onto their faces
I sat up eagerly, expectantly waiting for the news
It’s a girl they exclaim, they want her to be ours

And that’s when the fear of not finishing really sets in,
What if the pain is too much and we have to stop
That terrifying thought of not reaching the end
Having to start the waiting game all over again

The mother telling my parents they don’t have to worry,
Yet, we guard our hearts
Scared we will fall right before the end

On May 30th, after all the meetings,
After learning more about this young girl who was so bravely helping her child,
My mom got a call, and she went to the hospital

On June 1st, she came home
And I got to meet the little girl
Who changed our life just by being born

Half a year later, the waiting game is so close to being over
I can see the finish line
We walk into the court
My parents shaking hands with the judge

Then finally, finally the judge stands
And declares the waiting game over
We have gotten to the finish line and we are exhausted
But we did it, and we won the best prize of all

If you are facing an unexpected pregnancy or desire information on adopting a child, contact LSS via phone at 1-888-201-5061 or 605-221-2346, email

Submitted by Hayley Van Den Brink, Adoption Program Supervisor

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