Tag Archives: love

Welcome to Tumbleweed Town.

9 Aug

We’re still here!!

Wow! I can’t believe how much I’ve been slacking on my blog posts. For someone who is at home all day, I’ve been finding it hard to take time out to write.

So updates!

We’ve finished our home study now. No more in depth questioning from the social worker! Or writing homework to add to the PAR. Our social worker has been doing our reference visits over the last couple of weeks. It’s a strange thing when your parents are interviewed to find out if you could become a parent. But that is the beast that is adoption.

Unfortunately we’re not going to Panel in September as was originally planned. It’s been postponed until October due to some delays with paperwork, holidays and reference meetings being rearranged. It was a blow but we do understand why it’s happened.

The major frustration is that face it means we won’t have a little one home by Christmas. We were pushing it with a September Panel date but now there’s another four weeks added it’s highly unlikely. Plus my little sister is getting married in January so we won’t be able to start a placement then as I don’t live near my family so we’re going to have to spend the weekend in my home town. Not ideal when just starting a placement with an adoptive child!

I currently feel as if I’m in some kind of never ending limbo. We’re trying to keep busy, the garden is actually usable now, the jobs in the house are getting done and we’ve been reading lots of books about attachment and child development. But the reality is we’re just waiting for the day our little one comes home.

I keep thinking about what our child might be like, and what they may have already been through. It breaks my heart that they could be living with a foster carer right now, waiting for a forever family to come and take them home. And here we are with open hearts and arms, just waiting for paperwork. I understand why so much has to go into our PAR, and why we have to the approved etc. It doesn’t stop me wishing away the days!

 

55 days until panel.

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Everybody’s talking at me…

6 May

To anyone thinking of going through, or thinking of going through the adoption process, I have some advice for you.

Start cultivating some thick skin, because you are going to need it!

Everyone is going to have an opinion about your journey and the child who comes to be yours. Some are good and recognising them is important. Some are based on misinformation and old biases. I’m sure when a women in pregnant the advice is given freely and it is useful. After all a lot of parenting is learnt from our own parents and the people around us. What doesn’t happen when a women in pregnant is people talking about the possible issues that child could have.

When you adopt a child you, the parents, have to discuss things that the average parent wouldn’t hopefully never have to.  I’ve touched on this briefly before but the closer we get to panel and our child, the more this seems to come up.

My wonderful husband and I have had to grieve the fact we are never going to have a little person who is a part of both of us genetically. And while I’ve known for so long that I wouldn’t have children, falling in love and getting married brings that to the forefront again. I love my husband and would give anything for having a child the natural way to be an easy and simple thing. But it’s not and so we have to push forward.

So then comes the acceptance that having a child through adoption means not only taking on any potential medical/developmental needs the child may have, but potentially a whole other family.

Imagine you adopt a 2 year old child who up until being taken into care had lived in a neglectful family environment but who lived with an older sibling. Now for whatever reason it’s been decided the two children aren’t going to placed together, but they should still see each other.

Could you deal with that?

How about grandparents? The child is 2, they may have had a close relationship with the Nan but she can’t look after them due to poor health. Is it fair she shouldn’t see her grand children due to their parents inability to care for them?

What about the birth mother? Whilst she was unable to look after the children, she most likely still loves them and always will. The 2 year old will be fully aware that you may be her new mummy but she has another mummy who she doesn’t live with any more.

 

It’s easy to say you only want to adopt a child who will have no contact with their birth family in the future, but is that what’s best for the child. If you know anyone who is or had adopted, trust me when I say whatever the contact arrangements that are in place a lot of thought and planning was put into them.

And what about medical or developmental issues?

This is one of my big problems at the moment, and the reason for the need for thick skin. The husband and I, along with our social team have gone through the kind of the child we could take on… In depth! Someone saying a comment a long the lines of don’t let them bully you into taking a problem child really isn’t helpful.

Whatever the needs of the child we adopt, they will be ours. We won’t adopt a child unless everything is 100% right for us and them. But the key thing is, it’s between my husband, myself and social team what is right.

Every child deserves a loving and caring home where they can be the best they can be. Some children grow up and become the biggest stars, the smartest scientists or fastest runners.

Some children grow up and live independent and happy lives….

The Importance of Hands

24 Feb

I’m quite a tactile person. Friends and family are more likely to be greeted with a hug then a mere hand shake from me. I like holding my husbands hand and showing affection to him in public. I know some people don’t like PDAs or being touched but that’s who I am. I’m a hugger and proud!

ImageImageOne of the exercises we completed during our prep course was to address those children for whom physical contact was an issue. We had to massage baby lotion into each others hand, cover it in talc and press onto black paper. The resulting pictures I will treasure for a long time. The point of the exercise was to turn physical contact from something to be feared or worried about, to something fun and relaxed.

What was amazing to me as we completed the exercise, was glancing around to room and seeing the mix of reactions. A few people were freaked out by allowing someone else to put lotion on their hands, or were generally bemused by the whole exercise. It made me wonder for a moment if my tactile nature was something that would be an issue for an adopted child.

I always pictured myself sharing big bear hugs with my child, or tickling them profusely just like my parents always did to use. Not a weekend goes by that dearest husband and I have descended into the madness of a tickle fight. For me, it’s a normal part of our crazy little family. It worried me that for a child who had never come across that kind of affection, they wouldn’t be able to settle into our family. Thankfully another exercise elevated my fears. We asked to to do a Family Finding exercise, where we had a biography of a Looked After Child and had to find the best family match out of three families. One of the points we were asked to consider was the fact that the child loved cuddles and adult attention. One of the family bios specifically said they were reserved in their physical affection to each other whereas the other two families both had it written that they loved to cuddle.

Reading those bios gave me a happy glow, but also made me understand the importance of getting our home study right. Whilst the fear regarding the home study and social worker visited is that they will be intrusive, I finally understand why.  We need a child who wants cuddles and can deal with the affection they will get on a daily basis.

Even though they say love isn’t enough, it’s a start…