Posted tagged ‘adoption process’

No one said it would be this hard

September 15, 2014

This is going to be a very honest post and will seem very odd after my last post. Yes, things are going really well. Yes, my boys have very few issues (currently!). Yes, everyone is happy with how things are going. Yes, I wouldn’t change it for the world. BUT – there have been some really difficult times.

I remember a day early into placement where I spent the entire evening crying over nothing. I decided that I just couldn’t do it and was distraught that I had let the boys down. It lasted about an hour and after a chat with a friend I calmed down but at that moment I really didn’t know how to carry on. It seems ridiculous when I look back but I was overwhelmed by spilled drinks, wet pants and noisy children.

I got over it, it was only a blip and I’m sure there will be more of them to come but I think it stemmed from how difficult it is to have adoptive children placed, particularly older children.

I can only admit it now, because things have improved so much, but for most of the first month I didn’t like my oldest boy. He had a fully developed (and intense) personality and I just found it so difficult to bond with him. We muddled along and I did all the right ‘faking’ but everything he did seemed to annoy me. Then, I felt incredibly guilty for not liking him and that just made it worse and worse. I didn’t feel I could talk to anyone about it, because they wouldn’t understand and would judge me as a bad parent or maybe even end the placement! I had honestly decided that I would just have to live with only having one child that I liked and another that I tolerated. How awful! It is really difficult to write down because I do feel terribly guilty about it. I think it’s important to be honest because other people adopting may have similar feelings and I’d known someone who had felt the same way.

Then, one day recently we were eating breakfast and he started being silly (which would usually have my blood boiling and me biting my tongue) but it made me laugh out loud. I laughed at his silliness and realised how things were starting to change. Slowly but surely, this has happened more and more and I realise that I do like him and I know that one day soon I will love him and I can’t wait for that day.

I wish I’d known how difficult it is to bond and I wish that other people (outside of adoption) could understand how difficult it is to suddenly have 2 strangers living in your house!

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Time flies

September 15, 2014

I haven’t updated for a while because I have been just a little bit busy. I feel a bit bad as some of the key times have been missed but children really do keep you busy!

All in all, my experience has been very positive. Move in day (on a Saturday – thank you social worker) went smoothly and everything felt very natural right from the start. I think this is largely a testament to the fantastic work the social worker and foster carer had done with the boys before the move. They, mostly, understood what was going on and were ready to move on. There have been some tough times which I intend to write another post about but largely I can’t complain.

The boys have lived here for over a month now and things get better every day. In fact, just the other day I overheard them talking to each other and they said something which I say all the time. That certainly put a smile on my face – definitely my children!

We had our first placement review and everyone is really happy with how things are going. We continue to have support from the behaviour team but this is mainly as a precaution for expected attachment difficulties rather than feeling hugely necessary.

I will try and update the blog with key dates (like the second review later this year) but sometimes there’s not much to say. We get up and have breakfast and do things that every family does so there isn’t much to tell in the respect.

Time really does fly when you’re having fun 🙂

Midway review

August 6, 2014

Today was the midway review – to see how things are going with introductions and make any necessary changes.

I must admit I really like the opportunity to talk to people who ‘get’ adoption and TELL me I should be stressed and finding it hard. Not that my friends don’t understand but I feel there is more expectation from them for being to be loving every second.

We chatted about how things are going and everyone seemed very positive. There is some concern that things are dragging and this is starting to confuse the littlest man. For this reason, it was decided to bring move day forwards.

So as long as everything goes well over the next 2 days then my little ones will be home    this Saturday. Fingers crossed!

Introductions – week 1 summary

August 6, 2014

Well I survived the first week of introductions and I’m not going to lie it has been tough (in some ways).

Spending time with the boys has been wonderful and generally easy – although there has been some pushing of boundaries and getting to know how to manage them (which isn’t always easy!). The first few days I felt happier and more confident with each passing hour but after about the third day I found things really tough. This is not because of the boys in any way but because of the really strange experience that is ‘introductions’.

Being in a stranger’s house 24/7 is never easy but you muddle on through – everyone knows that it has to be done. But as time passed on, and I took on more responsibility, I just felt more and more in the way and ready to move things on. There is generally nothing to do in someone else’s house but sit and play (or watch) the boys and after a few days this gets a little monotonous. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful or unhappy but think it’s important to be honest.

I spent just over a week in someone else’s way and am now thrilled to be starting the second week where the boys will be spending more and more time at my house. I am hopeful that things will start to feel more real and also more relaxed (which will hopefully mean I’m not quite so tired).

Introductions are as tiring as everyone says they are but I was surprised at how awkward they can feel. I am very ready for the next stage though and I know that the past week has been very helpful in that respect.

Matching panel

July 11, 2014

Well this week it all became official – I got a yes at matching panel and will soon be a mummy to 2 very gorgeous little boys!

I found the experience terrifying but oddly a little less stressful than approval panel.

When I arrived, I was shown into a waiting room and the panel chair came and introduced herself. She explained how the process was work and it was almost exactly the same as approval panel. Then I waited while they looked through the notes and chose some questions.

Finally, I was called in to answer some questions with both my social worker and the boys’ social worker. The questions were mostly as expected – why these boys? How will you cope if they have trouble bonding with you? How will you meet their individual needs? I thought I answered the questions well and after about 10 questions was asked to leave while the social workers were asked some things separately.

The social workers followed me after only a couple of minutes, which I was told was a good sign. Then the true waiting began but honestly, I felt quite positive.

Eventually the chair came out and told me that it was a unanimous yes. Then she went through a list of Barbour 10 reasons they felt it would be a match which was a really lovely touch. She also thanked me for coming forward to adopt the boys which was also a lovely thing to say.

All in all, despite the nerves, it was a very positive experience. I enjoyed it more than approval panel and now just can’t get my head around the fact that I am going to be a mum. When will it start to feel real?

 

 

Meet the (foster) parents

July 5, 2014

Next step – meet the foster carers.

At this point, I went through a huge transformation. The boys are no longer just bits of paper but real REAL children who I have seen hundreds of photographs of and I’m starting to get a good idea of what they are.

I was fortunate that the social worker and foster carers took control as I was overwhelmed with information and couldn’t think of anything to ask. They just talked about how they found the boys, an idea of their daily routine, any expected challenges etc.

Overall, I would describe it as exciting but very overwhelming. There is a real need to start thinking practically (like how do they sleep, any tips) but I just want to know the fun things still.

I got to see lots of photographs which brought them to life a lot. Up until this point, I had only seen one photograph and it was pretty poor. Now I’ve seen more, I wonder if they choose terrible photographs on purpose. I wish I had been able to take a photograph away but never mind, hopefully it will be taking photographs of my own soon!

Meet the school

July 5, 2014

Panel date is looming and I have been to lots of appointments to find out a ton of information about the boys.

first stop – school.

Biggest boy has been at the same school since he first began school when he was still living with birth parents. It was really interesting to hear about how things have changed for him throughout his life and how confident they are that adoption is what is needed.

Rather than focusing on academics, they gave me an overview of him as a child. The way they talked about him was lovely and they are clearly very attached to him. He has difficulties, as children with difficult starts so often do, but they describe him as having huge potential.

I was incredibly nervous before the meeting as I didn’t know what to expect and it was very surreal to meet people that knew the boys. I couldn’t help but feel slightly ‘vetted’ like they were deciding whether they thought I was good enough for him.

Thankfully it was a positive experience and went a little way towards making the boys feel very real.