A few months back our home became our youngest’s longest home. I said then it would be quite a while before our oldest could celebrate the same occasion. That is still technically true, but it depends on how you define your ‘home’. Is it the people you live with? The place you live? Or a combination of the two?
For me I would consider it to be a combination of the two things, my ‘home’ even after I moved into my own house was the place I grew up with where my parents lived. I lived there for 22 years of my life before I bought my own house and moved out. As it happens my partner and I bought that house from my parents a few years ago and my old family home is now my current family home, so that 22 years has become 25 years and that will continue going up for the foreseeable future. The last 3 years have been quite different to the first 22 though, but throughout it all it was and is my home.
Defining my home is very easy, in my life I have lived in 5 different houses, in 2 of those houses I was looked after by my parents, in the others I looked after myself (OH may disagree!).
For adopted children this isn’t always as easy to define. In a Child Permanence Report (CPR) which we are given early on in the process, it shows all the known places that a child has lived. When we adopted our oldest child he was just over 2 and a half years old. He had already lived in 8 different places – that’s nearly twice as many as me and I’m approaching (or already in) middle-age. The longest place he had lived was for the first 10 months of his life after which he moved many times and none of those places I would consider a home except the second longest place he lived which was at his most recent foster placement.
So where does that leave him? He has lived with us in our house longer than any other place, so if you define ‘home’ as the place you live and the people you live with then where he is now is the longest home he’s ever had.
We may not be the people he has lived with the longest yet, but our house is now the longest place he has lived.
As with youngest though, there’s no sign of him noticing. Maybe it has registered in his subconscious somewhere, but there hasn’t been any outward signs of it. He is progressing well, he is keeping himself dry throughout the night without any intervention from us by taking himself to the potty if required. He is growing up.