I had a conversation recently with someone about how an adopted child could seem very settled and content with their life only for it to go horribly wrong when the teenage years hit. My point was that the trauma they suffered in their early lives can come back and hit them when they reach that age. The teenage years are when we discover a lot about ourselves and the type of person we want to be, and our past can play a huge role in that.
Dear Son, As I write this we have just become your longest ever home and I look back to see how far you have come, how much you have changed since that day when we first met you. Not only you though, as I have changed too. The day that I was first called ‘Dad’ will forever be stuck in my mind, how a nervous man walked into a stranger’s home and had his life changed forever. Walking tentatively through the door, we could hear your social worker chatting with your foster carer. You were still eating your lunch, which
Another break from my normal post. I’m sure many parents feel like they are pretending when they first get the role, whether they are biological children or adopted children. For adopters you have a difficult first few months where you have many professionals questioning many of the things you do. You are not the sole parents of your children as the local authority still has parental rights over them until the adoption order goes through. You can’t do many things without their permission, so it does sort of feel like you aren’t real parents.
I read somewhere once that when you have a child you will put on about half a stone in weight. This was directed at parents who have biological children rather than adopting them, but I can certainly see how it is possible.
Right from day one whenever anything has gone well with our parenting it has felt like a bit of an accident. Conversely, when things go badly or wrong, it has felt like we are failing or sabotaging ourselves by not doing something right – what though is anyone’s guess!
Boundaries: The saviour of parents throughout the world. A way of teaching children the rules of society, right from wrong, what is acceptable and what is not. A way to make sure they learn to keep themselves safe. Right? Not always.
During Stage 1 of the adoption process we were asked to create what was called an “Eco-map” to represent the family, friends and co-workers who we thought made up the network of people who would support us during the approval process and after we adopted our child/children. When we were thinking about who to put on the map we didn’t really have to do so too hard. We both have quite close-knit families so brothers, sisters, mums, dad, and grandparents immediately went on to it without a second thought. We then considered extended family and put a few aunts, uncles,
Someone much wiser than me once told me that throughout our parenting our children will constantly test the boundaries that we have put in place just to make sure that they are still there, to see if they can get around or breach them. She referred to it as “testing the electric fence to ensure it is still switched on”. Even our far more limited experience of being parents tells us this is true, no more so than the last few weeks.
Recently I felt the need to back off from writing new blog posts for a little while, it has seemed like a long time, but actually it has only been about 10 days. That seems to have been enough time for the mushy brain which I have developed of late to re-solidify and start firing on the majority of cylinders again.
Maybe I’ve picked a slightly more emotive title for this post than it actually deserves, I do only have toddlers at the moment who haven’t quite grasped the full concept of what friendship actually is. They are learning though, and that is what this is about.