New Year, New… Expectations?

New years’ celebrations have always been a bit anticlimactic in my mind. I’ve never celebrated the incrementing of that last digit of the date by one. The transition of 1999 to 2000 was celebrated by me being in bed with flu. There are often too many expectations that come with moving from the end of one year to the start of the next. I’ve never really understood why, in my mind it’s just the start of another day. All the problems that existed on the 31st December are still there on the 1st January, as is everything else. I’ve never

It Hurts

My son hurts. He tries so hard to follow the rules, to do the right thing. He doesn’t always get it right. He used to spread his hurt to others. Backwards headbutts, hitting, kicking, biting, hurting. Now he tries to stop himself; it’s a visible struggle. When he does wrong, especially when it’s accidental, his instant reaction is to lash out. He’s learning to contain it, to control it, but his anger, his shame has nowhere to go. He screams, he cries, he thumps his hands up and down, until he contains them in his mouth. He doesn’t hit, he

I Have Adopted Siblings

This week is National Adoption Week 2017, the focus this year is on sibling adoptions which makes sense given that apparently 61% of children in care waiting to be adopted are deemed to need to be placed with a sibling. I have adopted siblings, we adopted them from care. Like most sibling groups they went through a ‘sibling assessment’ to see whether they should be adopted together or apart. Many people with children will wonder why on earth that would be required, why would it ever be in their best interests to split them? Well there are reasons which I’m

Making A Difference?

Today I feel like I’ve made more of a difference for some families than I ever have before. I was in a confidential meeting so I can’t discuss much about it, but the topic of post-adoption support came up. In that meeting I was the only ‘service user’ present, so I was the only person who was able to present any information from an adopter’s point of view. The others were either independent people with nothing much to do with adoption (professionally, at least) or social workers. There were two things I said which I think made an impact: “There

Unrealised Potential

I think it is sometimes very easy to think of our adopted children as broken, and the recent calls for extra support to be given probably hasn’t helped that concept one little bit. I don’t think looking at it that way is helpful, our children aren’t broken and to label them a such creates a detrimental stigma. Sometimes,┬áthough, they do need a bit of extra help and understanding to meet their potential. Maybe certain processes that work so well for 90% of children need to be changed or adapted to mean that children from a trauma background are able to

The Support Plan

As adoptive parents we are presented with what is called a “Support Plan” at a reasonably early stage. Our adoption agency does this shortly before Matching Panel┬áso that the plan can be presented to the panel and forms part of the decision as to whether the parents are a good match for the children. Often the type of support detailed in the plan will vary based on the knowledge and skills of the prospective parents.

School: The First Week

Last week my Eldest son started his formal education at the school we chose for him last year after visiting it. Since January he had been itching to start, frequently asking “how many days until I start school?”, occasionally getting himself in a bit of a grump when we replied with a number that was a little too big for him to imagine. We had no doubt that he was ready to start school. When he is feeling secure he comes across as quite a mature little boy, he loves reading and is not frightened to use words that he