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All posts for the month May, 2012

Hopes and Dreams

Published May 31, 2012 by thefamilyof5

I’m not sure when it happened. It wasn’t a ‘light bulb’ moment, it was more of a ‘creep up on you gradually’ kind of thing. I’m talking of course about the realisation that being a Mommy wasn’t going to be what I expected, or dreamed of.

Before our girls were placed, and. even during those first few weeks, I dreamed of baking cakes, making hand puppets, reading stories, and chatting. The reality of it is, I can’t do any of these things with my girls. What starts off as fun, soon spirals in to a frenzy of craziness. As much as they crave my attention, once they have it, they find it too intense to handle. Their excitement turns to fear and the ‘fun’ soon dissipates. We spend many hours enjoying ‘intense free’ family time running about in the park where they don’t have to touch me and they don’t have to make eye contact, maybe this is why they love parks so much?!

My girls have been hurt by one mummy, so they’re not about to let it happen to them again. ‘Doing things with Mummy is just too risky’. There’s a chance I might make them love me, and they learnt early on that loving someone hurts! So they surround themselves by an impenetrable fortress and hide together, there’s safety in numbers, behind their huge walls in order to protect themselves from my love. They’ve pushed me away so many times that I’ve even managed to build my own little wall now making the task of bonding even harder.

In the mean time I have to sit back, behind their fortress and my own freshly constructed wall watching everyone else enjoy doing ‘my dreams’ with my daughters. The baking, the making, the cuddles, the stories and the chats are not for me. I cook, I clean, I clothe, I discipline, I reward, I give, give and give some more whilst everyone else reaps MY rewards.

My girls don’t trust me. They’re so filled with fear and trauma that right now there’s no room inside them for love.

I understand why this is. I know that it may not always be this way, and with plenty of time, love and patience, their broken hearts could heal.

Knowing this doesn’t make it any easier or make me feel any less inadequate.

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Who I am

Published May 29, 2012 by thefamilyof5

I seem to have lost myself somewhere along this journey of ours.
Something as simple as song reminded me today that I’d forgot who I am.

I am confident, on the outside but not so much inside
I am funny, at least I think so 🙂
I am very sarcastic, which you’ve probably noticed by now
I am a big thinker, some call it over thinking
I am an avid reader of girly books
I am organised beyond belief
I am caring and kind
I am a lover of animals
I am Dyslexic
I am spontaneous
I am emotional
I am considerate, sometimes too much
I am asthmatic
I don’t drink alcohol, but only because I can’t find anything I like
I am independent, sometimes too much
I am determined, when I put my mind to it
I am also lazy, ask my husband
I have a good sense of humour, good job really
I am generous, mostly 😉
I can be selfish, but when it comes to chocolate who isn’t eh
I am resourceful
I have a need to be liked
I don’t handle rejection well
I love to talk, not everyone wants to listen though 🙂
I don’t like confrontation
I’m scared of anything ‘fire’
I am quite knowledgeable, just not about anything useful
I love chocolate
I have a phobia of injections
I love the colour blue although I’m warming towards pink too
I’m scared of spiders
I don’t know how I feel about religion
I don’t understand politics or pensions
I love to shop online, I have the potential to become a shopaholic
I love bargains, lucky considering the above
I love romance
I’m in love with Vin Diesel, its the muscles I think
I’m scared of dying, will it hurt
I grew up with Barbara Streisand and Meat loaf, not literally of course
I love a good debate
I’m too lazy to exercise but I’d love to be slim again
I love to loose myself in loud music
I love to drive fast, Shhhh
I put everyone before myself
I am a loyal friend
I’m addicted to Facebook
I love everyone in my family, even the difficult ones
I like only one part of myself, my eyes
I don’t forgive easily, sadly its just not one of my strengths
I always dreamed of being a wedding planner, as well as a millionaire

And now

I am a Mummy

I need to remember that being a Mummy doesn’t replace who I am, it just enhances who I am.
Its so easy to loose yourself amongst all the trauma and parenting stuff.

My Reply from Tim Loughton The Children & Families Minister

Published May 28, 2012 by thefamilyof5

If you didnt see the letter I emailed 3 weeks ago, you can read it here.

I received an emailed reply today from a ‘no reply’ email address, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Dear Mrs (name removed)
Thank you for your email of 4 May to the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families about post adoption support. As you will appreciate Tim Loughton receives a vast amount of correspondence and is unable to reply to each one personally. It is for this reason that I have been asked to reply.I was sorry to hear that you felt the post adoption support was inadequate. I appreciate this must have been upsetting. You may be interested to know that the Government has recently given adoption renewed impetus as a route to a permanent family for children who have often experienced sustained neglect and abuse, it is vital that local authorities consider very carefully the support that adoptive families need. Providing good quality support does not only help keep families together but can also encourage more people to come forward to adopt.

The Government recognises how valuable support services are to adopted and looked after children who may have been traumatised from neglect or abuse by their birth parents. Local authorities are required to make available a range of adoption support services. This is a crucial element of the statutory framework introduced by the Adoption and Children Act 2002, and is based on the recognition that adopted children and their families are likely to have significant needs.

Each local authority is required to maintain a core set of adoption support services which include financial support; therapeutic services for adopted children; and services to support the relationship between the adopted child and their adoptive parents.

Adopted children and their families are entitled to an assessment of their need for adoption support services. The provision of adoption support is discretionary, but in deciding whether to provide support, a local authority must take into account the individual circumstances of each case as well as the resources that are available locally.

Local authorities are required to have an Adoption Support Services Adviser whose role is to give out advice and information to those affected by adoption regarding the services that are available within the local area and how to access those services.

You may be aware that local authorities are required to have procedures for dealing with complaints and representations about the exercise of their social services functions. Should you wish to make a complaint, local authority contact details are available via the web link: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Dl1/Directories/Localcouncils/AToZOfLocalCouncils/index.htm .

You will be interested to know that the Department has recently commissioned the University of Bristol to carry out research into the rate of and reasons for breakdowns in adoption and the extent to which the provision of adoption support has an impact on the success of an adoption. The findings from this research will inform the development of future policy proposals.

Also, an Expert Working Group was set up in December to help rethink the adoption system for prospective adopters. The Group’s report Redesigning Adoption has been published, along with the Government’s action plan for adoption, on the Department’s website at: http://www.education.gov.uk/childrenandyoungpeople/families/adoption/a00205069/action-plan-for-adoption-tackling-delay .

With regard to medical records, under the duties of an adoption agency, in respect of proposed placement of child with prospective adopter, in the Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005 Part 5, where an adoption agency is considering placing a child for adoption with a particular prospective adopter (“the proposed placement”) the agency must – (in your case (name removed) County Council)

(a) provide the prospective adopter with a copy of the child’s permanence report and any other information the agency considers relevant. The report includes name, date of birth, sex, weight and height and a full health history of the child.

You may be interested to see details of the information to be included in the child’s permanence report at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2005/389/schedule/1/made .

I hope this information is helpful and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family every success for the future.

As part of our commitment to improving the service we provide to our customers, we are interested in hearing your views and would welcome your comments via our website at: www.education.gov.uk/pcusurvey .

Yours sincerelyLesley O’Connor
Public Communications Unit

It’s just not the same.

Published May 27, 2012 by thefamilyof5

In the adoption world the worst thing someone can say to an adoptive/foster parent is ‘all kids do that’.

I had a call last night from a very good friend but before I tell you about that, let me tell you a little about her.

She’s a mom of 3 children, her eldest is a son and then she has slightly younger son/daughter twins. The majority of her early parenting years were tough and the rest even tougher as a single parent of 3 young children. Money was tight and times were hard. She’s faced hardship, poverty, isolation and loneliness. She’s been judged and criticised by society, as were many single parents in those days, she received very little help or support but always managed put her children and their needs before her own and always found the time and energy for happiness. She remarried some years later and her husband joined her side in raising her 3 children. She always speaks fondly of her memories, even those from the tougher times. She has some fantastically heart warming stories that she shares. Her children are all grown up now and have ‘fled the nest’. They’re all well adjusted, mature and responsible adults.
A few years ago she and her husband decided that they’d like to put their wealth of experience to use and foster. Over the last few years they’ve fostered many difficult traumatised children. They currently have a long term placement with 2 children.

She rang me last night after a ‘difficult’ day. Her first words were ‘its not the same and don’t let anyone tell you it is’.

Our traumatised kids DO do the same sorts of things as secure children, but on a whole different scale and for a whole different reason. They leak trauma, they manipulate and they control. Its intense, its extreme and its constant. Its just not the same and there really is nothing that it can be compared to.

So the next time you compare your well adjusted, secure child’s behaviour to that of your friends, traumatised adopted/fostered child’s behaviour. Please keep those thoughts to yourself, because until you’ve experienced parenting one of our children first hand, you can’t fully understand.
That doesn’t mean your friend doesn’t need you, in fact they probably need you now more than ever. You don’t have to understand to be able to support. Empathy comes so easy when you remove judgment.

The late spring clear out

Published May 22, 2012 by thefamilyof5

So summer jumped out on us today, it was quite a surprise!

I spent the first part of the morning rushing round sorting out summer uniform to replace the regular uniform I’d prepared the night before.

I spent the final part of the afternoon rushing round searching for shorts and t-shirts to replace the combats and hoodies left out from the day before.

I spent my evening sorting out 7 drawers of clothes so that next time I’m rushing and hunting for something to suit the weather, I’ll at least be able to open the drawers without huffing and puffing and screaming profanities in my head!

I’ve concluded my girls have way too many clothes and that really all they need is 3 outfits, one for summer, one for winter and one for party’s, that’s reasonable isn’t it! 😉 and don’t even get me started on their endless supply of coats, rain macs and jackets, and then there’s the shoes, pumps, boots, trainers, sandals, party shoes!

Theres no other explanation for it, I appear to be raising Diva’s!

Running out of Idea’s!

Published May 21, 2012 by thefamilyof5

For quite some time now we’ve been having some issues with our middle girl. Most of you are probably sat there thinking ‘ahhhh middle child syndrome’ and maybe your right.

My middle girl has always been the easier of my three. Dont get me wrong, she’s been traumatized, suffered loss and is poorly attached. My hopes are that CAMHS will help her address her feelings. But for now she appears to have the most ‘normal’ reactions and thoughts to things. I’ve always described her as ‘the least of my worries at the moment’ because her behaviour has always been age appropriate and pretty dam good really. She is the biggest achiever and gets the most positive attention I feel. She’s never in trouble at school and always has something to be proud of i.e class award, swimming certificate, dancing award etc

So why have things changed!? It started a few months ago around the time I blogged about Lies from her and since then it seems to have just been a continuous cycle of poor behaviour with me pulling my hair out trying to break the cycle!? don’t get me wrong, she isn’t doing anything too serious, these are small misbehaviour’s but they’re every day, not the sort I can just ignore and such a contrast to her usual behaviour. We’ve tried sticker charts, we’ve tried incentives aka bribery, we’ve praised her when she’s made good choices, we’ve tried grounding, we’ve tried confiscating, we’ve tried early nights, loosing privileges/clubs etc nothing works and now we’re running out of idea’s.

I brought the girls a magazine each tonight, you know the over priced ones with cheap toys stuck to the front, well coupled with a mid-week treat I’m using them as an incentive (aka bribe) to be good this week. I told them all about it tonight and they were all very excited and eager to get their treat Wednesday and magazine Friday. This is really only aimed at my middle girl but I have to include them all to make it fair.

She went to bed early tonight as punishment for an incident earlier today. I had a talk with her about making good choices and how she’s always been such a good girl so now needs to work really hard now to show mommy and daddy that she’s trying. We also talked about the magazine and how much she wants it. I tucked her in and left the room. Half an hour later I put my baby girl to bed. Within 10 minutes my middle girl had started to mess about and disturb my baby girl. I asked her why, and I got the usual reply ‘I dont know’.  I remember as a child sucking up to my mom when I’d been caught doing something, I remember at least trying to be good and wanting to please my mom. She’s presenting me with at least one behaviour at least once a day at the moment and I’m really not sure why or what else I can do about it.

I’d love to hear thoughts from my fellow adoption bloggers/readers/Parents and Carer’s?

The Fantastic Difficult Weekend

Published May 20, 2012 by thefamilyof5

Wow what a weekend we’ve had.

We took their girls to their first ever wedding, not any wedding but a family wedding in a cathedral. The bride looked stunning, the cathedral was beautiful.

The excitement started 2 months ago when I started buying outfits. I should have kept quiet about our plans and surprised them on the day, this tends to work much better. They woke super early the day of the wedding fit to burst. It was a day filled with lots of questions, lots of fidgeting, lots of crowds, lots of new faces and I’d guess lots of uncertainty for them, but also lots of smiles and looks of awe. They coped incredibly well considering how tired they were and how ‘new’ the experience was for them.

My baby girl asked during the ceremony prayers ‘will we sing happy birthday in a minute mummy?’ and they were all very interested to know when the ‘party food’ would be out, despite the fact that I’d kept them quiet during the ceremony with a mini picnic of ‘quiet’ snacks 🙂

So late nights all round couldn’t be avoided, lie in’s the following morning would have been nice, never mind.

Today was my nieces birthday party, they found out about it today. Lots of children, lots of dancing, lots of loud music it was a recipe for disaster for my already overwhelmed, over stimulated and exhausted little girls, but they did ok, it was a little difficult in parts but we survived, just!

Overall the weekend went well. My big girl has really enjoyed herself and taken in lots of new sight’s and information which i can see whirring its way round her little head. My middle girl seems to be testing a few boundaries lately, maybe someone told her about middle child syndrome or maybe she doesn’t like weddings and party’s anymore, who knows?!  My baby girl has had a lovely week and weekend and whilst she’s struggled with the busy events of this weekend, she’s managed to stay out of trouble and allow her cuteness to shine through!

 

 

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