In a few months it will be 3 years since our girls came home.
How things have changed.
I thought we were prepared, I’d read lots of books, met other adopters, spent time researching attachment, adoption and general parenting topics.
We’d surrounded our selves with friends and family we thought would see us through the rough times, and we had even taken the time to help prepare them and give them information about the journey we were beginning.
We thought lots of cuddles, reassurance, skin to skin contact, plenty of ‘life story’ work and of course the all important eye contact would be enough. We thought, because we were told, a few months of intense bonding and you’ll feel like you’ve been a family forever.
We were so wrong.
Looking back, that first year, the year we thought was tough, was actually the easiest.
Now we have 3 children who are understandably still struggling with trauma. They’ll very likely continue to receive therapeutic support from CAMHS for many years to come.
We may always have attachment difficulties, they may always struggle with trust, compliance and fear.
This is not where we thought we’d be 3 years in to our journey.
We submitted a list of names to the agency during the approval process of people who we considered to be in our support network, people we thought would be there for us when things got tough. Well things are pretty tough now and most of those people have already disappeared from our lives. Some of those that we thought would be there for us, jumped at the first hurdle. Some are still clinging on and holding back the urge to tell us ‘your doing it all wrong’. And a select few special people have remained loyal and supportive throughout.
There are new names now that we could add to our support network, many of whom were sat in the background in the beginning but have now come forward to offer us support and understanding, and many of whom are adopters that we’ve been lucky enough to meet along the way most of whom we now call our friends.
We’re not the family we thought we’d be, we don’t do the things we thought we would, some of our friends and family weren’t the people we thought they were and we’re not the parents we thought we’d be.
Nothing is as it was, and nothing is as we thought it would be.
There really is nothing that can fully prepare you for life as an adoptive parent.