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Ginny Moon – My Review 

Published June 1, 2017 by thefamilyof5

I was asked to write an honest review of Benjamin Ludwig’s new book Ginny Moon, published by @HQStories , I was sent a copy to review by Midas.

It’s been some time since I’ve read an actual whole book, usually I struggle to concentrate for more than a paragraph these days.  I often get asked to review books via my blog but I usually just say no, knowing I’ll never manage to read the book never mind write a review as well. For some reason though, this time, I said yes. I’m not sure why, I don’t think I even read the email fully before replying, my instinct was just to say ‘yes’.

The book arrived one Saturday morning, it was a lovely hard covered book with a real luxurious feel to it. It had that smell, you know the one, new books, oooh it’s lovely, I remembered it well. You don’t get that with a kindle/ebook, which is why I’ve never bought one.

I sighed when I saw how thick the book was though, “I’ll never get chance to read all this!” I told MrFO5. I sat down, feeling a bit sorry for myself, wishing I’d never said ‘yes’.
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There’s no slow introduction to the story or the characters, it jumps right in from the first line. The story is told from Ginnys perspective. The book consists of lots of dated, short chapters, which make it feel even more fast paced. It’s funny, sad, heartbreaking and gripping. It pulls you in with every word. By Saturday evening I was more than half way through the book, feeling quite proud of myself and desperate to read more. MrFO5 said I had to sleep though.

The story is about a 14 year old girl called Ginny. She lives with her adoptive parents, after at least 2 previous failed placements. Ginny is also autistic, which is portrayed brilliantly throughout the story. I found myself thinking about big girl a lot whilst I was reading this book, so I really got drawn in emotionally which made it even more enjoyable to read. Those of you that follow my blog will know that my girls are all adopted and autistic.

I had a few theories in my head about how the story would pan out from the off. My theories changed throughout the book as the story progressed and things became clearer or the plot took a path I wasn’t expecting. Despite a pleasing (I don’t want to say too much) end to the story, I felt sad when I finished it on Sunday (yes, it only took me 2 days!! I was utterly gripped and couldn’t put it down). I really enjoyed this book and wanted to read more. My love of reading is back, thanks to Benjamin Ludwig and of course Ginny Moon.

I can’t really tell you anything more about the story line without giving too much away, and that would just spoil it! So you’ll just have to read it! Its brilliant!
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I’m still here! :) 

Published March 14, 2017 by thefamilyof5

Those of you that don’t follow me on Instagram or Facebook/twitter may have been thinking I’d given up with my blogging. I haven’t. I’m still here. I just have less time to write these days.

The girls are outside playing in the sunshine with the children from our street, the hoovering is done, the surfaces are clean, the washing is drying and it’s too early to cook tea! So I thought I’d make the most of it and post a little update.

We won!! Our fight with the local authority for funding for tuition is over. 2016 was quite possibly my most stressful year ever. 2017 is looking much better. We have a tutor for 1 hour of maths and a tutor for 2 hours of English each week all funding through big girls EHCP and middle girl’s newly acquired EHCP. Which means I can spend more time being just ‘mom’ which is what my girls really need from me. Oh and we have more time for fun things like science and art and French, Oh and making chocolate bars like we did today 🙂

So things are really looking up for us all. A huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. We’re really beginning to truly ‘enjoy’ life again.

I was sitting here today, listening to the radio (and squeals and screeches from outside along with the rattle of scooters zooming up and down the street) and reading random deep and meaningful quotes about the meaning of life when it struck me. I fought for our family and I won. If I hadn’t, if I’d allowed us to continue on the path we were heading down, then I’m confident big girl would no longer be living with us. But she is, she’s here, and we’re all safe. And I did that! I stuck by her when she needed me to and I fought her corner for her. I endured her violence and aggression whilst protecting everyone else. I hope one day she is able to reflect and see how much she is loved. I hope she’s able to feel proud of herself and her family.

I know this is a bit of a jumbled up post, but I’m really going to try and post more regularly. I’ve really missed writing here, I find it very therapeutic to off load my brain to the poor unsuspecting readers of my blog 🙂 be grateful I didn’t do it much in 2016, it really wouldn’t have been a pretty sight! If you don’t follow my Instagram or Facebook pages, please do, I’ve been there a lot more than I have here.

My Special Assembly

Published January 10, 2017 by thefamilyof5

We had a special assembly today, some people came to visit.

Everyone was really excited to hear what it was about, but not me. I don’t really like it when strangers come in to school, it makes me feel all weird and scared inside, I don’t know why.

Anyway, today was no different, there was a man with a stripy T-shirt and a lady in a blue dress. I felt funny in my tummy. Mr Jones set up the big screen for them, everyone thought we were going to watch the new Disney film that came out in the cinema last week. But we didn’t.

 At first I wasn’t really sure what was happening, I heard lots of words but I couldn’t make sense of what they were saying, and then I realised. It was all about me! These people had come in to school to tell everyone about me. They told everyone about what it was like, you know, before I got adopted. They told everyone in my school that my birth dad used to hit me and my birth mom. They even told them about the times they both got drunk, I remembered how they did rude things to each others private parts that night, it was gross. Then they told everyone about the time they left me in the house by myself for the whole day, I was so hungry but I didn’t dare leave the house or cry, they’d have just got mad and hit me. Everyone was looking at me. I just looked down. I didn’t want to look up and see their eyes starring at me. My cheeks burned. I really wanted to cry but then they’d all laugh and think I was a baby. I just sat quietly and hoped they’d stop. But they didn’t. They got out the laptop next and showed a film. I took a peek. It wasn’t me in the film and I didn’t recognise any of the other people, but I knew It was about me. I just knew it. The man hit the lady and the little boy sat and cried, he was hiding under his bed. Just like I used to. It was definitely about me. I felt sick. I wanted to get up and run out, I wanted to ask my teacher if I could go to the toilet, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t trust her now. I thought she was my friend but she let these people tell everyone about me. My mom let this happen too, why would my mom tell them all of this stuff about me, why did she let this happen, how could she!! No one will ever want to be my friend now, they all know I’m bad.image-boy-ashamed

I didn’t talk to anyone for the rest of the day, I knew they were all sniggering and talking about me, they thought I didn’t know, but I did. When the bell went at the end of the day I got my bag ready super fast and ran outside to my mom who was waiting for me. I gave her the biggest hug, I wanted everyone to see that she loved me. When we got home I shouted at my mom, I shouted a lot. I told her how much I hated her, I hit her, Just like I saw my birth parents doing to each other. I was bad. She needed to see how bad I was!

My special assembly today was about Child Abuse and Neglect. The visitors in my school were from the NSPCC. My teachers hadn’t really thought much about me when they planned it, they didn’t consider how talking about such things would stir up my traumatic memories, or how I would feel hearing my life story being discussed in that way. My mom didn’t know about the assembly so when I went home and screamed at her and hit her, she had no idea why. She didn’t know how to help me because she didn’t know what was wrong. If the teachers in my school had listened to my mom and read the books that she suggested then they would have known what would happen and I wouldn’t be sat in my room crying now and my mom wouldn’t be sat in the lounge crying and bruised.

Events like this aren’t suitable for all children. Schools need to be better educated on the lasting effects of trauma and neglect so they can begin to have some insight in to how these things effect these children. A simple phone call to mum here would have allowed her to either prepare her child, or withdraw them. Because afterall, mum always knows best.

 

 

#SupportAdoption by Big Girl – Part 3 

Published October 21, 2016 by thefamilyof5

Following on from Wednesday National Adoption Week post part 1, and yesterday’s part 2, this is big girls piece. She decided to write a poem, which given that this time last year she was screaming at me that poems were stupid and she hated them, I think this shows how much she’s benefitted from home education.

She told me that adoption was amazing and she struggled to think about anything negative, she said it was good because our house was cleaner and quieter and brighter but her birth family home she remembers as being loud and dirty and dark. She worked super hard on making this look pretty and happy and lovely she said.

#SupportAdoption #NAW2016

#SupportAdoption by Baby Girl – Part 1

Published October 19, 2016 by thefamilyof5

It’s National Adoption Week! 

I never get time to blog these days so instead I asked my girls if they’d like to write something about adoption for the world to see. 

They said yes. I gave them a few ideas, I suggested a poem about adoption, or a few words about what adoption means to them, or even something important they’d like someone to read ie a social worker, a foster carer or another child. Remember these are girls that struggle to express emotions outside of the realms of ‘happy’ and ‘sad’, so this was a really big deal for them, especially thinking about negative thoughts and trying to find the words for those. It’s been something they all found really difficult but enjoyed. I think it’s also worth looking at the decoration they added to their pieces, I think their effort and enthusiasm to make it ‘pretty’ and ‘colourful’ speaks more than their words in some ways.

I’m going share their pieces of work with you over the next 3 days. So this is part 1 of 3.
This is baby girls, she said she wanted to write something for children who are about to be adopted so they didn’t feel scared, she told me that adoption is sometimes sad and happy at the same time, she explained the sadness from missing her foster carer and the happiness came from loving her new family. 

#supportadoption #naw2016 

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