girls

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36 Appointments Later!

Published May 20, 2011 by thefamilyof5

Over the last 10 months we (we meaning I) have attended 36 adoption related appointments and meetings!

Reality has hit!
Since the girls arrival 10 months ago we’ve shared so many great and memorable moments such as their 1st firework display, our first family Christmas and birthdays and of course Mothers Day. We’ve taken over 3000 photo’s, so glad they invented digital camera’s, imagine how many films that would have been!

We’ve also shared lots of hard times and struggles, strops and sulks, controlling, manipulative, emotional behaviours, outbursts and tantrums and plenty of tears, many of which were mine. All 3 girls are currently under a specialist of some description. All 3 girls have their own sets of issues and problems and all 3 girls have very differing needs.

All 3 girls smile a lot! Mommy has lots of grey hair but is still smiling and Daddy as always is still taking it all in his stride! 🙂

I’ve been lucky enough to have the support of my family and close friends, strangers have become ‘family’ over the months and some family/friends have become ‘strangers’. Its funny how things change when times are tough but i’ve learnt that you should surround yourself with people who will love and support you through life. Those that disappear during the lows are not ones you can depend on. Dependable friends and family are a necessity if you want to avoid a breakdown of some description, oh and chocolate helps to!

Being an adoptive Mum is……………..

Published May 20, 2011 by thefamilyof5

Over the months i discovered a lot……………

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…feeling guilty about not being the best Mum I could be every second of every day

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…working out that the adoption process puts the needs of the birth family before the needs of the children; the adopters are the poorest relations

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…having your affection bought

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…draining, traumatic, exhausting, guilt-ridden, harrowing…

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…saying the same thing every day at the same time to the same children about the same things. I know it does take time for things to sink in – but surely????

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…realising that you need life story work too

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…when all the kids sleep all the way through the night on one of those very rare occasions and the pair of you are up all night with coughs and colds – doh!

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…waking up in the night on the half hour every hour and straining your ears for the slightest noise. Which is a bit silly really because if they want something they sure as heck make enough noise to wake up the neighbourhood!

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…all about being a therapist to your child, not just a Mum.

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…hard on your current relationships. Sometimes too hard.

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…dealing with everyones expectations for you to be loving every second of motherhood when the reality is sometimes it can suck.

Being an adopted mum is…

…losing old friends but gaining new.

Being an adoptive mum is…

…having someone from SS knowing everything about you, mortgage, income, sex life the lot.

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…faking it until you make it. Again, sage advice from someone on the Adoption UK message boards

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…very difficult when you have to behave consistently with all three children, when you don’t like one of them very much and you don’t want to give them a kiss and a hug. But you HAVE to do it and make it not look fake. Remembering to make sure they are not the last one to be kissed. Constantly trying to see it from their point of view and working out if they can see you faking it. It’s very draining.

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…like being in an arranged marriage – with three people. Sadly, it can be very difficult to love or even like them all. Sometimes it can take years to like them and you may never love them.

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…only having had 1.5 hours quality time with your husband in six months

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…being told that re-parenting is a much bigger job than parenting, and then realising it every day

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…realising that our oldest child has been a child for five years and we have been parents for five months, so we have a lot of catching up to do

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…becoming a different person; suddenly you are calling your husband ‘Daddy’, your Dad ‘Granddad’, your Mum ‘Granny’, your sister ‘Auntie’, your brother ‘Uncle’ and you are calling yourself your Mum. At first it’s funny, and you have a laugh correcting yourself or the children correct you and they think it’s funny too. It is also unnerving because you lose your identity overnight. Birth parents lose their identity slowly as the child learns to speak, you lose it instantly

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…hard during the first year when everyone else says, “Oh we did this last Christmas with the children.” “We did that at Halloween with the kids.” “Our babies loved their summer holidays at the same place.” When you have no history, you have no ‘family’, it takes time to build it up. Eventually you become a family through the experiences you all have TOGETHER

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…realising that hard times call for fast friends

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…realising when it’s too late that adoption is not a cure for childlessness, it’s all about parenting traumatised children

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…knowing the difference between a time-out and a time-in / toddler tantrum and a little nero tantrum / attachment and bonding / life story book and life story work

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…about being lied to

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…hearing your daughter crying in the night and not being able to understand what she is saying, night after night after night…

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…having a typical 30 minutes multi-tasking in the afternoon: keeping an eye on the children, refereeing squabbles, changing nappies, writing shopping lists, supervising loo trips, talking to social workers, confiscating toys – all whilst cooking the tea!

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…feeling guilty every day about not being the perfect mother, or the mother you thought you might be, or even feeling that you are being “good enough”

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…crying every day

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…being diagnosed with Post-Adoption Depression

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…not knowing what your child looks like when you pick them up from school because you have only known them for eleven days and you have to wait until you can see their face full on before you recognise them.

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…being called ‘Mummy’ for the first time

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…finding our who your friends and family really are.

Being an adoptive Mum is…

…about choosing your battles. Trouble is, you don’t know what battles are important and the learning curve is HUGE 😦

(This post was inspired by lots of members of the AUK boards)

The beginning!

Published May 20, 2011 by thefamilyof5

We were greeting for the very 1st time by the girls with screams of ‘mummy’ and ‘daddy’ as they threw their arms around us! ‘Bizarre’ is probably the most appropriate word I can use to describe how this felt.

Over the next week and a half under the scrutiny of the foster carer and social workers we got to know our girls, not the real them, just the bits they felt brave enough to let us see.

At the end of the introduction period we packed up our girls and a few of their things in the car, they said good bye to their old lives and we began the long drive home to begin our lives as a new family.

The journey went quite smoothly considering, it actually passed quite quickly, in fact so did the next few weeks, I don’t remember much about those early weeks except having to keep pinching myself to check I wasn’t dreaming, and reminding myself every few minutes that I was a Mommy now and my husband, that I’d had all to myself for so long, was now their Daddy.

And then we were 5!

Published May 20, 2011 by thefamilyof5

One sunny Monday morning in 2010, we met our 3 beautiful daughters for the first time! Over night we’d gone from being just a couple to becoming a fully fledged family of 5! It was the most exciting and terrifying day of our lives, it was the beginning of our family!

It was 5 months prior to that day on the 5th February 2010 that we’d spotted our girls in an adoption publication and contacted their social worker by email for the 1st time, its was a long 4 days before she replied asking to know more about us.  We exchanged many emails and telephone conversations over the coming weeks until they decided they liked us and wanted to meet us on the 30th March 2010. During that visit we were gutted to learn that they were also considering another couple as a prospective family for the girls, there was competition, we had to impress them!

We did! on the 19th April we got THE phone call to say we’d been chosen! I remember it well, we hadn’t expected to hear anything for another week but unbeknown to us they’d brought the meeting forward. I was hoovering as the phone rang, when i heard the voice of our social worker on the other end of the line my heart began to race, i have no idea what she actually said, i just grasped that we’d been chosen, i burst in to tears and said i needed to call my husband who was just as emotional and rushed home from work to celebrate/panic/cry etc etc with me!

There was so much to do, so much to prepare, so much pink to buy!

After reading many reports, buying lots of pink and painting we arranged a time to travel to the girls home town and meet with their teachers and carers on the 19th May 2010.

We travelled down on the 18th May 2010 and had a very restless night. The following morning we met with our social worker and the girls social worker and family finder. The day had been planned and we had a strict timetable to follow with lots of important people to meet, it was exhausting but just lovely to hear all about the girls and what they were like. We were also given some photo’s of them to take away and a DVD that we could share with our family’s. Needless to say it was played over and over!

On the 21st June 2010 we were officially matched with our girls, we were over joyed!

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