Monday, 2 June 2014
Friday, 11 April 2014
Thursday, 20 March 2014
Tuesday, 11 February 2014
Wednesday, 5 February 2014
Tuesday, 28 January 2014
“Whilst watching Channel 4's recent documentary
"On Finding Mum and Dad " it would take a very insensitive person not to feel moved by the plight of brothers Connor and Daniel, 5 & 6 who have been in care for nearly two years, and Scott 7.
The programme focuses on a pilot scheme of Activity days to help the most difficult placed children.
My husband and I adopted two little girls about fifteen years ago. The girls were of similar age to the children in the film.
I found watching these children particularly poignant as I thought back to our past.
The complicated family situation and the number of siblings whom we agreed to have contact with had made them difficult to place.
Personally, although these activity days may be the way forward in today's Adoption world. I question whether I would have felt comfortable being involved in what I see as a very sensitive grey area whilst placing children especially with more complex needs.
It would appear that due to our government’s urgency to place children in a quicker time period, some of these children wouldonly suffer greater rejection and disappointment the more of these parties they attend.
I am sure the picture we were being painted showing the success of these days, may well encourage this practice to be part of the norm in a few years.
Being matched with children is a very small part of the reality of taking on children who have suffered early life trauma. One thing I can guarantee is that every child in that room will have already suffered their fair share of loss and rejection in their short lives.
Scott (7) had seen many other foster children in his home placed with new families, never mind the decision to place and separate him from his sister, as she was easier to adopt. We can only wonder at how that will effect him as he grows older.
We adopted two children who suffered that exact trauma .I can foresee only upset for both Scott and his sister for the rest of their lives.
We also witnessed a happy Adoption day for another couple.
My memory of that day was the wettest day you can imagine, being sneaked in through the back door due to the family contesting the Adoption Order. The girl’s social worker never turned up which delayed proceedings and Doctor death the court clerk kept us from taking things too lightly!!
I do realise a positive picture has to painted in these films or nobody would come forward to adopt. I also believe that Adoptive parents need to be aware that the in-depth preparation needs to be as thorough as possible. Being placed with your children is only the very beginning of what at times can be the biggest roller coast ride you may ever take in life.
Karen the boys foster carer was wonderful and I am sure without her input we would have seen yet another sibling separation.
Karen described nightmares, and stated the boys very rarely cried when they were first placed.
Those behaviors don't go away.
During times of change, especially when the children are first placed in a new home or when changes of routine occur in their everyday life all of those earlier feelings of insecurity will raise their ugly head. The new Adoptive parents will be left to unravel the maze of these volatile emotions. They will find that dramas follow them everywhere and picking up the pieces becomes their everyday reality.
I may sound very negative but I have been there.
I would like to think with the promise of support from Day one; today's Adoptive parents will have the resources and tools to deal with all eventualities.
My true feelings are very different.
Twenty-four hour support is just not possible.
What is underestimated is the effect these volatile episodes have on your own mental health.
Looking after yourselves in Adoption is vital.
I admit I was my own worst critic and my self- esteem, due to the constant volatile everyday changes often left me feeling pretty worthless and depressed.
Another point to remember is that these children are very clever and will find that very spot of sensitivity you carry and hit the spot with exact precision adding to your feelings of inadequacy every time.
I believe in this promised support package, Adoptive parents also need help. Help to deal with living on a constant knife-edge, never knowing when the next outburst may occur.
Help to recover after long periods of severe behavior problems.
Help also needs to be available to let go of any perceptions that you will ever have a perfect family life.
I talk a lot about rose tinted glasses in my blog posts. I believe as perspective new parents we wore the biggest, pinkest pair available.
There were no activities days when we adopted .I can still hear my husband’s very words on how he wanted to adopt girls because they are much easier.
Believe me I have never let him forget those words!
Our social worker almost stopped us looking at pictures of children.
We would easily be put off by bow ties, names or haircuts (Very Shallow!)
What would we have been like at an Activity day, with children ecstatic with excitement and dressed as Spider-Man?
Our girls had white blond hair and blue eyes. At an Activity party they would have been snapped up instantly.
What would have been omitted, was the Rage Reactive Attachment Disorder my oldest daughter was diagnosed shortlywith after placement. The grief they felt from being separated from their three older siblings .The grief that would occur every Christmas around the time they were placed and the heartache we would witness after sibling contacts and cancelled days out.
No we should never underestimate what Conner, Daniel and Scott feel whilst they wait for new parents. Every attempt must be made, no matter how bizarre it may look to us on the outside.
Maybe, just Maybe they will get a new family who will have the resilience, patience, trust and courage to fight those very authorities that placed the children.
Maybe just Maybe they will get every bit of the vital support they all deserve to allow them all a Successful chance of lasting the long haul on the Rocky path of Adoption in 2014.”
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