Saturday, 31 August 2013
Home A Safe place , not much for any child to ask.
A Safe Place ,is a very important place for children who have suffered early life trauma and find themselves in a care setting , foster home or with New Adoptive Parents .
When our girls were placed with us they had been in a foster placement for about two years .Their Foster parents did an amazing job preparing the children for life with a new family .
Initially we stuck to the strict routine that they had in place which helped the girls settle in to their new life with us .After a time ,we began to slacken up a bit ,very slowly as we felt the strict rules were not going to be suited to our way of life or the way we wanted to bring the girls up .
The girls had a very strict regime when they arrived .
Meals at set times , nothing between meals , baths and hair washes every night and bed .Story time and sleep . Although these boundaries helped the girls to feel safe , I did not feel children needed to be ruled as if in an Army camp and I personally feel a bit of dirt and bacteria on children is healthy .So bath times carried on , but hairwahes were cut down and if the children were really tired or sick forcing them to bath was just an extra stress .
After a while we began to form our own boundaries and finally the familiar phrase of " Uncle Barry didn't do it like that ' and ' Auntie Brenda says' finally began to fade into the distance .
Both of our girls were model pupils at school .In all the years they were with us Amy came across as a
Ideal pupil in class although friendship issues would arise and I was often called in to discuss her inability to form good relationships .
Trying to explain to some teachers the behaviour we were getting in the home was totally wasted as the compliant child they were working with was nothing like I was expressing .I began to feel neurotic that they didn't believe me .
Lauren, although far more outgoing ,was the teachers favourite . She was always laughing ,the class clown and popular with all her peers. Again friendships caused problems as she would cling to a special friend like glue and god help any other child who tried to intervene the partnership .
Most mornings ran like clockwork in our house as I ran a pretty tight ship ,with very little routine change .Unfortuantly Holidays were not so easy , teacher training days and class and teacher changes were another story . Adopted children cry out for strict boundaries and any upset in the usual routine was very stressful .
Unfortuantly evenings were a whole different ball game , picking my little lovelies up from school was a test to my sanity as it was almost as if someone flicked a switch and they were transferred into children from hell .
Homework caused massive upset and Amy's refusal to complete a homework diary nearly pushed me to the brink of insanity .
Finally after weekends of massive control battles I had to put my hands up and surrender .I could no longer put myself through the same fights every evening and weekend .I visited the school and advised the teachers that there would be no more homework entering our house.
Fortunately the teacher understood my predicament ,having adopted children herself and advised me she would keep Amy in over lunch for ten minutes a day to complete it .
Our social worker advised us it is better that the children act up with us and not at school and said it proved they felt safe to let of steam and trusted us to keep them safe .Beleive me it's no consalation
when you are suffering from exhaustion ,depressed an traumatised with the continual need of the children to be in control of everything and everybody around them .
Even as teenagers and young adults ,home is still the place they come to sound off .They pass their grievances to us and kick off ,when ever the latest drama arises .
Sometimes when I am caught unaware , I m still left with that same draining , exhausted feeling I had so often when they were little .
Hopefully if you are reading this and wondering why your children are so awful when at home and angels on the outsides ,this will confirm that your children feel safe enough to show you their worst inner anguish .Hard as it may be , I was almost relieved that I wasn't being dragged to the head every day ,and most people who invited them over after school found them charming and helpful .
Living with Adopted children is like being on a constant Roller Coaster , moods changing by the moment.
Provide a safe haven where they can learn to trust , release their inner pain without repercussions and slowly but surely they will begin to emerge from their inner prison and little glimmers that it was all worth it begin to shine through your frustrations and a bond that they know is always there for them know matter what begins to develop .That bond is priceless to your child .
IAmy has very kindly offered to write a short piece on her experience of Adoption ,another chance for me to reflect on how far she has come ...
I have decided to write on Disruption in my blog today. This week was a sad week as I heard that my very good friends finally could not do ...
I have thought a lot about how I am going to write about such a sensitive subject .There are so many theories and books written on attachmen...
The other day I asked my daughter Lauren to write me a few lines on how she felt growing up as an adoptee .I feel touched at the piece she w...
I have decided to write another post about Depression and how it can affect you when you Adopt children .Its Mental Health Awareness week an...
Yesterday I wrote on the girls behaviour that was emerging and I was going to discuss my Post Adoption depression. Please be patient , I wi...
I am writing this today as I am unable to apply myself to much and thought it might help me to reflect on how sad but truly grateful I am . ...
As I mentioned in my last post , I want to share how it felt to live with a child who had Rage Attachment Disorder and its not easy to talk ...
Last night like many of us I sat down to watch "Long Lost Family ", this was the third series and I settled myself down to be mov...
I decided to write this post as the world seems to have gone completely mad over a certain Royal baby born yesterday to William and Kate . I...