Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO Week 145

It’s Friday, and that means it’s time once again for the fabulous Weekly Adoption Shout Out!

Week 145Welcome back to another week of blogs on and around adoption. It’s a theme free week this time, so come and link up your best, favourite or most recent posts and we’ll endeavour to share as many as we can through our social media channels. It’d be great if you could share some too.

The linky form is below, just copy and paste your blog post URL in, and add your email address and you’ll be a simple click away from joining in!

Editor’s note: With thanks to Mini, aged 8, for producing this week’s #WASO image. If any of your children want to submit #WASO images please email them to us at theadoptionsocial@gmail.com

Mindfulness for Kids 1 – Book Review

Today one mum reviews a book of meditations for children.

I have been practicing mindfulness and meditation myself for a while now. It suddenly occurred to me that this practice might be useful to my hyper vigilant, very bouncy 12 year old. I therefore set about doing a internet search to find a book which would help me teach my son how to meditate and be more mindful with the hope of increasing inner calm and grounding him more.

My searches lead me to this book, Mindfulness for Kids 1 by Dr Nicola Kluge. It contains seven meditations to do with children, each themed and for each theme there are a number of additional activities you could carry out.mindfulness

It’s not a long book at only forty pages but the price of £2.90 ON Amazon, seemed very reasonable.

I decided to start at the beginning, with the first meditation, Water Lily –Gentle Relaxation. I decided to include some of the additional activities to do with my son before the actual meditation.

Using pictures of water lilies and lily ponds I printed off the internet, we discussed various aspects of the pictures. The book includes questions for you to ask like “What does a water lily need to grow?”

We used the questions but I found others to ask based on how I conversation went. It was an enjoyable thing to do with my son and felt like we were spending some quality time together.

We found words to describe the flowers and the ponds and then used a thesaurus to find other alternative words as well.

At the end my son lay on the sofa and I read the meditation script. He was calm and peaceful throughout and seemed very relaxed. He said afterwards that it made him feel really good and he liked the experience.

We have since done a couple of the other meditations but not any of the other activities.  All the meditations have really positive and helpful themes, for example “Power Shield – Loving Kindness Practice” and “Treasure Island – Discovering Inner Gifts”. All the practices are for children aged between 5 or 6 and up to 12. My son is already 12 and I could see him still being happy with them for a little while longer.

I think for what I paid for this book it exceptionally good value for money and I know we will get good use out of it.

#TASchat round-up – Surviving Christmas

Last week we held our monthly #TASchat on Twitter.CYMERA_20131211_155809 This month the theme was ‘Surviving Christmas’…

If you couldn’t make it, we’ve produced a handy round-up for you, which you can find here via Storify. There are some great tips on making it through Christmas, so be sure to take a look and maybe even make some notes.

Some of the top tips:

From @sares123
introduce changes gradually. Christmas fairy adds a little bit of Christmas everyday from 1st Dec”

From @fabwysiadfae
I always buy a present that he *knows* he’s going to get. He can’t cope with ‘surprises’ – even nice ones.

From @diggerdiaries
spread Xmas pressies over many days. Not all at once.”

If you’ve got any more tips to add, or comments to make, please do so below. Otherwise, we’ll see you in a few weeks for the next #TASchat on Thursday 10th December 9PM GMT.

The first ever TAS awards

Here at The Adoption Social we’ve been thinking about running our own awards for a little while, to celebrate the awesomeness that is you.

We have so many amazing bloggers in our community, tweeters too, that we want to honour tas awardsthem, so, this is what we’re going to do…

Below are a number of categories that we’d like you to nominate within. Please make just ONE nomination within each category, using Twitter or Instagram handle, or blog address as appropriate. Nominations are open 1-15th December. Nominations prior to or after then will not be counted.

We’ll be announcing the shortlists on 21st December and you’ll be able to vote up until 4th January. Our awards ceremony will then take place on Thursday 7th January, 9pm on Twitter. (For those not on Twitter, we’ll drop you a line by email).

So here are the categories:

Twitter titter award
Who always makes you giggle on Twitter? Is there someone in your feed who is guaranteed to make you laugh? Then nominate them for the Twitter Titter award.

The lol award
I bet you read loads of blog posts don’t you? But which one post has made you chuckle the most? Which one did you share because of the hysterics you ended up in when reading? Nominate that post (not blogger, but specific post) for the funniest blog post award.

‘Best bud’ award
You know sometimes you turn to Twitter and there is always someone there to support you or chat with. But who is your best Twitter friends? Who can you guarantee to reply and give you a pep talk or smile, or just a friendly ear to listen? That person most likely to reply to your tweet?Nominate them for the ‘Best Bud’ award. (Please submit twitter handle i.e @adoptionsocial).

‘That’s My Life’ blog award
You know those moment where you think yes, that describes my life perfectly? The one that you identify with completely. Well, nominate that post for the ‘That’s My Life’ award.

Photogenius award
Where do you see the best images? On Twitter, a blog or Instagram? Are there some stunning photographs on a blog you like? Nominate them for the ‘Photogenius’ award.

Big Up a Blog award
I think most of us have our favourite bloggers? Nominate them now for the best overall blog award.

Most Supportive Adoption organisation
Received great support from an organisation? Then tell us about it and nominate that organisation for our ‘Supporter of The Year’ award.

Remember nominate between 1st – 15th December, sending your nominations to theadoptionsocial@gmail.com

Life on the Frontline

lotfA weekly blog from a family made by adoption, warmed by the laughter, broken by the sadness, held together by love with a big dollop of hope, oh, and often soaked in mummy tears.


We are thinking of a new school. Not maybe for both boys but for one. I went to see a possible school this week.

It’s daunting feeling, moving a child from a school where all their friends are and we live really close to the school so they can walk easily there and back. However, for both if not Small particularly, that is about the only reason I can see for him to stay, at the moment.

Some friends have started calling for Small after school and I have allowed him on occasions to go out with his friends, to visit other friends. Small seems to have the ability to socialise a bit. I think those he socialise with have to be accepting of his quirky ways, however many of his peers do find him charming and funny. I’m sure many more find him rude and irritating but that is as he would have it, he likes to be controversial.

Tall on the other hand has a single very good friend, they are each other’s best friend. I’m not always sure Tall knows how to best maintain this relationship but I try very hard to encourage him in the right direction.

So I visited the alternative school with an open mind as to which child it may suit, if not both. The school is a much smaller school with only four classes in the current year 7, however other years are smaller. There is a relaxed atmosphere in the school, the children wear jeans and school sweatshirts and the communication between staff and pupils seemed kind and friendly.

I met the SENco and was pleased to find a warm, emphatic woman (so often not my experiences of SENcos) who did not seem fazed by the long list of challenges I informed her of, that both boys face in the school environment.

“We already have children who present like this in our school”.

As I was given a tour around the school, she shared jokes with passing students and enquired after their well being.

Yes the school is not as modern as their current high school, some parts have been modernised others still a little bit in the 60’s. However I quite liked that aspect, it felt less sterile.

So I came away knowing that this school may very well suit Small. I felt that the more relaxed uniform and atmosphere of the school would suit his desire to not conform. I also think that some of his quirky characteristics will not be as frowned on. In contrast I feel the relaxed atmosphere may not suit Tall, the blurring of boundaries is not always helpful to Tall.

We have also recently found out that Small’s application to attend our local high school was originally turned down, as the school felt unable to support both our children and this was overturned by the local authority. I feel very much that the outline of Small’s EHC is not being followed and he is not therefore being supported appropriately by the school. I have wondered if this is maybe intentional, as in “we told you we couldn’t do it”.

So that’s decided I’m taking Small to see the school this next week, he is excited, they do not one but two drama productions a year and he wants to move, he’s not settled yet at his current school, he’s made no attachments, because not enough work has been done to form them. He feels unsupported.

In Other News

II took the boys into the big city this weekend with Tall’s one good friend and we had a great time all hanging out together.

Small indulged in his new fixation in Wonder Woman by buying a poster and a collectable figure. Tall went for a Pokémon and Yugi cards.

We’ve been doing a little yoga and breathing together and Tall said he used his breathing in class and it helped him stay.

Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO Week 144

Welcome to week 144 (yes, one hundred and forty four!) of the Weekly Adoption Shout Out. waso144Whether you’re a regular or here for the first time, you’re sure to find lots of adoption related blogs to read, and if you are a blogger yourself, then fill in the simple form below to add your own blog post to the linky.

Newbies might not know that we offer a theme every alternate week – it’s not obligatory, just there to give you a bit of inspiration if you need it. This week it’s ‘Health Services’.

So that’s it for now, go ahead and link up your post, and share as many other posts as you can – spread that blogging love…

Book review: Who We Are and Why We Are Special

41f9T8JRdQL._SX350_BO1,204,203,200_When I first received ‘Who We Are and Why We Are Special, The Adoption Club Workbook on Identity’ by Regina M Kupecky, I was initially sceptical, says adoptive mum Kay.

Why? Well, most of the books I have read about and around adoption have been weighty, literally, or anecdotal.

So my expectation was that this book would be the same.

Identity and adoption? This is a big and knotty question!

Surely this demands a book the size of an encyclopaedia or a series of books?

This book appears slim and plain. The typeset reminds me of 70’s pamphlets and the illustrations are so simple I think I could have done them myself. Added to this is the subtitle: ‘workbook’.


Suffice to say I wasn’t looking forward to reading it, despite feeling very excited to review a book for The Adoption Social.

Guess what though? In this case you really can’t judge a book from its cover…

Like I said the title invites us to consider identity and how this makes us different and special. That’s a big ask for an adult, but this workbook is aimed at the ages 5-11. My next reservation is how on earth one book can hope to address and engage such a wide age range.

On the first few pages we’re introduced to the members of the ‘adoption club’ whose characters are drawn, both literally and figuratively, in a simple way. There’s no embellishment here just simple sketches that help to highlight them as different and special, but what holds all of them together is that they are touched by adoption in some way.

It’s an apt reminder that adoption has so many faces, ages and back stories. Being a heterosexual, married, white, middle class adoptive mum of two young white siblings, I have been known to forget that not everyone shares my experience of adoption and that my route is only one of many. So it was useful to think again about how inclusive adoption can be.  Mixed race families, single parents, and same sex parents, children with special needs or disability, overseas adoptions, transgender parents, open adoptions… Steve Jobs, who started Apple, is adopted. I didn’t know that, did you?

The best thing about the book is that none of it reads like tokenism, just a really nice personification of these different sides of the process. Like much of the writing in this book, it is matter of fact, easy to read and understand. So as much as it’s aimed at 5 – 11 year olds I didn’t find it patronising. Actually quite the opposite, after reading this book I came away inspired to use it with my children and, surprisingly, myself.

The idea is that identity can be seen as a jigsaw of many pieces and the book leads us through a series of open questions, examples of how this affects a particular member of the adoption club, with space to write our answers and ideas for reflection.

The questions and examples are leading but not prescriptive, there is plenty of space for the reader to engage at their preferred or most appropriate depth. For me, I wanted to think about the layers to my story/identity, like a complex 1000 piece puzzle of an intricate landscape. My four year old daughter was able to recognise and relate to two of the characters and their experiences. Most importantly, I think that when we re-visit the adoption club she will continue to add to her own jigsaw.

I loved the physical metaphor of an ‘identity jigsaw’. I’d love to do some work around this using big puzzle pieces, images, maybe even an outline of a child’s body to fill in.

I would really like to read the other workbooks as I think that they will help me to open discussions with my children in the future. I like the characters but most of all I like the idea of adoption being a club that we all belong to.

Many thanks to Kay for her review. Kay did not receive payment for this review, but has been able to keep the book.

Meet Me: Fostering Hope Through Adoption

Today’s Meet Me post comes from blogger Fostering Hope Through Adoption – be sure to check out her blog here.

Quick 5

  • Book – The Connected Child By: Karyn Purvis; The Whole Brain Child By: Dr. Siegal
  • Music – NeedtoBreathe
  • TV programme – Parenthood
  • Food – Soups-chili, chicken noodle, vegetable, lentil, minestrone and the list goes on :)
  • Pastime – Making blanket forts with my little brother.


What is your biggest challenge as an adoptive parent?
Feeling helpless when my children are struggling with their pasts. All of the therapy, quality time, and sensory toys will help them cope, but it will never make the hurts disappear. Somedays, I wish I could go back and fix everything. It’s hard.

What do you wish you had known before you adopted your children?
I wish I would have taken classes on how to connect with a child from a hard place. We are now taking TBRI classes and we have learned so much. I feel like we would have bypassed many hard days and failed attempts at reaching our children if we would have come to the table with more knowledge.

What inspires you?
Helping people improve their health with nutritious foods.

Who inspires you?
My husband. He’s amazing.


What do you think is your biggest source of support?
My faith.

What do you do to take care of yourself?
I need to do more of this…oops! I do love to learn. often read research articles, books, and blogs. I also love to run. It gives me time to think, reflect, and pray.

What is the best or most memorable piece of advice you have ever received?
If your children were babies, would you go to them when they cried and meet their needs? Treat your older children the same way. Their cries may not come with tears, but may be filled with rage, neediness, or isolation. Be present in every situation. They need you even when it seems like they would rather do anything else then be with you, they need you.

My perfect adoption support would include:
foster moms, adoptive moms, moms with children who have behavioral and/or academic challenges, and older moms who have been through the trenches and succeeded.

When I look into the eyes of my child I see:
fear, but I also see a sense of renewed hope.

The best thing we did this week was…
spending time with our kids around their first bonfire and eating their first s’mores with them.

If you could take your children anywhere in the world to see something where would you go?
I would take them to their siblings and allow them to play all day long.

What I hope I can give to my child/Children?
Faith, security, love, and a sense of self-worth.

At the weekend I can mostly be found…
watching one of my kiddos play a sport, at the grocery store, or at church.

What makes you and/or your family laugh?
Singing, “Who Stole the Cookie From the Cookie Jar?”

Feeling Different

Today’s post is from John, an adopted adult who shares his views and feelings…

When reading the stories of other adoptees, I often feel that I am odd or unusual. Going for a walkTheir stories talk of a yearning to find out their roots, or of feeling a sense of loss or anger. Yet, I have never had a deep longing to discover my roots nor I have ever felt a sense of loss or anger. I have always just accepted my adoption as a fact of life and feel secure in my identity as my adoptive parents’ son.

I have met my birth mother. She gave me up voluntarily and clearly loved and cared for me. I wanted to let her know that things had turned out well. We do get on and I do see our similarities but, for me, there is not the deep connection others sometimes speak of.

I often wonder what makes my story different from so many others.

I was given up voluntarily by a loving, responsible birth mother who cared for me in the womb and for the first week of my life. I believe that I was given up because of her love for me. I am sure that she would not have given me up had she not felt it was in my best interests. I was also adopted as a month and a half old baby into a well matched, loving home by parents who were utterly devoted to me and who told from me from an early age that I was adopted. I cannot remember not knowing. I also look very like my adoptive parents so I could easily hide that I was adopted if I wished. I did have difficult times in my teenage years but I don’t believe these were any more difficult than any other teenager trying to find their place in the world.

I have been reading the Primal Wound. As an adopted person, I do not particularly recognise myself in it but I do believe what it says is true of other adopters. I see much of what it says in the experience of my sister. She has felt a deep sense of loss and anger which she has had to work through over many years.

Clearly, there is something subtly different in my sister’s experience of adoption and my own experience. We have both enjoyed a similar upbringing and much of what I describe above about myself is true of her yet her emotional response to her adoption is completely different to my own. I have my theories on why this is. From reading the Primal Wound and from considering my own experience and my sister’s experience, I believe that first few days after birth are critical. I was cared for by my birth mother for a week after my birth. She was not.

This is why it is so important to hear from adoptees. Each adoptee has their own, distinctive story of adoption. We need to hear their story to understand why one adoptee has one experience of adoption and another a different experience so that we can use this information to improve the experiences of the adoptees of tomorrow.

We must give adoptees the space to share their story. It will be in this patchwork of adoptee experiences that answers can be found that can help the adoptees of the future.

Life on the Frontline

lotfA weekly blog from a family made by adoption, warmed by the laughter, broken by the sadness, held together by love with a big dollop of hope, oh, and often soaked in mummy tears.

I’ve seen a lot of my children this week, far more than I would have hoped for in a normal school week.

I had the pleasure of Small’s company for a whole extra two hours on Monday morning as he wrangled with his inner conflict with school. I know he just wanted me to give in and say, “Okay, no need today, it seems too difficult”. However I gently persisted and negotiated and we agreed on a time and a plan of action. I felt rather pleased with myself for managing an agreement for school with little confrontation or tears….until the phone rang.

“Could you come and collect Tall, he’s not started the day well.”

So I exchange one for the other at school reception.

Tall was tired, his eyes red and sunken within dark pools, brimmed with tears as I discussed, oh alright I ranted at him about his behaviour that morning. Swearing at staff, verbally threatening staff and generally being uncooperative or, in the schools words “disruptive”, all within a couple of hours. I confess I was less than impressed and didn’t try to hide it.

“How can I go into school and defend you when you behave like this”

“School and I are bending over backwards to support you, you need to be doing your bit now”

“Being understanding doesn’t seem to be working maybe you need me to be tougher”

“ You are off computers for the rest of this week”

Yep, all my best therapeutic work. Needless to say Tall was beside himself upset, sobbing uncontrollably and highly deregulated.

School had said he could return to school after lunch if we felt he was in a better frame of mind. Tall was adamant he wanted to return and argued his case through a cascade of tears. I could see that it really wasn’t going to work, sending him back, cue many more tears as I broke the news of my decision.

Tuesday morning and Tall had quite obviously not had a good night’s sleep. He complained of loud banging noises in the night, which had kept him awake, the wind had been wild and the creator of unfamiliar sounds. His eyes still red rimed, had sunken further into the darkened sockets of his skull, whilst his skin was visibly sallow porcelain pale. However he was determined to go to school and I decided against refusing him.

His day was not great but, he made it through to the end. Arriving home, he stumbled through our front door almost sleeping on his feet. Within half an hour he was fast asleep and no matter how I tried I could not wake him, not even to eat. He slept through until seven the next morning, a mammoth, fifteen hours sleep.

Wednesday our meeting, following up from last week, was cancelled as the main support worker for both boys went home ill. The knock on effect of this was that Small struggled even more than normal in school and was home Thursday mid-morning and the same on Friday.

Let out a load sigh for the end of another school week.  It seems at the moment it is all about the getting through and not about the, what we’ve achieved.

 In Other News

Small has a new character obsession. It’s currently all about Wonder Woman.

Tall had a break from us all with a night over a granny’s, this weekend.

I spent three days on a yoga course this weekend. At home in the evenings but day times full of inspiration and enlightenment. I wonder how long this inner peace will last?