Author Archives: tasocial

About tasocial

A site to support those involved in adoption by promoting the use of social media sites as support tools.

Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO Week 221

Hello and Happy Friday!

Welcome to WASO, time to get your best blog posts ready to link up with the rest of our wonderful adoption community. Whether you’re an adoptive parent, an adopted person, a prospective adoptive parent, a birth family member or a professional – we’d love for you to add your blog posts below and link up with the Weekly Adoption Shout Out.

No judgement, no rules, just kindness and sharing.

Oh, and if you know of a good adoption related blog, please do encourage them to join in too – it’s always good to hear of new bloggers…


Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO Week 220

WASO — WASO — WASO — WASO — WASO

Yes, it’s that time of the week again, get your blog posts at the ready.
Come and tell us what you’ve been up to, what’s been positive, what’s been challenging, or perhaps you’ve found something that works particularly well for your family and you want to share it? The linky is below, so just copy and paste your blog post’s web address/URL into the form.

Please share your favourite posts, and comment to let the writer’s know you found their blog through #WASO.



Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO Week 219

Hello again, it’s time for #WASO!

Welcome back to The Adoption Social, home of the Weekly Adoption Shout Out. This week, as always, please add your blog posts to the linky below, and help support our fantastic community of adoption bloggers and social media users. Read, comment and share, then come back next week to do it all again.

Here’s the linky:


Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO Week 218

Welcome back to the Weekly Adoption Shout Out

It’s summertime, the schools have finished, aeroplanes and motorways are full of holiday makers, some children are struggling with transitions, others are enjoying free time and lack of formal school. What’s it like for you? Are you attempting a holiday? Do you have older adoptive children that are no longer in school but still struggle with this time of year?

Share your blog posts below in the link-up form, and we’ll read and share as many as we can on Facebook and on Twitter…



Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO Week 217

#WASO time!

Welcome back to another week of #WASO, are you ready to share your blog posts? We’re looking forward to reading them. Linked posts can be on any aspect of adoption, and we encourage you to read and comment on those linked, as well as adding your own post.

DO Please share your favourites on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #WASO.
DO Type in your blog url carefully, else it won’t work.
DO Comment on the blogs that link up, and let them know you found them through #WASO.
DO remember to add your own link, after reading the others.
DO check back as new blogs are linked throughout the weekend.

Here’s the linky…


CITIZEN SMITH #ParentPower

 

 

 

 

Life Story Work – There must be a better way?

Hey Sarah, let’s sit down and look at that book about that time you got molested in the park, I’ve got some photos of your assailant. Let’s have a look at them, I know he loved you really. Look here’s you and the police officer that did your forensic examination. How are you feeling?

There are many important things we have to handle as adoptive or foster parents, but to me helping a child make sense of ‘their journey’ has always felt like the most overwhelming.

In this aspect of our role we must act as both counsellor and parent – because what is termed ‘life story work’ is unquestionably counselling and it is unquestionably work. Work we are uniquely ill-equipped to undertake. Work that, in my mind, is important beyond our imagination.

Life story work makes me feel grossly inadequate and it can turn me into an arsehole because when I hear on the news, following one hideous event or another, that “counselling has been made available” to the victims I actually feel jealous on behalf of my child. Jealous! Jealous that I’m left to bumble my way through helping my child make sense of their own traumatic experiences. Jealous of people who have experienced horror I cannot imagine and who are perfectly entitled to receive support. How screwed up is that!

And I am not sure I believe that the PTSD experienced by those who witnessed, for example, the London Bridge attack is so different from those feelings experienced by an abused child, or one whose very life was repeatedly threatened through neglect. Or indeed the additional traumas of severance following removal.

If I were a counsellor being fairly paid to support a person who had experienced what our children have experienced (Complex PTSD) I would be putting a deposit down on a holiday home after the first meeting. It’s for the same reason that I fully understand why parents delay or avoid it, or those who often, like me, wait for their child to prompt us with an enquiry so that I can steel myself and say “Oh I’m glad you asked me that” before dragging out ‘the book’.

These events need professionals, and when I think of us, the army of amateurs coming to counsel our children through their PTSD I wonder how the media would treat our arrival at the scene of a terrorist incident. Equipped, as in my case, with good intentions, tissues and a spiral bound wipe-clean book of their tragedy.

But we know that there is no army of free counsellors to help our children, it can take 18 months to get just one CAMHS referral, and even all those counsellors who, in my imagination, descend on the scene of a tragedy like robot hoovers have to go back to their charging points until the next time they are needed.

So as always we must step up, and equip ourselves to become the professional, the counsellor, equipped to help our children process the events that brought them to us, and to do so over the course of many years. We’ll buy more books, attend more courses, learn from each other and our mistakes but always with that voice in our heads “There must be a better way than this”.

@mistersglluest

The Potato Group News

Bamboo Scaffolding: part 3: makes more sense if you have read parts I and 2

How we avoided a Thai jail and . . .did we get home safely?

I arranged a late checkout for one room, asking D to bring all his stuff to my room before noon. Our airport transfer was at 4pm. I Whats App’d a reminder the night before and at 11am . . .miraculously he was nearly ready at 12 and allowed me into his room to help him carry some of his stuff. I was able to flush his loo and put some rubbish into bags so the cleaners didn’t have a fit! . . .how much chaos can a traumatised young person create in 8 days? Then we set off for our last brunch.

Mistake number 1: His anxiety was already rising in anticipation of the long plane journey home. Why did I suggest we tried the café 50yards to the left instead of the one 100 yards to the right, at which we had eaten 2 or 3 times already? When stressed, D becomes more rigid and less able to manage even small changes. He sat at the table, refused all food and drink and put his head down.

Mistake number 2: I should have paid for my order without waiting for it and left. Instead I waited for my food and gave D my room key as he stomped off back to the hotel. After eating, I hurried back, asked for a second room key and spotted D head down skulking in a corner of the lobby. I put my remaining Thai Baht on the table beside him and encouraged him to order a snack or drink. I went back to the room saying – ‘come up for a shower when you want’. No eye contact, not even a grunt.

Fascination with weapons and fear: Since I met my son, aged 4 years, D has had a fascination with weapons. Developmental trauma and insecure attachment, with an avoidant and disorganized pattern, leave D fearful for his own safety (e.g. found alone in a flat by police aged 2y). For years he has kept a symbolic weapon under his mattress, a small wooden Maori spear, later pieces of ‘found’ wood or metal, later still a baseball bat, a machete and a crossbow . . . . . All the latter we confiscated on discovery, facing his rage, on the basis that ‘rage without machete’ is safer than ‘rage with machete’. He quickly discovered that Thai market stalls (where I bought sarongs and elephants) sold a full range of weapons. He told me that during the week he was offered cannabis and an AK47 . . . . . . .a micro moment of positive maturation, he said he declined them. However, he did produce a flick knife, a taser torch, and a metal kosh, which he insisted were legal to transport home in our shared suitcase.

D skillfully places me in no-win situations regularly. Do I refuse to pack them and risk the inevitable meltdown with him destroying the hotel room and/or storming off and missing our non-transferable flight, or showing adolescent to parent violence to me leading to arrest by Thai police, or do I pack them and face arrest at the airport? I packed them. We shared one small check-in suitcase and each had hand luggage.
I assumed D was still in the lobby; he did not respond to my infrequent ‘Whats App’ messages. I Whats App’d him encouraging him to chill in the room while I spent an hour by the hotel pool.

When I left the pool, some 3 hours after he left the café . . . . .I sat across his table in the lobby, ordered myself an ice cream, and asked if he wanted a drink . . . .he finally accepted his first food or drink in 15 hours. It had taken him 3 hours to emotionally regulate himself enough to be able to eat, drink and join me to finish packing.

Despite having given me dodgy items to pack, he became acutely disregulated when he saw I had a wooden broom with my luggage. I didn’t make Mistake number 3: I left it and a few other items in the room with a note for the cleaner.

Back down in the lobby, I checked out and we waited for our transfer: luckily this was a short wait and we set off to the airport in a heavy tropical storm.
The airport: Drug smuggling and Thai airports are often in the news; I was fairly certain we didn’t have any drugs. From stepping into the terminal, I had a bodily sense of fear – just an inkling of the fear that my son endures most hours of most days.

Checking in: We checked in, the case sped off down the conveyor belt. A repeat of the slow zigzag through security checks, then a large and very noisy airport lounge. Between us we had enough small change to get D a Subway. Bland globalization gives D reassuring familiarity whilst I seek local, quirky and different. D always finds even the shortest wait a challenge. The loud tannoys in several languages, including barely decipherable English, were steadily winding D up; there was no quiet corner to retreat to. As his agitation increased, a woman from Thai tourism approached me to complete a lengthy questionnaire. – that could have been the tipping point to meltdown. Why didn’t I politely decline.

I had tuned out the tannoy, but D said they were announcing my name to go to the desk at our gate. I was asked about the contents of my case, which was being brought off the plane. I was escorted into a private part of the airport, abandoning D in the airport lounge, hastily thrusting his passport and boarding pass into his hands. I was more fearful for D’s reaction to abandonment than what was about to happen to me.
Look out for Part 4 : . . . . .did we get home safely?

www.thepotatogroup.org.uk 

Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO Week 216

Welcome to the Weekly Adoption Shout Out!

As we head closer to the summer holidays, I wonder how your children are coping with the transitions that are approaching – new teachers, new schools, end of education, moving to a more relaxed routine of no school, holidays, childcare…so much to deal with alongside the winding down of school. This week alone we’ve had to cope with a school disco, a trip to a high-school led arts festival, rehearsals for next week’s school play and a non-uniform day! So much for winding down!

Anyway, if you’ve written about school, transitions or anything else this week, come and link it up to the Weekly Adoption Shout Out, the linky is below. We’d love if you could comment on some of the blogs you read, and share them too – spread the linky love!



Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO Week 215

Friday means #WASO here on The Adoption Social

It’s that time of the week when we ask you to add your blog posts to our wonderful community based link-up, so we can present a collection of adoption related blogs to the world. We also ask that you share as many posts as possible, to get more support for bloggers and to get realistic information about adoption into the public domain.

Here’s the linky…



Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO Week 214

Friday can only mean one thing here on The Adoption Social – it’s #WASO!

Welcome once again to the Weekly Adoption Shout Out – a place and time for bloggers to share their posts, and readers to find a collection of adoption related blogs.
Add your posts, and why not have a read of the others that are linked up? Please do share as many as you can and spread the word.

Here’s the linky…