Today we have a guest post from someone who wishes to remain anonymous. This is his experience as father to a 7 year old boy, and as a family they are undergoing attachment based therapy. They have been together as a family for 6 years now.
Joy…in that honeymoon period. Finally we were a family.
Deep grief, as he settled in and missed his foster family.
First words. First steps. So many firsts to celebrate.
First tantrums. First rejections. After all, this wasn’t his first separation, his first grief experience.
Content and settled. Sleepy head, all calm and restful. We watched him sleep.
The nightmares came. We held and rocked and consoled and soothed on repeat.
Nursery, school, friendships and play. All those things that children should have.
Endless conversations about bullying, disruption in lessons, no concentration.
Family time. Parks, days out, games and fun.
Always the fear of meltdown, losing control, how to help him.
A new therapy? Yes, we’ll give anything a ago – improvements!
He’s cottoned on. And the anger, anxiety, frustration, and negativity all come back, whilst the confidence, positivity, and carefree attitude have all but disappeared.
As a dad, I don’t know what is coming from one day to the next, let alone the weeks, months and years ahead for us as a family. This scares me – a 38 year old grown man. I can’t make sense of what my boy has experienced, and I struggle to help him handle his emotions.
How on earth does it make my 7 year old boy feel? – a child with limited life experiences, many of which have been challenging to him, in a world he doesn’t fully understand? How can I ever hope to equip him with all the tools he needs to decipher and make sense of himself, his past and his future.
Parenting is hard. Adoptive parenting involves more guesswork, strategic planning and psychology. But being that child – being my boy, is so much harder.