Category Archives: Blogging

Top Secret Adopter

BABY 

Once again, we find ourselves surprised by developments. X has brought so many twist and turns into our lives but 10 years on we are still surprised by the influence of external events on our delicatw equilibrium.

News comes, mother has had a baby. We all pause and check our feelings. News of babies usually comes with excitement and congratulations. This comes with unanswerable question and unique feelings.

To make a long story short X finds out.

That’s where it starts to get difficult and where the difficult questions come from. There are no easy answers, no certainty or assurances. All the things that cause X to wobble and make the ground beneath X’s feet uncertain are laid out in front of her.

“You can adopt the baby!” she exclaims

Well, it’s not that simple is it? I’m not sure we can, it seems like we’re just coping and a baby wont turn ‘just coping’ into ‘easily coping’.

She’s angry. Irreconcilable loss mixed with blind optimism and sprinkled with a light dusting of trauma informed behaviour are a recipe for trouble. So, that’s what we get more trouble, tempers, tears, sadness and confusion. Anger is directed at us as she shouts, ‘why not?!’

We verbally walk through the challenges and the reasons, ‘we’re too old, we don’t have the room, it’s not our decision, Mother may keep the baby’ the list is exhaustive. X is having none of it dysregulation layered on top of heartbreak, it spills into all the corners of X’s life and consequently our lives. X can’t make sense of the dual feelings of excitement and loss.

This is complicated stuff, more complicated than I’m equipped for and in the middle of all that I’m managing my own feelings. This child feels emotionally connected to me, I feel like I should say yes, that I should throw our hat into the ring. I’m struggling with guilt, uncertainty, trying to figure out how it would work. The right answer is no but I’m struggling to say no, to this point I’ve always said yes but that’s how we got to here, good and bad.

I lay awake and wonder could we but the reality is I’m tired to the core, adoption, or some parts of it has eroded parts of me that will never be restored. There’s been magic too going back to nappies seems like too much, I’ll be in my 60’s when the baby reaches 18, no is the right answer.
On a routine social work visit we’re informed that mother has had a baby. The question is asked, why I’m not quite sure considering the fact we’re still having routine social work visits, would you consider taking the child.

Every fibre of my being says ‘yes’, my mouth says ‘no’.
@AdopterX

 

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 

The Potato Group News

 

 

Bamboo Scaffolding: Part 2: What we did when we got there and the advantages and disadvantages of social media

We had arrived!. . .’Let’s freshen up and grab some food’. I rang D’s hotel room. I waited and waited and tried not to provoke a meltdown by ringing again . . .and said ‘Knock on my door when you are ready’ . . . .eventually he appeared. ‘Shall we find a restaurant nearby or eat in the hotel?’ . . .knowing D would choose the safety of the more familiar hotel. After eating ‘Do you want to crash or shall we have a walk and explore?’ – to my amazement he opted for a walk and we went two blocks to the beach.

Returning to the hotel we passed an Aussie bar with Sky Sports and I commented ‘You could go there for a drink sometime’. We arranged to download ‘Whats App’ so we could communicate while on hotel Wifi (D has me permanently blocked from his Facebook and Messenger) and so to bed. I arranged to message him in the morning. A social media positive. The next day I discovered D had been on an all-nighter. He met a Canadian in the lift and set off to the bars of Bangla Road with him . . . . .later going their separate ways, sitting on the beach for a while . . .and with no idea of the name or location of our hotel, he showed a moped taxi driver his room key, and was transported back safely in the early hours! – I was well impressed.

Our daily pattern became me arranging to message D at 8am or 11am depending on our jet lag and time confusion . . .usually getting a grunt, him missing breakfast, and me arranging to message him again at 1pm. He spent a lot of time in his room – time when I could explore. First mission – find the Muay Thai gym I had emailed, and book D some training. I found a derelict building! Trip Advisor showed a map of the derelict location but an address that Google Maps showed at the other end of town.

I soon discovered that in the steamy heat I should be less frugal, behave more like a traumatised teen, and spend money on taxis! Waking D at 1pm, I took him to a café for brunch and then by taxi to the gym to book a one-to-one for the following day. We explored a few shops before we wilted and taxied back to the hotel. D retreated to his room, I used the small pool and had a few hours me time.

My inclination would be to rush around and explore but the holiday had to meet my son’s needs first and foremost, his hotel room becoming a safe base. I became an armchair traveller, or in this case a hotel balcony traveller, trawling the local tourism on TripAdvisor knowing it was impossible for us to join any organized tours to offshore islands or wildlife sanctuaries as that would involve being ready at a set time and fitting in with the demands of a minibus full of strangers. Provocation and emotional regulation or lack of it.

Most evenings I messaged D at 7 or 8 to plan our evening meal and then had a long wait for him to knock on my door. As far as possible I avoided messaging again or knocking on his door as he finds that intensely provocative. I find it intensely provocative waiting patiently when I am starving . . .but the difference is that even after 20 years of adoptive parenting I can still emotionally regulate, helped by offloading a few ranting messages to my partner or my Potato peers, my social media lifeline. Now for the social media negatives. I soon realized my son was spending hours on Messenger group chat to his friends, much as he would at home.

He was angered to learn that a friend had had a confrontation with a bouncer, a passer-by had called the police, and his friend had been issued with an ASBO. He had had a burst water pipe in old outhouse plumbing as we set off. His friend who was ‘keeping an eye on’ his house and my partner were going to get this sorted. This friend was messaging him that my partner wanted to go into the house to turn off the stop tap – result RAGE, demands to fly home immediately and my worry that he would carry out his threat to trash his room. Would we see the inside of a Thai jail? I messaged my partner, was assured that he knew our son could not cope with him entering the house but the ‘friend’ would try and turn the stop tap off . . .crisis averted and we got to the pre-paid Muay Thai training session with my son in a calm enough state to manage training.

Muay Thai – my son has never let me watch him train at home. We shared a taxi to the gym and I said it was up to him, I could spend an hour at the beach or in the adjoining café . . . . .I think because he was anxious about the new environment he said I could come in, and could I video some of his training. By being crazy English people and booking a session in the midday heat, the gym was deserted apart from his one to one session. It was so positive to see D work hard and concentrate for an hour of hard physical training. I was able to take photos and videos. The trip was worth it for this first hour of training alone.

We fitted in two more sessions later in the week. Absorbing rubbish rants – It is a long time since D has chosen to spend social time with me. I see him daily to ferry him to and from supported work, to get shopping, or to appointments. It is even longer since he has sat down with me to eat a meal, so our shared evening meals were something special and mostly went well as long as I could absorb his ranted conversations without comment or challenge.

Rants described a seedier side of my home town, police, fights, how easy it is to get hold of a gun and a sort of parallel universe to the one I live in. Attempted burglary – some of the extra challenges of travelling with a traumatised young person are the direct effects of trauma, poor emotional regulation and extreme and unpredictable stress responses. Some, like the timing of the burst water pipe, are the extra bad-luck we seem to attract, and some like an attempted burglary because you have dodgy mates who know you are on holiday . . . .are because a traumatised young person is a magnet for ‘dodgy mates’.

About halfway into the holiday my son knocked on my door at 4 am (10 pm UK time) in tears. Through social media he learned there had been an attempted break-in at his house, luckily foiled by a neighbour who had called the police. The door was damaged but the burglars had not gained entry. Again his immediate response was to demand his air-ticket to fly back NOW on a ticket that was non- transferable and THREATS to trash the hotel room or leap from his fifth floor balcony . . . .I have years of practice at absorbing these intensified emotions . . .but it felt a long and lonely night . . .preparing for the worst while hoping for the best. Would I end up in a Thai jail? . . .or how do you arrange to fly a body back? . . . . .my partner and a few Potato peers hung on in there with me as my online support.

The low points, two near meltdowns survived by the skin of our teeth. The high points, three fantastic one to one Muay Thai training sessions, one morning of sight-seeing in a private taxi to the Big Buddha and to a shooting range! More about D’s fascinating with weapons in Part 3.

Look out for Part 3 – How we avoided a Thai jail and . . .did we get home safely?

www.thepotatogroup.org.uk

The Potato Group News

 

 

BAMBOO SCAFFOLDING 

In order to access many everyday activities, my son needs ‘bamboo scaffolding’, flexible and adaptable low key support – when I get this right it is largely invisible to others . . . .unless they have ever witnessed my son without this support.

Several years ago, I had to declare my teenage adopted son homeless due to repeated violence, threats and damage to our home and car over a long period. In the years that have passed since then, I remain his daily support for food, transport, emotional regulation and sorting benefits etc. as services do not appear to recognize he has any support needs at all. Now in his twenties, he lurches chaotically from near crisis to near crisis. Over several months he has been in a particularly low mental state. Over several months I have also been feeling depleted and was struggling to function on a day to day basis (after many years of providing high level support). How to try to nudge this situation in a better direction? Idea – a high risk holiday! Our son was excluded from education for more than half of his school life but each year I clutched at straws to find one activity in which he could participate and gain self esteem.

Currently he is doing Muay Thai (Thai boxing) regularly and together we planned a short trip to Thailand during which time he could do some training. My partner was unable to travel as he is awaiting an operation, so the first high risk was travelling alone with my son. A home-based education service working with him in his early teens insisted on 2:1 workers due to risk – but adoptive parents frequently carry risk 1:1 or 1:3 or more with siblings.

Bamboo Scaffolding: part one – getting there

I researched flights, resort, hotel etc. online, planning flight to be as short as possible, hotel as familiar as possible, and as close as possible to a Muay Thai gym. My partner paid for the holiday and from that point we accepted that we had ‘written off’ this money . . .even if we did not make it to the airport to set off. Previous holidays have had to be cut short e.g. a week booked in a caravan was abandoned after slightly more than 24 hours after credible threats to trash the caravan. Scaffolding means planning and anticipating situations my son will struggle with and adapting them to give him a better chance of managing. Schools in our experience never understood scaffolding, nor embraced inclusion.

Treating all pupils equally meets neither the needs of the child nor the sprit nor the letter of current equalities legislation – giving differentiated support and making ‘reasonable adjustments’ does. My deeply traumatised son still confuses the feelings of excitement and fear and is highly anxious in situations which he finds stressful – regularly dissociating into fear expressed as extreme anger.

Packing My son lives independently. I got his passport from him before we booked, as all forms of ID are often lost in his chaos. His washing machine is broken but he has not allowed us into his home over many months to arrange repair or replacement. I bought a few new clothes and partly packed a suitcase for him. I picked him up from his house to finish packing at ours, he promptly tipped everything out of the small case, announced he was only taking hand luggage as clothes were cheaper there, and took little more than one pair of pants and a toothbrush – I did manage to sneak one set of clothes into my case for emergencies. He was already ranting that there was no way he was going to wait at the airport for hours and we really didn’t need to check in until 30 minutes before the long haul flight.

I was deliberately vague about the flight time and hoped for the best. We had to set off the moment he was ready; my partner drove us; we drove slowly to try to reduce an excessive airport wait. The short stay departures car park was a nightmare finding a space and then walking a long way to the connecting bridge to departures. We joined the check-in queue and as we passed through passport control I breathed a sigh of relief – there was a chance we would actually set off. The next challenges were the slow and crowded zigzag queues for hand luggage and body scan and I could see him starting to fidget, clench his fists etc – at this point I have to stop myself ‘wittering’ empty reassuring phrases. I have learnt it is best to remain silent or nod empathetically that …it is a piss-take and FFS – absorb the emotion and ‘let them rant’.

We entered the departure lounge with still at least an hour before going to our gate. At last we were called to the gate and onto the plane, the very back seats, cosy for me, 5’ nothing, but decidedly cramped for my 6’ son, and as the hours went by increasingly hot and uncomfortable. Due to my son’s anxiety levels and neediness he can appear very self-centered. He took every bit of discomfort as if deliberately targeted at him and showed no empathy that we were all in the same boat (or the same crowded plane in this case). From time to time I offered distractions or sweets – scaffolding to aid his emotional regulation and I remained hypervigilant to absorb restlessness and ranting hoping we would not be responsible for a mid-air incident.

Seven hours, a two-hour transit, and a further seven hours was a huge challenge for a young man who finds the third hour of a three hour train journey difficult. Arriving bleary eyed I tried to spot the signs towards pre-booked transfers. Any hesitation led to rants from my son that I was dithering, and the likelihood of him storming off in the wrong direction. Luckily we found the tour operator quickly and once on the minibus taxi he fell deeply asleep, we were dropped at our hotel, checked in and given two rooms a few doors away from each other on the 5th floor. We had arrived in Patong, ‘party central’, not the typical destination for an exhausted 60 something!

To be continued: Look out for part 2 – What we did when we got there and the advantages and disadvantages of social media And Part 3 – How we avoided a Thai jail and . . .did we get home safely?

www.thepotatogroup.org.uk

What is a blog hop?

What is a blog hop?

Well, to answer that we need to look at linkys. A linky is basically a piece of code that you add to your blog post. It creates a form for users to add their name and URL into, and then collates them all into a list. Readers don’t see the code, just the form and the list.

For an example, see our very own Weekly Adoption Shout Out – a linky that invites readers to add adoption related blog posts which then all display in a form.

The benefit of this?

Well, it puts lots of related blogs/blog posts in the same place so readers don’t have to trawl the internet. It also means your blog is placed alongside other popular blogs thus gaining more exposure.

So the blog hop bit…

Well, a straight linky tends to sit on one website, much like the Weekly Adoption Shout Out sits on The Adoption Social.

A blog hop is where the list and form are shown as in a linky, but the code can be taken and added to your own website too. It improves the reach of the linky as it then appears on all related websites (if they choose to show it). Typically, once you’ve added your details to the linky, you take the code and place it at the bottom of the post you just linked up.

How do I create one?

Here at The Adoption Social, we use linkytools.com. We have an account where we can create different types of linky, including blog hops and the code is provided by the linkytools website. linkytoolsYou can try it too – from recollection there is a free trial period.

If you decide to set one up, be sure to let us know, and if you need any help just tweet us @adoptionsocial or email us at theadoptionsocial@gmail.com

5 Top Tips for Starting a Blog.

 Today we bring you 5 tips that can help you start your very own blog…….

Research- read other blogs and not just adoption blogs. Find blogs you like the look of, not to copy but to be inspired by. Think about what you want your blog to include, will it have images or even vlogs? Maybe you want it to have both, or neither, the writing may be the most important part for you.

ReviewLooking at blogs can help you decide which platform you wish to start your blog on, for example WordPress, Blogger or SquareSpace. When you look at a blog the platform the blog is built on may be obvious from either the name of the blog (eg- adoptionblog.wordpress.com) or by scrolling to the base of the home page where the platform and theme is often named.   If it is not obvious which format it is, then ask. Most bloggers will be flattered that you like the look of their blog and be happy to help.  Here we have a post on starting a blog in WordPress and in Blogger.

 Be original –whilst it’s good to be inspired by others; don’t try to copy anyone’s style. Write about what interests you and in the style you feel most comfortable with. I’m at my most happy blogging from an emotional angle, you might like to use humour or it may be that you want to be political and raise serious issues that you are passionate about.

Look Unique –Most blog themes can be customised, make your blog look original. Change the colour scheme and even design your own logo or header. Here’s a post about how to create your own header .

Share – Now you’ve gone to all this trouble make sure you share your posts, link up to #WASO share on twitter.  If you are on twitter use the same name as your blog as your twitter name or at least have your blog details on your profile. Here are some posts you might find useful.

How to link to #WASO

Starting a Twitter Account

Enjoy yourself – Don’t let your blog feel like a chore, make sure you are benefiting through writing, be it to gain support from other or in support of others. For some it is cathartic and others get delight in sharing their special and important moments of adoption. What is your motivation?

Britmums Live and the Adoption and Fostering Roundup.

Are you free Saturday 26th June 2016?

Every year Britmums put on a spectacular conference for bloggers and social media types. It is a great opportunity to:-

  1. Meet other bloggers/tweeters.
  2. To hear inspirational people speak.
  3. To learn more about how to make your blog GREAT.
  4. To meet product people you might be interested in working with or just sample their lovely wares.
  5. To receive an awesome goody bag to take away full of freebies.
  6. To get a little you time away from the family.
  7. To eat great food, their is a lunch included at it is usually very yummy.
  8. To socialise and have a glass or two with your new friends and old.
  9. To support those nominated in the BiBs awards.
  10. And finally a chance to hang out with Vicki and I.

Now I know number 10 is a little off putting but seriously we would love it if other bloggers or tweeters would join us, it would great to have a meet up in such inspirational surroundings. There is a special EARLYBIRD price on tickets until 30th November of £59.99. Which is quite a bargain for everything that is included. We usually travel down on the Friday and stay over on the Friday night.

So Click on here to find out more, the full agenda and how you can be there are all detailed and let us know if you book and we can make sure we meet up, Vicki and I have booked our tickets already.

I Write for Brit MumsAnd whilst we are on the subject of Britmums a little reminder that Vicki and I also do a monthly round up of Adoption and Fostering blogs for Britmums. We have just altered the date it is published, so it should now be posted the in the second week of each month. Why not check out this months post, you might be on there

3 New Ways to Share your Blog

Each week lots of you share your lives through your blog posts and and many of you also link those blogs to #WASO. Through #WASO we hope that your blog posts gain greater exposure and therefore more readers. For some I know the process of writing is cathartic and it helps to have others who understand, read your blogs and comment and are therefore happy sharing with our adoption community. However for those who would like to share a little further, here are three other ways to get your blog posts read.

1.OTHER LINKYS

Magic Moments – Over at The Oliver’s Madhouse there is a weekly link up on a Monday, where you can share all the really good moments in your life. So if you’ve shared something on #Memorybox then your post could also go on here, MAGIC MOMENTS

Share with me – a link up on a Wednesday, on lets call Mommy,  where you can share old and new posts from your blog find out more on SHARE WITH ME

Brilliant Blog Posts – We know how brilliant your blog posts are so why not pop over to  Honest Mum on a Thursday to link up with BRILLIANT BLOG POST

 2.LOVE ALL BLOGS

You can join Love all blogs for free. Here your blog posts are selected and shared on their website and through their other social media. This could be good for you if you also sometimes write recipes or show crafts on your blog. However their is a family section and I’m sure that writing about an adoptive family fits into that section. Find out more here at LOVE ALL BLOGS

3.BLOGLOVIN

You join this website and then all your posts automatically feed to the site. You have a profile page where all your posts are listed. Like other social media sites, you can chose to follow other blogs and they can also follow you. These blogs then appear in your news feed every time they do a new post. It’s a great way to find other blogs to read and to gain new readers. Find out more here at BLOGLOVIN

 

Free images for your blog

Photos – we’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again “Use them on your blog!”

Quite a while ago, we wrote a post about the importance of using images on your blog, and well, we stand by that. But we know not everyone has a camera phone, or photographic skills, so today I’m going to tell you a way of getting images on your site that have been taken by some photographers who have serious skillz. And, they are free AND the credit is already included, so you don’t need to gain permission (which you DO have to do if you take a photo from anywhere else, Google Images included!). sarah meets camila

We learnt this little tip after attending the Britmums Live! conference last year. By the way, if you’ve not given much thought to Britmums Live! then do, they have some really good workshops and speakers where you can pick up some great tips. And you might get to meet someone you really admire…

Anyway, we discovered that Getty Images – you know the amazing stock photographers who provide images for use in all sorts of places – have a royalty free section. This means you can use some of their images without having to pay a royalty charge to do so. It’s especially for bloggers and non-commercial use.

Not only that, but they’re high resolution (good quality) and easily searchable too, with an enormous amount of photos covering an enormous number of topics. 50 million images in fact. Yes for actual real.

Here’s the link: http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/CreativeImages/RoyaltyFree

And it gets better. I was going to write a post with instructions on how to embed the image into your post. That means transferring the code from Getty Images to your blog, so that you don’t have to faff with downloading the image, and then uploading to your own blog, you just paste the code into the ‘text’ or ‘html’ option on your blog.
However, Getty Images has done that for me here, so I’m not going to repeat it. Just click on that link and the instructions are there for all to see:
Screenshot 2015-03-10 20.19.51Need a family image, no problem:

Want something school based?

Or maybe you want something to depict the tough days?

Whatever the scenario or theme of your post, you’re sure to find something to accompany your words.