Category Archives: Me & My Blog/My Twitter Life

Me & My Blog by The Boy’s Behaviour

me and my blog

 

 

The Boy’s Behaviour is written by Vicki, who adopted her son Mini, then became a birth mum to Dollop a few years later. This is why she blogs…

 

 

 

We got to our lowest point. That’s how it all began.

With this low point came the overwhelming need for help, and it wasn’t just a low point, we were critical I think. As Mini turned 5 he was no longer under the jurisdiction of the awful health visiting team, and so I approached our GP. This was the turning point for our family, and the moment when I decided to start recording the details of Mini’s behaviour, my feelings, and our family life.

I knew this would be a long journey, and I needed to write it down.

I’d been dipping in and out of Twitter, reading the odd blog – desperate to find others like us. I knew there must be others out there, and I wanted to read more than just 140 character snippets, or paragraph long forum posts. I found Sally Donovan’s blog, and after reading for a while, identifying with much of what she’d written, I knew that blogging was the way I wanted to go.

Blogging is amazing. I see it kind of like an open diary that I don’t mind if you read. It allows me to empty my head of all the crappiness, which lets me concentrate on the important stuff (and the boring daily stuff) I have to do. Writing it all down helps me order my thoughts and digest things. It enables me to share some really difficult times with people who care about us…I struggle to do that in real life, tending to put on a brave face instead.

I’ve encountered a few awful comments, I’ve had a small family argument after a post was misconstrued, I’ve had to consider risks to our identities, and I’ve had to think about how much I share and how Mini will feel when he reads it all someday. But mostly, I have found THE most supportive community ever.

This group of strangers is incredible. There is almost always someone on Twitter for me to talk to, or listen to. They read my blog and give advice, or just virtual hugs. I have found people that not only read, encourage and support, but they do so knowing how I feel, because most of them have had similar issues too. And amazingly, other people have read my blog and had to courage to reach out for more support for themselves. I’ve even been nominated for awards, and shortlisted for one too just for writing about my life…how incredible is that?!

I’ve become more than just another parent blogger. I’ve become one of a growing number of adoptive parents reaching out to each other via the internet. Some are fast-becoming good friends, and I’m looking forward to meeting many of them.

Along with writing The Boy’s Behaviour , Vicki is also co-founder of The Adoption Social. You can read more about Vicki on our contributors page, or on her blog. She’s also on Twitter @boysbehaviour and Facebook – www.facebook.com/theboysbehaviour

My Twitter Life by @HopeandPray2013

This week Michelle, who tweets as @HopeandPray2013 shares her Twitter story with us. If you haven’t signed up to Twitter yet, you can do so here.

057I joined the world of Social Networking around November 2011.  One of my close friends recommended twitter as a way of gaining support and making friendships.  I will be honest, I was quite apprehensive about it.  I decided to join and told myself I would probably wait a week or two before deleting it.

What would I talk about? How would I find people? How can I communicate using 140 characters? I told myself I wouldn’t enjoy it.  Little did I know twitter would become my biggest support!

I have lots of lovely wonderful friends, they have always been there for me during the good times and also the hard times. Friendship is something I don’t take for granted, I know how lucky I am. The majority of my friends have been there for me during my infertility battle. Some friends got it more than others, I imagine that is normal. Some friends were very understanding, they always said the right things. However some were not so understanding but that’s a whole new post … Lol!

My twitter account was originally to help support me through my IVF and infertility battle. It is now supporting me through my adoption journey. 

Twitter has made such a difference in my life. I currently have 483 twitter friends. I can honestly say I would be LOST without these women/men in my life. No matter what time of day/night I know someone will be there for me. When I lie in my bed worrying at 3 O’clock in the morning all I have to do is pick up my phone and I am guaranteed to have a friend standing by. I have so many different people on my twitter account:

• People who have adopted or just starting the process.
• People who have been adopted.
• Adoption support networks.
• People going through IVF and other fertility treatments.
• People who have closed the door on fertility and moved onto other avenues.
• People who have children without fertility treatments.
• People who have made the difficult decision to live child free.
All of these people are individuals with their own stories to tell. We are all so different but have so much in common. We cry together through the hard days and we laugh together through the happy days. We are united in our own joy, heartache and grief. I get it, they get it, WE GET IT!

I will always remember lying in my hospital bed miscarrying.  Who was there for me at 4am? You guessed it – my twitter friends! The support and love I received filled my heart with joy and hope. More recently I have received incredible support as I start out on my journey to adopt. I have gained so much knowledge and understanding through tweeting people that have already went through the process. In fact I told social services that my biggest support comes from social networking.  I will be forever grateful to the people that have welcomed me into their world and lifes.

We might not know each other in ‘real life’ but I believe some of these people know me better than some of my close friends. They listen to me, they laugh with me and they cry with me and I thank them for that. I honestly look forward to sharing my journey with you all. TWITTER ROCKS!

My Twitter Life by @Foodymama (Misbah)

We’ve been publishing posts from lots of people who use Twitter as a support tool. If you need any more convincing to jump into Twitter, then read Misbah’s story…

Misbah twitter pic

I first got the bug for social networking when I first got married, many of my friends & family were using some form of social network sites and it seemed the obvious answer to keep in touch with my friends and family since I’d moved on to pastures new. I decided to go with Facebook  as that’s the site the majority of my friends and family were using, and only a handful were on others such as Twitter or Tumblr.

I eventually gave in to Twitter after several requests from certain friends and family that found Facebook ‘too much’ and it took me the best part of a year to get the hang of it. I’ll be the first to admit that at first it was all about following favourite celebrities, wether singers, presenters or chefs. Eventually I began using it to share my love of cooking and my ambition of working professionally in the world of food.

So how does my social networking life tie in with my life as an adoptive parent I hear you asking? Well it’s actually all thanks to BAAF!

One rather stressed and agitated morning after a rather deflating meeting regarding support for my son with Social Workers I decided to try and take some control and began to look at BAAF & Adoption UK to see what advice I could get. Trawling through the pages I found a link to a Twitter account & blog by an adoptive mum, which happened to be The Boy’s Behaviour!

So click the link for the blog I did and as I read her posts I instantly felt a rush of relief, I thought to my self that this mum was reading my mind, so I thought I’d follow her on Twitter, and she followed back !

From that one connection I found a whole community of adoptive parents, some new in their journey, others much more experienced, I followed them and they followed back.

Finding the parents I have has been such a support from the general tweeting sessions in the evening when the kids are tucked up in bed and have a good natter, to those moments when you just need to rant to someone that gets ‘it’ . I have been lucky enough to meet up with Sarah (from the Puffin Diaries) & Kat (@on_the_edge) and share our stories face to face, and with Twitter I’ve learned that you don’t have to be alone in this journey, you’re not crazy and the situations we find ourselves in as adoptive parents is pretty much the norm.

So Twitter has fed my love of keeping up to date with my favourite celebrities, enabled me to share my love of cooking & given me a wonderful community of parents who I’ve struck a genuine connection with in my journey to becoming the best parent I can to my 2 precious babies, a connection that quite frankly without it I’d feel rather lost and alone.

Misbah tweets as @Foodymama, and she also blogs at Foody Mama blog. You can find out more about her on our contributors page too.

 

Me & My Blog by Life With Katie

Life With KatieToday’s Me & My Blog post is written by Gem at Life With Katie. Here Gem shares how she got into blogging and why it’s so important to her now…

If you want to share your own blogging story, please do get in touch with us here.

Until about 3.5 years ago blogging wasn’t particularly on my radar. We had gone through the adoption process and had been matched with Katie. I had met a wonderful group of amazing fellow adopters through Babyworld and had the opportunity to join in with their meet ups and meet real life adopted children so I didn’t particularly look elsewhere for information or support. I kept an online diary through Babyworld but that was about it.  

‘Life with Katie’ started life as TwoBecomeThree and was primarily a diary tool for writing about our introductions so that my friends and family could keep up to date with all the exciting news as it unfolded without the need for phone calls at a time when we were exhausted.

I’m so glad I kept that diary because the days of introductions are a blur and I love re-reading that special time. It will also be a lovely legacy of memories for Katie as she grows up.

Fast forward a year and my adoption group (The A Team) were pondering how to support National Adoption Week. I had signed up with our LA to be a media representative but knew that we weren’t really a newsworthy adoptive family. We’re really rather ordinary with nothing to single us out so I turned my attention to my blog, dusted it off a bit and decided to promote it to raise awareness of adoption. I was concerned about how much negative press there is about adoption and wanted to share our ordinary little family to show that adoption can be really positive.

But how do you promote a blog?
Ummmm Twitter!

But wasn’t that a place full of faceless, slightly odd people? I decided to dive in and give it a go nonetheless, after all I’m slightly odd at times too. I nervously signed up for an account, started following people who showed up under the word ‘adoption’ in the search criteria and started tweeting my blog around. Slowly I found other adopters and gained some retweets of the blog from Adoption UK and BAAF. I made a point of tweeting well known adopters and got very excited when Sinitta retweeted a link to my blog and people replied to me. That was the point I was hooked. I felt like I was starting to do something to promote adoption.

But then something else happened. I started to find other adopters and adoption bloggers. We started to chat and share stories and support each other.

A whole community evolved on Twitland, a world of lovely and very real adopters who laugh, love and very often struggle on a daily basis. We share information and insights and support each others blogs. We share highs and lows and daily tidbits.

Life with Katie also evolved from being a promotional tool to being a part of my family. I process most of my emotions and parenting decisions, both positive and not so positive through my writing and the blog has held my hand through some difficult times as has the online adoption community. I’ve learned so much from reading other blogs and the comments I’ve received on my own blog. The community online are fabulous and we are always happy to embrace new adopters to our clan so if you’re reading this and still at the lurking, very nervous of dipping your toe in, stage don’t be shy. Come and say hello.

Nearly 2 years ago, now a seasoned blogger (and adopter apparently), we decided to adopt again. Aside from the fact we were going to actually put ourselves through the adoption process (something I swore never to do again), it meant I could no longer be TwoBecomeThree online. The obvious progression was ThreebecomeFour (you can see I’m nothing short of original in my thinking) and the blog eventually changed its name to Life With Katie.

For National Adoption Week in 2012 I hosted a week of adoption stories from other bloggers and friends and worked more closely and was supported by not only Adoption UK and BAAF but Coram and a host of other agencies. Life with Katie is shared by agencies with their prospective adopters and people contact me through the blog and it’s been wonderful and a privilege to support several people through their journey towards becoming parents.

The online community shared in every moment of our adoption process and celebrated as we were approved and matched with Pip, Katie’s half biological brother. Nearly 7 weeks ago Pip joined us, aged 7 months old and our world has become far more hectic than ever before as I get to grips with his routine and job of juggling two children. It’s been a big adjustment and has been totally wonderful but not without some trials and tribulations and has left me an enormously tired and with reduced daily time for tweeting and writing (how dare the life I’m writing about interfere with the time I have for writing about the life I’m writing about!).  

I’ve been neglecting my friends online woefully but I know these are the people who understand the most and will forgive me. I am missing writing as much as I did and all the friends and community that Life with Katie is now a part of but hope to find my balance again soon.

Do come and say hello to me either on Twitter (@threebecomefour) or at the blog Life With Katie and keep my fingers actively tweeting (and help save my baby-tired brain from total atrophy). In fact thank you to Vicki and Sarah for asking me to write this and helping with that very condition.

My Twitter Life by @Lauralikes2read

013Monday’s post comes from Laura, who is sharing her Twitter Life. We hope it, and other similar posts by other Tweeters will encourage you to dip your toe into Twitter too…

If you do, take a look at the Tweeters over there –

find Laura tweeting at @lauralikes2read

 

We decided to adopt in Spring 2011 and whilst waiting for our “preparing to adopt” sessions in November of that year I took it upon myself to find out as much as I could about adoption, trauma, neglect and therapeutic parenting. I had read all the books in the library (and plenty more that I bought) but somehow it wasn’t enough

I started using twitter as a bit of a “lurker”. I used it initially to get instant information from organisations such as Adoption UK, New Family Social, and BAAF which brought to my attention a variety of content from bloggers and other organisations.  The turning point was when I subscribed to the UK Adoption Daily Twitter paper [http://paper.li/fingalm/1312560551] and every day, I got masses of current news, articles and blogs to satisfy my thirst for information.

For a long time I read blogs by adoptive parents that gave me what I was looking for: honest accounts of the ups and downs of life with an adopted child.

I lapped up reading about how these parents put into practice all the theory I had been reading.  I felt like I was getting an understanding of what life is really like, and what to expect. I really feel that all that reading helped me set my expectations for my impending parenthood at the right level and that it gave me strength to remain calm in the early days when I was getting to know my daughter and dealing with the big emotions, the rejection and easing her transition.

I followed the authors of these blogs on Twitter, I saw their conversations with each other, it gave me hope and stirred feelings of empathy and solidarity. I realised that we’re all just people trying to do our best, and trying to be brave – and that even experienced people need some kind words and encouragement now and then.

I changed my user name for confidentiality once my Daughter was placed and started to follow more and more people, all who had been touched by adoption, fostering or the care system in some way. I braved it, and starting tweeting people little comments here and there and was pleased to get comments and follows back. I enjoy hearing news from prospective adopters, those who have been recently placed, and celebrating little successes with people whose children have been with them a long time. And of course I also enjoy being able to give a little advice to those who are walking the path I did last year.

I also feel very strongly about using Twitter as a way to be kind to people who are having a dark/ranty moment, as people have always been very kind an supportive to me.

I find that on Twitter people are very honest about how hard it can sometimes be. It shows me that although life is by no means perfect, and you may never be the perfect family you might have hoped to be, you are doing just fine. A refreshing and healthy approach!

It doesn’t always have to be serious though – the adoption Twitter community are an intelligent, witty bunch and I’ve spend many an evening chuckling into my Earl Grey tea!

Me & My Blog – Grey Street

Lindsay from Grey Street

 

Lindsay from Grey Street is an adoptive mom and step-mom living in Canada – this is why she writes…

 

 

 

 

I started blogging about our family’s everyday happenings as a way to keep in touch with extended family and friends who live far away. But when our plans for children came to a crashing stop and we entered the adoption world, I found myself scouring adoption blogs to find information and get the non-social worker, nitty gritty low down answer on what adoption was really like. What were we really getting ourselves into?

And so as our journey evolved, so did my blog and my writing. Instead of just reading what others bloggers were doing I joined in and found a great adoption blogging community

You see, if you don’t know already, adoption will pull and stretch and sometimes kick you into dark cobwebbed closets and it will bring you to the top of the highest hills in the brightest sunshine. It’s hard. And wonderful. Sometimes in the same moment. And sometimes we need to shout from the rooftops how in love we are and sometimes we need a place to cry and say ‘help’.

Adoption bloggers understand those highs and lows and they don’t brush you off and say things like ‘all kids do that’ or ‘it’s just a phase’. They say things like ‘I’ve been there’ and ‘Read this article, it helped me when we were going through the same thing’. 

And so writing my experiences not only helps me process all the highs and lows adoption brings to my life, but it connects to me to others who understand and make me feel not so alone in this crazy journey.

You can read Lindsay’s blog here, and see her link-up regularly with The Weekly Adoption Shout Out.

 

 

 

 

Suddenly Mummy

Suddenly Mummy biog

 

Suddenly Mummy is a single adoptive mummy and foster carer, here she shares why she blogs, and what blogging means to her…

 

 

Even before I formally applied to be a foster carer, I decided that I would have a blog documenting the whole experience and that it would be called ‘Suddenly Mummy’.  I’m not sure what motivated me at the time and it was actually months after I was approved that I got around to making that first post, but once I got my first comment, I was hooked!

I guess my imaginary future blog was a bit like my imaginary future child.  I had thought about it and named it, but hadn’t really got any clue as to how that might work out in real life!  I was new to blogging, had no idea how to get my blog ‘out there’ and not much desire to find out really.  At first it was only about writing (which I love), documenting moments I didn’t want to forget, and keeping distant friends and family in the loop with what was happening.  I thought that if nobody else ever saw it, that would be fine with me.

Yeah, well, that didn’t last long.  Pretty soon I noticed that my stats page would tell me how many page views I had, where my readers had come from, and which of my posts were most popular.  I started checking . . . it got addictive! When I started getting the odd comment, I found the feeling of connecting with and hearing from the outside world strangely exhilarating.  I wanted more!

Then I was introduced to the blog of a friend of a friend, and through that, to #WASO.  I had never even heard of a linky before and had to ask for tech support to work out how to put the #WASO badge on my blog!  But once I started linking up each week, my page views, comments and other stats practically exploded.  Even better than that, I discovered a whole host of other superb blogs.

I had found a community I didn’t even know I was looking for.

I suppose there are some who would think it a bit sad to get so much out of an online community. Why don’t you go out and meet some ‘real’ people?” they might say. Easier said than done!

I am a single parent and carer. I have one adopted child, and I also foster children aged 0-3.  That means that during the day I am running around like a crazy woman, and in the evenings I am tethered to the house.  I do get to meet other foster carers at mandatory training and things like that but, although I spend a lot of time with other families with young children, I don’t actually know a single other family who have adopted a child within the last 20 years.

It takes a lot of time, perseverance, effort and kind babysitters to get out there and meet brand new people.  Thankfully, my laptop isn’t so high maintenance.  Sitting here in the evenings, blogging and reading blogs, I get to ‘meet’ adopters and adoptees from all walks of life, with all types of experience, and from all over the world – impossible for me to achieve in the ‘real world’.

Added to that, I’ve found that connecting with adopter bloggers has not only given me an insight into adoption (and everything I’ve got to come!), but has also opened up a whole new dimension for me as a foster carer.  Now, when I’m preparing a child to go to their new adoptive family, I have such a clear idea of the experiences that family may have gone through; their hopes, wishes and dreams, their heartaches and yearnings.

I have known the longing of childlessness, but I have never tried to have a birth child.  I have never been through the dashed hopes of infertility, the trauma of miscarriages or the indignity of infertility treatment.  I adopted my little one after I had fostered him for a year so I have never had to leaf through a magazine of heartbreaking images of children’s faces, looking for ‘the one’.  I have little in common with many adopters, but through reading honest and open blogs, I can add the experience and knowledge of so many others to my own.

Now, when I’m preparing to meet that new adopter for the first time, I have a clearer picture of where they have come from.  I can let myself walk in their shoes a little, understand some of their anxieties, prepare myself for their questions, and even answer the questions they might not ask.

 Hopefully that makes me a better foster carer, and a better parent.

 When we choose to connect ourselves to others, to learn from them and embrace their perspectives, then we all come away enriched by the process.  As I continue blogging, I discover that what was meant to be just an outlet for me has become much more than that.  And if anyone thinks that’s a bit ‘sad’, then I’m ok with it!

You can read Suddenly Mummy’s blog here, she’s also a regular contributor to the Weekly Adoption Shout Out.

My Twitter Life by @sallydwrites

Sally Twitter
Twitter is vacuous, superficial, shallow crap. Right?
Wrong.
Twitter is a bit like life.  It depends who you choose to surround yourself with.

I ventured nervously on to twitter a couple of years ago.  I was trying to sell my book, a memoir about adoption.  There had been a few ‘near misses’ and the message coming back from publishers was ‘it’s great but not commercial enough’.  Adoption, infertility, raising children a bit differently, education are very much minority issues, I was told.  I wondered if they were right.  My agent was certain they weren’t and told me to get on and prove them wrong.  ‘And start blogging’ she said. ‘How?’ I asked.  ‘I’ve no idea’ she replied.  (But that’s a whole other story.)

Within a few weeks of nervously tip-toeing around twitter I started to find a community of adopters, adoptees, foster carers, social workers, academics, charities, parents and others.

I followed them. They followed me back.

Conversations developed around all sorts of issues, some silly, some funny, some serious.  I gradually found that I could share some of the day-to-day realities of raising children with early trauma (realities that I find hard to share face-to-face) and that there was always someone around who understood.  Where I had found message boards to be cumbersome, lengthy and sometimes depressing, I found twitter to be quick, reactive, sparky and uplifting.  There are of course some who wish to cause trouble and offence on twitter, as in life, and for them there is the ‘block’ button.

Those of us raising children who have had a less than ideal start, do not live glamorous lives and many of us parent at the extreme end of the scale. It can be isolating.  Tweeting ‘I’ve just found another shit in the garden’ or reading ‘OK, so who’s bent all the spoons?’ is liberating and therapeutic and can turn desperation into laughter.  ‘It’s not just me’ is a wonderful realisation.

I did eventually connect via twitter with Stephen Jones of Jessica Kingsley Publishers who commissioned my book No Matter What, which will published in July of this year.  Although it met with my original intention, twitter is no longer about trying to find a readership, it is about connecting and feeling part of a community and learning and supporting.

I consider my twitter friends to be just that, friends.  We have ranted and joked and laughed together though the best and worst of times and I wouldn’t be without them.ly

Sally blogs at www.sallydonovan.net You can find her on Twitter here. If you’d like to share your ‘Twitter Life’ on The Adoption Social, then send us your story, our details are here.

Adopt and Keep Calm

Adopt and Keep CalmBuster is a single adopter. Bonzo is her nearly 6 year old son. Read about them at Adopt and Keep Calm.

It took me some time to get into Twitter. All the talk of twitter, tweets and having tweeted was quite frankly going over my head.

Then, one bored evening I set up an account. Really wasn’t very impressed, wondered who on earth would ever read my tweets, and let the account lay dormant, till my next bored evening. (which was probably the following night!).

Then I had a brainwave, a very rare happening these days, and typed in ‘adoption’. Suddenly the world of tweets took on a new life, and I haven’t stopped tweeting or being a ‘twitterer’ ever since.(I am sure there is a joke in there somewhere about being a twit, but I’ll leave it up to you to find).

For me Twitter is great. Somewhere, that pretty much anonymously I can scream, shout, sulk, cry (sometimes virtually and really at the same time), laugh, encourage, support……… I say anonymously, a few of my ‘followers’ are friends in real-life too, and many of them feel like good friends even though I have never met them. (sorting that out soon though.)

Sometimes my role on Twitter is to vent, sometimes it is to support others, sometimes I just read, sometimes I respond. 

From a couple of years back when I thought the world of Twitter was a mad world indeed, I have leapt to when Twitter is part of my daily life. (Click to tweet!)

I am still old fashioned and keep it to my laptop, as if I had it on my phone as well, I would get nothing done, and Bonzo would get no attention. For me, Twitter and Facebook dominantly happen when Bonzo is happily sleeping, or at school.

And then we move onto blogging.

A similar story really. I had heard about blogging, read about blogging, read some blogs and spoken with some bloggers. Then encouraged by Vicki from The Boy’s Behaviour,  I put pen to paper, or more aptly, fingers to keys. And haven’t looked back.

For me blogging is almost like a therapy.

I can say far more anonymously to the world of adopters and others, than I can to friends and family. Sometimes blogs take minutes to write and sometimes they take a lot longer. Sometimes writing them makes me cry, this always means they take a bit longer as I can’t see what I am doing. Often people’s comments afterwards make me cry too. Sometimes they make me smile – remembering Bonzo’s achievements and how far he has come, how far we have come as a family.

I hope they are a help for others, even if it just the reader knowing they are not alone.  Certainly when I read other people’s blogs I realise I am not alone. I also realise how fortunate I am, in that some people have far worse things to deal with than I do – blogging (reading & writing them) often helps me put things in perspective.

Mainly, tweeting and blogging keeps me sane. Readers of my tweets may not realise (as it is often very negative) that generally I am an upbeat person with a lively, if slightly warped, sense of humour. Sometimes this comes through in my blog – though I have to be careful that it doesn’t just turn into pure sarcasm! I can generally find something to smile about and find the good out of the bad. Not always, but usually.

So, for those of you out there that read my blog, and tweets, thank you – for keeping me sane.

Read more about Buster and Bonzo on their blog here.

The Family of Five – Me and my Blog

familyof5

 

MUM AND DAD PLUS THREE CHILDREN MAKES A FAMILY OF FIVE. HERE MUM TELLS HER STORY AND HOW SHE CAME TO BLOGGING….

I’ve been asked to write about Me and My Blog by The Adoption Social, I feel totally honoured because I’m not a writer, I’m not even particularly articulate or intellectual, I’m just normal, ordinary, I’m just me. I’ve been writing my blog for 2 years now. I’ve been an adoptive mum for 3 years. My husband and I adopted our 3 girls in the Summer of 2010.

Adoption is/was something I’d always wanted to do, I recall as a child telling my friends it was something I was going to do. It wasn’t necessarily the first choice for my husband, but once he’d learnt more about it he knew it was the right path for us.

We started our journey January 2009. We later spotted our girls in the children who wait magazine 4 months after we were approved to become adopters. 7 months later we bought them home. 19 months from filling in that first enquiry form with a voluntary agency to becoming a mum of 3.I knew quite early on that the girls were going to have some problems. I knew ‘something wasn’t quite right’ I just didn’t know what. In the Summer of 2011 our adoption order was granted. I hadn’t realised that this would also mean all of our social worker support would be withdrawn. The regular contact we’d had from social workers abruptly stopped. That’s when things started to get even tougher, only this time I had nowhere to turn for advice.

I found my self searching for advice online. It was this that prompted me to speak with our GP, school nurse, health visitor etc. By February 2012 all 3 girls had CAMHS referrals. I’ve blogged about CAMHS a lot, we do a lot of talking at our meetings with them, but I don’t feel we’ve actually done anything yet.

Getting support has been and still is the hardest fight I’ve ever fought in my life.

We also have the added complications of having adopted our girls from outside our local authority, in fact we adopted them from an authority over 200 miles away. If I’d known the difficulties and complexity’s this in its self would pose, would I still have done it? I honestly don’t know.

We don’t have the ‘regular’ issues that most adoptive parents I’ve met struggle with. We don’t have violence or aggression, we have compliance. Compliance is harder for some people to understand as you can’t ‘see’ it, they don’t want you to see the real them, they’re too scared. My children don’t scream ‘I hate you’, instead they smile, a lot, from ear to ear, and keep all of their real emotions locked away inside. We don’t know what’s going on inside, the worry’s fears and thoughts they’re having, which makes it so difficult to help them. We have very subtle levels of defiance, subtle enough to go unnoticed by the world but enough to control, manipulate and keep themselves safe.

They see everything, they hear everything, they give nothing.

We’re 2 years and 8 months in to our journey. It’s not what we expected, we’re not the family we thought we’d be, and we’re not the parents we’d planned to be. Its been a roller coaster journey with so many highs and happy times, but there has been more low’s than we could have ever imagined. Throughout our journey we’ve had ASD diagnosis, SALT diagnosis and attachment difficulties. At various stages throughout our journey we have been and are being seen by community paediatrician’s, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, physiotherapists, ASD counsellors, GP’s, Mental Health counsellors, family therapist and psychotherapists, and yet we’re still working towards getting some real support for the girls and for us as a family.

We’ve lost many friends on our journey but we’ve made so many new ones, we’ve been welcomed with open arms by the world of adoptive parents who have been a great support to me this last year. Through all of this, we’ve still managed to ‘be a family’, we’ve shared happy times and made lasting happy memories, we’ve laughed and cried and grown, and as my baby girl would say ‘we love each other to Spain and back cause we a family aren’t we mommy and that’s what family’s do don’t they’.

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