Category Archives: Meet the Blogger

Meet The Blogger: Full Time Tired

Today we meet the bloggers behind Full Time Tired – Laura and Diego…oh, and dinner’s at their house!

Quick 5 ­ In my life at the moment…

Book: Diego: I’m not reading anything at moment that hasn’t got the word “child”, “hurt”, or “trauma” on the cover; and foster training hasn’t started yet!

Music: Laura: Bonamassa, 3 Doors Down, Metric. And my only vice: Absolutely 80’s on the radio all day.

TV programme: Both: All time favourite: Mad About You. We loved it from episode 1, scene 1: arguing in the kitchen. Each season that followed tracked a different period our life, to the point it got spooky! Also loved Cheers, and Frasier. Yeah, we are that old. From this side of the pond: Black Books, Episodes, and Catastrophe. We occasionally watch serious programmes too.

Food: Both: A nice homemade pasta, with fresh tomato sauce, extra parmesan on top. Be here by 7 o’clock. Everyone’s invited. Did we mention we are Italian?

Pastime: Laura: Moving, selling, upcycling furniture, and generally creating space for a new double bedroom in the house. And in between all that fun, I’m on the phone with the embassy and various Italian Town Halls in a vain attempt to sort out Ben’s passport.

Who is your favourite adoption blogger?
Both: Do we need to pick only one? We both love Nicole and her blog Coffee Colored Sofa (http://www.coffeecoloredsofa.com/). It was one of the first blogs we came across and one we still enjoy reading regularly. Loved the homely feeling of the blog title too.

What makes you and/or your family laugh?
Laura: Diego, most of the time at my expenses. Ben is getting funnier by the day, although unknowingly. I think I’ll need to up my game.

Why did you start blogging about adoption?
Laura: It started as sort of diary to leave Ben when he grows up. I thought it could help him make sense of what happened, and selfishly I wanted him to know how hard we fought for some aspects of his life, particularly the ones out of our control: losing his British passport, or being unable to meet his brother, for example. Recently I also found out it’s a good way to make sense of what’s going on in my head, and to ask for help when struggling. By the way, thanks to all who came to the rescue.

Where do you get your blogging inspiration from?
Both: Every week we worry we won’t have anything to write, until we start writing. It turns out that life happens faster than we can write about it. And until that stays that way, we should be alright.

What I hope I can give to my child?
Diego: The confidence to live a little recklessly and some values on the side not to lose sight of what is important to him. Oh, and a good soundtrack to go with all of that.

Click here to visit Full Time Tired. You can also tweet Laura @LauraBoccaleone and Diego @DiegoBoccaleone

Meet The Blogger: Adoption: The Bear Facts

A very warm welcome to Blogfox14, blogger at Adoption: The Bear Facts who is featured as today’s Meet The Blogger.

Book: Trying to read my way through everything by JoJo Moyes
Music: Capital or Kiss radio for dancing around the kitchen; lots of tuneless singing of Uptown Funk with Big Bear
TV Prog: Ugly House to Lovely House to get ideas for our upcoming renovations (that’s the official line, really just to spend some quality time with gorgeous George Clarke!)
Food: Thai always
Pastime: Blogging is rapidly taking over but building my Lego Mini or hunting for vintage coffee pots when I have time

My biggest challenge as an adoptive parent:
Probably balancing the very different needs of my two boys. When there is an incident, who do you go to first? Victim or perpetrator? How do you separate them whilst leaving neither alone? Making sure they feel equally loved and they both have quality time.

When I look into the eyes of my child I see:
Little Bear reminds me of an Armadillo – hard on the outside, soft on the inside. Sometimes, when he allows his gaze to meet mine, I can see straight into his soft, vulnerable centre.

At the weekend I can mostly be found:
In my wellies, trudging after a muddy scooter and balance bike to find really muddy mud. Also, at the zoo or snuggled up on the sofa watching a film.

What makes me/ my family laugh:
Both bears make me laugh a lot. I love it when Big Bear starts a sentence with “Dad, imagine there was a ferret and it…..” or Little Bear decides to wear the play tunnel and waddles around looking like ET.

What I hope I can give to my children:
A strong sense of self so that they can be who they truly are, without necessarily following the path everyone else takes. I also hope I can give them a good set of communication and social skills as they will carry you through most situations in life.

Why did I start blogging about adoption?:
I replied to an email from our Agency offering Social Media training for potential online adoption champions. There were very limited places and when I didn’t get one, realised I really wanted to blog anyway.

As a teenager I was a big diary writer and more recently have dabbled in children’s fiction. I’m just a frustrated author writing about what I know.

Meet The Blogger: A Hopeful Dad

This week it’s LGBT Adoption & Fostering week – run by New Family Social. And so we’re pleased this week to welcome a Meet The Blogger post from prospective adoptive parent A Hopeful Dad, who writes about the adoption journey he and his husband are on…

Quick 5 – In my life at the moment….

Book – They’re all about adoption at the moment.

Music – Whatever’s on the radio…

TV programme – The Walking Dead

Food – Sweet potato & feta frittata.

Pastime – Running

Why did you start blogging about adoption?
At the beginning, I started blogging so I felt like I was doing something while we waited for the approval stage to start. Now it’s a great way to keep me focussed and helps me reflect on what’s going on.

Tea/Gin?
Gin in a teapot…

What do you think is your biggest source of support?
My family and friends. They’re all incredibly supportive of our decision to adopt.

What is the best or most memorable piece of advice you have ever received?
Be true to yourself.

At the weekend I can mostly be found…
Reading the papers and relaxing. I’m doing that as much as possible until the children arrive.

You can find A Hopeful Dad blogging here and more about LGBT Adoption & Fostering week here. And in a double whammy – here’s A Hopeful Dad’s post about LGBT Adoption & Fostering week.

Meet The Blogger: But All Kids Do That

Today we welcome a Meet the Blogger post from Sarah at But All Kids Do That

Quick 5 – In my life at the moment….

Book – The most recent book I read which was at my GP’s suggestion was a beginner’s guide to yoga.  It was terrible (the book, not yoga).  About an hour into it I found myself sat on the floor drinking wine and swearing.  This did, in fact, help me feel less stressed but maybe I’ll try a class instead.

Music – Muse and Queens of the Stone Age are probably top of my listen list at the moment.

TV programmes – I am just not a big TV watcher, I much prefer PC games.  Heroes of the Storm and EVE at the moment, but I do like a good first person shooter.

Food – I love good food, but my sneaky treat whenever my husband works late is oven chips and fried eggs.  I only eat the yolks.  He doesn’t know, and the waste would really bug him.

Pastime – Aside from gaming, I exercise a lot.  Running, swimming, gym, and hopefully soon learning to ride a bike properly to try a triathlon.

What is your biggest challenge as an adoptive parent?
By far the biggest challenge I have is balancing the needs of my two very different children, each with their own very different problems, and managing their difficult and fraught relationship with each other.

What do you wish you had known before you adopted your children?
I wish I had known how isolating adopting would be, and that there would simply be no-one to talk to who would just accept what I or my husband said about our children.  I would have felt a lot less upset, anger and disappointment if I’d had lower expectations.  I would also have spent a lot less time trying to change minds, and a lot more time simply telling people how things were going to be when it came to my children.

Why did you start blogging about adoption?
I blog because it allows me to express the frustrations, joy, pride, anger, love, resentment and many other things that I simply can’t voice to anyone “real” in our lives at the moment.

Where do you get your blogging inspiration from?
I wouldn’t call it inspiration, I don’t normally know where my blog posts are going, and a lot don’t get published.

Tea/Gin?
Yes please.  Well, more wine than gin really.  And definitely plenty of tea.

What do you think is your biggest source of support?
My biggest boost is my kids.  The good times I have with them keep me going through the difficult times.  The smile, the “I love you Mummy”, the kindness, there are always enough good bits that it makes the bad bits OK.

Reward charts yes/no?
No, this sort of parenting just doesn’t work with my kids.

What is the best or most memorable piece of advice you have ever received?
That there is no quick fix, no “right” parenting trick that will solve behaviour issues which are routed in attachment problems or the result of early trauma.  It’s a long game, and in the short term all we can do is manage the behaviour, build the relationship, and make the most of what good time we can have together.

My perfect adoption support would include…
I don’t entirely know what my perfect support would include because we haven’t even got close to scratching the surface of what’s needed.  Right now, a comprehensive assessment of both children and ongoing therapeutic support for the whole family to help us help our daughter and live with the impact of her early trauma and an assessment for ADHD for both children, and sensory processing issues for our daughter.

When I look into the eyes of my child I see…
When I look into my son’s eyes I see trust and mischief.  He is an adorable rascal, a complete handful under the best of circumstances, but he has a basic joy and faith in the world which all children this age should have.

When I look into my daughter’s eyes I see turmoil and defiance.  Even when she’s smiling and seems happy, even when she looks at me and tells me she loves me, there is no peace for her.

The difference is so clear it is like night and day, and it makes me indescribably sad.

The best thing we did this week was….
The best thing we did this week was pick blackberries and make them into crumble.  Or maybe that was last week, I’m not sure.  This week we rolled down the hill in the park and got covered in grass.  That was pretty good fun.

If you could take your children anywhere in the world to see something where would you go?
To the circus, and we’re going, tomorrow.

What I hope I can give to my child/Children?
My children are three and four.  I want to give them a childhood full of normal childhood things, and the ability to enjoy them.

At the weekend I can mostly be found…
At the park, swimming baths, rugby pitch, zoo, or anywhere else out and about where I can take my kids to have fun and run around.

What makes you and/or your family laugh?
My son and his various three year old antics.  He’s a comic, and even our daughter is tickled by it.  Let’s just say that when he grows up I will have lots of stories to tell anyone he brings home. Also photos, and videos too, my poor boy!

You can read more from Sarah on her blog at http://butallkidsdothat.blogspot.co.uk/

Meet The Blogger – The Giggles Family

It’s been a while I know, but we’re bringing back a special Meet The Blogger to introduce to you…Theunnamed Giggles Family…

Quick 5 – In my life at the moment….

Book – How do people have time to read books?

Music – We are pretty eclectic. Anything from Enya to Kanye West. If it evokes an emotions or makes us move our feet we like it.

TV programme – 24 Hours in A&E (with a tissue), Orange is the new black and I’m not going to lie, I do like a bit of Made In Chelsea!

Food – Weekdays we try to “clean eat”. Weekends anything goes!

Pastime– Making and editing videos 😉

What is your biggest challenge as an adoptive parent?
Trying to see into the future! With every decision we make, we are trying to second guess how our son will view it, which is basically impossible. We are just trying to do our best for him, to help him feel confident with his start in life and what that means for him.

What do you wish you had known before you adopted your children?
That you don’t have to feel bad if you don’t feel like “mum” at the start. It can take months for the relationship to grow, years even for some. It’s the same for a lot of biological parents too!

Why did you start blogging about adoption?
We made a blog and YouTube channel to keep a record of our family for my husband, family and friends. As he is in the army we had to move away from family and friends and this year he has to stay on a different base to us most of the week. Its only recently that we mentioned adoption in the videos. It was after a lot of thought and worry. We have had a really positive reaction. Its something we talk about openly (the process, the fact, but not our sons personal story) and confidently as just another way of making a family.

Where do you get your blogging inspiration from?
Firstly from thinking about what I want recorded for my husband and son. Secondly, The every day things that happen in family life. I figured if something matters or has happened to me, chances are it has happened to someone else too. It’s a great way to support each other. Recently I have wanted to write about how we are starting to think about how we welcome another child into the family. Whether to go with fertility treatments or adoption a second time and how many issues that brings up.

Who is your favourite adoption blogger?
Sally Donovan, No Bohns About It.

Who is your favourite non-adoption blogger?
The Honest Mum, A Mummy Too.

What made you choose the blogging platform i.e blogger/wordpress that you did?
I’ve used WordPress before but kept finding glitches so decided to try Blogger. I find it easier to use, and easy to integrate with other google tools and our YouTube channel.

Tea/Gin?
I’m rubbish at drinking. Seriously one glass and I’m under the table so tea and biscuit for me please.

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

Reward charts yes/no?
J isn’t old enough to use these with anyway, so I have to admit I haven’t researched into this kind of thing enough yet to have an educated opinion

What is the best or most memorable piece of advice you have ever received?
To “Fake it until you make it”. However I would say, still have some people in your life you feel you can tell even your deepest darkest thoughts to. Its best to get them our of your system.

Also to trust in your instincts. You are with your child most.

My perfect adoption support would include…
A life story book and later life letter that were actually ready before court concluded and that we had input in! Local play groups etc with other adoptive families. Funding for therapeutic support.

When I look into the eyes of my child I see.. Determination

The best thing we did this week was….Spend time together as a family

If you could take your children anywhere in the world to see something where would you go?
When he is older, snorkelling on a coral reef. He is amazed by water and fish!

What I hope I can give to my child/Children?
Confidence in who he is, to be an individual and curiosity at the world.

Find us at:

Blog: www.thegigglesfamily.com

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/GigglesFamily

If you’re a blogger who hasn’t ever been interviewed for Meet The Blogger and would like to be, then please email us at theadoptionsocial@gmail.com

Meet the Blogger – Helen Oakwater

unnamedToday’s Meet The Blogger comes from adoptive mum, coach, trainer and writer Helen Oakwater. You can find her blog on her website Bubble Wrapped Children.

Quick 5 – In my life at the moment….


Book
– Baby P the Untold Story by Prof Ray Jones

Music – Bruce Springsteen
TV programme – Sex in the City – missed it first time round
Food – anything gluten free
Pastime – swim

What is your biggest challenge as an adoptive parent?
1. Letting go.

2. Watching them self destruct

What do you wish you had known before you adopted your children?
1. That the impact of maltreatment and neglect meant they had massive holes in their past. I would have done much much more babying, regression and encouringing them to act younger than their age.

2. That healing takes time and kids need to know the truth about their past.
3. That BM (birth mother) lied and denied and SW (social workers) were scared of her.
4. Adoption support and therapy are essential must haves
5. The financial cost of not being able to work (due to full time therapeutic parenting) and funding therapy from my savings and pension mean I will have to work for the next few decades (while non adoptive parents and friends are retiring)
6. The body keeps score – the damage to my health through living with trauma for decades

Tea/Gin?
Why not both? Neither with milk

What do you think is your biggest source of support?
1. My friend and mentor Lynda (adopter)

2.Other adopters
3. Swimming habit (stopped my head exploding)
4. NLP and coaching which helped me see things from a different perspective.

Reward charts yes/no?
For traumatised kids no

For parents … maybe, especially if chocolate is involved

What is the best or most memorable piece of advice you have ever received?
Do something about this now … it wont improve with time … it will get worse

My perfect adoption support would include…
How many pages do you want?????

If you blog about adoption and would like to tell us a bit more about yourself, then please email us at theadoptionsocial@gmail.com and we can send you our list of questions.

Meet The Blogger – Love in the Clouds

Today’s we meet Love in the Clouds a blog and adoption gift shop.
Quick 5 – In my life at the moment….
love in trhe cloudBook – No time to read at the moment though I do scan the blogs on my BlogLovin App each night when I get into bed.
Music- Ellie Goulding, Your Song. It was our wedding song as I walked down the aisle and as fate would have it, our sons favourite song.
TV programme– Made In Chelsea NYC (yep  know its not real but its funny!)
Food- Jacket potatoes as they are quick to heat up when my baby goes down for a quick nap!
Pastime– Setting up my Adoption Gifts shop Love In The Clouds
  1. What is your biggest challenge as an adoptive parent? To not give myself a hard time about not being the “perfect mum”. I have to constantly remind myself its ok to be a “normal mum” with up, downs and just do my best.
  1. What do you wish you had known before you adopted your children? Firslty that though love can be instant for some, feeling like a “mum” takes time to grow. Thats normal and nothing to feel bad about. Secondly that the process is long and can surprise you at any times by not working out how you expected. I would tell my old self to go out more during that time and enjoy just being a couple.
  1. Why did you start blogging about adoption? At first it was therapeutic, sharing my thoughts. It meant so so much getting messages from people saying they felt the same, giving advice or just saying they found it interesting. Online support is an amazing thing. As the subscribers grew I realised it could become “something” so started working on my Adoption Gift shop which people seem excited about which has given me the confidence to go for it!
 Where do you get your blogging inspiration from? Daily life! I usually get an idea at awkward times like when shipmate is asleep on me and I cant reach a pen, or at 3am after his feed when I cant get back to sleep. My Twitter followers are great for inspiring me with their chats. The WordPress App has been a godsend as I can write on the go.
  1. Tea/Gin? Tea. A hint of alcohol and I’m sick! Wish that wasnt the case!
  1. What do you think is your biggest source of support? My husband for persuading me to be positive when I am doubting myself and my son. When he looks in my eyes I think about how much I want to be able to continue to look after him at home, so I really need the blog and shop to work out to be able to afford to! I dont want to miss out on a minute of him!
  1. Reward charts yes/no? I have used them in the past as a nanny with success. I really think it depends on the individual child though so cant say yet if I would use one with Shipmate.
  1. My perfect adoption support would include… I really think Adoption Agencies should provide a welcome pack after matching panel with your local and national support orgnisaions. I am now in touch with a local adoption toddler group but I found out about it by chance. I would really have benefited from it earlier on in the placement when I needed to hear from peers that how I was feeling was normal!
  1. When I look into the eyes of my child I see.. cheekiness!
  1. The best thing we did this week was…. Our first swimming lesson. Shipmate loves the water. He was he splashiest baby there. There was a part where he had to lay on his back and he kept reaching to touch my face and giggling. It was so touching.
  1. If you could take your children anywhere in the world to see something where would you go? Not exotic sorry but I can’t wait to take him to Ripleys Believe It or Not. We went when I was a child and I remember being totally amazed by these weird and wonderful things from around the world! It was like magic!
  1. What I hope I can give to my child/Children? Confidence to be exactly who he is. A feeling deep inside of being loved totally and unconditionally. The ability to find something to giggle at in any situation.
  1. What makes you and/or your family laugh? Pretty much anything! And if nothing funny is happening, there tends to be spontaneous dancing, silly faces and play fights!

 

Meet The Blogger – No Bohn’s About it

Today meet the blogger questions is from Erin at  No Bohn’s About It

Quick 5 – In my life at the moment….

nobohnsaboutitBook: I haven’t had much time for personal reading lately. The kids are super into the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary, that is about the extent of my recent readings.

 Music: We’re pretty into music from musical theatre lately. The current favorite is definitely Matilda.

 TV programme:  I have a slightly embarrassing addiction to reality television. Lately my favorites are Dancing With The Stars and The Little Couple.

Food: Indian Food! And Sushi! Those are my two favorites. We make a pretty big effort to try lots of different cultural cuisine. Now I’m hungry.

Pass time: Seems like most of my pastimes these days involve the kiddos. We’re pretty big on biking, camping, and being outdoorsy. We also really like live theatre and going to see shows.

What is your biggest challenge as an adoptive parent?

 Navigating the world as a transracial adoptive family. I feel like many adoptive families just kind of fit it, but ours sticks out. Everywhere we go it’s pretty obvious that we are an adoptive family.

What do you wish you had known before you adopted your children?

 I wish I had known that love isn’t enough. There is so much more to being an adoptive parent then just love. You need love AND knowledge.

Why did you start blogging about adoption?

 I started blogging as an outlet for my feelings. I didn’t have many people in real life in similar situations. Through blogging and reading the blogs of others I have learned so much and become a better parent.

Where do you get your blogging inspiration from?

 From my children of course! They are hilarious and insightful. They crack me up daily and always give me something to think and talk about.

What made you choose the blogging platform i.e blogger/wordpress that you did?

 I use wordpress. I didn’t know much about blogging and just randomly googled “wordpress or blogger” the first article that came up suggested wordpress so I went with that. Never gave it another thought.

Tea/Gin?

Tea! Every morning before I wake my children up for the day I drink a tea and relax with 10 peaceful minutes to myself.

 

Meet The Blogger – Single Adopter

It’s been a while since we ‘met’ any new bloggers here on The Adoption Social so we were thrilled when Single Adopter got in touch. If you’d like to feature here, do drop us a line so we can send you our set list of questions…

Quick 5 – In my life at the moment…

Book – Black by Design by Pauline Black

Music – Loving Sam Smith & John Legend (thanks @PedallingSolo for the recommendation)

TV programme – Just finished Blacklist now catching up on The Killing; Grey’s Anatomy is also a fave (McSteamy for those wondering J)

Food – Thai, Seabass, Halloumi & a weakness for chocolate

Pastime – getting back into running after a neck op, Pilates, Malbec, blogging, volunteering & preparing for Panel

Why did you start blogging about adoption?
To share my story: to hopefully inspire other prospective (single) adopters & for me to look back on to see, hopefully one day, how far I’ve come on this bumpy journey.

Where do you get your blogging inspiration from?
From everyday occurrences, challenges & emotions

Who is your favourite adoption blogger?
I’ve got 3: @NickKing for everyday wit; @NadjaSmit for being thought provoking; & @Mumdrah for her honesty

Tea/Gin?
Can I have both? Can’t beat an Earl Grey & but how I love a Hendricks

What do you think is your biggest source of support?
My family & my best friend, they’ve been & continue to be there every step of the way.

If you could take your children anywhere in the world to see something where would you go?
To see the animals in Africa in their natural habitat, OK it’s somewhere I’d love to go to too

What I hope I can give to my child/Children?
Security, love, laughter & inspiration, for them to become independent & happy in their own skin.

At the weekend I can mostly be found…
Drinking Earl Grey Tea, Skinny Latte’s & Red wine in no particular order (& definitely not at the same time); running around London Parks & the Thames; spending time with my nieces & friends.

 

Meet The Blogger – Life With Katie

Gem from Life with Katie is a popular blogger writing about family life with Katie and now Pip too. Read more about her here….

Life With Katie

Quick 5 – In my life at the moment…

Book:
I’m reading two books at the moment.  For *cough* fun I’m reading Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy.  I’m not mad about the book though I must say but am going to finish it because it will be made into a film and I want to see how it ends.  I’m also reading “Raising Boys” by Steve Biddulph in the hope of gaining some insight into the brain of Pip.

Music:
Avicii which I’m absolutely loving!  Our other main favourite in the car is Taylor Swift’s “Red” album.  Katie and I love singing along.  Katie asked me to put the song on where they dress up like hamsters the other day.  She actually meant the track “22” where they dress up like hipsters!  I love lots of types of music from classical to rock.  I’m still a Radio 1 girl, mostly because they played The Smiths on Radio 2 recently and I cannot accept that The Smiths are now Radio 2 music!

TV programme:
Oh where do I start?  You would see that I clearly have no life if I listed all the programmes I record and wade through each week.  TCM and I both love Elementary” and “Grey’s Anatomy”. We scare ourselves silly each week watching “The Following”.  I love watching “Girls” which I find off beat and hilarious.

Food:
I’ve just polished off an emormous Toblerone. Does that qualify as food?  I am Coeliac so food plays a big part in my life, mostly having to avoid the things I used to love.  I like to bake tasty gluten-free cakes and biscuits and my brownies are legendary.  Our favourite meals are mussels and frites or fahitas and my favourite restaurant to visit is our local Thai restaurant. If there was one thing I could eat right at this minute, without fear of being ill, it would be a piece of warm French stick laden with butter.

Pastime:
I’ve always liked to dance and sing, performing in many shows as a youngster and becoming a Butlin’s Redcoat in my late teens and early 20s.  I am part of a Reiki healing group and have been doing Reiki for many years.  Since Pip joined us I’ve felt very tired in the evenings so am mostly just chilling and watching TV and going to my healing group.

What is your biggest challenge as an adoptive parent?
Knowing how much to talk about or downplay the fact that they are adopted.  I want them to know they can always talk to me about it without fear of upsetting me but I don’t want them to feel that it is everything about them, because it is just a part of their personal jigsaw puzzle.  It is a topic that will ebb and flow throughout the years I am sure and may differ for each child.  I think it will help them that they shared a Birth Mother and can support each other with that.  I also worry about getting the parenting bit right and how many of our parenting challenges are because they are adopted and how many are them just being children who are pushing boundaries and exploring their personalities.  I try not to see every parenting challenge as being adoption related which helps us stay grounded but can be a challenge in itself.

What do you wish you had known before you adopted your children?
I wish I had known how emotionally charged and complicated contact can be.  When going through the adoption process we were encouraged to think quite literally about contact and the fact that we might have to write letters.  The reality of writing letters that are unanswered or letters that are replied to sporadically is far more complicated as is the issue of telling the children about the letterbox contact.  We also have direct contact with Katie and Pip’s middle sibling, Kip which is a new contact and is quite involved plus we maintain contact with both sets of Foster Carers. It’s a lot of contact in one form or another and it can feel intense, for me that is.

Why did you start blogging about adoption?
I started blogging about adoption as a way of keeping friends and family up to date with our introductions with Katie.  I also have an extraordinarily disastrous memory so continued to keep a record of Katie and Pip’s lives.  I also wanted to share our adoption journey with other people to show that it is something that ordinary people can do. Our life as adopters, thus far, has been relatively straightforward but I seek to be honest about our entire journey to offer as full a picture of our experiences as possible.

Where do you get your blogging inspiration from?
From my children and our life mostly but I also have daily bulletins from Google with news articles about adoption and fostering and take inspiration from policies and events happening in the world of adoption.  I also read other blogs, when I have the time, and draw on, and relate to, the experiences of other adopters.

What made you choose the blogging platform i.e blogger/wordpress that you did?
Blogger was the first platform I found and I found it very straightforward to use.  Having said that I am now feeling constrained by its limitations and am seeking to self-host and redesign Life with Katie probably using a WordPress theme package.  This is very much a work in progress at the moment and I am trying to find the theme that best suits my needs.

Tea/Gin?
Can I say wine?  I am mostly a water drinker, with the odd cup of decaf tea or herbal tea thrown in, but generally around about 6pm I can feel the desire for a glass of Prosecco creeping up on me.  Am I a lush or just a stressed parent?

What do you think is your biggest source of support?
My husband, TCM, and also one of my best friends who is a childcare expert.  I am lucky to be able to gain lots of insight into child development from her and assess where my children are experiencing difficulties but it also helps me to see my children as regular children first and adopted children second.

Reward charts yes/no?
I’m still undecided on this one.  We don’t have issues around shame to manage so we use a pot of beads that Katie collects for good behaviour.  There is always a good reward sitting on the shelf for her when her pot is full to add incentive. I do think they only work as an incentive though when Katie wants them to work and I don’t use the beads all the time.  They come and go when a focus on a specific behavioural issue is required.  I spend my life looking for the ultimate parenting tool (rather like looking for the ultimate handbag and diary) but I suspect it does not exist (hence the need for wine and meditation!).

What is the best or most memorable piece of advice you have ever received?
“Pick your battles!”  I have heard this from many people and it is good advice.  Choose one or two things to focus on at any time and turn your back (sometimes literally) on the others.  I often walk away and seek to not feed energy into an issue that will esculate or have an undesirable outcome.  This is generally harder than it sounds though.

What I hope I can give to my child/Children?
I  hope I can give my children the skills and emotional support to live their lives to their fullest ability.  I hope I can help them become adults who feel confidence in who they are and what their abilities are.  I hope I can help them feel whole and grounded and accept their different start in life.  I hope I can support their journey towards understanding their life and themselves. I hope they grow up knowing they are loved without boundaries

What makes you and/or your family laugh?
The children.  The funny things they say and do.  Their quirky ways and mannerisms.  Katie makes some hilarious faces and is ridiculously cheeky.  For example.  When TCM was attempting to explain to her that Mummy was upset when she broke my vase from Greece because it meant a lot to me, she did a very loud fart and said “Well that meant a lot to me!”  What more can I say?