Category Archives: Meet the Blogger

Meet The Blogger – Three Pink Diamonds

Today it’s the turn of Three Pink Diamonds, read on to learn more about the mum behind the blog…

Boots Picture

Quick 5 – In my life at the moment

Book – Creating Loving Attachments by Dan Hughes & Kim Golding and just about to start reading The New Contented Little Baby Book by Gina Ford.

Music – Pharrell Williams – Happy.

TV programme – New Housewives of New Jersey.

Food – Marvellous Creations Chocolate

Pastime – Baking

What do you wish you had known before you adopted your children?
I wish we were given a deeper insight into how difficult parenting can be and the personal challenges you face whilst caring for children that have already experienced so much. I think if we had been provided with more information then it would have helped me not to feel so desperate and alone in the really dark moments.

Where do you get your blogging inspiration from?
To begin with I wanted to share our story of how we became a family of five overnight. When I found the Adoption Social website and began to share my blogs on a weekly basis I was inspired by the other writers to continue to post about the daily highs and lows of parenting our girls.

Tea/Gin?
Tea.

What is the best or most memorable piece of advice you have ever received?
To take care of yourself, to be kind to yourself and not to expect too much from anyone, including yourself.

My perfect adoption support would include
Supernanny, cook, cleaner, chauffer, live in babysitter and an expert on raising adoptive children on hand.

The best thing we did this week was….
Packing a picnic and heading out to a favourite family spot. The sun was shining, kids were playing and my husband and I were able to relax and enjoy the moment.

If you could take your children anywhere in the world to see something where would you go?
I’m not sure I could pick one place, as there are so many wonderful things to see and do. We went to the airport at the weekend to pick up a close relative. Whilst we were there we saw some planes coming into land and taking off. It was great to see the girls’ faces light up with excitement. I think when they are a little older it would be fantastic to travel abroad with them and to give them that experience.

Meet The Blogger – Travels with my son

Today we meet Isobel – the blogger behind ‘Travels with my son’ – read on to find out photo (5)more…
Quick 5 – In my life at the moment
 
Music-
I sing in a choir and we have a concert at the weekend, so Mozart’s Requiem is on endlessly at the moment until I’ve got all the notes. It’s the first piece of choral music I ever sang, and one of my favourites. It’s in competition with J’s choices though… which are much louder and less classical, shall we say. I go to live music events when I can and I like all sorts – recently opera and folk – and I’m just about to book to see the Unthanks in concert in the autumn. 
 
TV programme-
I don’t watch much TV at all, and only really turn it on for the news, QI and Antiques Roadshow. Oh, and I quite like a few of the cookery programmes. 
 
Food-
We love our food! Cooking is one of my ways of winding down at the end of the day. My mother was French and we grew up with delicious food, and my father’s sister ran her own catering company, where I used to help out sometimes at weekends. So food has always had an important place in our family. J is starting to build up his own repertoire in the kitchen too. I think how to cook and how to eat well are two of the most important things we can teach our children. We go camping every summer with our local Woodcraft Folk group, and my role there is KP … or Keeper of the Provender (or as the kids call it, the kitchen person). It’s the best job, as I get to be in charge of all the food for 60 or 70 of us for the week, and watch over the young people while they do the cooking. Everyone except me has to take their turn at washing up. Perfect!
 
Book-
My time for reading is on the tube on the way in to work. Just started Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel which everyone says is great. 
 
Pastime-
The singing is important for me and what I missed terribly when J first came to me and I stopped going out. It took me years to get back into being able to make a regular weekly commitment again, and I wish it hadn’t taken so long. I do Pilates once a week now while J is at one of his things, and swim once a week. In the early days of adoption I found it very hard getting out. Without a partner I could leave J with, and with the sheer cost of regular babysitters, quite apart from finding someone with enough experience to look after my anxious child, it was hard. It’s one huge advantage of their getting older. Nowadays I am free to go to films, plays and music pretty often really. My darling sister and friends were always offering to help but I didn’t want to lean on others too much. Too independent for my own good!
 
What do you think is your biggest source of support?
My number one supporter has been my sister Camilla and I’m not sure now that I could have done all of this without her. She lives up the road with her husband and three daughters. The children have all gone to the same schools, and get on well, so they have been a fantastic support for J too. We shared a childminder when they were younger (what would I have done without them too?). My sis is amazingly strong and a fantastic mother, and I suppose our shared upbringing means we have a particular understanding of why we parent in the ways that we each do. 
I have some amazingly lovely friends. Four years ago, I had long and hard treatment for cancer, and they carried me through that with such kindness and generosity of spirit. 
I’ve written already about how my parents have taken care of J during school holidays while I worked… And employers don’t often get much appreciation, but I’ve had some good bosses. I continued working full time when J came to me, but two days each week I left work early so I could pick him up from school, and I made the hours up at home in the evenings. It might have been easier for them to say no to this arrangement, but they didn’t. Later on, when I wanted to go part-time, they helped with that too. 
 
What is the best or most memorable piece of advice you have ever received?
That thing about faking it till you make it has sometimes resonated with me. In the first year in particular, I had some very low times. My friend who works in the adoption field, told me if necessary, and for J’s welfare, I just had to fake it. I didn’t always manage though. 
 
If you could take your child anywhere in the world to see something where would you go?
J and I are good travellers, and there are so many places I’d like to go with him. I’m very conscious though that the time might come quite soon when he doesn’t want to go away with his old mum! So in the next two years we have to visit Mexico and Peru, travel overland to Australia, and walk several long distance trails in the UK. In my dreams! 
 
What I hope I can give to my child?
I met J’s birthmother once and one of the things I asked her was what she hoped for for his future. She said she just wanted him to be happy and lead a normal life. I think all parents the world over want the same thing really for their children. I hope that I can help J with his life skills, and ensure he has choices in the future. Having choices is important. 
 
At the weekend I can mostly be found…
At the edge of a rugby pitch I’m afraid at this time of the year. In our little London garden when it warms up a bit. Trying to persuade J to do his homework (our biggest battles have always been fought over this). Eating and drinking with family and friends. 
 
What makes you laugh?
J and his jokes. He cracks me up. 

Meet The Blogger – Misadventures of an Adoptive Dad

It’s the turn of Misadventures of an Adoptive Dad today on Meet The Blogger. So read on to find out more about the man himself…

misadventures of an adoptive dad

Quick 5 – In my life at the moment….

Book – Other books have come, been read and passed on but Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning has remained on my bedside table since November 2008. It condenses faith and belief into its essence and faces head on difficult questions that all believers face at some point. Even the title challenges and inspires me.

Music – Through the wonder of 2nd hand CD’s I am working my way through my teen LP collection. So, Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple and Ozzy Osbourne. Though, more current I’m mesmerised by Ray Lamontagne’s voice and Lenny Kravitz, who is clearly the coolest and most talented man on the earth.

TV programme – Mrs C watches the usual stuff but I have to confess that I just get wound up by most TV programmes, consequently I follow hardly any. Having said that I watched all seasons of Breaking Bad with Ginger over a three week period, it brought us to the edge of sanity as we were total immersed in that world. He and I also enjoy the mindless gorefest that is the Walking Dead.

Food – Pancakes, no hesitation, they evoke the giddy joy of being 10 again and my mam making them for my brother and me. She would only make them on Pancake Tuesday and even now I insist on rationing them as not to dilute the pleasure, maybe just four or five times a year and I strictly adhere to golden syrup or lemon and sugar. Though I may be fighting a losing battle on that one.

Pastime – Cycling. I take every opportunity to get on my bike; be it taking the girls to school; adventures on the tandem with Flossy; visiting families as part of my social work duties or getting up at 6:30 on a Sunday morning and getting out into the sticks for two or three hours. Any weather any time I’m up for a trip on the velo. Mrs C is happy as she sees it as my therapy.

What is your biggest challenge as an adoptive parent?
Honestly, they’re all so unique. I guess at the moment it is identifying what they need and how best to meet it within the context of a busy life and the other children in the family.

What do you wish you had known before you adopted your children?
I wish I had known how to appreciate the fun stuff and the stuff that is fleeting and cant be captured again. I think I struggled for the first couple of years to adjust from going from 0 children to 3 over 10 days of introductions. Consequently I struggled to enjoy them and just chill out.

It is tempting to say attachment, separation, loss etc. as it wasn’t even mentioned to us until we had five children but hindsight is a pig.

Why did you start blogging about adoption?
I guess it’s something that I feel I know about, feel quite strongly about and everyone else is doing it so I thought I’d join the party.

Where do you get your blogging inspiration from?
I try to marry little stories with broader issues, so it’s news stories, press releases, cunning government plans; the conversations that I find myself party to and the cut and thrust of family life that all light a creative spark.

Who is your favourite adoption blogger?
I really enjoy Suddenly Mummy, from what I read there are a few similarities and that keeps me returning.

Who is your favourite non-adoption blogger?
I cant even think of any non adoption blogs that I’ve read, I’m clearly blinkered.

What made you choose the blogging platform i.e blogger/wordpress that you did?
I chose blogger out of ignorance, simplicity and laziness as I had a gmail account.

Tea/Gin?
Neither, I drink embarrassingly small amounts of alcohol and one of my life’s great regrets is that I don’t like tea, I would love to as it is quintessentially English.

What do you think is your biggest source of support?
I’m resisting the temptation to say my lycra bib cycling shorts, however I don’t think that’s what you mean. Mrs C’s knowledge, training and intuition has carried the whole family through some dark days so it has to be her.

Reward charts yes/no?
No, we’re too lazy and we’ve enough disappointment and shame in each day without making up new ways of adding to it. Other opinions are available and if it works for you and yours knock yourself out.

What is the best or most memorable piece of advice you have ever received?
When we adopted the first three a good friend noted recommended that you should “get your children to behave in your own home as you want them to behave in other people’s homes”. That worked fantastically for the big three and made perfect sense.

However, the next two totally blew that out of the water and we have very few friends who can accommodate us and our “peculiarities” as well as the numerical challenges of having us round As for advice “don’t drink poison”(Vic and Bob) never goes wrong.

My perfect adoption support would include…
Someone who can marry theoretical knowledge with practical experience and common sense advice with a hint of compassion and empathy. I’m still looking.

When I look into the eyes of my child I see…
Each of them has experienced a unique journey into and through the care system. Consequently, when I look in their eyes I see very different things but in all I see shadows of birth parents, good and not so good.

The best thing we did this week was…
The sun shone and we opened the back door and we pottered, played, walked, gardened and we felt a bit normal for a while.

If you could take your children anywhere in the world to see something where would you go?
I would to take them all to Africa where my brother lives. All the usual reasons.

What I hope I can give to my child/Children?
They all need something different, love, belonging, identity, purpose, vision would be a good start, but for some just rest and to find a bit of peace in the world.

At the weekend I can mostly be found…
Child wrangling and thinking of new and inventive ways of getting out on the velo, with or without the wee ones.

What makes you and/or your family laugh?
The Pink Panther films used to make the big ones and I weep with laughter, I’m looking forward to introducing the wee ones to them.

Meet The Blogger – Relative Strangers

Today we’re meeting the blogger behind Relative Strangers, make sure you pop over and say hi…

CYMERA_20140401_230433Quick 5 – In my life at the moment….

Book – ‘An Officer and a Spy’ by Robert Harris

Music – Abba and Kylie (how predictable is that)

TV programme – Silks

Food – carb free at the minute (ha!)

Pastime – What’s that? Walking the dog and working on my book.

What is your biggest challenge as an adoptive parent?
I guess it was actually getting to really know the children – to understand them to a level where you can read their thoughts before they can. Everyone talks about the ‘honeymoon’ period of adoption, but after that you need to spend time simply getting to know each other.

What do you wish you had known before you adopted your children?
The above. But also I simply wish that the social workers would have shared everything. There is still a tendency to ‘sugar coat’ issues in case we adopters suddenly get cold feet. Social workers should simply be honest, by the time it reaches a matching stage we are already committed and invested in these children so to be able to understand their possible issues at the start would be much more useful than having to play catch up when issues start to arise.

Why did you start blogging about adoption?
To keep myself sane. I had gone from being a successful business owner to a stay at home Dad whose business was failing, due to the demands of the children (not their fault of course) – so my partner and I decided I would give up work completely and be at home – although more often than not I was in school with one problem or another. But blogging took me back to my first love, which is writing.

Where do you get your blogging inspiration from?
Our lives and the things that seem to happen to us. I sometimes think adopted children see the world slightly differently from the rest of us and therefore, react differently, sometimes with hilarious outcomes and sometimes with more emotional ones.

Who is your favourite adoption blogger?
Probably Sally Donovan or Nick King

Who is your favourite non-adoption blogger?
Angela May – the american chef.

What made you choose the blogging platform i.e blogger/wordpress that you did?
I chose blogger simply because it was easy to use and I am a technophobe (or was)

Tea/Gin?
Tea in the day… gin at night… Heston now does an Earl Grey Gin at Waitrose – this covers both bases!

What do you think is your biggest source of support?
My family and my partner. But professionally the team at Barnardos, Chilston House were amazing. We wouldn’t have coped without them.

Reward charts yes/no?
No

What is the best or most memorable piece of advice you have ever received?
Never read parenting manuals – they will only confuse you. The best manual you were given is your own experience of being parented – if you turned out alright then thats probably the best manual to follow. I think I turned out alright…

My perfect adoption support would include…
Therapy for the children when required – and not having to constantly prove a need for support.

When I look into the eyes of my child I see…
Now, calmness, a relaxed calm, a child who is comfortable with himself – if you had asked me last year it would have been a different story.

The best thing we did this week was…
Chase the rabbit around the garden – it got out and we were trying to put him back into his run before the cat got him. Daddy running seems to be incredibly hilarious!

If you could take your children anywhere in the world to see something where would you go?
My eldest would love to go on safari, he adores animals. My youngest would probably enjoy seeing the Coliseum in Rome as he loves sport (although he would be happy with a trip to the Emirates stadium)

What I hope I can give to my child/Children?
Security. Love. An independent future.

At the weekend I can mostly be found…
Cooking and cleaning. When did weekends become more work than weekdays?

What makes you and/or your family laugh?
Playing anything together – I am rubbish at sports which unfortunately means everyone else has a laugh – so I laugh with them. I love it when they laugh – even at my expense!

Meet The Blogger – 3 Bees and A Honey

Today we meet the lovely blogger at 3 Bees and a Honey

Quick 5 – In my life at the moment……….

brotherly loveBook – I am a huge Daphne Du Maurier fan and at the moment I am re-visiting ‘The Loving Spirit’ although with the TV adaptation of ‘Jamaica Inn’ coming very soon, I really should be reading this book again to refresh my memory before I get precious about how they present it (I may have been a little upset by the 1997 TV adaptation of ‘Rebecca’)

Music – When I am feeling wound up – Andre Rieu or Meatloaf, and on my goofy days – anything with a fun beat to dance to

TV programme– Neighbours, Home and Away, & Dance Moms (there’s nothing like watching crazy American mums to make you feel like you are normal).

Food– I am an incredibly fussy eater and the repertoire of food I will eat is pretty small but I can never resist a nice tasty toasted steak sandwich

Pastime– Blogging, Ballroom dancing, Walking Beedog

What is your biggest challenge as an adoptive parent?
Crikey, I think it would be easier to say what ‘isn’t’ a big challenge for me. “No matter what the boys throw at me, I am and will always be there for them.  I will never give up on them, no matter”.  As for biggest challenge, there are so many I wouldn’t know where to start – Schools (managing lack of understanding, misinterpretations, splitting etc), prejudices/ignorance within our local community, keeping myself regulated while hearing for the one hundredth time “all kids do that”, Oh heck keeping myself regulated full stop. I guess at the moment my biggest challenge is keeping everyone happy while trying to manage my own feelings of helplessness, loss, grief, mistrust, guilt, inadequacy and knowing that I do not have the courage to seek the support that I need for fear of being blamed again.

What do you wish you had known before you adopted your children?
The incredible and dramatic impact their trauma bond has on my boys.  They adore each other but it is such profound effect on them both (especially Buzzbee) that the simplest flick of an eyebrow can send one or the other into a downward spiral.

At the weekend I can mostly be found…
‘Fighting fires’ in other words. I can be found managing the fallout from the latest argument, upset or fight that has broken out between the boys (trauma bonds suck). When I am not refereeing disagreements, I can be found fighting a losing battle with de-cluttering the house (Bumble has his mother’s hording gene and the boys don’t believe in rubbish bins or throwing away damaged toys/clothes/packaging/sweet wrappers etc.)

Who is your favourite adoption blogger?
Oh that is not fair!! I couldn’t possibly choose. There are so many fantastic bloggers over on The Adoption Social site and each and every one of them has their own unique style, which I love.

What do you think is your biggest source of support?
Oh gosh, a couple of months ago I would have said it would have to have been knowing that if I was having a particularly difficult time with the boys or an issue related to their early years trauma, I could contact Jemima (Beeswax’s previous therapist) or Wise Owl (previous PASW) to discuss it with them or simply offload and know that they would listen to my ranting without judging me. Never underestimate the power of having someone validating your own feelings, especially when you are filled with shame for not feeling ‘warm and fuzzy’ towards your traumatised children – it has been my saving grace more times than I can count. Sadly neither of them are now employed by our LA.

Having said this, our LA do organise a monthly attachment support group for adoptive parents (I believe they do the same for their foster and kinship carers also).  This is now probably one of my biggest sources of support (although generally I am more inclined to end up offering support to other mums attending rather than asking for support myself).

If you could take your children anywhere in the world to see something where would you go?
Ok if I pretend for the moment that the thought alone of travelling on an aeroplane with my boys wouldn’t send me spiralling in to an epic panicked state – where would I take them?

Wow, there are so many places. I suppose each of us have dreams of visiting different places.  Beeswax would love for us to take him to Rio for the football World Cup.  Buzzbee would love to go to Florida or more precisely, he would love to go to Disneyland and SeaWorld.  Bumble would love to take the boys to the ‘Valley of the kings’ in Egypt.  As for me I would love to take them to Petra in Jordan.

What makes you and/or your family laugh?
If you were to ask the boys and Bumble this question they would say “anything mummy does that she didn’t mean to do or say”.  It is common knowledge to our family and friends that I am a complete ditz and routinely have ‘blonde moments’ (it was a standard joke with our SW Shamrock during our home study sessions).

I can be counted on to unintentionally make others fall about laughing.

As for what makes me laugh – it has to be Buzzbee and Beeswax’s amusing excuses for doing something or getting themselves out of trouble.

Meet The Blogger – Suddenly Mummy

Today we meet blogger ‘Suddenly Mummy’ – a foster carer and adoptive parent. You’ll find her amazing blog here.

IMGA0248c

Quick 5 – In my life at the moment….

Book – at one time in my life I would have had plenty to list here but not much time (or inclination!) for quiet reading these days. Most recent read was ‘Home for Good’ by Krish Kandiah, and currently slogging through ‘One Thousand Gifts’ by Ann Voskamp although it’s getting on my nerves quite a lot.

Music – all previous musical preferences of mine have now been replaced by ‘A Million and One Annoying Nursery Rhymes for Toddlers’ or something like that!

TV programme – Loving ‘Call the Midwife’ these days. Apart from that, anything that doesn’t require much brain power, so mostly re-runs of comedy shows on Dave! I also like to re-watch old faves that I’ve seen over and over again, like ‘The West Wing’, ‘House’, ‘Poirot’, ‘Morse’ and, yes, I’m going to admit it, ‘Star Trek’!

Food – there just isn’t the space to do this topic justice! Currently half-heartedly trying to re-lose all the weight I lost pre-children, but having the attempt sorely tested by the temptation of peanut butter and jam sandwiches.

Pastime – Currently decorating my lounge one wall at a time – it’s been about three weeks so far working around naps and bedtimes. Used to love scrapbooking, but all the stuff for that is still packed from the house move last year, pending office re-organisation. Similarly a variety of musical instruments are gathering dust in various cubby holes around the house. These days, once the little ones are tucked up I normally just use up all my Candy Crush lives and then go to bed!

What is your biggest challenge as an adoptive parent?
For me the biggest challenges are presented by the fact that I’m going it alone. When I first talked to a good friend about the possibility of fostering I sensed that she was holding back a little and she eventually admitted that, while she knew how much I had longed for a family, she wished I wasn’t going about it in such a hard, hard, way. And this before I had even considered the possibility of adoption.

Sometimes it is unbelievably hard, I have to admit it. It’s in the little things that it comes home to me – never having a second pair of hands to help with getting us all out of the door when OB can’t get his coat on and Baby Girl has just filled her nappy, or having to be super-organised because there is nobody to nip to the supermarket after the children’s bedtime to get more milk for breakfast tomorrow. When I read about other mums getting the odd afternoon off to have coffee with friends or go to the hairdresser I do get a bit jealous, I admit it. I had my hair cut last week for the first time in 10 months, and I haven’t had my eyes tested since I before I started fostering – not sure how long these glasses can last but I’m determined to test them to their limits!

My whole family lives abroad and, while I have a wide network of incredibly supportive friends, they all have their own families too – it doesn’t seem fair to ask my friend to babysit so I can have a nice coffee afternoon with friends when she’s already babysat for her own grandchildren several times that week. Saturdays are my worst days by far. On Saturdays, all the activities that fill out our weekdays are closed, and all my coupled-up friends are with their own families doing family things. Saturdays can be long, lonely days.

What do you think is your biggest source of support?
Having said all of that, I must big up my marvellous support network. During my most difficult times, they have really been there for me, coming round with meals in plastic tubs when I was struggling in the early days of having NB and OB together, taking OB off for hours at a time when I was stuck in hospital with Baby Girl, babysitting, playdates, it goes on and on. And more recently, I am increasingly coming to value the online community I’ve discovered through The Adoption Social. I don’t have any real-world friends with adopted children (although I think that may change in the future), so it’s good to connect with others who are living through some of the same things as me.

Reward charts yes/no?
I tried a reward chart once with OB. It was for potty training. He got a star every time he successfully used the potty or toilet and when he collected ten stars he got to choose a new toy from a box I was keeping specially for this reason. He quite liked putting the stars on at first, but at the point when it was time to choose his 4th toy, he declared that he didn’t want any of them! We all sort of lost interest in it after that. I don’t think reward charts will be the way forward for us!

If you could take your children anywhere in the world to see something where would you go?
Travelling with OB is one of the things I dream about in our future, and one of several reasons why I will be home educating to give us that freedom to just go off whenever we want to (finances permitting!). Although I have always loved the idea of travel, I was never one of those intrepid single people that went everywhere alone, partly because I always think that these sorts of experiences are so much better when they are shared. I can’t wait to share them with OB. I have an ambition to travel with him to somewhere on every continent, and would certainly love to do Italy, the Baltic countries, New England, and the US West Coast with him. We’ve already flown quite a bit to see my family – he’s a well-travelled boy for his age! – and I hope to take him to Romania before long to see all my friends there who have never met him.

What makes you and/or your family laugh?
OB is developing a cracking sense of humour and is quick to create little jokes of his own. Right now he is enjoying changing the words of songs to amuse himself. The current favourite is a version of ‘Row Row Row Your Boat’ where the ending of the last line is completely up for grabs. If you see a crocodile, don’t forget to . . . eat him . . . tickle him . . . lick him . . . and, rather worryingly . . . take all your clothes off! Well, maybe I have a childish sense of humour but I find all of this hysterical, especially watching his delight as he thinks up each new ending and then laughs at his oh-so-funny joke!

Meet The Blogger: On the road of adoption

This week on ‘Meet The Blogger’ we’re finding out about ‘On the road of adoption’.

On the road of adoption

Quick 5 – In my life at the moment…

Book – Mixture of ‘the Primal Wound’ by Nancy Verrier and a re-read of the Chalet School books by Elinor Brent-Dyer (currently at The Chalet School and the Island)

Music
– at this very moment Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star over the video monitor but I listen to a very eclectic mix – my iPod on random goes from Early Baroque to Rock including all sorts in between. Blame my father.

TV programme– I watch very little TV (beyond Cbeebies) but I do enjoy NCIS and its spin-off NCIS:LA and also try to watch Countryfile when I can.

Food- Fresh pasta tortellini & salad at this moment.

Pastime- I hate to admit it but I play computer games – mainly MMOs but not World of Warcraft. Plus reading – according to my husband I devour books.

What is your biggest challenge as an adoptive parent?
Knowing what behaviour is just Sqk being ‘2’ and what could be more adoption related.

Why did you start blogging about adoption?
For me initially – I have a terrible personal memory so it was to help me remember what we went through and also as a record for our (then future) son.

Where do you get your blogging inspiration from?
What has happened during the week or the time since I last blogged given I am a sporadic blogger.

What made you choose the blogging platform i.e blogger/wordpress that you did?
I started with a private blog in wordpress on my own domain, went to blogger for a bit but then decided to set-up my own domain and went back to WordPress as I knew what I was doing there.

Tea/Gin?
Gin as I cannot drink normal tea – green tea & fruit/herbal teas are what I do drink but I do enjoy a gin & tonic (especially if it is Adnam’s gin).

What do you think is your biggest source of support?
My sister & brother-in-law who are also adopters, plus the other people from our preparation group.

What is the best or most memorable piece of advice you have ever received?
‘Pick your battles’ from my brother-in-law. This is something my husband and I have found very useful as we have decided not to stress over the trivial stuff this early into placement, but deal with the behaviour that is dangerous or very socially unacceptable (we have a son who likes to strip).

When I look into the eyes of my child…
I see inquisitiveness about the world but also need to know Mummy & Daddy will be there.

The best thing we did this week was…
attend the celebration party for the first family from our prep group to get their adoption order.

If you could take your children anywhere in the world to see something where would you go?
To Washington DC so I could show him where Mummy lived for a year.

What I hope I can give to my child/children?
Love and a secure base to explore the world.

Meet The Blogger – Adoption Journey Blog

Today we meet Mr Adoption Journey Blog, who has answered our Meet The Blogger questions…

Quick 5 – In my life at the moment

Book – I tend to alternate my reading between something factual and fascinating and something fictional and fantastical… I have to confess to a unhealthy interest in science (both fiction and fact). I recently finished “The Secret Life of Bletchley Park: The History of the Wartime Code-breaking Centre by the Men and Women Who Were There” and am currently reading “Terra“, a sci-fi novel by Mitch Benn (who also happens to be one of my favourite comedians). Next up will be either “Ian Fleming’s Commandos: The Story of 30 Assault Unit in WWII” or “Home for Good: Making a Difference for Vulnerable Children” by Krish Kandiah.JourneyintoAdopt

Music – Crumbs, there’s so much to choose from. Music is such a big thing for me. Currently on the iPod I’ll nominate Celtic prog/folk group Iona, American bluegrass fiddler Laura Cortese, and Thin Lizzy and The Electric Light Orchestra for some 70s nostalgia.

TV programme – Well, there’s Sherlock, of course. Is it too sad to admit that I am way too excited about Peter Capaldi taking over as Dr Who? In that case it’s definitely far too sad to admit that I am really enjoying Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. on Channel 4. And let’s not even mention that new Captain America film that’s coming up… Or Star Wars next year… or…

Food – Any good honest food, hand prepared and preferably consumed with friends.

Pastime – I used to play in a covers band but parenthood has squeezed that out so I guess trying to get out on the bike for a gentle ride, watching movies on DVD and listening to music.

Why did you start blogging about adoption? It all started from a friend’s throwaway comment. She knew that I had done some journalistic writing and said, “Ha! You ought to write a blog about going through the adoption process!” This was while we were still doing home study. I dismissed the thought but it kept niggling back at me. It was actually after we were placed with our little boy that I decided to take the plunge and chart our journey through the approvals process. I guess I hoped that a mixture of factual information about the different stages of the process combined with an honest account of our emotional reaction to it would be useful to people starting out down the road to adoption. I recall trawling the blogosphere in the weeks before our Preparation Days looking for some info on what might happen in them, what the format might be. I remember that I was really disappointed that I couldn’t find anything and so went into them blind. It took a while to convince my wife that it would be possible to do the blog and still retain our anonymity – as that is a biggie for both of us. A year or so on and the blog is fast approaching the point where we were matched so currently I’m pondering how I can continue to be forthright, informative and truthful in the writing while still respecting our little boy’s privacy and the parts of his story which I wouldn’t want to share with the world (even anonymously).

Who is your favourite non-adoption blogger? It would be invidious to single out any one of the excellent adoption blogs I read each week (often via the #WASO) so I will nominate a non-adoption blog. I used to love reading the Word magazine before it went belly up and it’s weekly podcast (where editors Mark Ellen and David Hepworth would blather away for an hour or so on matters pertaining to music, pop culture and anything else that occurred to them) was a real joy. So when it finished it was inevitable that I would pick up on David Hepworth’s blog, David Hepworth’s Notebook. Always worth a look for a similarly insightful but sideways view of popular culture.  http://whatsheonaboutnow.blogspot.co.uk

Tea/Gin? Never liked gin. Much prefer a nice glass of wine or an artisanal real ale. Mind you, nothing beats a nice cup of tea. Unless it’s a nice cup of coffee!

When I look into the eyes of my child I see… A million things… Potential… to live a life that sadly would not have been available to him in his previous circumstances. A growing trust and love that I will never feel worthy of. An amazing spark of life, cheekiness, intelligence, gentleness, vulnerability, beauty, mischievousness. A little boy who I could not conceivably love one iota more than I love him right this second but who I know I love more and more and more every single  day.

At the weekend I can mostly be found… On a Saturday probably in a coffee shop sharing a latte, a croissant and a babyccino after a lovely cycle ride down the disused railway line/cycle path into town with our little ‘un on the back. Watching him playing in the park or somewhere else he can let off steam. Or realistically,  shopping and just catching up on all that stuff you can’t get done in the week… And then on a Sunday I’ll be at church, as like as not playing in the worship team while our little ‘un claps along with the music and points at daddy playing the bass guitar.

(Bonus Question) What makes you and/or your family laugh? Tim Vine, Mitch Benn, Milton Jones, Radio 4’s Friday Night Comedy Podcast (Check them out. You won’t regret it!). Plus tickles and fun and generally being silly…

To join in, drop us an email at theadoptionsocial@gmail.com and we’ll forward you our Meet The Blogger questions.

Meet The Blogger – Adopt and Keep Calm

Each week we’re welcoming a blogger to answer a few questions so we can get to know them better. This week we meet Buster from Adopt and Keep CalmA&KC

Quick 5 – In my life at the moment…

Book – Stephen King 11.22.63 (the longest book ever!), Philomena, I am Malala

Music – 10 minute blasts of Radio 2 if I’m lucky.

TV programme – Er, not a lot. Corrie with a glass of wine. Outnumbered.

Food – anything & everything. Today’s lunch venison & pork casserole.

Pastime – reading, wasting time online.

What made you choose the blogging platform i.e blogger/wordpress that you did?
I chose WordPress as it was the only one I had heard of! Very easy to use.

Tea/Gin?
Wine.

Reward charts yes/no?
I adapt reward charts to suit Boyo. Very different to the normal ‘be good and get a sticker charts’.

The best thing we did this week was…
Had a lovely play yesterday at a friend’s house. Boyo had fun and all was smooth so I could chat too.

If you could take your children anywhere in the world to see something where would you go? Japan. Boyo would love to go and visit our cousins in Japan.

What I hope I can give to my child/Children?
Happiness, confidence and the tools to have a happy future.

At the weekend I can mostly be found…
On the edge of a bike track or deep in the woods.

We’d love to get to know you better too, so if you want to join in then email us at theadoptionsocial@gmail.com and we’ll forward you our list of questions.

Meet The Blogger – Our Dear Daughter

Today is the turn of @adoptingsezz, who writes the blog Dear Daughter to answer our questions so you can ‘Meet The Blogger’.

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Quick 5 – in my life now:

Book – I have a reading pile nearly as tall as my daughter. Currently in it is Hero by Rhonda Byrne (she of The Secret), Allotment Month by Month, A Slice of Organic Life by Sheherazade Goldsmith plus several magazines including What Doctors Don’t Tell You, The Green Parent and Kitchen Garden. I’m having a break from adoption books at the mo!

Music– anything 80s

TV programme– Just got into Silent Witness, even though it’s been on TV for years. I also love any cookery programmes and The Great British Interior Design Challenge.

Food– anything but especially Daddy’s Green Curry and his homemade cheesecake. Yum!

Pastime– blogging, cookery and I’ve just taking up growing vegetables.

What do you wish you had known before you adopted your children?
I wish we’d known a lot more about attachment disorder. Believe it or not we only touched on it during our approval process and were recommended a book to read. I tried to read the book but it was too heavy going. So much of what I’ve learnt about attachment has come since Missy came home. I didn’t really know the term Reactive Attachment Disorder before matching and certainly didn’t know what it meant in practice, how it would affect me and Daddy, how we could help Missy and how others could support us. I wish we had met up with local adopters during the approval process, not afterwards, but our LA doesn’t seem to encourage that. Funny that.

Why did you start blogging about adoption?
As a diary for me and to keep my family and close friends up to date with the process, though I don’t think any of my family read it now.

Where do you get your blogging inspiration from?
Differs from week to week. Sometimes I’ll write about a particular event or something that’s just happened in our lives, sometimes I’ll blog to fit the Adoption Social Weekly Shout Out theme and sometimes I’ll just blog about how I’m feeling.

Tea/Gin?
Tea as I hate gin. Now, if you’d asked Tea/Amaretto that would be a different story!

If you could take your children anywhere in the world to see something where would you go?
I love travelling and there are so, so many places we’d love to visit and take Missy. But if I had the money now, I’d book to go to the North Pole next Christmas so Missy could visit the Big Man himself, Father Christmas. She would be over the moon. Plus we’d have a lot of fun building snowmen and throwing snowballs and I might, just might, get to see one of the things on my bucket list, the Northern Lights.

If you’d like to join in with Meet The Blogger, do drop us a line at theadoptionsocial@gmail.com and we’ll forward you our list of questions.