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