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…
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.
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.