3 Top Tips for Introductions

Today @SuddenlyMummy shares her top tips for Introductions, 

It seems as though the Twitter universe is awash with prospective adopters who are about to be matched, already matched, or contemplating introductions very soon. Congratulations all of you! Many of us have been through it already, and we know that there are myriads of little tips that would have made it all oh so much easier if we’d known them in advance!

So, what are your top tips for managing introductions? Do you have some practical advice, something you wish you’d known, or something you did that worked really well for you?

From a foster carer’s point of view, here are three of my top tips:

movng on1.Bring a holdall or suitcase on the first day of intros for the foster carer to pack all your child/children’s stuff in. It’s heartbreaking to have your child arrive with all their belongings in a bin bag, but amazing how often it happens. I always mention this at first meeting with prospective adopters, but if your foster carer doesn’t, then it might be worth asking.

2.Find out whether it would be ok to provide the foster carer with a memory stick on the first day of intros to load up with photos and videos of your little one. I make photobooks and scrapbooks, but these contain only a fraction of the literally hundreds of pictures I take, and are no good for video clips.

3.I always give prospective adopters my email address at the first meeting – I have never asked SS if this is ok, and I never will because I don’t want to hear a negative answer! If you get the foster carer’s email address and you feel comfortable contacting them, do, do, do email them, even if you don’t really have any questions. Once I receive a prospective adopter’s email, then, importantly, I have their email address too and I can start sending updates to help make the endless wait go by just a little faster.

So, now it’s over to you. If you’ve been through it, what are your top tips for introductions? Share any tips you have in the comments below.

6 thoughts on “3 Top Tips for Introductions

  1. Treemendouskids

    Thank you so much for this post. We are six weeks off intros, there’s just so much to think about having practical advice is amazing.

    Any advice on how to deal with the first few days of moving in would also be gratefully received.

    Our little saplings are going to be 4 & 2.5

    Xx

    Reply
  2. Helen

    love that you give your email and send pics that’s such a lovely thing to do for the adopters. I would tell adopters to pack your meals with food that’s easy to cook as you’ll be so knackered during intros and for the weeks after that taking the pressure of food already being ready was a huge help for us both times.

    Reply
  3. Ponkbag

    When we did introductions ours were 4 and 3. My advice would be to have as much down time as you can, because it’s exhausting; arrange for friends to bring meals or stock up with ready meals; and locate a few soft play centres where you can get a good coffee. Don’t be ashamed to use CBeebies when necessary, either! 🙂

    We kept a good supply of fruit shoots, nappies/wipes, stickers and colouring books/crayons/stickers in the car. The fruit shoots cured all woes. Highly recommend them or squash in a bottle with a sports top (the sucking is soothing).

    Reply
  4. Adoption Journey Blog

    Great article. I would whole-heartedly agree with all the tips shared so far. Here are my to five tips from our intros experience…

    1. Don’t be threatened by the Foster Carers and determine to work with them (I’m amazed at the number of adopters I have met who talk about the FCs in a really negative and competitive manner and seemed to feel inadequate in comparison with them/threatened by them and converted that insecurity into a negative attitude/approach). Building a positive relationship with the FCs will allow you to access more valuable information more easily (whether that is info on likes and dislikes or photos or history on the birth parents).

    2. Learn from everything they do with your children and copy it – to begin with at least. Absorb even the minutae of how they do things with the child like a sponge. Copying routines and apporaches to (e.g. bathtime) provides a real transitional security for the child in a very vulnerable period of their lives. Even if “their way” is exactly how you think you wouldn’t do something… still copy it. “Your way” will emerge organically soon enough. As an example, in our intros the FC insisted we just do bathtime “our way” rather than copy his routine and bathtime games. I wish we had insisted as it took quite a few weeks for our tiddler to adjust to this new way of doing bathtime . I’m sure that it wasn’t that different but I am sure that he missed whatever games the FC played with him in the bath.

    3. Like Suddenly Mummy, we swapped contact numbers and emails with them the first time we met (about 2 months before intros actually started – see http://adoptionjourneyblog.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/chapter-42-matching-meeting-our-little.html . The chats we had were invaluable in learning about our little fella and building the relationship.

    4. Get as much practical stuff done and try to get some rest/battery recharging done beforehand. Intros was knackering both physically and emotionally. In the second week we were driving about 100 miles a day on top of the actual intros activities. The FCs lived about 25 miles from us and that was 4 trips a day (there and back in the morning, there and back in the evening).

    5. Go with it and be flexible – be ready to roll with the punches. You will have a schedule worked out but stuff will happen, things will arise. Just try ont to add additional layers of stress on top of an already stressful situation.

    Reply
  5. Natalie

    Very useful tips….dropping a suitcase off is such a simple idea but it is one that my husband and I would not have envisaged when planning introductions.

    Reply

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