Tag Archives: adoption

Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO Week 229

WASO time again!

Hello there, how has your week been? We’d like to hear about it in your latest blog post, so please do write about it and share it with us by linking up below.

If you’re more of a reader, but have been tempted to set up your own blog, then why not dip your toe in the water by writing an anonymous (or not) piece for The Adoption Social. If you like it, perhaps you might then consider writing a regular blog of your own? Just drop us an email if you’re interested…

Anyway, here’s the linky…

Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO Week 226


Come and add your best, worst, favourite, unloved or most popular blog posts to the Weekly Adoption Shout Out. We want to read and hear all about what you’ve been up to this week.

No rules, just add your post below and be kind when sharing or commenting on other posts. Everyone likes a bit of bloggy love.

Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO Week 224

It’s #WASO time again!

How has your week been? Pleasant and calm, or challenging? We’d love if you could share your blog posts about how things are for you all?
We welcome blog posts from adoptees, adoptive parents, birth families, social workers, foster carers, therapists – in fact anyone connected in any way to adoption. So please do get involved if you can.
Here’s the linky, just fill in your details…

Top Secret Adopter


Once again, we find ourselves surprised by developments. X has brought so many twist and turns into our lives but 10 years on we are still surprised by the influence of external events on our delicatw equilibrium.

News comes, mother has had a baby. We all pause and check our feelings. News of babies usually comes with excitement and congratulations. This comes with unanswerable question and unique feelings.

To make a long story short X finds out.

That’s where it starts to get difficult and where the difficult questions come from. There are no easy answers, no certainty or assurances. All the things that cause X to wobble and make the ground beneath X’s feet uncertain are laid out in front of her.

“You can adopt the baby!” she exclaims

Well, it’s not that simple is it? I’m not sure we can, it seems like we’re just coping and a baby wont turn ‘just coping’ into ‘easily coping’.

She’s angry. Irreconcilable loss mixed with blind optimism and sprinkled with a light dusting of trauma informed behaviour are a recipe for trouble. So, that’s what we get more trouble, tempers, tears, sadness and confusion. Anger is directed at us as she shouts, ‘why not?!’

We verbally walk through the challenges and the reasons, ‘we’re too old, we don’t have the room, it’s not our decision, Mother may keep the baby’ the list is exhaustive. X is having none of it dysregulation layered on top of heartbreak, it spills into all the corners of X’s life and consequently our lives. X can’t make sense of the dual feelings of excitement and loss.

This is complicated stuff, more complicated than I’m equipped for and in the middle of all that I’m managing my own feelings. This child feels emotionally connected to me, I feel like I should say yes, that I should throw our hat into the ring. I’m struggling with guilt, uncertainty, trying to figure out how it would work. The right answer is no but I’m struggling to say no, to this point I’ve always said yes but that’s how we got to here, good and bad.

I lay awake and wonder could we but the reality is I’m tired to the core, adoption, or some parts of it has eroded parts of me that will never be restored. There’s been magic too going back to nappies seems like too much, I’ll be in my 60’s when the baby reaches 18, no is the right answer.
On a routine social work visit we’re informed that mother has had a baby. The question is asked, why I’m not quite sure considering the fact we’re still having routine social work visits, would you consider taking the child.

Every fibre of my being says ‘yes’, my mouth says ‘no’.


Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO Week 223

Coming at you every Friday – it’s #WASO time!

So we’re heading towards the end of the school holidays (in fact, the return to school has already come for many), and here at The Adoption Social we want to know how you and the children are handling it? Any reflections from the holidays? Any transition tips to share?

Whatever you’ve written about this week, we’d like you to link up below, then read and share as many posts as you can…

Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO Week 222

A big #WASO welcome!

Hello, and welcome to another week of the Weekly Adoption Shout Out – a fab community of bloggers and blog readers sharing the best of adoption related blogs, and supporting each other.

If you’ve got a blog to add, then just fill in the form below. If you’re here to read some interesting adoption blogs, well, you’ve come to the right place, but perhaps have a browse too. Our previously published posts are chock-a-block full of interesting information.

Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO Week 219

Hello again, it’s time for #WASO!

Welcome back to The Adoption Social, home of the Weekly Adoption Shout Out. This week, as always, please add your blog posts to the linky below, and help support our fantastic community of adoption bloggers and social media users. Read, comment and share, then come back next week to do it all again.

Here’s the linky:






Life Story Work – There must be a better way?

Hey Sarah, let’s sit down and look at that book about that time you got molested in the park, I’ve got some photos of your assailant. Let’s have a look at them, I know he loved you really. Look here’s you and the police officer that did your forensic examination. How are you feeling?

There are many important things we have to handle as adoptive or foster parents, but to me helping a child make sense of ‘their journey’ has always felt like the most overwhelming.

In this aspect of our role we must act as both counsellor and parent – because what is termed ‘life story work’ is unquestionably counselling and it is unquestionably work. Work we are uniquely ill-equipped to undertake. Work that, in my mind, is important beyond our imagination.

Life story work makes me feel grossly inadequate and it can turn me into an arsehole because when I hear on the news, following one hideous event or another, that “counselling has been made available” to the victims I actually feel jealous on behalf of my child. Jealous! Jealous that I’m left to bumble my way through helping my child make sense of their own traumatic experiences. Jealous of people who have experienced horror I cannot imagine and who are perfectly entitled to receive support. How screwed up is that!

And I am not sure I believe that the PTSD experienced by those who witnessed, for example, the London Bridge attack is so different from those feelings experienced by an abused child, or one whose very life was repeatedly threatened through neglect. Or indeed the additional traumas of severance following removal.

If I were a counsellor being fairly paid to support a person who had experienced what our children have experienced (Complex PTSD) I would be putting a deposit down on a holiday home after the first meeting. It’s for the same reason that I fully understand why parents delay or avoid it, or those who often, like me, wait for their child to prompt us with an enquiry so that I can steel myself and say “Oh I’m glad you asked me that” before dragging out ‘the book’.

These events need professionals, and when I think of us, the army of amateurs coming to counsel our children through their PTSD I wonder how the media would treat our arrival at the scene of a terrorist incident. Equipped, as in my case, with good intentions, tissues and a spiral bound wipe-clean book of their tragedy.

But we know that there is no army of free counsellors to help our children, it can take 18 months to get just one CAMHS referral, and even all those counsellors who, in my imagination, descend on the scene of a tragedy like robot hoovers have to go back to their charging points until the next time they are needed.

So as always we must step up, and equip ourselves to become the professional, the counsellor, equipped to help our children process the events that brought them to us, and to do so over the course of many years. We’ll buy more books, attend more courses, learn from each other and our mistakes but always with that voice in our heads “There must be a better way than this”.


The Potato Group News

Bamboo Scaffolding: part 3: makes more sense if you have read parts I and 2

How we avoided a Thai jail and . . .did we get home safely?

I arranged a late checkout for one room, asking D to bring all his stuff to my room before noon. Our airport transfer was at 4pm. I Whats App’d a reminder the night before and at 11am . . .miraculously he was nearly ready at 12 and allowed me into his room to help him carry some of his stuff. I was able to flush his loo and put some rubbish into bags so the cleaners didn’t have a fit! . . .how much chaos can a traumatised young person create in 8 days? Then we set off for our last brunch.

Mistake number 1: His anxiety was already rising in anticipation of the long plane journey home. Why did I suggest we tried the café 50yards to the left instead of the one 100 yards to the right, at which we had eaten 2 or 3 times already? When stressed, D becomes more rigid and less able to manage even small changes. He sat at the table, refused all food and drink and put his head down.

Mistake number 2: I should have paid for my order without waiting for it and left. Instead I waited for my food and gave D my room key as he stomped off back to the hotel. After eating, I hurried back, asked for a second room key and spotted D head down skulking in a corner of the lobby. I put my remaining Thai Baht on the table beside him and encouraged him to order a snack or drink. I went back to the room saying – ‘come up for a shower when you want’. No eye contact, not even a grunt.

Fascination with weapons and fear: Since I met my son, aged 4 years, D has had a fascination with weapons. Developmental trauma and insecure attachment, with an avoidant and disorganized pattern, leave D fearful for his own safety (e.g. found alone in a flat by police aged 2y). For years he has kept a symbolic weapon under his mattress, a small wooden Maori spear, later pieces of ‘found’ wood or metal, later still a baseball bat, a machete and a crossbow . . . . . All the latter we confiscated on discovery, facing his rage, on the basis that ‘rage without machete’ is safer than ‘rage with machete’. He quickly discovered that Thai market stalls (where I bought sarongs and elephants) sold a full range of weapons. He told me that during the week he was offered cannabis and an AK47 . . . . . . .a micro moment of positive maturation, he said he declined them. However, he did produce a flick knife, a taser torch, and a metal kosh, which he insisted were legal to transport home in our shared suitcase.

D skillfully places me in no-win situations regularly. Do I refuse to pack them and risk the inevitable meltdown with him destroying the hotel room and/or storming off and missing our non-transferable flight, or showing adolescent to parent violence to me leading to arrest by Thai police, or do I pack them and face arrest at the airport? I packed them. We shared one small check-in suitcase and each had hand luggage.
I assumed D was still in the lobby; he did not respond to my infrequent ‘Whats App’ messages. I Whats App’d him encouraging him to chill in the room while I spent an hour by the hotel pool.

When I left the pool, some 3 hours after he left the café . . . . .I sat across his table in the lobby, ordered myself an ice cream, and asked if he wanted a drink . . . .he finally accepted his first food or drink in 15 hours. It had taken him 3 hours to emotionally regulate himself enough to be able to eat, drink and join me to finish packing.

Despite having given me dodgy items to pack, he became acutely disregulated when he saw I had a wooden broom with my luggage. I didn’t make Mistake number 3: I left it and a few other items in the room with a note for the cleaner.

Back down in the lobby, I checked out and we waited for our transfer: luckily this was a short wait and we set off to the airport in a heavy tropical storm.
The airport: Drug smuggling and Thai airports are often in the news; I was fairly certain we didn’t have any drugs. From stepping into the terminal, I had a bodily sense of fear – just an inkling of the fear that my son endures most hours of most days.

Checking in: We checked in, the case sped off down the conveyor belt. A repeat of the slow zigzag through security checks, then a large and very noisy airport lounge. Between us we had enough small change to get D a Subway. Bland globalization gives D reassuring familiarity whilst I seek local, quirky and different. D always finds even the shortest wait a challenge. The loud tannoys in several languages, including barely decipherable English, were steadily winding D up; there was no quiet corner to retreat to. As his agitation increased, a woman from Thai tourism approached me to complete a lengthy questionnaire. – that could have been the tipping point to meltdown. Why didn’t I politely decline.

I had tuned out the tannoy, but D said they were announcing my name to go to the desk at our gate. I was asked about the contents of my case, which was being brought off the plane. I was escorted into a private part of the airport, abandoning D in the airport lounge, hastily thrusting his passport and boarding pass into his hands. I was more fearful for D’s reaction to abandonment than what was about to happen to me.
Look out for Part 4 : . . . . .did we get home safely?


Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO Week 215

Friday means #WASO here on The Adoption Social

It’s that time of the week when we ask you to add your blog posts to our wonderful community based link-up, so we can present a collection of adoption related blogs to the world. We also ask that you share as many posts as possible, to get more support for bloggers and to get realistic information about adoption into the public domain.

Here’s the linky…