MUM AND DAD PLUS THREE CHILDREN MAKES A FAMILY OF FIVE. HERE MUM TELLS HER STORY AND HOW SHE CAME TO BLOGGING….
I’ve been asked to write about Me and My Blog by The Adoption Social, I feel totally honoured because I’m not a writer, I’m not even particularly articulate or intellectual, I’m just normal, ordinary, I’m just me. I’ve been writing my blog for 2 years now. I’ve been an adoptive mum for 3 years. My husband and I adopted our 3 girls in the Summer of 2010.
Adoption is/was something I’d always wanted to do, I recall as a child telling my friends it was something I was going to do. It wasn’t necessarily the first choice for my husband, but once he’d learnt more about it he knew it was the right path for us.
We started our journey January 2009. We later spotted our girls in the children who wait magazine 4 months after we were approved to become adopters. 7 months later we bought them home. 19 months from filling in that first enquiry form with a voluntary agency to becoming a mum of 3.I knew quite early on that the girls were going to have some problems. I knew ‘something wasn’t quite right’ I just didn’t know what. In the Summer of 2011 our adoption order was granted. I hadn’t realised that this would also mean all of our social worker support would be withdrawn. The regular contact we’d had from social workers abruptly stopped. That’s when things started to get even tougher, only this time I had nowhere to turn for advice.
I found my self searching for advice online. It was this that prompted me to speak with our GP, school nurse, health visitor etc. By February 2012 all 3 girls had CAMHS referrals. I’ve blogged about CAMHS a lot, we do a lot of talking at our meetings with them, but I don’t feel we’ve actually done anything yet.
Getting support has been and still is the hardest fight I’ve ever fought in my life.
We also have the added complications of having adopted our girls from outside our local authority, in fact we adopted them from an authority over 200 miles away. If I’d known the difficulties and complexity’s this in its self would pose, would I still have done it? I honestly don’t know.
We don’t have the ‘regular’ issues that most adoptive parents I’ve met struggle with. We don’t have violence or aggression, we have compliance. Compliance is harder for some people to understand as you can’t ‘see’ it, they don’t want you to see the real them, they’re too scared. My children don’t scream ‘I hate you’, instead they smile, a lot, from ear to ear, and keep all of their real emotions locked away inside. We don’t know what’s going on inside, the worry’s fears and thoughts they’re having, which makes it so difficult to help them. We have very subtle levels of defiance, subtle enough to go unnoticed by the world but enough to control, manipulate and keep themselves safe.
They see everything, they hear everything, they give nothing.
We’re 2 years and 8 months in to our journey. It’s not what we expected, we’re not the family we thought we’d be, and we’re not the parents we’d planned to be. Its been a roller coaster journey with so many highs and happy times, but there has been more low’s than we could have ever imagined. Throughout our journey we’ve had ASD diagnosis, SALT diagnosis and attachment difficulties. At various stages throughout our journey we have been and are being seen by community paediatrician’s, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, physiotherapists, ASD counsellors, GP’s, Mental Health counsellors, family therapist and psychotherapists, and yet we’re still working towards getting some real support for the girls and for us as a family.
We’ve lost many friends on our journey but we’ve made so many new ones, we’ve been welcomed with open arms by the world of adoptive parents who have been a great support to me this last year. Through all of this, we’ve still managed to ‘be a family’, we’ve shared happy times and made lasting happy memories, we’ve laughed and cried and grown, and as my baby girl would say ‘we love each other to Spain and back cause we a family aren’t we mommy and that’s what family’s do don’t they’.
Read more about The Family of Five on their blog HERE
Follow The Family of Five on Twitter @TheFamilyofFive