Today we bring you a film of Helen Oakwater’s speech at the International Foster Care Organisation (IFCO)
Helen is an adoptive parent of sibling group placed in 1990’s. Here knowledge and understanding of adoption has lead her to writing the book “Bubble Wrapped Children: how social networking is transforming the face of 21st century adoption” plus numerous articles.
Helen has now become an International trainer delivering workshops on Trauma Triggered Behaviour. She is currently avoiding the London chill by delivering in Australia and New Zealand. Here experience in the field of adoption include being a Coach (NLP, Executive and Personal) a former Local coordinator & Trustee of Adoption UK and a former member of Government Adoption and Permanence Task Force.
Today’s Meet The Blogger comes from adoptive mum, coach, trainer and writer Helen Oakwater. You can find her blog on her website Bubble Wrapped Children.
Quick 5 – In my life at the moment….
Book – Baby P the Untold Story by Prof Ray Jones Music – Bruce Springsteen TV programme – Sex in the City – missed it first time round Food – anything gluten free Pastime – swim
What is your biggest challenge as an adoptive parent? 1. Letting go. 2. Watching them self destruct
What do you wish you had known before you adopted your children? 1. That the impact of maltreatment and neglect meant they had massive holes in their past. I would have done much much more babying, regression and encouringing them to act younger than their age. 2. That healing takes time and kids need to know the truth about their past. 3. That BM (birth mother) lied and denied and SW (social workers) were scared of her. 4. Adoption support and therapy are essential must haves 5. The financial cost of not being able to work (due to full time therapeutic parenting) and funding therapy from my savings and pension mean I will have to work for the next few decades (while non adoptive parents and friends are retiring) 6. The body keeps score – the damage to my health through living with trauma for decades
Tea/Gin? Why not both? Neither with milk
What do you think is your biggest source of support? 1. My friend and mentor Lynda (adopter) 2.Other adopters 3. Swimming habit (stopped my head exploding) 4. NLP and coaching which helped me see things from a different perspective.
Reward charts yes/no? For traumatised kids no For parents … maybe, especially if chocolate is involved
What is the best or most memorable piece of advice you have ever received? Do something about this now … it wont improve with time … it will get worse
My perfect adoption support would include… How many pages do you want?????
If you blog about adoption and would like to tell us a bit more about yourself, then please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can send you our list of questions.