Tag Archives: mum

An interview with an adopted child

Today we are bringing you an anonymous post from an adoptive mum who interviewed her son.
He’s 9 and has been home for 8 years, developmentally he’s doing mostly fine, although lacks some emotional understanding.
The mum involved wants to stress that this was conducted with express permission from her son, who understands that his answers are going to be published online – he wants to get his views across…

Do you know what adoption means?

Yes I do.

Why do people have to be adopted?

Because their mum and dad can’t look after them properly, even though they might want them to stay.

Do you feel different to your friends?

Yeah, because I’m adopted and they’re not. But I like football and they like football so in some ways we’re not different….I don’t know why I feel like I am. I just am.

Is it a good thing or a bad thing to be adopted?

Not sure…well it’s a bad thing of course.

Do you ever think about your birth mum?

Sometimes…not sure what though. I want to see my birth dad sometimes too.

Would you like to meet your brothers and sisters?

Yes.

What would you say to them?

I don’t know. We’d probably argue like I do with <my adoptive sister>.

Do you think it’s good that people want to adopt…

Yes, so like the child/ren won’t be treated bad, because the first parents might treat the child bad. They might tell lies to them which is bad, or they might smoke, or do the wrong stuff like feeding the wrong milk, or maybe worse.

Do you think it’s good that you were adopted then?

Yes, kind of…it makes me feel sad, but I don’t know why. But it is a good thing.

Would you like to meet some other children who are adopted?

Yeah, it would be cool.

What would you talk about?

I dunno, like other boy stuff –football probably. Maybe the other things they’re into.

If I had a choice, I wouldn’t want to be adopted – my birth parents might be nice, but they didn’t treat me right and I might have died as a baby.

Do you think children should get to choose their adoptive parents?

Yeah older kids should be able to.

Do you think you should have got to choose?

Yeah, but I was only like a year old, a baby, so I couldn’t have made a choice, and anyway, there was only you to choose from wasn’t there??!!

Is there anything you want to say to people who are thinking about adoption?

Yes, be careful because the child you want to adopt might be ill. Or they might have things wrong in their brain – like me. Like it didn’t all grow properly. Be careful and learn about brain stuff, and having fun because love and cuddles and having fun can help fix a kids brain, even when it’s really broken like I think mine is. Hang on…if my brain hasn’t grown properly is there a hole in it where my memories might fall out? Is that why I forget stuff at school?

Thank you to our interviewer and interviewee, it’s very insightful to see how a young man thinks and feel about adoption. We know that the conversation continued with questions that are more personal and pertinent to the individual, and mum felt like she’d had a real breakthrough and a proper connection moment. This is the first time she’s ever talked with her son in such a structured manner.
Have you ever had a conversation like this with your children? It’s quite frank, is that an approach you would use?

Life on the Frontline – week 41

lotf

A weekly blog from a family made by adoption, warmed by the laughter, broken by the sadness, held together by love with a big dollop of hope, oh, and often soaked in mummy tears.

So now our holiday time is well established and the children are happily hanging out at home. Initially they are happy to remain in the home environment where things are familiar and safe and no pressure is being applied. They like to watch television as a way of unwinding and escapism.

We have the luxury of having two televisions, well we’ve actually got more than two (four *embarrassed lowering of head*) and we still get arguments about who’s watching what where. However, when people can agree, you often find Small sprawled on the sofa in the lounge, watching some American tat and Tall snuggled into his cushion corner, in the dining room, watching an action movie. Some days I know they would stay there all day if I let them and on the odd occasion, I do.

I often feel guilty about the amount of television that is watched in our house, I was never a slave to the oblong box, before children. Once our treasures were safely ensconced in our lives, it didn’t take long to work out the merits of CBeebies, especially once daddy had returned to work. Nought to two children over night was a time juggling feat I struggled with and the delights of Postman Pat often gave me time for a toilet break, cup of tea or even a small amount of time with one child, whilst the other spent time with nanny TV.

So nanny TV is still part of our lives, she now allows me the time to tidy the kitchen, sort the washing, make meals, answer emails go on twitter, crotchet… ok you get the idea. As I said there is a feeling of guilt for not constantly stimulating or interacting with my children, or just turning it off and saying “right you two can go and play now”.

But how long do you think it would be before I’m being called to sort out a disagreement, scuffle or a full blown fight? On average about half an hour I reckon.

Again don’t get me wrong there are times when I do insist on alternative activities, however I ensure I’m on hand to help.

So if we are going into the garden, we all go into the garden to either play together or I’ll do a spot of gardening whilst they play. Or if they go upstairs to play, I’ll ensure, as much as possible, that I’m doing an activity which I can easily come away from if I’m needed.

A friend said to me recently that I worry too much about how my children behave. She was not being unkind; she is a good friend with three very energetic boys of her own. I agreed with her and explained that for me it’s not the point of crisis that worries me, for example if one of the boys hurt themselves or they have a fight. For me it’s the aftermath, the fallout from the event, which is harder to deal with.

So if Tall hurts himself, say he falls off a swing, I’d want to help him, check if he’s okay. However, he may very well pull away from me, feel embarrassed about the incident and embarrassment, for him, is only one teeny tiny step away from shame. Once shame is accessed the mood, Tall’s mood, can be altered for an extended period of time. Shame will also bring a sense of vulnerability, which then means he won’t trust me, or anyone around him and therefore will refuse to cooperate with requests made of him. From here it’s a downwards spiral which many of you will recognise.

If Small is involved in a fallout with his brother he cannot move beyond the point of disagreement. He finds it very difficult to see an alternative point of view to any situation, especially when he feels under threat. So requests to apologise for the part he played and move on, just don’t happen. Instead he stews on the matter and becomes increasingly angry and upset about the incident. We end up with,

“You are always on his side”

“You love him more than me”

“This is the worst day ever”

“I hate you”

So rightly or wrongly I spend a lot of the holidays trying to avoid a crisis point, in any of our activities and yes we do occasionally watch a little too much TV. However I do remember a summer holiday when my sister watched Grease, on video, at least once a day and you know what, she turned out just fine.

In Other News

Tall went off to adventure camp for the later part of the week; however I had to collect him early as he wasn’t coping. More on that next week.

Small and I managed to squeeze in one of our fun shopping trips and as always it did not disappoint. He ended up with a bear armoire, for his all his teddy’s clothes and I got new makeup and beauty products. Everyone’s a winner.

Counting down the sleeps until we fly off to the sun, only four left now and everyone is very excited.

Getting back into the real world

Today, we have an anonymous post. This mum really needs your help…A Problem Shared1

For so long, I’ve felt isolated. Parenting my two challenging boys is tough, and I’ve locked myself away, too scared to take them out and feel the judging eyes, worried about their behaviour in public, unable to control them and stand up to them.

I’ve found solace in online sources, and I know I’m not alone. But I recently attended a course and met another adopter in the same situation. She lives quite close to me, and I could tell that she was feeling a bit like me – desperate for real human interaction with someone other than her son.

We exchanged details and although I want to meet up and talk, with or without our children, I just can’t bring myself to make that call, and I’m not sure I’m brave enough to actually meet with her and her son after spending so long trapped by my sons. I know I need to, for my sanity and to help the kids socialise, and to set an example for them too.

Has anyone else felt like this? How do I make the first step?

I’m sure quite a few of us have felt like this at times – had our confidence knocked, our ability to socialise waning, and our (sometimes) self-imposed isolation feeling too oppressive. If you’ve found a way out, then how? Please share your thoughts and advice here.

Mother’s Day

So in the UK this weekend it was Mother’s Day. How was it in your house?

Did you enjoy a lazy morning with breakfast in bed? Bunches of flowers and constant cups of tea?

or

Did the children forget and expect life to be exactly as usual?

or

Was it a complete washout with rejection, violence and challenges aplenty?

Maybe, you experienced something completely different? Maybe your not a mum yourself yet but saw your own mum? Perhaps your relationship with your own mum is strained?

I was very lucky – we’d got the ‘wave a knife around in front of mummy’s face’ bit out of the way a day or two before, and both father and child worked hard to ensure a surprise for mummy was pulled off.
And I actually enjoyed a really nice day. Of course, we made sure it wasn’t really about me, but in a round a bout way:
The ‘surprise’ breakfast was at child’s favourite restaurant.
Next came a walk around the woods where we ‘stumbled’ across amazing, never seen before play equipment.
A visit to a nearby village (with lovely craft centre for mummy) had a castle and a quay – great for inquisitive and adventurous children.

How do you handle ‘celebrations’ and occasions like this in your family? Have you had to change your expectations over the years? Has Mother’s Day given you some insight in how to celebrate (or not?!) Father’s Day?