Tag Archives: suddenly mummy

Award shortlist time!

It’s been a week of nominations for the adoption blogging community…

National Adoption Week Awards
The National Adoption Week Awards take place next week at the Foundling Museum in London,edited_IMG_20151010_104510 and we were thrilled to receive an email informing us that we had not only been nominated but shortlisted for the Best Adoption Blog award.
This is brilliant news as it recognises the work that we do in keeping the site up and running, but more importantly is recognises the work and blogs of all of you who take part by joining in with the Weekly Adoption Shout Out, or providing guest posts, re-tweeters, supporters and those of you who read and comment on blog posts.

We’re also proud to be shortlisted alongside 2 other outstanding blogs – Misadventures of An Adoptive Dad and Suddenly Mummy, both regular WASO’ers, and supporters of The Adoption Social. We wish you both the best of luck, and hope that you’ll still carry on contributing even if you win!
Who wins is down to the judges, and we’ll let you know as soon as we know!

Mumsnet Blogging Awards
We’ve also been informed that The Giggles Family, another adoption blog/vlog has been shortlisted in the Mumsnet Blogging Awards 2015 in the Best Vlogger category. And this one needs your votes!

As you might know, the adoption blogging community is a small(ish) one, but one that has a powerful voice. Sadly though, adoption blogs are under-represented on general parenting sites such as Mumsnet, and so it would be great to raise the profile of adoption blogs by supporting The Giggles Factory.

If you’d like to vote, then following this link and vote now! We wish The Giggles Family the best of luck too!

Second time around…

There are many of us who adopt for a second time, or adopt after having a birth child; some of us even do it the other way around, Suddenly Mummy biogtoday the lovely Suddenly Mummy reflects on the responses she’s had when revealing her plans to adopt again…

Odd Responses to My Second Adoption
Never having had a biological child, I’m not completely sure what people say to those who announce that they are expecting their second. Personally I seem to remember using “Congratulations!” or some such similar sentiment in those situations, but maybe I’m unusual.

Since I announced to the world that I am adding to our family by adoption, I have encountered a surprising (to me anyway) range of responses. Let me be clear, I am not offended or upset by any of the things people have said to me, but I have found some responses interesting and perhaps indicative that adding to your family by adoption is far enough out of the ordinary that people find themselves saying the strangest things in response.

Responses so far have fallen into four main categories:

  1. Congratulations! Wonderful news!

Yes, many have simply managed to rejoice with me in the same way as I’d imagine they’d rejoice with any expectant family. This has been lovely. Sincerely, thank you to all those people.

  1. How big is your house again?

Yes, I do indeed have a large house. It has five bedrooms, which I know is above average. One for me, one for OB, one for my parents who visit a lot, two for any foster children who might pass through – one of these will become permanently Birdy’s. When people ask me this, it is not an enquiry as to the relative size of my house. No. It’s actually a ‘jokey’ way of expressing concern that I might become a serial adopter, filling all five bedrooms with waifs and strays as though I am starting some sort of mission or orphanage. Some have said it far more directly, worrying aloud that I won’t be able to resist all the babies.

I’m going to have TWO children, people. TWO! Not TEN! Two is a pretty average size for a family I’d have thought. I can’t imagine anyone pregnant with their second child being placed in the category of 16 Kids and Counting! Some of the people who have said these things already have more children than I am planning to have! I have fostered seven children. I will have adopted two of them. Not seven of them. I can resist the babies!

  1. Why?

Truly, nobody has been so brazen as to actually ask me this in a one-word question, but it comes up in a round-about way all the time. People are very interested as to why I want a second child and, more specifically, why it is going to be Birdy (as opposed, presumably, to all the others I’ve fostered). If I say it’s because I love her so much, this gives rise to other concerns (see 2. above). But, apparently, issues such as appropriate age gap, gender of the child, wanting a sibling for OB, my own advancing years etc. are not acceptable. This causes me to wonder what reasons people have for biologically conceiving a second child (assuming it was planned). I’m pretty sure I’ve heard friends of mine talking about biological clocks, career progression, age gaps and only-child versus siblings issues. I even know people who have had several children of the same sex quietly hoping that one of the other might come along in the end. I have a lot of reasons for choosing to go ahead and adopt right now. Oh, and I do love her so much!

  1. I’m worried about how you’ll cope with XYZ

This is sweet. People care about me. I like that. But at the same time, such questions imply that people don’t think I would have considered these potential worries for myself over the past few months and come up with an answer to them. Hey, guys, I will be able to support myself, I will be able to ‘manage’ three children if (and when) I continue fostering – I’m doing it now! – I will be able to home educate *gasp* two children successfully, if the experience of friends who have 5, 6 and 8 children is anything to go by. And if I find myself not coping, don’t worry, I’ll be sure to call you and ask you to babysit!

As I said, I don’t find any of it remotely offensive or upsetting, just interesting. I’d love to hear about the kinds of responses that others have had on announcing they were adopting . . . again!

We’re big fans of Suddenly Mummy here at The Adoption Social, and we’d like to say ‘Congratulations and good luck’ to you, OB and Birdy on your wonderful news.

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.

The Adoption Social Times

Welcome to our new round-up where we hope to bring you a little reminder some of the great things that have been published on The Adoption Social each month, and where we’ll aim to give you a bit more notice of our forthcoming #WASO themes.
We’ll also be using this space to call for contributions, so keep an eye out for those opportunities…

Happy Birthday #WASO
WASO week 52Our first big news is that #WASO is 1! So Happy Birthday to the Weekly Adoption Shout Out. Today we’ve published our 52nd regular weekly link up, although we’ve also hosted one or two one-off specials throughout the year.

If you don’t already know, the Weekly Adoption Shout Out began as a way of pulling together lots of posts about adoption into one place (or back in the day on The Boy’s Behaviour and The Puffin Diaries).
Anyone would be able to add their blog’s URL, as long as the post (or the blog generally) was about adoption. The list would mean lots of adoption related blogs were in the same place making it easier to find other blogs of interest.

Using the hashtag #WASO, the shout out immediately gained lots of regular linkers/bloggers. It seems that everyone really enjoyed being part of this growing community, and it really has grown.

  • We had 10 linkers in our first week. Now we regularly see more than 20 bloggers linking in. Our most linked to #WASO was over the Christmas period and we had 31 linkers over a couple of weeks.
  • Our most popular #WASO in terms of views had over 2000 visits.
  • We’re really pleased to have a core group that regularly come back and link up their blogs, and support each other through reading, sharing and commenting on the blogs.

If you haven’t yet taken part but want to, then come along every weekend – we open the #WASO on Friday mornings and it closes Sunday night, all you have to do is copy and paste your blog request for tips and adviceweb address (URL) into the form in each week’s new blog post.

Forthcoming themes for February are:
7 February – A year on…

21 February – The work of my children/child

What’s new?
We’ve launched a new section – Meet The Blogger, and to date have a month’s worth of these posts lined up as bloggers are keen for you to get to know them a little better. You can already read more about The Puffin Diaries, The Boy’s Behaviour and Nicola at Braveheart.

We started The Things We Do linky. To take over from Memory Box, our new linky lets us share  the big and small things we do – things that help us get through the day, make life easy, make us smile, help our children reflect, feel loved, secure or safe… or even the practical things we do that help us get out of the door on time, or encourage our children to eat their greens! As with all our linkys, a new post is published each week with a form for you to copy and paste your blog address into.

And here’s a round up of some of our popular posts this month…
We published a popular post from Suddenly Mummy about her views on Panorama’s I want my child back programme. Click here to read it.

We had lots of comments and Twitter reactions to an anonymous piece we posted from a mum who felt strongly about prospective adoptive parents. Here it is.

We posted a review about an Inspired Foundations workshop and brought you a special offer with it. Find out more here.

We welcomed a guest post from Australian author and clinical psychologist Colby Pearce who wrote about balanced views and self-fulfilling prophecies. Read it here.

Tweeter @Ivavnuk posted a response to Colby Pearce’s guest blog. Beautifully written, you can see it here.

AProblemSharedrequestWe had a few problems shared…if you have any advice, please do comment on the posts themselves – Lunchtime Lies and Controlling Children When Out.

 

It’s been a busy month hasn’t it?! We hope February is as busy and hope to keep posting pieces that encourage, support, challenge and help you. If you have any ideas for posts then please do get in touch at theadoptionsocial@gmail.com, and as always we’re pleased to receive your contributions.

 

National Adoption Week #NAW2013 Adopting as a single person

This week, we’re taking a bit of a break from our normal routine of posts to support National Adoption Week.

Adoption is often considered and then disregarded as people feel they aren’t able to fulfil expectations. Overweight? Too young? Too old? Not rich enough? Single? Gay? Suffers with depression? A disability?
Well this week we’re going to be featuring a number of our regular contributors who you might not expect to be able to adopt, but they have, and here they share their backgrounds, stories and tips, and hope that if you’re considering adoption but think you might not get approved, then perhaps we might make you see that you might just be perfect to be an adoptive parent.

We’re starting with Suddenly Mummy, a single adoptive parent (and foster carer). This is her story…

Adopting as a single personIMGA0248c

300 children were adopted by single adopters during 2011-12 (source: BAAF).  My son wasn’t one of them.  Our adoption was finalised just six months ago, so I guess we’ll be part of some future set of statistics.  Whichever way you look at it though, single adopters are a tiny minority in the adoption community, comprising just 8% of total adoptions.

Much could be said about the complex and varied reasons why relatively few single people adopt, but the one thing that needs to be said loud and clear during National Adoption Week is this: being single is no barrier to becoming an adoptive parent.

I came to adoption via a slightly unorthodox route, starting out as a foster carer and adopting my son after I had fostered him for a year.  Being single was never a big issue during the approvals process for either fostering or adoption – it was mentioned, of course, but as one of many areas that were discussed in detail.  At no point did anybody give me the impression that being a single person was a negative factor.

Of course, the decision to adopt should not be taken lightly by anybody, and least of all by a single person.  If you’re adopting as a single person, you are committing to be a single parent to a child or children who most likely have experienced some level of early childhood trauma.  This is not an easy road to walk and there are some things that are worth considering:

Be absolutely honest when you consider your matching sheet.
This advice obviously applies to every adopter but, as a single carer, the burden of responsibility will lie entirely on your shoulders with little respite, so think hard about what you can really cope with long term and do some extra research if necessary.

Plan to provide role models of the opposite sex for your child.
This subject will come up during your home study anyway, so it’s worth thinking about in advance.  When my son is old enough, he will go with my friend’s husband and their son to football.  Of course, I could take him to football myself, but I want him to have more varied experiences than I could provide alone.

Have a plan for dating and relationships.
This is another subject that will come up during the approval process.  Pursuing relationships as a single parent can be complicated and needs to be handled carefully, especially when you are parenting an adopted child whose needs will have to be prioritised, especially in the early days.

Gather your babysitters.
When I planned to become a single carer, I anticipated that I wouldn’t be going out in the evenings much any more.  What I didn’t anticipate was how difficult it would be to do simple things like getting a haircut or getting my eyes tested with a toddler running around.  Make sure you have reliable sitters for both daytime and evening duties!

Start networking among other parents.
Being alone in the house day after day with your child can be . . . well . . . mind-numbing.  Much as we adore our children and wouldn’t change our situation for the world and don’t regret it one bit (goes without saying!), it really is vital to have those playdate friends with whom we can share our woes and a few biscuits while our children amuse each other instead of demanding our company incessantly.  If you’re in a couple, you can expect someone to walk in the door at the end of the day and give you a little adult conversation.  We single carers have to create our own little oases of ‘normality’!

Discover the online community of adopters.
As a single parent, it is likely that you’ll be spending many an evening alone in the house after your little one is in bed.  At these times, you might just find that those you tentatively reach out to in the online adoption community can become real friends and a true support as they truly know and understand the unique challenges involved in parenting an adopted child.

So often, the discussion around single parents is one of insufficiency or problem.  It is seen as a negative thing, a breakdown or the result of some sort of lack of care and attention.  I had always imagined parenting as one partner in a marriage.  When that never I happened, I gave up on the idea of becoming a parent, fearing that as a single person, I wouldn’t be able to offer everything a child needed.

Now I understand that there is no single recipe for ‘everything a child needs’.  For some children, one-on-one parenting is exactly what is needed and a single adopter can be more than ‘good enough’ or ‘better than the alternative’ – a single adopter could be a lost child’s perfect match.  Could you be that person?

 

Suddenly Mummy

Suddenly Mummy biog

 

Suddenly Mummy is a single adoptive mummy and foster carer, here she shares why she blogs, and what blogging means to her…

 

 

Even before I formally applied to be a foster carer, I decided that I would have a blog documenting the whole experience and that it would be called ‘Suddenly Mummy’.  I’m not sure what motivated me at the time and it was actually months after I was approved that I got around to making that first post, but once I got my first comment, I was hooked!

I guess my imaginary future blog was a bit like my imaginary future child.  I had thought about it and named it, but hadn’t really got any clue as to how that might work out in real life!  I was new to blogging, had no idea how to get my blog ‘out there’ and not much desire to find out really.  At first it was only about writing (which I love), documenting moments I didn’t want to forget, and keeping distant friends and family in the loop with what was happening.  I thought that if nobody else ever saw it, that would be fine with me.

Yeah, well, that didn’t last long.  Pretty soon I noticed that my stats page would tell me how many page views I had, where my readers had come from, and which of my posts were most popular.  I started checking . . . it got addictive! When I started getting the odd comment, I found the feeling of connecting with and hearing from the outside world strangely exhilarating.  I wanted more!

Then I was introduced to the blog of a friend of a friend, and through that, to #WASO.  I had never even heard of a linky before and had to ask for tech support to work out how to put the #WASO badge on my blog!  But once I started linking up each week, my page views, comments and other stats practically exploded.  Even better than that, I discovered a whole host of other superb blogs.

I had found a community I didn’t even know I was looking for.

I suppose there are some who would think it a bit sad to get so much out of an online community. Why don’t you go out and meet some ‘real’ people?” they might say. Easier said than done!

I am a single parent and carer. I have one adopted child, and I also foster children aged 0-3.  That means that during the day I am running around like a crazy woman, and in the evenings I am tethered to the house.  I do get to meet other foster carers at mandatory training and things like that but, although I spend a lot of time with other families with young children, I don’t actually know a single other family who have adopted a child within the last 20 years.

It takes a lot of time, perseverance, effort and kind babysitters to get out there and meet brand new people.  Thankfully, my laptop isn’t so high maintenance.  Sitting here in the evenings, blogging and reading blogs, I get to ‘meet’ adopters and adoptees from all walks of life, with all types of experience, and from all over the world – impossible for me to achieve in the ‘real world’.

Added to that, I’ve found that connecting with adopter bloggers has not only given me an insight into adoption (and everything I’ve got to come!), but has also opened up a whole new dimension for me as a foster carer.  Now, when I’m preparing a child to go to their new adoptive family, I have such a clear idea of the experiences that family may have gone through; their hopes, wishes and dreams, their heartaches and yearnings.

I have known the longing of childlessness, but I have never tried to have a birth child.  I have never been through the dashed hopes of infertility, the trauma of miscarriages or the indignity of infertility treatment.  I adopted my little one after I had fostered him for a year so I have never had to leaf through a magazine of heartbreaking images of children’s faces, looking for ‘the one’.  I have little in common with many adopters, but through reading honest and open blogs, I can add the experience and knowledge of so many others to my own.

Now, when I’m preparing to meet that new adopter for the first time, I have a clearer picture of where they have come from.  I can let myself walk in their shoes a little, understand some of their anxieties, prepare myself for their questions, and even answer the questions they might not ask.

 Hopefully that makes me a better foster carer, and a better parent.

 When we choose to connect ourselves to others, to learn from them and embrace their perspectives, then we all come away enriched by the process.  As I continue blogging, I discover that what was meant to be just an outlet for me has become much more than that.  And if anyone thinks that’s a bit ‘sad’, then I’m ok with it!

You can read Suddenly Mummy’s blog here, she’s also a regular contributor to the Weekly Adoption Shout Out.