We have been asked about and have been talking about support a lot this week.
Apparently when you say to people that ‘we want to be sure that there will be support after the adoption is complete’, this means ‘we don’t want to go through with the adoption.’ (It is still going ahead but why put us through that?)
I’m still not entirely sure how this happened but this is where we’ve found ourselves. So now we’re having to explain, over and over, that we have never felt like that but we did feel that we needed more support. We’ve felt like this before, that as soon as we said that we needed help, we were immediately criticised for not doing our ‘job’ properly.
And I think that’s where we’ve come unstuck. Because neither we or the people who are ‘supporting’ us, know what support any of us need.
We are not psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, counsellors, SALTs, OTs or any other kind of people that could possibly begin to understand what kind of support our children need. And this has been made very clear to us, when we have suggested what we think is needed and we have been spoken to very dismissively, ‘oh well, I know most children would do that if they could’.
So, we ask for help. We tentatively ask for the help we think we need and the outcome is they think we want to stop the adoption proceedings. How on earth can this happen? Rather than listening to a family and trying to work together to help them, they think that an actual solution is to take two wee girls who have been living with people, who have told them everyday that they will be living with them forever, and move them again. I can’t understand it at all.
But I don’t know if I will ever be able to work out what help we actually need because I don’t know. I just know that at the moment we need some.
Interestingly, the thing that has made me feel a little bit better this week, is that someone actually listened and didn’t dismiss my concerns but said straight away, ‘crikey, yes we need to get advice on that’. It made such a difference because it never happens. (Apart from with one wonderful friend who listens and says, ‘yep, sounds awful’ then cleans my kitchen.) People seem to think we’re either exaggerating or they feel the need to tell us ‘but they all do that’. (I know they all do that but do they eat a whole wax crayon*, or soil themselves regularly?) And I fully understand that all children will do this, but the frequency and the intensity is what we’re trying to convey.
So, I don’t actually know what support we need. If I’m honest I would like a night away, in a hotel with a swimming pool and nobody waking me up at yon time in the morning but a girl can dream! I think that someone listening and not judging or dismissing is the best help we can get at the moment. Twitter has been brilliant for this because people ‘get it’. There is no competition, no judgement, just support.
We live in a relatively unpopulated part of the world, there are not many adoptions taking place in our region and the region does not seem particularly geared up to providing a structure for support groups or for getting in touch with other adopters. Because I don’t know about anybody else but I’ve found this hard and to have had someone to talk to who got it might have a made a bit of a difference. (I’d be a nervous wreck because I’m terrible at actually speaking to people. The same friend said I should actually be a mime artist as I say so little in new situations but I would have done it.)
A usual, I have no idea how to end this. I must go and read up about final paragraphs and how to end with an amazing quote that is so amazing everyone goes, ‘oh yes, that was a brilliant last sentence’ but I haven’t and if I’m honest I haven’t got time so a poor ending will have to do. Support can be tricky to ask for, because for us, it felt like we were immediately being pulled up on our parenting skills rather than them talking to us about what was actually happening. Some people have had amazing support both pre and post adoption, which is wonderful. I think the real aim now is to make that a nationwide goal so that all adopters and adoptees are as supported as each other.
The Best Bits
Last weekend we went to my cousin’s wedding. The girls did really well considering everything but the best bit was that Little spent the whole day with me. She looked for me, she called for me and she needed me all day. I really felt that she was looking for her mummy that day and it was brilliant.
We have managed to keep Big’s sunflower, that she planted at playgroup, alive. This might be down to hard work or just sheer luck but she’s very proud of it.
We took the girls to the beach and they climbed on, over and up the rocks like pros. I was having to talk my husband out of buying chest harnesses when we got back!