Last week something happened that I felt the need to phone post adoption support about. The response to this was, ‘No, we don’t think that this has happened but we’re all in agreement that the girls are to be kept apart or supervised at all times.’ It might be me but I feel the translation of that is, ‘We do think that this happened but we’re not prepared at this time to do anything about it.’
Today our post adoption support worker and a senior social worker came out to have a ‘chat’ with me. In the first five minutes of them being here I was asked:
‘Do you want Big here? Do you love her? Do you treat them the same? Are you making her feel secure? Are you telling her that this is her family? You know that Big will be feeling more insecure because she can see how settled Little is here?’
I was told: ‘It’s very unusual after three years for a child to feel so unsettled. Usually by this point there’s not as many problems as this. Usually by now, they’re not talking about wanting to go and live somewhere else.’
I was told by the post adoption support worker that she had observed them playing and she had seen Little being quite excluding towards Big. This was during the summer holidays, I tried to explain that Little is generally the most forgiving child in the world but had probably had enough of having every aspect of her life controlled by Big and was having an off day. Apparently that was me showing ‘constant favouritism’ towards Little.
I asked if we could possibly get some money to put towards a fold out bed as we’re currently sleeping on a mattress on the living room floor as social work have said that the girls need to have their own room. ‘No. But this isn’t sustainable, you can’t sleep here forever.’
Before the ‘chat’, I felt anxious and incredibly worried because I already knew that the ‘chat’ wouldn’t be about support, it would be a list of my failings as a parent.
And I have failed Big. I know that. There are many things that I wish I could change, that I wish I could have a second chance of. But nobody told me how hard it is to love a child who is unable to love you. And sometimes I find it really hard and sometimes I do pull away because I’m protecting myself. And I know I shouldn’t, I know it’s the worst thing I can do. But I cannot be perfect all the time.
But hearing a list of my failings from people that should be supporting us as a family is not supportive or helpful. Nothing that happened in the ‘chat’ allowed us to move forward. There were no suggestions. There was no, ‘Have you tried..?’ It was simply a chance for them to say, ‘You need to do better. You need to make Big feel secure here. Clearly, you’re doing everything wrong because nobody else is having these issues.’
So I do not feel too great tonight. Once again, I tried to get some support for us a family and once again, it resulted in me being told that I’m doing a bad job. It’s hard to keep asking when it results in feeling this way. But I will keep asking.
The best bits
Big managed to do a running jump onto the springboard tonight at gymnastics. She’s never done it before and she really went for it. I was very proud.
Little is having a time of it at the moment. There’s a whole heap of things going on for her. This morning I said to her, ‘Oh my goodness, is this tummy saying it’s hungry? Is this tummy saying it’s thirsty? Is this tummy saying it needs the toilet?’ ‘No mummy, it’s saying it needs a mama cuddle!’