A (nother) meeting

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!’

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13 thoughts on “A (nother) meeting

  1. That is appalling behaviour by the ‘social workers’ you are right to feel so annoyed. Hope having your Mum and Dad about will have a positive impact soon.
    Keep registering those good things. Maybe a daily list of something good about the day.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Word for word. Everything they said to you they said to me. We were told it had been seven years now and they would have expected everything to be fine – despite The Department for Education report “Beyond the Adoption Order” noting that the majority of disruptions occurred after 5 years of placement. Maybe send a link to them and ask for their comments in view of their views incorrectly expressed at your meeting? It was at that point I realised they do not have an actual clue what they are talking about. Our sons behaviour has been beyond what anyone would be expected to deal with and if we find it hard our other two children find it harder. They are happy they want to just live but he won’t let us. We asked for help and SS decided it was a child protection issue they concluded there was nothing wrong with him, I was emotionally unstable (🙄) and controlling. Much trauma and two years later after bypassing SS and going to GP he has been diagnosed with Aspergers. I look back in bewilderment at the attempts made to make me feel bad for treating him “differently” from my other two! He is different! Sigh.

    Eventually (Data Protection Subject Access Request to see files, then a DP SAR review to get all redacted information, then a line by line dissection of everything they said against us and had no understanding of, then formal complaint to Information Commissioner and formal complaint to CEO) they apologised and we are currently taking advice on taking legal action. And still he continues to rule our lives, but two CAMHS appointments down and now on medication we keep pushing on.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry you’ve not been met with understanding when you’ve needed it most. We too have not had the best experience with post adoption support – in our case dismissing our perception of our daughter’s needs and an unwillingness to listen to what we thought would help. We got what we wanted in the end, but not without a fight so don’t give up!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh no this is not what you need at all. It must be so hard to feel so dreadfully unsupported. Nobody can be perfect all the time, especially at such a tough job, but I am sure you are doing your best. This makes me so sad.

    Someone obviously related to this post a lot, though, because they added it to the #blogcrush linky. Feel free to pop over and collect your “I’ve been featured” blog badge #blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You are not a failure as a parent – the system is letting you down big time! Parenting is one of the hardest jobs in the world & we all get most of it wrong & some of it right. You didn’t cause Big to be the way she is & never forget that. It’s very difficult to detach & not get so emotionally involved or frustrated by the system but if there was a magic button to switch that part of our brains off it would massively help to release some of the stress, burden & tension. Big hugs I wish I could help more x x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I doubt this will help but I get so much strength from reading your blog. My parents adopted me in the 1980s and even though they loved me very much they didn’t attempt to understand my behaviour/mood. In fairness, they were not equiped for me and they got no support ever. I grew up angry and it never went away (which you probably don’t want to hear right now).

    When I turned eighteen, I was a care leaver and I am supposed to be a fully functioning member of society. Nobody talks about being a care leaver as an adult, which I think is very strange. It’s like people expect me to be OK because I’ve passed a certain birthday milestone.

    And I wonder if this is why post-adoption support is so lacking. Because adopted people have no feedback in the process. If I could speak to whoever facilitates these procedures I’d say “This won’t be easy and infrequently fun, but time will give you all tools. Tools to help you manage. Sometimes that’s all you get.”

    Your blog helps me process my experiences, and understand myself some more. As a child I thought I’d never be happy but if I knew that some day I’d stop feeling hopeless – that knowledge would have given me strength. Your blog has helped me heal.

    I’m sorry to read about all your family are going through. It’s hard to believe when you feel like this, but you are doing the right things. However the right things don’t always get the results. Sometimes the answer is that there is no answer.

    Sorry if this has sounded preachy, depressing or ranting (my communication skills never caught it). I have been reading you for a long time and wanted to reach out, because I see a lot of myself in Big so reading about her journey has stirred so much in me.

    I admire you and wish your lovely family the best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for getting in touch. I’m sorry that that was your experience. Your words were not preachy, they were very kind and appreciated. I definitely think that adoptee voices are missing from all aspects of this and should be heard. So much could be learnt. I hope that you can find a place for your voice somewhere, it needs to be heard. Take care x

      Like

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