If I could give you one gift it would be to see yourself through my eyes and then you would see how special you really are.

Friday, 29 November 2013

A very long walk home

I have just started to let child 4 "free range" when we are out. That is he can walk home from school without reins. Our walk home takes us through school grounds and a field before we have to cross any roads, so the journey is safe for the most part and it is a wonderful opportunity for some safe exploring.

Today after mother and toddler, then coffee with work friends he couldn't believe it when I let him out of the buggy to walk home. What normally takes about 15 minutes took 45. We followed the lane,  picking up golden fallen leaves, throwing them in the air to watch them swirl and whirl in the wind. Have you ever noticed how when then wind takes them they spin and circle like the bath water does when the plug is pulled. We collect twigs and sticks, banging them together to make music. Then letting them go when we spot a drain, perfect for posting leaves between the bars. There is a bump halfway along the lane, perfect for clambering up, on two year old legs then turning and running back down. Just before the bridge that takes us over the by pass there is a fork in the path leading either side of a triangle of recently cut back bushes and trees, where piles of leaves sit invitingly, just waiting to be kicked through and tossed around into the wind.
Eventually, we make it to the bridge, where we watch for a while cars, lorries and buses trundle along beneath us heading off to so many different places. Over the bridge there are more leaves to stomp through and then there are sea gulls to chase, banks to climb and dips to run down into.  As we reach the school buildings there are groups of steps to climb, slowly one step at a time until we reach the top where the path is over hung by oak and horse chestnut trees so more leaves to crunch through. Back and forth, back and forth, up and down, then my strong little boys pulls open the heavy green iron gate to let me and the buggy through into the field, where he can run through the grass safe from any cars or traffic.

He is flagging, tired. But daddy is here with the dog, his broad shoulders a perfect resting place for a little boy whose legs need a rest. The perfect spot to throw a ball from and the perfect viewing point to watch the dog chase and fetch the ball, to play again. Nearly home, time for lunch and a nap.

If you have the time and the patience a walk with a two year old, looking at the world through their eyes, reminds us of how beautiful the autumn is, with its colours of reds, golds and ambers. To feel the sun on our faces and the wind in our hair. To wonder where people in their cars or on the bus maybe travelling too. The excitement of climbing to the top of even the smallest slope and to run down the other side, to run into a dip and land in the leaves in its bottom. To feel the crisp dry leaves between your fingers as you gather handfuls up and throw them into the air, just to watch the wind swoop in and let them dance away. To run into a group of white and grey seagulls and watch them take to the air, the skies filled with their annoyed squawking. To watch you son, spot his dad and run to him! calling daddy. It's worth every second.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Dan Hughes

I have been watching the amazing Dan Hughes over the last few days. Our social worker lent me a copy of  "Building the bonds of attachment" which interestingly is just a DVD of Dan Hughes talking about  Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, it's not full of CGI or flash imagery, just a man, a flip chart and a microphone and I am completely and utterly hooked. He has been researching therapeutic parenting for twelve years and his treatments have evolved over this time always changing and  developing following experiences and contacts he has with children who have been fostered and or adopted and their new parents. He helps the children come to terms and deal with abuse and neglect and helps the parents find therapies to ensure their child receives the best support. 

He consistently hits the nail on the head, when he talks about toddlers and how they attach to their parents or not in the case of many adopted/fostered children. I can see some of those behaviours in our child 4 and then know that we can overcome them generally just by understanding them and why they happen.  By understanding why adopted children behave as they do, we can help them understand why they behave as they do. This does not mean carte blanche on their behaviour, they still need to take responsibility and live and deal with any consequences of their actions but without a shadow of a doubt this form of parenting will help them to flourish and grow to be the people they deserve to be.

Dyadic Development Psycotherapy  
DDP involves creating a safe setting in which the child can begin to explore, resolve, and integrate a wide range of memories, emotions, and current experiences, that are frightening, shameful, avoided or denied.  

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Pride before a fall

It serves me right really. 

Every year I aim to have completed my Christmas shopping by the end of November. December is such a busy month full of carol services, panto, nativity plays, parties and meals out which are so much more enjoyable without the stress of last minute shopping and wrapping. I have been merrily and smugly announcing how organised I am to anyone who would listen.

This year with a new addition I have been wrapping all the gifts as I have gone along. I purchased four different styles of wrapping paper and have wrapped each child's gifts in the same wrap to make my life as easy as possible. The presents have been placed into large shopping bags and stashed in the corner of our bedroom. Haha I thought, the children couldn't know what was in the wrappings and I was all organised. Until...........

Child 3 asks " Mummy, are the ones wrapped in the doggy paper for me?" 

No, they are not hers they are her baby brothers but they are the presents from Father Christmas and she is observant enough to notice that on Christmas morning. "How come child 4 has the presents from your room, I thought you said they were from Father Christmas" So, today bought a new roll of wrapping paper and I re-wrapped ALL his presents, which are now hidden in a black sack ready to be stored at Nannas house until the big day.

Child 3's belief in magic is not going to be traumatically ended by my desire to be organised!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Joy and sorrow

Today was a new introductions day as we visited family, about 3 hours away. As life is so impossibly busy during December we tend to catch up with the in-laws and my brother and sister towards the end of November. They all live relatively close to each other.

This would be the first meeting of my husbands mum, dad and sister and her family.

What is so lovely about child 4 is the way he welcomes people into his life, I am so very aware that many of his behaviours are probably linked to his unsettled start in life, so watching him interact with people tends to give me mixed feelings. Many of those he meets comment on how wonderful it is that he "goes to anyone" that he holds up those chubby toddler arms for a cuddle and he chuckles and laughs to encourage those around him to communicate with him, they are totally unaware that this is probably a survival instinct, he needs to be sure that everyone likes him so that they will take care of him. I sit there unable or unwilling to educate them as they are so over the moon that he so obviously likes them and wants to be with them, to explain why he is the way he is will detract from those moments of acceptance and so I invariably hold my tongue, keeping that nugget of sorrow to myself, after all it is better that everyone views him as an open, affectionate child rather than one who could potentially have deep seated issues with attachment.

For me as his mother, I always have that niggling concern when I watch these behaviours that he may never fully attach to me, he may view me as his main care giver at the moment but I am not sure that he views me as his mummy, after all he hasn't really ever had a mummy in the way that his three new older siblings have. I sometimes wish I knew what was going on in his head, so that I could help him to really understand that he belongs to us and we belong to him forever, these are all things that cannot be explained to a two year old, only shown hourly, daily, weekly, monthly and so on and on.

Maybe I will always carry the joy and sorrow that I often feel as I watch him grow, I can only hope and have faith that I and the rest of our family will be able to provide him with everything that he needs. And that at some point he will understand that the love we hold for him is unconditional and everlasting.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

To cry or not to cry

Yesterday when I went to put child 4 down for his nap, he started to cry, he doesn't often cry and we had been out at a mother and toddler group all morning so I am positive that he was tired. He did drop off to sleep for about 15 minutes in his buggy on the way home, but that usually doesn't effect his nap time. So I was torn, all the adoption training we did taught us never to leave an adopted child to cry because they had probably been "abandoned" in this way in the past. Yet in our case our little man is unlikely to have been neglected in this way,  because he was removed at a few weeks old and had been in foster care until we added him to our family.
I was tempted to leave him for a few minutes as I had a million things that needed doing and nap time is quite literally the only time I get each day to get stuff done. His tears however touched my heart and I lifted him up for a cuddle and that was that, no nap!

This of course meant that by 5pm he was a nightmare, he was so tired that he did not know what he wanted and the tantruming, clinging and crying drove us all mad.

His social worker popped in, in the afternoon and when I explained what happened she too thought that leaving him for a few minutes probably wouldn't do any lasting harm.

I am finding that my head and heart are full of so many mixed messages at the moment and sometimes I think that I look for issues that aren't there. It is so hard to distance yourself when you are so emotionally involved. I worry that I may spoil my youngest son too much and on the other hand I worry that I don't give him enough time and love to teach and build the relationship he should have naturally with his parents.

In reality all parenting is trial and error, if he is tired then perhaps leaving him to cry for a few minutes (maybe just 5, no doubt very long minutes ) is ok. I guess I'll just have to see how things go tomorrow!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Christmas is coming

Child 4 had his first stir of the Christmas pudding tradition in our house today. I know that it's not quite stir up Sunday but we are off to my sisters on Sunday and I make her a Christmas pudding each year, so stir up Sunday became whisk up Wednesday. Not that you can really whisk up 4lb of dried fruit, Guinness and this year, because I have run out of brandy! Cointreau.

The tradition in our house is for everyone to stir the pudding mix and make a wish before I decant it into pudding bowls to be steamed in Bain Marie's overnight. The smell we will wake up to for the next three days is Christmas. You know the feeling you get when watching family Christmas movies this is exactly what our house smells like.

I often wonder what they all wish for, is it world peace or the end of famine, an IPad, a Furby, a win on the lottery or maybe a home and a family for life.

We are all so lucky in our household, it is a house full of love, laughter, noise and often disputes. As I stir I wish for many years of wishing and stirring with my children and sometime in the future, the distant future, I might add, their children.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

How to catch a chicken

The last couple of days traumas and tribulations have left me exhausted, ragged but contentedly happy. This morning child 4 wanted to help with making the packed lunches. Firstly we made up daddy's cheese sandwich, as I grated the cheese he was scooping it off the bread and stuffing it in his mouth, then I rolled up a ham wrap for child 2 and cut it in half on an angle so that it looked posh but as I turned to grab the cling film my little helper took a sneaky bite, destroying my lovely clean cut edge with toddler teeth imprints. No longer did we have an artistically prepared wrap, rather a stunted one. Finally after buttering child 1's bread he leant over and licked the butter off. I have to admit that I just spread over a bit more butter added the cheese and cut them into little squares and put them in the lunch box- surely they all share the same germs by now?????

Just as a side, child 1 made the lunches for the first time on Sunday night! She is very, very particular about her sandwiches, at the moment she likes finely grated cheese sandwiches, no crusts and on occasion for them to be cut into flower or star shapes. Funnily enough on Sunday everyone including her had ham made with a bit of slap and dash!!!!!!

Food shopping is a very noisy affair, child 4 must have been very noisy today because when we finally made it to the checkout two members of staff materialised to entertain him - or rather I think he entertained them.

Allowing him to free range is fantastic, until you actually need to aim in a specific direction. He has the art of falling to the floor, either holding his body rigid or going completely limp if I want him to journey with me rather than the other way around. Putting him into a buggy or car seat when he wants to be doing something else is noisy and near on impossible.

But then, I watch him trying to catch a chicken in an old children's fishing net. We cuddle up with a book on the sofa before bed. He dunks his cow biscuit in my tea, leaving those soggy biscuity bits in the bottom. And when I came home from Christmas shopping yesterday he ran to meet me arms outstretched calling "mummy!"

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Tantrums and tiaras

And so the tantrums begin. Child 4 is obviously feeling very safe and secure as he now feels no concern about having a full on, lying on the floor, stamping his feet and shouting at the top of his voice temper tantrum every time that he does not get his own way. At home, in the car,  in public in fact wherever he wants.

If he is tired, hungry or thirsty they seem to be triggered more easily, so he is behaving in a way most two year olds behave. The difference is that time out is not really an option for us. I have to say that although I am tired and a little frustrated with the number of tantrums we are having, I am not overly embarrassed or concerned, in fact sometimes I have to really work at not laughing. It's just that they are over the same disputes. Holding my hand when we cross a road, sitting down when he is drinking from a cup without a lid and climbing on the table are favourites this weekend. I will be interested to see how long he lasts before he recognises that I will win these battles and I will win them calmly.

It is so simple really, either hold my hand or sit in the buggy, sit with a drink or don't have one and just give up climbing on the table.

My patience however does not seem quite so unlimited with child 3 who this weekend constantly pressed those buttons and pushed her boundaries. I thought that we were seeing the light at the end of the tunnel but it must have been a mirage. In probability she is tired after a couple of late nights and now that fireworks, carnival and a Dads birthday are over the Christmas excitement begins. Hopefully life will settle again this week and the screeching and stomping will ease off!!!

Saturday, 16 November 2013


The last couple of weeks have been carnival time! For the last couple of years we have got together with friends for an early supper of chilli con carne, lasagna or sausages followed by a lush chocolate pudding all washed down with mulled wine then we wrap ourselves up in winter coats, scarves, hats, gloves and lots of pairs of socks and head off to the carnival route aiming for a spot that will give us a  fantastic viewpoint of the many floats that will pass.

This year we were child 2 short, he was collecting money with the scouts but a new little man was with us.

A firework signals the beginning of the show which is made up of float after float covered in a million brightly lit bulbs, loud music and people attached with safety harnesses dancing in synchronisation. Tan tights are a favourite as are men in panto dame style outfits all raising money for local charities.

This was child 4's first carnival experience, in fact it was a first for visiting our friends house and a first meeting the husbands and children of these friends. He was absolutely fine, occasionally a little serious but, absolutely fine. He ate sausages and played with the other kids, he was happily bundled up and put in his buggy and was happy to sit on shoulders to watch all the amazing sights until his eyes became drowsy and he held out his arms for mummy, a cuddle and gradually dropping off to sleep, I placed him in his buggy where he fell asleep amongst all the noise and lights.

He, I think and hope had a marvellous time, he certainly seemed none the worse the following other than being tired. He seems to have slotted in with us as a family in no time.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Disciplining an adopted child

Oh the advice I have received for dealing with an errant two year old who likes to throw things, when I say throw things I mean glasses, knives and forks, eggs, plates, bricks and so on. Not only does he have a mighty throwing arm but the accuracy of his aim is spot on. Now I would eventually love to have a world famous cricket bowler in the family but for now would prefer the throwing of inanimate objects to just be a tennis ball.

The supporters of our endeavours have been suggesting the naughty step or sent to the bedroom types of discipline and I have to say that thus worked marvellously well with my older three, however it has been shown that this type of parenting does not work for the adopted child.

Foremost in my mind is the fact that our child 4 has already in many ways been rejected or abandoned by those who looked after him, he was removed from birth mum at a few weeks old, then placed with foster carers who each time they went away on holiday would have left him with respite foster carers and then a few weeks before being placed with us there was a breakdown with his foster carers and he was placed in respite care for the weeks leading up to moving in to his new and permanent home.  By placing him in time out I am highlighting rejection, this form of rejection with the older children is successful and not emotionally damaging because they are very secure in their loving environment. So how to discipline after all I cannot allow the throwing anything to hand to continue. Well, I am trying to enforce my will in many other ways, for example today he would not hold my hand to cross the road, so he continued his journey strapped into the buggy - much to his very vocal disgust I might add. Every time he climbs on the chairs or moves the chairs in the kitchen I lift him down and/or move the chairs back explaining why I am doing it. I am hoping that when he realises what No means (I know he already knows, he says it enough himself, but his no is obviously different to my no or so he thinks) the throwing will stop. Am I deluding myself? I have no idea and will update you in the future. I work on a six week turnaround so by Christmas fingers crossed the throwing will have stopped and I am sure that something new will start..........

Worth a read
Parenting Your Adopted Child (McGraw-Hill, 2004) by Andrew Adesman

Read more on FamilyEducation: http://life.familyeducation.com/adoption/nontraditional-families/45805.html#ixzz2kYuQXouI

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Oh simple thing, where have you gone?

And so the Christmas advertising has begun! The Morrisons one made me smile, but the one that touches a cord with me is John Lewis. A simple thing, a little  silver alarm clock made Christmas for the hare and the bear.

What, will make Christmas for you?

Our Christmas is likely to be a noisy excited affair, 4 children awaiting Father Christmas and Nanna, Randad and great Aunty Joan joining us for a traditional roast turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Presents will no doubt be numerous, gifts in all manner of shapes and sizes, beautifully wrapped in gorgeous paper and tied up with ribbons and bows. We, I know will be caught up with the gift giving as most of our society will. But, I hope that we will be very aware that it is our Christmas as a new family and that actually it's the simple things that create our greatest memories. How often have my memories been of the gift I was given? Certainly, not as often as the memories created by the feelings shared because of a special event. It's how we feel not the material gifts that form the basis of the best memories.

These start at the Christmas Eve mass, which we along with many of our friends and community will attend, squeezing into the freezing cold church, all wrapped up in warm coats, scarves, hats and gloves, so that we can be part of the Christmas Story that has been told for over 2000 years, our voices joining together in cheery renditions of favourite Christmas Carols. The kisses and hugs as we call a very merry Christmas to all as we leave to return home to hang the stockings and curl up in front of the fire with mulled wine, hot chocolate and a warm mince pie.

Of course everyone is spoilt with too many presents but for me it's about us all being together, sharing the excitement, a meal, champagne (or cava) walking the dog after lunch and collapsing in front of the fire for the late afternoon movie, Doctor Who and a tin of chocolates. Child 4 will now be part of these Christmas traditions and I am certain that he will have as many happy memories of Christmas over the years as I do.

Monday, 11 November 2013

I believe in fairies, I do, I do ,I do.

Letters to Father Christmas are currently being written, list of toys and gifts along with all the good things that the children have done over the year, in the hope of ensuring their place on the good list.  This is one of my favourite parts of the Christmas season. Over the last couple of years I have been asked if some of these magical beings that are a part of children's lives really exist. Is it really the tooth fairy that sweeps in exchanging tiny pieces of ivory with a shiny coin, does an elf fill the pockets of the advent calendars that my mum has made each child. Does Father Christmas really make his way down the chimney with a sack of beautifully wrapped gifts to leave for Christmas morning.

What I believe is that magic can only exist if you believe in it, if you do not believe then it ceases to exist. Child 1 understands this and whole heartedly encourages the belief in magic with her younger siblings.

I know that one day for us, the fairies will disappear for a while, but when my four have families of their own, the magic that awaits quietly in the background will weave itself around the next generation of our children,  infusing their life with dreams, hopes and laughter. After all what would life be with out a dream to follow?.........

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Twenty Things Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew.

Taken from 1.Twenty Things Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew. Adapted by me

I suffered a profound loss before you adopted me, you are not responsible for that.
It makes no difference as to how old I was when I was adopted- because I was adopted!
2. I need to be taught that I may have special needs because I have been adopted and not to be ashamed of that.
It's ok to have been adopted and it's ok to have positive and negative feeling and behaviours because of that fact.
3. If I don't grieve my loss! it will hinder my ability to love and be lived by yourselves and by others.
Don't hide it or ignore it, let me talk about it and work through it.
4. My unresolved grief may make me angry with you.
We all get angry about things outside of our control
5. I need your help in grieving.
Love me, hold me and comfort me.
6. Just because I don't talk about my birth family! doesn't mean I don't think about them
I will wonder who, where they are , I may not talk about them because I don't want to upset you
7. I need you to take the initiative in talking about my birth family.
Even if I don't seem to be interested I am really.
8. I need to know the truth, no matter how painful the details may be.
Honesty is always the best policy
9. I am afraid that I was taken away because I was a bad baby, I need you to help me overcome my shame.
Don't we all blame ourselves for things that go wrong?
10. I am afraid that you will abandon me.
Because everyone else has
11. I may pretend to be whole, so I need you to help me uncover those parts I hide away.
It's easier sometimes to pretend everything is alright
12. I need to gain personal power.
I need to be  and I need to understand that I am in charge of my own destiny
13. I need you to accept and celebrate our differences.
It's important that I can be myself and know that it's ok to be like my birth parents
14. Let me be my own person, but do not let me cut myself off from you.
I need to know that I can be me and still be lived by you
15. Respect my privacy about my adoption, do not tell people about it without my consent.
I don't want people to talk about me or know about my history.
16. Birthdays may be difficult
As May Christmas and other holiday times
17. Not knowing my medical history, maybe distressing.
What if I suffer from any mental health problems!
18. I am afraid that I maybe too much for you to handle.
I don't want you to give up on me
19. Even when I am obnoxious, hang in there and respond wisely
I will push all those boundaries, possibly to see if you will abandon me
20. When I want  to find my birth family, please remember that you will always be my parents.
I could be curious but if you have enough heart to love 4 children why can I not love you and others?

Good advice from Sherrie Eldridge and her book Twenty Things Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

A 5am start

Since the clocks went back last month child 4's morning rising pattern has been disturbed. He tends to wake up anywhere between 4.40am and 6.20 am and so invariably I have found myself some where between sleeping and waking, clinging to that dream yet knowing that a little voice will interrupt it with a call of "mummy".

You know that place between sleep and awake, that place where you still remember dreaming?” Tinkerbell from the movie Hook.

In all honesty it's hard to drag yourself out of a warm cosy bed on a cold autumnal morning, even if it's to fetch the new baby from his cot.

This morning though was different, special even. Dad went to get child 4, popped him in bed with me and went off to warm his milk. Child 4 snuggled down facing me tracing my features with his fingers, quietly chattering away and then letting me trace my fingers over his eyes, nose and mouth. When Daddy returned with a bottle of warm milk he settled into the pillows and guzzled away before tracing his daddy features, then taking it in turns to kiss us.

Bonding is so important for us all, for child 4 to become a member of the family he needs to have bonded with us and there are many ways that we can encourage that bonding but then we have to wait, watch, hope and wait. We follow all the advice, we play games together, like building train tracks and marble runs, we frequently share stories and are now building a library of favourites, we sing songs especially Incy, Wincy Spider, Row, Row, Row your Boat and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, we chatter away together, we make skin contact, ruffling hair, tickling and blowing raspberries on his fat belly and we carry him a lot, giving lots and lots of cuddles, not necessarily expecting cuddles back.

This morning, was the first time that child 4 has initiated the skin contact, copying our caresses of his face, by gently stroking our faces. We are still at the beginning of our journey and the bonding won't happen straight away, but we are making good strong steps in the right direction.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

A letter to write

It's time for our first indirect contact with child 4's birth parents. We will be swapping letters twice a year once in April and then in November. This is primarily for child 4's benefit but I also think that his birth mum will be waiting for our contact every six months. I know it's strange but I feel that I have some responsibility for our baby boys birth mother, I guess I can feel her grief and sorrow or at least I imagine I can, although I know those imaginations cannot be anything like what the reality must be.

Research has shown that some children benefit from some form of contact with their birth parents. In our case indirect contact via a letterbox system is what has been chosen by the social services team in charge. This means that we write a letter to the birth parents every 6 months no photographs are to be included to protect child 4.  Hopefully, the birth parents will respond. All letters are sent to County Hall to protect us, the letters are checked and then the letter for child 4 is sent to us, but the birth parents will only be able to view their letters in County Hall. Social services keep copies of all the letters so that once child 4 is an adult he will be able to see all the information and history of his childhood.

So what to write, I empathise with birth mums situation so I really want the letter to make her feel that she did the right thing in agreeing with the adoption of her son! I know that she had no real choice, child 4 had been removed from his birth parents care and the courts had agreed that he should be adopted. But for her I think it's important that she knows that he is safe, healthy, happy and loved. So I start the letter with how we took a balloon to the top of a hill on child 4's birthday and let it go. Then I shared his favourite foods and activities, what his favourite book, nursery rhyme and TV programme are. What he can say and what mischief he gets up to. Finishing with how we are awaiting their response so we can share it with child 4 and then keep it in his memory box for when he is old enough to read it himself.

I cannot guarantee that the birth parents will keep up contact but I know that we will. It maybe that child 4 doesn't want to have contact and that is fine we can keep the contact ticking over just in case, when he is old enough he can choose what is best for him and as his family we will support him and walk alongside him on his journey regardless of the path he chooses.

I keep this quote close to my heart, to remind me of how very lucky I am ........


Monday, 4 November 2013

Why adopt

This week is National Adoption Week, it seems a little inappropriate for children to be advertised on the BAAF (British Association for adoption and Fostering) and This Morning, to me it feels a bit like window shopping. But, with 4000 children who are waiting to be adopted and not enough willing adopters out there I guess that it is a way to highlight their plight.

So why did we adopt, this is a question that I shy away from, not because there is a weird response but because I am a little defensive about it I guess. People have  tended to react in three different ways to our adoption, one is to say how amazing we are and paint us as angels, then there are those who really don't understand and think that we are do-gooders that are risking damaging our existing families by taking in a damaged child who will no doubt end up in trouble of some kind examples given would be drugs, alcohol and prison and finally there are those that are just not interested.

I am embarrassed when people say how amazing we are because I honestly don't see it like that! we haven't adopted to ensure a place in heaven, I just wasn't done on the children front and instead of adding another by conception thought that why not "rescue"  a little person in need of a family. After all we have a huge family, some amazing friends and a fabulous community. We had room in our hearts and home for another child and to us it really didn't matter where that child came from, so why not take one from the system and give them what very child deserves a loving family.

I am infuriated by those who tar these children with the so called behaviours of their parents, those behaviours are the ones usually found splashed across the front page of a tabloid newspaper primarily for shock value, not an educated debate. There are those who still believe that the sins of the father or mother are passed to their children, conveniently ignoring the fact that adoptive parents will be these children mothers and fathers and therefore will hopefully break the cycle of poverty, neglect and abuse. Their lack of empathy for all those involved, especially the birth parent is quite possibly why the cycle keeps spiralling instead of being halted by love and support.

And I am saddened by those not interested.

Please just look at the information available about adoption, maybe you could adopt like us. It's been worth every moment, so far.



Sunday, 3 November 2013

To infinity and beyond

Today I really appreciated the support network that surrounds us, people who are just there and step in to help in some way or other. They are probably completely unaware of how a moments kindness, smile, hug or conversation shares any burden you may be carrying. Making you look at life in a different way, making you grateful for what life has given you, rather than being blinkered because you have a had a tough morning.

This week has been tough but fantastic, as it's been half term I have spent all week with the children, our first holiday all together, so it's been fabulous for us to grow together as a family, but it has rubbed off some of that rose-tinted effect that has encompassed us the past few weeks. Child 4 has not lost any of the love and affection we feel for him, but he is no longer the cherub that can do no wrong. All of us have had moments of upset and have wanted to just crawl into a corner and cry, just because the stress has become too much.

This morning child 4 woke at 5.40 am, and by 9.30 had flushed away a toilet roll, climbed on a chair and dropped an egg on the floor, I am sure just to see what would happen and finally tossed a brand new jar of homemade strawberry jam over his shoulder, smashing one of the tiles beside the oven.  By the time we had made it to mass this morning, late of course, my stress levels were peaking. But then all of a sudden,  people just seemed to offer their support, hugs were readily available for all, friends supplied tea and biscuits and an ear for all the children. A fab friend spoke to child 3 about a Christmas movie they must see this year, just the two of them, she listened to child 1 telling her how fab she was and offered child 2 reassurance about being a teenager. An older parishioner just sat and chatted to child 4 as he devoured a cup cake smothered in buttercream and chocolate buttons. Others just found the humour in my stories of this mornings trials and tribulations taking away the grumble and stress and replacing it with laughter.

I returned home lighter, more able to cope with what ever would lie ahead for the remainder of the day. What is done is done and I am really so lucky to have such and amazing mix of family, friends and community. With that sort of love and support anything is possible. Thank you

Friday, 1 November 2013

The weeks progress

Well, where to start............ Child 4 has shown off his prowess in climbing, particularly on the kitchen table, he can unravel a whole toilet roll in seconds. Not only can he turn on taps he can also flush the toilet over and over again. He can now get into the conservatory and is a dab hand at turning off the TV especially if the others are in the middle of a race on the Wii. He is now able to amazingly manoeuvre his arms out of the straps on his car seat, meaning frequent stops to strap him back in and his aim with an apple, a spoon even a porridge filled breakfast bowl is spot on!!!

To be fair though he now only calls me mummy, his speech is moving on leaps and bounds, he kisses everyone good night and he even cried yesterday, a big first. He puts his wellies on in the morning to see the chickens and actually curled up with me on the sofa to watch In the Night Garden for about 10 minutes, this evening. He now finds a book for someone to read to him and will play trains for a little while before the need to throw overtakes him.

He is just a part of the family, sometimes a pain in the bum, but at other times he is a delight. It is like he has always been here. Despite the exhaustion, although it was a 5.50am start this morning, it's getting better, now is that because we are getting used to him or the other way round??? I wouldn't have it any other way!