So today I have been thinking back over the last 12 months, smiling over the good times, thinking about how I could have handled the not so good and wondering what 2015 will bring. We have had lots of family gatherings, the usual celebrations of New Year, Easter and Christmas, there have been adoption orders, baptisms, First Holy Communions, Confirmations, 18th birthday parties, GCSE and AS results, acceptances to Uni and college. I have photos of trips to the beach, the zoo and the farm, days full of sunshine and picnics, rain and muddy puddles and cold winter walks followed by hot chocolate, topped with squirty cream and marshmallows. As well as child 4 moving from a cot to a bed, him coming to me crying when he hurt himself rather than just getting on with it and he now sometimes cuddles his doggy when he goes to bed. On the alternate side we have dealt with those who haven't understood our need to adopt or the fact that once child 4 moved in he became one of us, which of course has meant that some of our celebrations have been marred by disgruntled and intolerant behaviour, child 4 himself exhibits some aggressive and angry behaviour and we have asked the SenCo to come in and support at nursery, child 2 has struggled in school over the last 4 months but is coming out the other side now. Over all though I would say the good far outweighs the bad. We have so far dealt with everything life, family and school have thrown at us and I think we are all the better and stronger for it. As a family unit we have become stronger, more loving and more tolerant. We are learning to leave behind baggage that weighs us down yet share the load of the stuff that is important to take on our journey, sometimes we have to unpack and repack, folding and sorting the important stuff in a different way to ensure that we can still carry it, sometimes we unpack, re-fold, re-sort and repack many times before we can move forward, often one step forward and two steps back.
I know we need to rethink some of our parenting Sally Donovan would say "the inner parent" and I agree with that sentiment, we need to remain strong, sticking to the path we traverse when facing those who just don't understand the need for therapeutic parenting, attempting to re-educate them where possible or by passing them when they are unable to be open minded but at the same time we have to willing to take an alternate fork, which usually looks like it has been much less travelled, forging a new way, stumbling over obstacles, no doubt occasionally getting whipped in the face by the overhanging brambles that we didn't see because we were watching our footing and not what was right in front of us.
Would any of us change anything? I think not. So 2015 bring it on, we are hopefully ready for you and whatever you may bring and if we aren't so ready we will adapt.