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.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015


It is difficult times that  we live in, with such easy access to media and with the world becoming such a smaller place, the ability to share tragedies that happen all over the world is so much easier than when I was growing up. I remember those first harrowing pictures from Ethiopia in 1984 when Bob Geldolf started his campaign to "Feed the World" but that was just the beginning.

Now we see pictures of dead children washed up on European holiday beaches, we see the aftermath of mass shootings, we see the wreckage left behind after drones have bombed areas supposedly hiding terrorists. Young girls who have been abducted to be sold on as slabes and brides smile from school photos plastered over the front pages of our newspapers. And that is before we read about bush fires, land slides, flooding etc etc.

So what to say to our childen. Do we explain what is happening in our world or do we attempt to keep it away from them?

 Child 3 asked me where God was on the 13 November when the world was shouting about the Paris tragedies . Our Twitter feeds and Facebook feeds were full of comments and photographs. The news on radio an TV were describing, often graphically what had happened. And my 9 year old just could not understand why someone would want to hurt people out having a good time. Why did God not just stop it. This led onto so many more questions. Questions that I couldn't always answer as I sometimes ask where God is, has he washed his hands of us?

I guess that the story of Adam and Eve was where he gave humanity the power of choice, we choose how we behave and of course that means that we live with the consequences of those choices.

So I have taken to telling my children to look for God in those that help. The Muslim police man Ahmed who tried to help those attcked at Charlie Hebdo, the people helping the refugees in Greece, Hungary and Calais. The paramedics, the doctors and nurses, the teachers, the everyday person that gives money to UNICEF or children in Need. Those of us that buy goats and chickens from Oxfam instead of Christmas cards. The unassuming person on the Street who just steps in to help because they were there.

A simple small act of kindness goes a long way.

Blessed are the Peacemakers.


Advent for Christians is the preparing for the arrival of Jesus. Hope, peace, joy and love is what advent is all about.

From a world wide view, to a more local one of Europe and the U.K. Right down to what is happening within our homes, hope has become an integral part of how we live.

Our social worker dropped by this week to discuss the Theraplay session child 4 & I were Guinea pigs for. It was fascinating, if a little uncomfortable to watch myself on film, but child 4 loved it, when I showed him it later. The Theraplay team were particularly interested in child 4's avoidance of nurturing and his desire to be in control of the activities. So they have provided me with a list of activities that we can play as a family, as parent and child 4 and as 1 on 1 to help. Many of these we already sort of do but I am always up for new ideas and new games to play. I've photocopied it already so that I can share it with the pre-school and the school as there is loads that they can use too and not just for my little man.

It was lovely to see our social worker, we always got on well and she was telling me about some of the changes happening and explaining about the adoption fund given by the government this year. Her job has changed and she is much more involved in post adoption support now.

She told me about a young man she was working with, he was adopted as a baby. And yet his adoption was breaking down and he was currently in foster care because of his self destructive Behaviour. She had requested his PAR to look back into his past and have an understanding of his background. When she read about his birth mother she was struck by how similar their behaviours were. As a teenager she was in foster care and was being self destructive in exactly the same way as her son was now. How? Why? How much of teenage behaviour is genetic? This child was brought up by a loving couple from about a year old so where did he learn these self destructive baviours, you would have hoped that the nurture would have outweighed the nature. But attachment just doesn't work like that.

Our social worker asked me how could social services better prepare adopters for these types of outcomes, the courses we have to do tell us about the difficulties many adopted children have, there are often adoptive and foster parent speakers who talk of these difficulties and yet we carry on and adopt. I couldn't answer her, at the time of waiting for matching I didn't concentrate on the difficulties we may face once we had adopted I was worried that we wouldn't be suitable. Once child 4 arrived I was too busy settling in with new routines. I told her that I didn't think social services could prepare us better, I think they have to be able to support more once children have been adopted. Pre schools and schools need to be better educated in attachment to help our children.

I think HOPE is what adoption is all about, I think that the majority of adopters know it's not going to be easy but until you are actually living it you cannot understand how tough it is. I know that there are no guarantees that child 4 will make it through childhood and adolescence without any difficulties and being adopted means that life is a little weighted against him. I can only hope that we can hold his hand whilst he walks that path.