As it's National Adoption Week and the focus is around adopting sibling groups I wanted to share our experience and join in the discussion.
There are so many things I want to
I have read a few articles and blog posts this week on adopting sibling groups and surprisingly a fair few posts from adopters who have taken on sibling groups of three. Sadly, there is a concurrent theme - family life has been turned on it's head, life is hard and challenges are presented daily. Their stories are filled with pain, disappointment and uncertainty.
Our story is no exception.
Perhaps my husband and I were naive thinking we could manage the various attachment issues that we would be met with, maybe we were not given the full picture by those caring for the girls whilst in foster care or possibly it was the lack of preparation by the Local Authority. It could be an assortment of all three elements. Either way it has resulted in our dreams of taking on our diamonds has not become our reality thus far.
So what are the challenges?
- Never being able to split yourself equally.
- The fight for attention - as my husband said 'from day one we were outnumbered'.
- Trying to understand whether their behaviour is linked to their past, their present or their age.
- Then deciding within a split second the best way to respond. Therapeutically? Empathetically? Super Nanny style? What was that sentence my post-adoption social worker said to use?
- The behaviours that take you by surprise and send you into a mild panic ie: stealing food and cutting hair.
- The intensity of one or more of your children always wanting to be close, always presenting a need to be met and once that need has been met presents another one.
- The exhaustion.
- Lack of understanding from other people on adoptive parenting and people questioning us as to why we are parenting differently.
- Being able to bond and attachment difficulties.
- Feeling disappointed in your parenting and therefore feeling like a failure.
- Finding and holding onto the correct form of support.
One of the purposes of writing this post was to raise awareness into the realities that us adoptive parents can face on a daily basis and the need for more post adoption support. Far too many families are left to just get on with it and fend for themselves after taking on children who are traumatised.
I would say that in some respects we have been fortunate in that we have had a post adoption worker and she has helped us enormously and more importantly truly cares about our well-being. However, I still feel that more should and could be done to support us and I think this may be an ongoing
Surely, we have to keep on raising our voices and helping others to see the pain and challenges that we face daily in trying to love and care for our children who have had such a harsh start in life.
We must keep on hoping and believing for the best - for all of us.
If you would like to participate in helping bring about a change in post adoption support services, please sign the petition below by pressing on the link: Thank you!
Changes to Post Adoption Support Services