Posts

Showing posts from 2016

3 months on

In many ways it is odd to think that it's been 3 months since we met our little man. It feels like forever and no time at all.

This last month has been very challenging, school has had a huge impact on his behaviour at home. We have seen extreme physical and emotional outbreaks as he has struggled to control his emotions and tries to control as much as he can.

We had a meeting with the head of CAHMS and he offered some great advice about how to deal with the emotional breakdowns. In essence he said to "not care so much" - obviously we still care for him and stay present when he is upset but we are trying to stay calm and not take it personally. With our LO he seems to occasionally need to have a good vent of frustration. We have also started to exercise him more after school to run off the excess energy. These changes have started to have an impact, he struggled with the change but it has made the big meltdowns much easier. We have daytime star charts and a bedtime chart…

2 months

i have consciously chosen to step back from blogging since LO came home with us. This has been for two reasons, safeguarding concerns are the main reason but also wanting his journey not to be detailed online. I could have blogged most days about the ups and downs but it feels wrong for me to write so much about him without his choosing to be involved.

So I have decided to keep updating with catch up blogs to hopefully help others looking into the process and also to keep some sort of timeline for us in the future to look back on.

We have known our little man for 2 months and I'm not sure we really remember life before him. When he moved in we had a few nights of extreme behaviors  at bedtime but that settled fairly quickly and after a few weeks he was sleeping well and settling into family life. There were testing times but they felt like "normal" summer holiday tantrums/tiredness. Then as we built up to going to school his anxiety came back and we had issues around bed…

End of intros and first few days at home

Apologies for the lack of posting but the end of intros and moving in was hectic and full on. It is 11.55pm and I have finally sat down and am able to type this up.

The theme for the end of intros and first few days at home are pretty similar. Lots of amazingly lovely times with feeling of bonding and love growing with big moments of being tested and pushed and thing what the hell are we doing!! Those moments are brief and totally outnumbered by the good stuff.

the hardest moment has been driving away from the foster home - the look on the foster carers face broke my heart then asking LO if he was sad and he breaking into massive sobs was so hard to watch. I was sitting in the back of the car with LO and could only cuddle him and say it was good to cry and that he was so brave. Speaking to the foster carer later in the day she was so upset it was really tricky. They have really giving our little one the start in life his birth family couldn't.

If I thought the roller coaster of ad…

Day four

Day out today and can be summed up with the 5T's.... Trips, tantrums, testing, trains, tears.

But overall it was a good day and we are learning all the time. It is hard to find the line between issues from a disrupted start in life and being a "normal" 6 year old (although developmentally maybe better to think 5 year old). The best thing about LO is his ability to repair and be aware of his naughty behavior.

Today was the first day when he gave us both s kiss and cuddle out of the blue (not saying goodbye) and these moments of connection and bonding make up for the 3 or 4 difficult moments - all three of us were very tired today and this had a huge impact.


Day three

our first outing just the three of us ... It wasn't on our plan but LO wanted it to just be the three of us, foster carer agreed that she thought we could cope and he promised her he'd be a good boy. We went to a swimming pool with slides and water cannons. It's fair to say LO can swim but he has no fear and wants to get in the pool and not hold on. Swimming lessons are now top of the list ... Thankfully mother in law is a swim teacher!

We then went out for dinner, and he was pushing boundaries and there was lots of testing but the lovely thing is that he will repair, he's great at saying sorry, for listening when you are correcting him. I think we will need to toughen up but we were able to address and deal with issues as the arrived.

Another tiring day, but some real moments of connecting and feeling real affection for him.


Day two of intros

We started the day with a meeting with a worker from the fostering team who had supported the foster carer when LO had moved in. The worker hadn't met him so it was a theoretical approach to reported behaviours some we know the foster carer has taken on and some haven't fitted into her approach (mainly because of other foster children in the placement). We had read the summary but this meeting helped because having met him it was easier to relate, also the worker was able to fill in the gaps more theory. We found it helpful to remember what we know about attachment and also think of how we can best support his transition.

Then we picked up LO at 11 with foster carer and went to the beach until 6.30. This was a really good experience (first swim in the sea for me this year and not too cold!). The three of us spent some good time in the sea with lots of bonding taking place - we had to carry him pick him up when he fell because of a wave, get sea water out of his eyes etc. he wa…

Day one of intros

What we've learnt about our LO .....

He has learnt what is said on each page of our talking intro book and loved the teddy that went with the book.

Because we put our real names in the book he was struggling to call us daddy and dad (this changed during the day (but I would advise others not to put names book and have a single image of each of you with the name you want to be called).

He likes playing football but didn't have one at foster carers. We are going to the beach today and said we'd buy him a football to take today. He asked for a blue one .... We managed to find one last night, phew!

He will listen to everything and copy and adopt sayings, phrases etc. we were playing hide and seek in the part and at one point I sat next to where he was hiding saying how sad I was that I had lost him then the next time I hid he said the same thing with fake tears and everything! I had to come out of hiding saying don't be sad and he ran over and gave me a huge hug .... Melte…

"3 more sleeps"

the title of this post is misleading - there are only two more sleeps till we meet our little one, however yesterday we had an email from his social worker saying that she had been to see him and given him our introduction book and that he was very excited and had said he only had three more sleeps till he met us ... this statement floored me! It is so nice to know that he knows that this is happening and that we are coming to meet him. I totally understand that he will be feeling a lot of various emotions but that some of those feelings are positive is amazing. The day before we found out that his Foster carer had been reading And Tango Makes Three to him and telling him that he will be going to a family with two daddies (again the message coming back was that he was very excited)

It is hard to explain or understand how I am feeling at the moment, I have never experienced anything like it - I seem to go from feeling extremely excited to extremely nervous then extremely anxious to ext…

Ratified

After my post this morning I emailed LO's social worker for an update - ten minutes later (at 8.30am) she phoned to say the decision has been ratified and it's all systems go to meet him on Monday then bring him home a week later.

We're so excited and nervous ... I'm occupying myself with painting a floor, seems like the best choice in the circumstances.

Catch up ....

Finally have a minute to sit down and catch the blog up ... It'd be a crazy week.

Thursday we met the medical adviser, we had to have a meeting before panel - no new information but a little more detail and possible impact of moving on eczema and asthma. Dr also say on the panel so she said there would be a familiar face at panel, it was very nice the next day to recognise someone!

Thursday night we took ourselves to a movie to occupy ourselves - I think one of the most challenging parts of adoption is the waiting, so much of the process is the waiting and you tend to have very little control of the things you are waiting for.

Friday morning we planned to get to panel for 10.30 to be called in at 11 ish. We were early as the waiting was sending us crazy. We met the social workers and the chair and adviser of the panel introduced themselves. We knew there were some questions over the legal issues surround LO moving to the Channel Islands so the adoption teams lawyer was there and p…

Matched

Yesterday we were official matched with our little boy at panel - I need time to sit and write up the last few days but sitting in the airport ready to travel home and it is finally dawning on me. The next time we do this journey we will be taking him home.

Full details to follow ....

Two days to go .....

I've not really had time to sit and write up what has been happening the last week or so, things have been a little crazy.

We have been rushing around trying to get the house ready and more importantly LO's room - we are taking an introduction book with us on Friday to matching panel with the hope that all goes as planned and we're approved. It is odd working on something so definite and personal but still not being 100% confirmed that the match will happen. Everyone seems very positive and our social worker has no doubt that it will happen but the fear is real. It's also difficult because you don't want to talk about it going wrong (don't want to jinx it).

Also yesterday my body gave up a little - endoftermitis - and I had to sleep most of the morning, so that put us back a little, the need for things to be perfect before panel is an odd feeling, it seems so important to know that everything is just right and however much you read about other people telling yo…

Pooping myself

Today is the panic day ... It has been a day full of stress for no reason and I have been trying to work out what it is that has been stressing me out, I have been sorting out some big things at work ready for summer holidays, I have been finishing off bits around the house and sorting emails to do with schools etc. All in all its been a productive day, however the level of freaking has been off the chart! It hasn't been about anything in particular just a general, overwhelming panic.

Ben is out tonight so I have had some quiet time and managed to process most of it but I think we are both spiraling a little and need to connect back together and find the joy in what is happening.

The hardest thing is not really being able to say 100% that LO will be ours, the worry is something will happen and he'll be taken away from us before we've even met him and that is too big a feeling to feel all at once.

Another milestone day

Yesterday was a big day, huge .... I still can't process fully the amount of information we had to take in.

We went to K's school to meet him head teacher, his foster carer and his social worker. It was a two hour meeting finding out about his behaviours day to day in school and at home. We found out about his educational needs and the support package that is being offered. We have seen new photos of him, discussed what to put in our introduction book and so much more.

The overwhelming thing that has come from the meeting is how much the adults in his life care for him and love spending time with him, they spoke of how funny he was, how affectionate and bright he is. It was very emotional speaking to his foster carer who said out of all the children she's fostered he is the one she had considered long term fostering if a forever family didn't come along. Saying that she was very supportive of us and super positive about the adoption.

School gave us a very clear picture…

This just got real

this has been a big week and somewhat overwhelming- I think, whilst being excited, we have been keeping ourselves a little removed or stepped back from the reality of our situation. Our feeling was there were still lots of hurdles to get through and someone may decide we're not a match for LO. However a meeting last Friday with our social worker changed that mindset somewhat, her response to us mentioning these feelings was very much "on no he's yours unless you back out" - step one on raising the reality stakes.

Then this week was the matching meeting where it was agreed that we will go to panel with introductions starting soon after - Step two, three and four on the reality stakes.

This was on Wednesday and since then we have both been feeling very heightened ... Anxious, nervous but also excited and starting to make plans for the summer.

This morning we are off to a primary school to look at a place for him in September (step five) and we have to have our dogs ass…

Matching update

Things seem to be moving forward nicely, keep waiting for a bump in the road but so far .... So good.

We are now booked to go to meet the foster parents at his school, hopefully we'll also get the results of his educational assessment. This should hopefully give us a much better picture of him day to day and what support he is likely to need moving forward.

It is going to odd to be at his school knowing he's there but not meeting him ..... It's all starting to feel so real.

Facebook knows ..... Everything

https://www.facebook.com/Upworthy/videos/1278427565531432/


http://thenextfamily.com

The top link popped up on my Facebook feed today .... Spooky timing! We need to choose our names soon!

We also have a talking book just arrived to start creating for LO. Feels a little early as we're not officially matched but the social workers are suggesting we get on it so I guess we better had!



How often is "too often"?

Adoption is a lot of waiting, you sit for dates for courses, wait for social workers to turn up (not that they are let just that your trying to make the house look good so once it's clean no-one can sit on the sofa because of the correct plumpness/positioning of the cushions) you wait outside panel, sure that there is no reason for them to say No but still concerned they might. You wait for phone calls to say there is a child for you. When you are linked, you wait for their social worker to visit (more cushion plumping required), after that it's waiting for dates to meet foster parents, get a date for matching panel then waiting for dates for introduction ... Then ... Well, then the wait is over and I presume there is a whole other list of waiting, but that is the time I'll be happy to wait.

At the moment we're in a new phase of waiting, a phase we've not been in before. We're waiting on a date for matching panel (and if everyone agrees we are a match for LO). …

I think we're matched .....

this feels like the closest and most real we've got to being dads .... Little ones social workers came to visit yesterday and we spoke about him for about two hours. It was a gloriously sunny evening in our back garden, where we got married 4 years ago, and we found out all about him. It was odd because as we spoke it kept feeling more and more that this was our son, even the stuff that is challenging about his behaviors I was starting to feel protective over him.

It is strange to try and put into words how connected and attached we both feel towards him - we had to stop ourselves from just saying yes there and then. We took the dogs for a LONG walk, talk over every aspect, the "challenges" we may face and how we would approach them. We both ended the walk sure that this boy could be our son.

And that is a freaky feeling!

We have spoken to our social worker today and they have spoken to his social worker and they are very pleased we are progressing.

So it's time to w…

Social worker meeting

We now have two Social Workers flying over to meet us on Monday. After 3 years our search may be coming to an end ... It is very hard not to get carried away and keep perspective. But we must try.

Luckily our house is just coming to the end of some major building work so the house will be too chaotic to be worried about cleaning every inch this weekend - they will have to take us as they find us. A refreshing change to the last set of social worker visits we had.

Things move fast

What a crazy day - I'm shattered.

We've gone from maybe having a social worker come over to visit us in Guernsey at the beginning of June to them trying to get here next week. We've had an up to date photo and an amended report plus a phone call with the social worker.

My head is totally fried and emotions are all over the place - could this be our little one?

#lgbtadoption #bigday

Adoption Link

our adoption journey hasn't really moved forward much this year.we've been struggling trough building work and settling into island life. A few weeks ago we had a message from our  SW about Adoption Link - it seemed like a new and and improved BeMy Parent. We signed up and started looking around. It was nice to finally feel like we were able to be proactive again and we've made a few enquiries and it has a good "shortlisting function so it's nice we can both look at profiles independently and save them there.
Surprisingly a second day of being signed up we were approach about a little one - we've had his report and his social worker is keen to fly to Guernsey to meet us. We've just sat and gone through his report together looking in detail and what is said - and implied in the report .... Now we need to choose if we get his SW to come meet us. A big step forward and a big decision ... The rollercoaster of emotions has started at 100 miles an hour.