Prepare to be prepared!!

(34 Posts)

Hi guys

Am twiddling thumbs waiting for our training in January. What is the one best thing I can do to be prepared for training, please?

Please do not say read a book, am not a big book reader! Websites, magazines, food labels, that is the level of my reading (I have a degree in English lit and sociology - so go figure!).

Anyway, any tips for being at my peak for training!

Should I be doing push ups, should I be able to answer difficult questions about self, or even remember all the places I have ever lived!

Anything to stop thumb twiddling welcome.

Many thanks.

Devora Tue 02-Oct-12 22:40:24

I'm sure there's plenty of ways you can learn what you need to know without reading - talking to us, talking to other adopters, Youtube. DVDs... If a full book is offputting, subscribe to an adoption magazine and read articles instead.

Devora I didn't know there were adoption magazines. Can you tell me more! Please?

Devora Tue 02-Oct-12 23:07:25

e-magazine.adoption.com/

www.adoptinfo.net/

www.adoptivefamilies.com/

www.theadoptionmagazine.com/

www.adoptionuk.org/information/103162/aa_at_mag/

The first four are American, so be aware of the cultural and practice differences. The last is a link to the British Adoption UK magazine, which you have to subscribe to. I'm sure there's lots more out there too.

BeaLola Tue 02-Oct-12 23:12:22

I agree with so much of above, read, get stuff sorted etc but still go away & have you time before they arrive. Also do stuff with your 8 year old that may be more difficult when age gap sibling arrives.

Prep group was intense even though days shorter than my normal working days, cheesy ice-breaker exercises plus presenters were at conflict with one another always. Me & DH made a pact that we could talk about it in car for 15 minutes & then we were having dinner out somewhere where Adoption talk was banned !

Got so much out of it though - have stayed in contact with some of group - those we haven't were perhaps never going to be friends with & one live geographically quite a trek away.

More than half our group already had birth children which I hadn't expected (not sure why I was surprised but I was ) . All our Adoptive Mums & Dads who came to speak I found the most helpful & honest about what to expect, how SW were , the reality of it all & a couple of them worried me with their comments about their adopted children eg if they had been our birth child x would have happened - to me my child is my child whether biologically mine or not.

Ladyofthehouse Wed 03-Oct-12 12:52:09

Bea Lola - ours was the same. We were definitely in the minority having no birth children on our prep course! It was awkward at times because the SW kept having to remind them that just because they have children already it is completely different with adopted children. A few did assume they knew everything already because they'd dealt with such and such issue at home already.

Our prep course did give us a lot of knowledge and to be honest we did no prep at all. Have read stuff online but little else. We made sure after each prep session to make a list of questions that came into our head which we could then discuss with our social worker which was really useful when we had our home study.

Also, if your SW's are anything like ours on the course were if you have any IT skills you'll soon be teachers pet! They could never work out how to turn the laptops/screens on!!

Devora Wed 03-Oct-12 22:45:35

One of the most valuable parts of prep course for me was having to think through how parenting an adopted child may differ from parenting my birth child.

We also did a valuable exercise where they got us to vote on how we would handle certain discipline situations. It was really helpful in getting us to consider what a child might be bringing from their previous experiences: for example, why you shouldn't force an unwilling child to kiss a visiting relative, because this might trigger memories of undisclosed sexual abuse. It was disturbing how some of the participants continued to insist that their social obligations, or their family's cultural traditions, should still take priority.

I think having experience of birth children is useful in the early days, because at least you're confident of the frontline tasks of feeding, bathing, entertaining etc. But these things don't take long to learn, do they? And overall, having birth children is more of a disadvantage in adoption terms.

It's really helpful to hear things like this. Can you give me more examples, please (feel free to pm me).

Thanks so much Devora.

'Luckily' I think in some ways I may be prepared for SOME aspects of the kind of things you mention. We do not force our DD to kiss any relatives or do anything like that. I am very sensitive about her space, her 'rights' etc. I am not sure why I have parented in this way, (there are other examples I could give but of course having not parented an adopted child I would not know exactly what other areas would be different - ifswim!). Possibly reading parenting books written from a child-centured focus has helped (yes have read a tiny bit!) and also my DD is quite independent and strong willed and I have found that the 'traditional' parenting methods of Mum being boss/dictating what she eats/wears etc have not always worked well! I have tried to tread a path of being sensitive to her needs but also aware of what would be helpful for her to be able to do. She's quite an emotional sensitive little girl. At times she gets quite cross and angry but actually she is very sensitive, and I think that has made me a lot more aware about what I say to her, it is hard to explain but I think I try and treat her with a lot of respect. I am hopeful these things will stand me in good stead! I expect all parents would say they respect their children! So maybe what I am saying is not ringing any bells. But I have seen parents force food into their kids mouth, etc, make them sit up and finish food they don't want to eat etc. I guess those are example of things that would make me uncomfortable. Things I would not do.

I just wanted to say that I feel like a baby bird! and all you wise people are the bigger birds (!) bringing me crumbs of wisdom.... so thank you.

I'd almost forgotten about the others on the prep course. In ours (5 couples) one couple dropped out, one couple was dropped. One couple were really nice, but really different from us, v little in common (not that we are not nice!!). The other couple were lovely, we stayed in touch a while, but they moved away. My dh still sees one of them occasionally via work, perhaps twice a year, which is nice (and purely coincidental) Two of dh's oldest friends are adoptive parents, and we see them a lot.

I missed the first of the 6 prep sessions. My dh went on his own, our dd1 was really ill. I thought that would probably put an end to us as potential adoptive parents, but the SWs were very understanding, and it was fine.

Thanks PP good to hear about your experiences.

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