Adoption chatters

(40 Posts)
Lilka Mon 08-Jul-13 19:19:28

Fancy another chat thread anyone? All welcome, chat about absolutely anything smile

I'm enjoying some 'me' time after we all had an early tea

We're doing okay. I've continued my blog and I think it's going well. I've also got a couple of other 'me' activities on the go.

Doe anyone remember when I posted about DD2 re-enacting her past, or creating neglect/adoption etc on her Sims 2 game? She's back at that recently (I still am clueless about what to think about this whole issue). She created a her Sim and a birth mum Sim, and made them be friends, then made them fall out (and slap and attack each other). Yesterday I was (subtly) watching her while on my own laptop, and it looks like she's making them try and make up with each other and be more friendly again. Is this a sign she is thinking of finally responding to her mum's messages and talking again? confused They haven't spoken since DD was hospitalised, birth mum stopped trying to contact after DD blocked her on FB and changed her phone number. I really hope DD isn't thinking of contacting her sad

In other news, DD2 got herself bitten by a frustrated Gerbil she handled too roughly. Poor Gerbil, but honestly I feel very sorry for DD2 as well, she really does try to be kind to them.

Anyway...how is everyone? smile

Lilka Tue 16-Jul-13 12:44:25

Devora shock

That's appalling, your poor wee girl sad

Honestly, if I was in your position, I'd drop the childminder, I just would never ever trust her again if she thought it was acceptable to drop off a child like your DD2 with an unknown neighbour

TerribleTantrums DD2 doesn't do well with camps etc at all. We do do activities, but they need to be very specific things and no overnights. There used to be a lovely weekly crafts thing which happened once a week in the holidays we used to go to, but it's stopped now. I'm planning lots of going out biking and walking, swimming etc

Sent DD2 and DS to school/college today - and it fully hit me that I'm on the very last week of school. Why?!

WouldBeHarrietVane Mon 15-Jul-13 23:31:23

Devora, I'm not an adopter, but that cm is awful sad how can you be impatient with a child that needs stability and affection due to previous bad experiences? I think you are right.

I had a very bad experience with a nanny who cared for my DS and who found him too needy and clingy (he is my birth child, but a very high need toddler). I wish we'd got rid of her immediately tbh but it lingered on for some weeks until she gave notice.

Devora Mon 15-Jul-13 23:26:33

dp thinks that, despite the problems, we should stick with her because dd2 loves her and it would be massively disruptive to change her CM just as she starts afternoon nursery.

I think we should drop her now. I actually think she is pushing for us to drop her (there has been a long, long chain of events with this CM that I won't bore you with now). And I think that her tremendous impatience with dd2's neediness is making dd more anxious and more clingy.

But I think the first step is to talk to her - tomorrow - and her response will probably make our decision easier, one way or another.

TerribleTantrums Mon 15-Jul-13 23:20:10

shock That is terrible Devora, poor DD2. What do you plan to do?

Devora Mon 15-Jul-13 23:01:26

Hello ladies. Steam-out-of-ears update: our CM today was supposed to have dd2 till 4, but dp agreed with her to bring her back at 3 - has to be 3 because dp had to pick up dd1 from school. 3pm came and went, phone calls to mobile went unanswered, no CM. So dp left message on CM's phone to say off to school, back in ten minutes.

You know what CM did? She arrived, found no-one in, neighbour helpfully said, "you can leave dd2 with me". So she DID. She doesn't know him from chuffin Adam. When dp got back, dd2 - who has attachment problems we have discussed with CM - was hysterical sad.

That's really bad, isn't it?

Moomoomie Mon 15-Jul-13 20:58:05

maryz that is fantastic news, all your hard work ( and his ) have paid off.
Well, today I have been thoroughly spoilt, as it is my birthday. The sun has shone. ( St. Swithins day, so good that there has been no rain )

Maryz Mon 15-Jul-13 17:54:15

I used to fill the summer for them, now they do it themselves. ds2 is occupied practically all the time he isn't asleep.

dd likes hanging around doing nothing.

ds1 was always the difficult one in the summer holidays. The trouble with AS is that he always only had one major interest on the go, and would be obsessed with that one thing. If it was something that wasn't around in the summer, we were screwed. He had no "inner resources" or ability to entertain himself so summers were hard work. I mostly filled them with sports camps too.

I'll have a look at the kids' extensive social diaries and pm you smile

TerribleTantrums Mon 15-Jul-13 16:13:58

Yes, I would definitely like to meet up. smile I'm also not that busy between 10th and 24th August as H is bringing the DC away on holiday, but once school is back my schedule gets more regular again.

Roughly whereabouts are you? You can PM me if you prefer. I'm South D.

Does your DD2 do any activities in the summer Lilka? I find DS needs a few camps, particularly sporty ones, to get him through the summer.

Maryz Mon 15-Jul-13 14:29:06

Hi Terrible, I was wondering where you had gone. We should meet up at some stage, maybe when the kids are back in school.

Thanks everyone. I love the summer now they are teenagers and basically amuse themselves. I produce dinner at 7ish and do a fair bit of washing, but other than that I can enjoy the weather.

And we had our first family holiday away for years. At least, dh stayed at home with ds1, but I took dd, ds2 and a friend of his to France and had a fantastic time.

Meita Mon 15-Jul-13 09:18:52

Congratulations Maryz! Sounds like you (both, as in, together) have come a long way, yay for you!

Personally, I'm really enjoying the hot weather. But that's because I have a nice cool house (it gets very cold in winter, is the downside) and rarely need to leave it, as I work from home. I find the travelling around in the heat the worst part of it. Also, DS is basically naked whenever he's at home, I like not having to worry about clothes smile

Lilka Mon 15-Jul-13 00:05:00

That's fantastic Maryz smile smile

Be very very proud of yourself as well!!

I have mixed feelings about summer. I know the routine change etc is going to upset DD2 a lot. And the long days with no distraction might drive her back to seeing her first mum.

On the plus side - By the time autumn term starts, I will be able to cradle a second newborn grandchild in my arms smile

Italian I miss those days, now even DS (8) insists on browsing the menu thoroughly, even when he doesn't understand little bits. I think he wants to feel grown up!

TerribleTantrums Sun 14-Jul-13 23:42:43

Good for him Maryz. grin (You know me by another name that I don't want to be searchable, but it's fibrous and starts with a 'b'.)

DS has been diagnosed with ASD, which is good (in a way) as they are recommending a full-time SNA. I doubt we will get funding for a full-time SNA but at the moment we are paying for one ourselves so even if we get funding for a part-time position it will be great.

Summer is feeling pretty long at the moment, I'm looking forward to September after only two weeks. grin

Devora Sun 14-Jul-13 23:36:59

Congratulations to you and your ds, Mary smile

That is fantastic news; what a long way he's come. I hope he is feeling well chuffed.

Maryz Sun 14-Jul-13 23:18:09

Hey everyone.

I have some good news.

ds1 passed all his exams. He now has a qualification, and no-one will ever ask him why he didn't sit his school leaving cert. He is also almost human and is talking to me occasionally.

He hasn't been arrested for 18 months shock.

I know to some of you starting down the adoption route this will scare the hell out of you, but I am so proud of him gringringringringringringringringringringringringrin

<goes back to read thread>

Cleaning the kitchen and looking forward to church BBQ.

Our DD can't read really yet so menus are not great, I usually ask what she most wants and then find the closest thing on the menu! Or something like that.

Lilka Sun 14-Jul-13 11:49:36

Meita yes that's exactly what I meant. You know that you can be a proper loving family even if you face many difficulties, and I think that's just totally outside the realms of experience for some prospective parents

How is everyone's weekend?

DD2 is glued to the computer. DS is glued to the Star Wars box set. I want to get us out of the house so I suggested a lovely bike ride and was met with the most incredulous expressions - I might as well have suggested a family bonding trip to the sewage works!!

But we are all going out to eat later, which I'm happy about. A few years ago eating out was really hard, we could never go at a really busy time because it was too intense for both of them, and it was just a bit too stressful to contemplate most of the time. Nowadays, DS is totally fine with restaurants and DD2 is also mostly fine, although her food issues rear their heads when faced with a humungous menu.

They can refuse bike rides all they want, but we're cleaning out the Gerbil tank after lunch and NO ONE is getting out of that... <stern mum face>

Meita Sat 13-Jul-13 16:52:56

Oh and Lilka I think I know what you are saying. My family, as in the one I grew up in, is the bestest ever smile And yet, my little sister died as a toddler, my older sister has a range of problems meaning she has been stumbling from stable phase to utter chaos for most of her life and until very recently has been living with our parents, which was the only feasible solution for her, and has now moved out at the ripe old age of 38 (still not financially independent), my mum has a condition which effectively disabled her mentally as well as physically for about 7 years (somehow her brain has recovered and although there are now scan-visible holes in her brain, she has recently completed an OU degree) - but yeah, we are good. A success, if you want. I guess that is one reason why I never doubt that you CAN be a good family despite there being massive problems and issues.

Meita Sat 13-Jul-13 16:42:23

Ladies, I really appreciate all your input! I think what I will be trying to find out most about now is what it means in real terms to parent a child with FAS or FASD. I realised that yes on paper it all sounds terribly, terribly demanding, life long giving, with never a hope for improvement. And though I like to think of myself as fairly altruistic in motivation and looking from the point of view of the child, of course they need a loving family too - if anything, they need it more than most! - but I felt it was just being hammered in how bad it would be and how utterly hopeless. More than I could take. Or even if I could take it, more than I would be willing to subject DS to.
But the realities of it have to be more along the lines of if you are able to accept a child for who they are, and find joy and satisfaction in the little things, it's got to be possible, no? I'm not going to go into anything blind, nor am I going to downplay how hard it might be, but I'm not going to let it panic me. Think about it carefully, yes. Run away screaming, no.

Moomoomie, will there be minutes or something of the meeting? I was just thinking, if not, maybe you could e-mail her, listing the promises - then they are on 'paper' and perhaps more real - and if you are sure that not all of it will happen, you could maybe point out which things you would actually most like to happen and should be prioritised? Hope you will get the help you need.

Anyway, how is everyone enjoying the hot weather? What I like most is that we mainly BBQ for cooked meals, drastically reducing the amount of washing up to do ;)

Moomoomie Sat 13-Jul-13 16:07:48

P.S my meeting with the SENCO was normal. She promised this, that and the other, not a lot of it will actually happen!

Moomoomie Sat 13-Jul-13 16:06:20

Well, as a mother of 3, with 2 of them diagnosed with FASD I dispute the SW.
TBH I think the sw's are jumping on the band wagon, I know the professionals near us are!
I had been campaigning for many years th have dd2 dx with FASD, it was only when all involved had been to a conference on it, did they start listening to me.
I think there are a lot of children who are suffering with the damage that their BM alcohol consumption has done, although not as high as 95%
It is worth reading up on it though, there is a lot of information on American web sites.

Devora Fri 12-Jul-13 22:14:58

Before I had any children, I remember thinking how very tangible the downsides of parenting were - you give so much, you give up so much. And how very intangible the positives.

I suppose it's like any relationship: on paper, it's all a lot of work and sacrifice. But still, because you're in love, all that giving and effort is worth it.

Most adoptive families I know love their kids passionately and cope effectively with a range of mild-to-moderate issues. I'm very aware that some have more significant issues to deal with, but the idea that 95% of adopted children have full blown FAS is completely ridiculous.

Lilka Fri 12-Jul-13 22:10:11

Um, reading that post back I think I kind of started rambling and that's probably a bit confusing and unhelpful

I think I was trying to say that you should take opinions with a pinch of salt

Possible even mine wink shock grin

Lilka Fri 12-Jul-13 22:04:28

I think it's very hard for SW's (and I know it's very hard for me too when I'm asked by prospective adopters), to get a balance between realism and, well, the not realistic, while being conscious of our personal bias and being aware that it's all so so subjective - if you ask 100 adopters for a realistic view of the overall wellbeing of adopted children, you are NOT going to get similar answers from all of them, there will be a very wide range of responses. It's the same with SW's too - all of us view 'realistic' differently based on our own experiences and our adopter friends experiences and any other contacts we have, statistics and studies we've read, children a social worker has worked with...mostly if our own personal experience is similar to most of the adoptive parents we know, we assume that we are representative of the whole adoptive parent population. The problem is, we tend to naturally seek out people who are having similar experiences to us!! So I understand that as a prospective parent, you are probably very keen to get the realistic view of how most people are getting on, but it's confusing if and when you get told multiple different things etc

But saying 95% of waiting children have full blown FAS is not realistic full stop.

I try not to use the terms negative and positive either, even though those are frequently used eg. How many adoptive parents do you know who've had a positive experience? Because 'negative' and 'positive' are EXTREMELY subjective terms. When adoptive parents say their experience has been really positive etc they are basing many different things. For instance, there are people who choose to adopt children with FAS and have wonderful lives together and that's sooo positive for them, on the other hand there are adoptive parents who did not want to adopt a child with FASD issues but end up with a child who DOES have these issues, and sometimes they can feel like their experience of parenthood has not been a positive one. Also words like 'successful' are subject to serious personal bias!

I'll tell anyone straight out that all of my kids have dealt with challenges, two of them significant ones, that I currently have a very challenging teen, that we have needed serious therapy and support etc etc, and that I do NOT regret this, consider my family a success story and a positive example of how adoption can change a childs life forever. Oh and how I would adopt an older child with challenges again.

But if I tell this to 10 different prospective parents, what will they think? I bet you several of them will not even understand why I think my story is so positive if my adopted daughter is recently out of a psychiatric ward. Subjective interpretation as well as subjective stories!

Meita Fri 12-Jul-13 21:25:19

Lilka thanks, that makes more sense with what I had thought. I think she generally just wanted to make very clear that adopting a child is never 'easy'. That all - well in practical terms anyway - children who are adopted will have specific problems and difficulties. I guess some prospective adopters go into the process thinking 'but mine will be ok' or 'sure, I can deal with some minor issues and then it's just a case of loving them and all will be well' and it is probably best to disavow people of such notions. <not excluding myself here - I catch myself thinking like this at times too> I guess it's better to go into it with eyes wide open.

Still, now I find myself thinking. Lots of confused thoughts actually. Gah, it's hard this malarkey!

Lilka Fri 12-Jul-13 17:09:13

Glad it went well smile

She said that the vast majority of children placed for adoption (she said something like 95%) had FAS

That's definitely not true

It IS true that a large proportion of the birth mothers of waiting children, use alcohol as a coping mechanism and it IS true that a large proportion of waiting children will have been exposed to alcohol in utero

However, that alcohol exposure may not have been extensive enough to cause any issues (or may not have been consumed in the time period which would have caused issues in that particular child). FAS is quite a serious condition which doesn't just cause emotional/behavioural issues but also often physical problems - not just the classic facial symtpoms, but things like hearing and vision problems etc. There is no way that 95% of waiting children have full blown FAS. It's also true that there are few adoptive parents willing to adopt a child with FAS

If you want my opinion, I think a significant proprtion of waiting children may have some issues caused by drug or alcohol exposure - BUT those issues are the whole range from very mild to very serious, and in quite a few children the fact that alcohol is the causing factor of their issues might never even be picked up on, because lets face it, unless the birth mother is an alcoholic, ss might never document drinking in pregnancy. Emotional/behavioural symptoms of FASD are also shared with other conditions as well.

My DD2 has many issues and everyone thinks alcohol is the cause of some of them, she has FAE. She does not have FAS though, she doesn't have any facial features or physical problem associated with FAS. On the other hand, my DD1 and DS have no known exposure to alcohol (with DS I'm pretty sure exposure was nil because DD2 and DS birth mother was an alcoholic and I've never heard of an alcoholic quitting then suddenly being able to secretly consume a couple of glasses a week in secret without falling off the wagon), DD1 there's no way of knowing and in the mid 80's awareness of alcohol causing damage was not like it is today so I expect she was exposed to a bit of alcohol but not enough to cause problems).

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