What am I called?

(99 Posts)
Bananaketchup Wed 04-Sep-13 14:24:05

First day of intros - only 1 1/2 hours but I think it went well and included a kiss from DS and DD giving me a pile of her toys to bring back with me which seemed like a really good sign!

However - I don't know what my name is. FC, SW and DD's therapist are all calling me Banana, to and in front of DCs. As in, 'show Banana this', 'Banana will be back tomorrow'. Therapist has done DD a chart of the intros plan and on every day there are parts with 'FCs name' and parts with 'Banana' written down. When I met FCs we talked very briefly about me being called mummy or mummy Banana, but it wasn't discussed at the intros planning meeting. FCs are first time FCs and LAC SW is new to adoption - my SW isn't but is on holiday. Don't know about the therapist.

I'm not sure if I'm over thinking it, or expecting too much for a first day, I just feel uncomfortable with the adults calling by my name to DCs I think. I know DD has talked about me as her 'forever mummy' but I'm being called by my name by the adults to her. Today she showed me photos and keepsakes from mummy and daddy and of course I'm not going to push her to call me mummy if she doesn't want to, but am I wrong in thinking the adults concerned should be having a go at referring to me as mummy to her?

Sorry if this is a bit muddled, I'm trying to process. Thoughts please.

Bananaketchup Wed 11-Sep-13 07:10:33

DD keeps asking 'when is Thursday?' - today I can say 'it's tomorrow!' grin. At home all day yesterday just back to FCs for bed - grandparents were here some of the time as my mum stayed in the hotel with me and drove back with us in the morning, then my dad called over in the afternoon. Little bits of defiant behaviour from DD yesterday at home, which I'm taking as a sign she feels a bit safe to do that? DS was pretty confused to be bathed, put in PJs then driven to FCs last night! I'm so looking forward to being home, not long now.

Kewcumber Wed 11-Sep-13 11:17:50

Good luck Mummy Banana!

Just wanted to say I was horribly ill during intro's (not helps by living in a hotel room in a foreign country!) - I realised that it might be stress/exhaustion when after treating myself with Medised (its all I had!), the only thing which actually helped was a hefty dose of vodka and orange! And I don't usually drink...

Good luck for tomorrow - the first day of the rest of your lives. Looking forward to hearing how it goes.
I bet you don't sleep tonight either!

Kewcumber Wed 11-Sep-13 11:27:40

First night I had DS I woke up every 30 mins and had to check he was breathing! Couldn't believe I finally had my sticky hands on him!

Would be nice if you can have a honeymoon stage but you just have to keep reminding yourself that its a marathon not a sprint.

newpup Wed 11-Sep-13 11:52:12

Good Luck.

TeenAndTween Wed 11-Sep-13 13:13:57

Best wishes for tomorrow.
2 at once is tough, especially to start with, but it is worth it in the end!

Remember you only need to be good enough, not perfect.

Lilka Wed 11-Sep-13 14:15:08

Good luck for tomorrow smile

Intros is very stressful on the child and throws up a lot of big emotions, so I would expect a bit of defiance and other behaviours, especially towards the foster carer. It's the only way they know to communicate 'I'm struggling'. And yes could also be a good sign she's coming through any initial fear of you and is feeling a bit more comfortable. Enjoy any and all good behaviour whenever you get it. whether it's honeymoon good behaviour or not

Happiestinwellybobs Wed 11-Sep-13 16:19:01

Wishing you good luck for tomorrow smile

I was dreadfully ill onwards the end of intros and for the first week that DD was home - it was certainly the stress coming out!!

I hope everything goes well.

Moomoomie Wed 11-Sep-13 18:10:29

Will be thinking of you tomorrow.

Piffyonarock Wed 11-Sep-13 19:49:12

All the best for tomorrow Banana!

Bananaketchup Thu 12-Sep-13 06:40:31

Thanks all - yesterday DS had a broken night's sleep and was very overtired, and when I got to FCs DD had been saying to her that she doesn't want to go. When we were driving back the night before and she was fed up of being in the car, I said after today we only have to do this drive once more and she said 'won't we go to FCs house after that?' and I think that's when it dawned on her in a more real way that having a new house and mummy means not having the FCs. Yesterday she was a bit tearful over little things and you could just see she's sad and scared to be losing the carers she knows sad. Intros are so hard, and I think she's found it hard to see her toys and clothes stripped out of the FCs house, as much as she has enjoyed piling them in the car! Yesterday she said 'we haven't got many toys to play with here now' and I told her that's because all her toys are at our forever house waiting for her, which she liked. I just want her to feel like it's okay to be sad and miss the FCs.

Been up since 4am, excited but also feeling the losses this process brings for the child. I just hope the new to adoption SW doesn't faff around this morning, and we can rip the plaster off and go.

Glad things are better. Not long now smile

I just wanted to say that when we were doing the intros with dds (where the FCs called THEMSELVES 'mummy' and 'daddy' and us by our first names for the week :-0 Although I suppose dd2 was only 14 months ..... but I hated it) I developed an eye twitch. I'd never had it before in my life, but I was so stressed it just appeared from nowhere, and lasted all week. It disappeared when dd2 was safely in our home, I'm glad to say.

We keep dd2's 'box' in our bedroom - she knows she can access it at any time, but like you OP I prefer to be there while she is still quite young, in case she has questions or needs support. We too have some pretty strongly worded and emotionally charged letters from birth family, and I am keeping those for when dd2 is a little older.

Good luck with everything x

I have experienced this from all sides. Please don't deny them of their memories n past or underestimate their bonds. It will be hard work but they will grow to love you and accept you as their parents

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 12-Sep-13 19:18:21

Hope today went well, Banana.

I remember about a month after DD was home with us she had a mega sob-a-thon: she was absolutely inconsolable, and clung to me so tightly. We think that she was basically grieving for her old life with her FC as the reality of life with us sunk in. So expect a few more ups and downs along the way smile

Lilka Thu 12-Sep-13 19:53:12

Hope today went well smile It will probably stay very exhausting for a while, but hopefully over the next few days most of your other physical problems will go away.

I told my DD's I knew they were sad, it's normal and ok to be sad and cry/etc when you leave people. That I thought it was sad as well. And they could come and talk to me anytime they needed. The grief is something you just have to go through and time will make it better. Are you planning any future contact with FC's, like a post placement meeting or long term card exchanges etc?

aboyandagirl Fri 13-Sep-13 14:52:15

Banana - it's so stressful both mentally and emotionally, I had the worst cold ever during our intros. I also lost about a stone in weight in 2 weeks coz I was all over the place emotionally and couldn't eat. Don't worry, all completely normal! Look after yourself though as you're about to go into the hardest part, when you get home it's tough - amazing and worth every minute though, of course.
Re; photos and other stuff from her past, you decide what's best for your child, let your instincts take over and if you think your LO shouldn't have something, then that's totally up to you. We had all sorts of bloody nonsense while we were in the process and we learnt (the hard way) that once you become a parent, you know what's right for your child, so stick to your guns.
Good luck, it's the best thing ever, it was so hard but every single time I see my 2 gorgeous munchkins, I thank my lucky stars that we found each other.

WeAreSeven Fri 13-Sep-13 15:39:11

I'm not an adoptive parent so probably shouldn't even be on here but when I read your OP I failed to notice that your username was Bananaketchup and thought the SW's were actually calling you "Banana". I was really upset for you and annoyed that people would call you by such a ridiculous name until I realised that I was being a numpty and you meant they were calling you by your first name!blush
I am having a brainfail day. Very best of luck with your dc's!

Lilka Fri 13-Sep-13 16:02:24

Seven grin grin

I've always wondered why you paired Banana with Ketchup - do you eat Banana/Ketchup and if so does it taste nice? Have to admit, Ketchup on Banana sounds pretty damn grim to me!!

Hope things are going well. I'm sure you are probably too tired to contemplate coming online right now, but do update us when you finally get a few minutes. All the best to you and your lovely DC's smile

WeAreSeven Fri 13-Sep-13 18:29:12

If you are allergic to tomatoes, you can make a ketchup with bananas. I remember reading this in a health food shop.

Kewcumber Fri 13-Sep-13 21:36:43

"you can make a ketchup with bananas" - but why would you want to? confused

Lilka Fri 13-Sep-13 21:47:44

Well quite Kew! Ketchup made of bananas sounds even grimmer than ketchup on banana <sick face>

Seven hope we don't make birth parents feel unwelcome here. It's nice to get support and encouragement from everyone, non-adoptive parents included smile

Everyone is welcome here, apart from spammers, hairy things who live under bridges, certain MP-who-shall-remain-unnamed and people who tell us that we're parenting our DC wrong, or that we stole them or something stupid. So not everyone then. But nearly everyone wink

WeAreSeven Fri 13-Sep-13 22:08:01

Apparently it tastes nice. I have never made it, mind you!

Lilka, thank you for making me feel welcome. To be fair, it's not that I wouldn't feel welcome but apart from knowing some lovely friends who have adopted children, I would hesitate to blunder in and start giving my advice when my own experience has been raising my children from birth ( and sadly losing one along the way) and have no experience of say, taking a toddler from the age of two and bringing him/her into my home. I know what my own two year olds were like, of course, but they haven't been through what some of your children have been through and I wouldn't presume to think I knew enough to comment most of the time.

And being a bereaved parent, I have experienced people who say well-meaning things to me and others who have lost children but who can't really have a clue what we've gone through. And I don't want to be That Person who barges in and says something well-meant but stupid to another group of parents.

Bananaketchup Sat 14-Sep-13 22:01:59

Seven grin no they weren't actually calling me Banana, that'd be extremely weird! The username is because I've got one of those bags made from recycled packaging in the Philippines, made of packaging for banana ketchup, and it just tickled me. I don't even like bananas!

It's fab to be home, I feel a lot better already although also pretty knackered - days now start at 5.30am! Am trying hard to stick to the FCs routine for mealtimes, bath bed etc to promote feeling safe and secure, but haven't quite worked out how to find time to cook proper food yet. Both DCs are also fascinated with talking to me while I'm in the shower or getting dressed which takes a bit of getting used to! Luckily my mum turned up this afternoon and DD loves her (and rejects me for her, but I'm mostly okay with it cos it feels like she needs to test me that way), which gave me a chance to peel and cook the veg for dinner so that helped. Also DD likes washing up (novelty cos FC had a dishwasher) so we do that together but it takes a lot longer and is a lot splashier than if I do it myself grin. We talk about FC, DD asked if she is allowed to ring and I said yes, but she hasn't wanted to yet. I've told DD I have spoken and texted to FC, so she knows it's okay to talk about her and miss her.

It's hard work and I'm tired, but I love the little moments when DD wants me to cuddle her on the sofa or DS plays with my hair when he's tired. If this is a honeymoon okay, I'm just going to enjoy it.

Lilka Sat 14-Sep-13 22:32:36

Wonderful smile

Sounds like you're handling everything really well

I suggest cooking meals in batches. Cook enough for 2 nights, feeze or fridge half of it for the next day. Eating the same thing 2 nights in a row will not hurt and will give you a break. I also cooked meals at odd times of day and kept them in the fridge to be reheated at the right time

The little moments are so important. They still are to me now. Enjoy them smile

HeyJudith Sat 14-Sep-13 23:35:53

Congratulations on your DD.

I just wanted to say, please don't feel your DD is "testing" you by rejecting you for your mum, she won't know which way is up right now. It could be as indiscriminate as that your mum's face (or item of clothing, or perfume, or voice, or hair) is more reminiscent of her FC, or someone else who she has felt safe or happy with in the past. I don't automatically think "testing" as such. Obviously I don't know her however.

I also wanted to echo Faeries comment upthread - "I have experienced this from all sides. Please don't deny them of their memories n past or underestimate their bonds. It will be hard work but they will grow to love you and accept you as their parents". I too have experienced this from the point of adoptive child. I felt that my adoptive mother struggled to get over the fact that our birth mother, and extended family (although estranged) had a connection to us that she didn't and couldn't ever have (that of blood ties).

My sister and I were young (I was 5 1/2) when we were adopted but I still remember having to call adoptive mother "Mummy" and it was puzzling because I already had someone I knew as "Mummy" (birth mother) and also I didn't know how to explain to school friends, neighbours, shop people, teachers, Brownies, etc that I had two Mummy's and which Mummy I meant when I said Mummy. My birth mother had a red coat so for example I might see someone wearing a red coat and tell them "My Mummy has a red coat like that, I mean, Mummy who I used to live with not Mummy who I live with now". Or I might tell a school friend "Our cat is called Snowy, that's the cat at Mummy who I used to live with not Mummy who I live with now, she has a dog called Ben". It's not intentional to talk about birth mother but connected details can just slip out.

I also knew when my mum (adoptive) was deliberately hedging on things like photos and letters and details as I got older, ("Maybe later", "I don't know where they are right now", "We'll have a look after the weekend" etc) and I found it annoying. Now I am a mum myself, I can clearly see both sides of the story, that she loved us like we were her own blood daughters, which was lovely, but that photos and letters of our birth family were an unwelcome reminder that at the same time there was and is no getting past the fact she was not our birth mother.

Again I don't know what if any is helpful from this but I guess I just wanted to add that Faeries comment touched my heart because that's how I feel too. I know each case is individual but I just wanted to...throw my experience in from the other side, as it were. That birth mothers and families are often seen differently from the point of view of the child than they are to everyone else.

All the best to you and DD, you sound like a marvellous & caring parent xx

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