Introductions begin tomorrow!!

(45 Posts)
TrinnyandSatsuma Sun 20-Oct-13 08:22:45

Just that really.....

It's taken us a few years to get here, 9 months from approval panel, but the day is very nearly here when we meet our boy.

Tips and advice welcome, especially if you adopted an older child. Most of those we did prep group with, have babies or very young toddlers under 18 months, so would love to know how it went with introductions for children around 4 or 5.

And for those of you in the process.....keep going, you will get there in the end smile

Happiestinwellybobs Sun 20-Oct-13 16:41:21

Firstly - eek! So exciting smile I haven't experience of adopting an older child as DD was under 1, but what I will say is prepare to be exhausted during introductions. We got to the point about 4 days in where we could barely speak when we got home.

Plan meals for the week, eat takeout, make it as easy as you can for yourselves. Forget about housework etc. if a day off is planned into your intros, do something nice and relax.

We listened to the FC and followed their lead completely (we were very lucky that they are utter superstars) but she and I were very honest with each other and amended the SW's plan to suit DD and us all.

I found it an emotional time; if our FC's hadn't been so fab, I suspect the feelings I had on the first day - of being assessed and watched - would have lasted much longer.

The day that DD came home was overwhelming. I made sure that I asked her FC exactly how they wanted to do it, as it was upsetting for them too.

Having said all that, I look back on that week as one of the best in my life. We have such great memories of first time we met, first time we went out by ourselves as a family...enjoy it smile

Broodymomma Sun 20-Oct-13 22:23:41

Good luck to you! Ours start on Wednesday so nervous. Look forward to hearing how you get on xx

Lilka Sun 20-Oct-13 22:48:12

Congratulations! smile

I adopted one baby (23) and two much older children (10 and turned 8 during intros) so not in your age range

However, my universal intros advice would be:

1. It's generally exhausting both physically and emotionally, so it helps not to have to worry about things like food - preparing batch meals so you can simply reheat the next night, or have easy packet meals stocked for those nights you just won't want to cook. Buy everything you need for intros beforehand (or on the first day) so you aren't burdened with extra shopping trips when you're shattered

2. Look after yourself!! It's totally normal to have your emotions all over the place, and your first parenting moments are happening in a very artificial set up, so don't berate yourself for any feelings you weren't expecting or things you thought you didn't do well

3. Don't be afraid to raise any issues or concerns with the FC/SW as appropriate

For older children, I wrote a blog post about intros with older kids, which is here , it was based on my experience of intros with 8 and 10 year olds so modify as appropriate for a younger older child!

Lilka Sun 20-Oct-13 22:48:36

23 months that should say grin

onedevil Mon 21-Oct-13 00:04:18

So excited for you - congrats & all the best smile

TrinnyandSatsuma Mon 21-Oct-13 08:34:04

Thanks all. In true MN style, we did a day of batch cooking for the freezer last week, so have meals sorted for the next few weeks.

My husband just made me a cup of tea and realised my hands are shaking....but I am very excited as well as utterly terrified.

Thatsnotmychicken Mon 21-Oct-13 08:59:57

That's so exciting. We went through this a year ago with our two DDs then 4 and 1 and have been reliving it over the last few weeks as we can't believe how far we've come!

We found communication with the foster carers was really important. We didn't always agree with their approach but working together about how to progress each day seemed to help.

Working out how to tell if your child is getting over excited and calming activities to do was important for us. So getting lots of info on this from foster carers was useful.

We found our oldest dd regressed a lot and wanted to be treated the same way as her younger sister which we did quite a lot at first as she needed it. We were encouraged to do this by our social worker and the foster carers approach was to try and get her to act more mature and was a bit of a source of tension.

Our oldest dd was very excited about us and was really happy to be with us throughout most of the introductions. She was excited about seeing out house and her new room and when we drove her home she suddenly became distraught about missing her foster mum which was a bit of a shock. We had some children's music CDs which helped a bit and I held her hand. If you can maybe you could sit in back of car with her.

Finally we were advised to keep photos of foster carers around, to talk about them and to do things like make a picture to send them. We found the first couple of nights dd1 asked to speak to her and we let her ring her on the phone to say goodnight (I was a bit wary of this but SW said to do whatever it took to get her to go to sleep) she only asked twice so think it was worth doing. May be worth checking with foster carer over intros if she is happy to do this.

Anyway that's all that came to mind. Good luck and let us know how you get on

Thatsnotmychicken Mon 21-Oct-13 08:59:57

That's so exciting. We went through this a year ago with our two DDs then 4 and 1 and have been reliving it over the last few weeks as we can't believe how far we've come!

We found communication with the foster carers was really important. We didn't always agree with their approach but working together about how to progress each day seemed to help.

Working out how to tell if your child is getting over excited and calming activities to do was important for us. So getting lots of info on this from foster carers was useful.

We found our oldest dd regressed a lot and wanted to be treated the same way as her younger sister which we did quite a lot at first as she needed it. We were encouraged to do this by our social worker and the foster carers approach was to try and get her to act more mature and was a bit of a source of tension.

Our oldest dd was very excited about us and was really happy to be with us throughout most of the introductions. She was excited about seeing out house and her new room and when we drove her home she suddenly became distraught about missing her foster mum which was a bit of a shock. We had some children's music CDs which helped a bit and I held her hand. If you can maybe you could sit in back of car with her.

Finally we were advised to keep photos of foster carers around, to talk about them and to do things like make a picture to send them. We found the first couple of nights dd1 asked to speak to her and we let her ring her on the phone to say goodnight (I was a bit wary of this but SW said to do whatever it took to get her to go to sleep) she only asked twice so think it was worth doing. May be worth checking with foster carer over intros if she is happy to do this.

Anyway that's all that came to mind. Good luck and let us know how you get on

Sparklebum Mon 21-Oct-13 09:18:00

You must be so excited. We did our intro in June with our 2 year old (so younger than your little one).

I.would second the advice you have already been given and would really stress that looking after yourself is so important. I have never experienced such a rollercoaster of emotions - totally normal but I wasn't prepared for the lows aswell as the highs.

Above all else enjoy them and take lots of photos.

Broodymomma Mon 21-Oct-13 10:45:22

Have a wonderful time today xx

TrinnyandSatsuma Mon 21-Oct-13 16:38:43

Thanks to you all for sharing your wise words and advice.

Today went really well, it felt so natural and he is absolutely gorgeous!

Lilka Mon 21-Oct-13 21:30:53

Fantastic smile

MissFenella Tue 22-Oct-13 19:54:44

aww that is lovely. With an older child it can be easier because they have some ability to articulate their wants, thoughts etc.
DD1 was 6 so was quite visibly upset at final handover but we could talk about it.

Don't expect an older child to settle for years and you will experience lots of 'pleasing' behaviour. When that calms down you know they are settling because they feel comfortable enough to be naughty.

Happy for you to PM if you have any specifics, we met our DDs this time last year. Congratulations!

Devora Tue 22-Oct-13 22:53:33

Great news and good luck smile

Great news, please do keep us posted.

TrinnyandSatsuma Wed 23-Oct-13 20:38:25

Hiya,

Day three. All going well still. Although we did say last night that we just can't imagine what's going on in his little mind. Mine is all over the place and I am old enough to make sense of it all!

The good thing is that because of the amazing work his incredible foster carers have done with him, he trusts them and therefore us.

We have our first overnight stay at our house in a few days, which at the moment feels like quite a big leap from where we are now, but we know we can see how things go and adapt the plan to suit.

Everyone was right though.....it's exhausting and emotions up and down. Yesterday I was really anxious, today really excited.

onedevil Wed 23-Oct-13 21:34:41

Glad it's going well! So pleased for you all.

MissFenella Wed 23-Oct-13 21:39:14

Just thought of something else, when he moves in do have a quiet outing planned. You will all welcome the chance to escape 4 walls. We took the gils to a local farm and activity centre. So they saw cute animals and managed to run around on swings etc. We too the opportunity to chat and just watch them.

Have you got a visit to school planned?

Pancakeflipper Wed 23-Oct-13 21:42:37

Eeeekkkk how exciting and what a rollercoaster. Hope the overnight goes well (and you get some sleep and not sat outside the bedroom door listening to them sleep).

Thatsnotmychicken Wed 23-Oct-13 22:17:59

Glad things are going well. Good luck for the overnight

Broodymomma Wed 23-Oct-13 23:09:47

Glad all is going well. We had day 1 today it was wonderful

Happiestinwellybobs Thu 24-Oct-13 07:21:19

Great news Trinny and Broody smile

Inthechelseahotel Thu 24-Oct-13 21:57:18

Great news! Congratulations in advance and hope it all goes well thanks

Lilka Thu 24-Oct-13 22:17:07

So glad things are going well smile

Congratulations Broodymomma thanks smile

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