No matter what by Sally Donovan - has anyone read it?(9 Posts)
Twenty years ago when we first adopted we weren't told about therapeutic parenting, we didn't even discuss attachment issues.
When ds started having problems we were told it couldn't be adoption related because he "came to us when he was very young". They refused to refer him for counselling, or even talk to us about it all.
At the time there was little recognition given to emotional issues in adopted babies, and certainly no mention of any problems due to neglect of the baby during pregnancy (as in the mother neglecting herself, iyswim).
Looking back, I can see that many of ds's issues have a root cause in his adoption and I think some of his issues relate to stress or possibly even alcohol/drugs during pregnancy, I'm not sure (we know nothing about his background). I can see many things that should have been done differently so I hope things are changing for younger children.
In terms of not hearing about 'therapeutic parenting' or any change in parenting technique for her children...yes, I think that is very typical for people who adopted when she did. In 2014, if you are starting an adoption, there is a HUGE amount out there, both in books and freely available on the web, and I would be extremely surprised if social services never spoke about the idea of different parenting strategies for adopted children. I think it's pretty much a given they will mention it and recommend books that go into more detail. So if you (as in, any random person, not you specifically!) didn't know that there is such a thing as parenting a traumatised child differently, I would be stunned and suggest that you must be deliberately not doing any adoption related research
But it was different 10 years ago (I can't remember off the top of my head when Sally adopted, so I'll use 10 years as a ballpark). There wasn't the same wealth of information out there, although there was some information. There have been a huge amount of books for adoptive parents published in the last few years, there weren't nearly as many over a decade ago. But more than that, some adoption agencies were still barely talking about additional needs etc, not mentionning issues that can crop up after trauma and abuse. When I went on the prep course for the second time in 2002, was the idea of attachment issues or attachment disorder mentionned? No it was not. The dangers of high prenatal alcohol intake? No it was not. The idea that traumatised children might need different parenting? It was touched upon, but not explained in anywhere near enough detail, it was vague and unhelpful. Basically the only concrete advice consisted of "never smack". Wow, helpful
And if you go back to the mid or even late 90's....well I would be amazed to find many adopters who were well informed about adoption related issues, I certainly wasn't
And I also think the dead ends with ST and CAMHS is also typical, both then and now. The thing about CAMHS is that it's a post code lottery, some are much better than others, and there are plenty of not-very-good to terrible ones (there are good CAMHS and a few very good CAMHS as well, and plenty of average ones). Massive cutbacks have been making everything worse
Would it have made a difference to her children? Well, in the short term and in the early years, I think that kind of knowledge would have been helpful to the whole family. But long term...well, given how she parents differently now, I don't think in the long term it would make a massive amount of difference. But I'm guessing
I've just finished this book (thanks for the recommendation from my books recommendation post!).
I'd be really interested in the views of experienced adoptive parents on this question - I was wondering how typical Sally's experience is from the point of view of the support (or lack of) she got in the early years. She had a bad speech therapy assessment and met a dead end there, and a bad CAMHS assessment and met a dead end there too. She wasn't introduced to therapeutic parenting until really quite late in her her journey when her social worker set up the workshop with an expert (Patrick...Can't remember the surname).
So my question is, is this typical, and would it have made any difference to her children if she'd been offered better support earlier?
Just finished this book and thought it was brilliant. Planning to get teacher friends to read the school sections - the impact of making small changes (or teachers refusing to do so...) has really made me think about the whole school environment.
yes that was a good book, I also recommend Emily Moore's book called Forever family our amazing adoption journey. We found that many books we read were really hard going and quite depressing and can paint a very negative picture of adopting. whilst I appreciate there are some poor adoption experiences there are also many very happy ones. Forever family is written by an adoptive mum and gives a very honest account of what its really like to adopt but is a very positive book and really emotional and happy. this was definitely the best book we read that was on our reading list from the adoption agency and gave an excellent insight into what its like when your children come home forever and tips on coping with difficulties the children may face- many we hadn't thought about before reading this. this book really boosted us through the process and was really informative but also easy to read.
Good luck and best wishes xx
I have read this book. I am just at the beginning of our journey, so I can't list how it feels compared to real life, what it has done is shown me that adoption is not to be headed into with rose tinted glasses, that there are sacrifices and pain and destruction to be had BUT that through all of this there is love, support, happiness and FAMILY. Very interesting and informative read. Well worth reading and has made a change to the suggested reading list by that of the LA, whose books seem more about the process than what to expect about being an adopter.
Happy Reading xxx
That's good to know - my reserved copy has just arrived at our local library so off to pick it up later.
Finding it difficult to find material which is balanced - most I've tried which are on the reading list we had from our LA have so far left me feeling pretty depressed about the whole thing. They all seem very theory based and pessimistic and make you think that the task of parenting an adopted child is too daunting and in any event is nigh on impossible to achieve successfully.
Common sense tells me that's not the case, but I'm searching for books/blogs/forums which balance some of the issues you can and do get with the reality of every day life and the love and delight that these children bring.
This is a great site for doing just that and hopefully Sally Donovan's book can do the same!
Not read that article
Oh yes, I read the mums blog so was eagerly anticipating the release before it came out. I was sure it was going to be good, and I wasn't disappointed
It's fantastic. It really is. Such a great mix of honesty and humour, so well written. It can make you feel tearful on one page, and then want to laugh on the next. It's realistic and honest and yet in so many ways it's hopeful. It really shows the reality of what it can be like to parent traumatised children, but that reality includes positive things as well as challenges. And that's something not a lot of memoirs manage
I totally recommend it to everyone. Best adoptive parent memoir I've read in a long time
No matter what by Sally Donovan - has anyone read it?
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