2YO - I think I need to start talking about adoption

(23 Posts)
bberry Mon 28-Apr-14 08:52:00

we went through the lovely photo album her FC gave us a few weeks ago and I talked about when she lived with them and when she came to us - i thought it was a nice way to start

then dd sw said on her last visit we should allow her "to forget" her life at her FC's and put the album away for a while until she starts asking her own questions...

i will obv discuss with our sw and dd'd sw on their next visits

advice welcome

xx

RabbitRabbit78 Mon 28-Apr-14 11:27:05

8-O at sw saying she should forget. They are a part of her life and always will be, whether you stay in contact or not. Our 2YO has a photo album which has pictures from his time in foster care which he can look at and talk to us about whenever he wants. My opinion is, if he is old enough to ask the question, he should have an (age appropriate) answer. And it's much easier (and less potentially damaging to your relationship with them) to be open and honest about it from the start than to suddenly do a big reveal. Also, if you don't talk about it they may feel that they can't bring it up, again leading to problems later.

Devora Mon 28-Apr-14 11:33:07

I agree with you and disagree with your sw. Our sw advised us to start talking about it by 18 months so there will never be a time when the words are a surprise (even though meaning and understanding will develop later)

UnderTheNameOfSanders Mon 28-Apr-14 11:42:41

Could your SW mean stop showing her photos of FC whilst she is still trying to settle/bond with you? (not sure how long she has been placed). In which case I can understand a bit where the SW may be coming from.

But otherwise I agree with you and the others that you do need to keep mentioning adoption, and recognising that she lived elsewhere before you.

My DD2 was placed aged 2.5. If I had waited until she asked questions I wouldn't have talked about adoption until she was around 8! Some children aren't inquisitive / can't verbalise what they need to know, but you still need to tell them!

bberry Mon 28-Apr-14 11:44:35

yes - it goes against everything else we have ever been told??? - i will ask her why next time.....

i have just put up a picture on the wall of her first babygrow & a pic of her wearing it as a baby (what a lovely thing to have from her FC) and I can refer to that when we go past it in the house

any other ideas how to start talking about it ?

x

UnderTheNameOfSanders Mon 28-Apr-14 12:05:23

We used:
- anniversaries eg first meeting date, moving in date
- Christmas - Mary carrying Jesus to mention DD growing in BMs tum
- pregnant ladies ditto above
- story in bath 'once there was a girl called DD2 who lived with BM, but ..'
- just saying - oh I'm so glad we adopted you
- SS meet up events
We also had DD1 around though who needed to talk about it so it came up naturally other ways too

As others have said, drip feeding so it's always known.

bberry Mon 28-Apr-14 12:23:29

thanks sanders....x

MyFeetAreCold Mon 28-Apr-14 12:55:09

This is new to us too, but we have photos of them at foster carers out (in fact, it's the only photos we have framed of them) but every time they go 'oh look it's me' (or whatever) we can say 'yes, at FC's house' or 'those were the first photos we ever saw of you' or whatever. The photos are what we hide the talc and wipes behind blush so they're referred to/talked about fairly often.

Buster51 Mon 28-Apr-14 13:03:57

Sorry I haven't read all of the posts, however our SW advised that we shouldn't really have contact with FCs, but I have had two skype conversations since placements, and a number of communications via post/DSs drawings for them etc. He was placed at 4yo so albeit a little older, but he talks about them openly most of the time, if he goes through a patch of not really saying much I am conscious and often initiate conversation i.e. oh you used to wear that Tshirt at FC, or did you do that before?? etcetc. Time will tell if I am doing the right thing or not but I am very much of the opinion that he has already lost so much, they cared for him for some time, why should they be completely cut out??

Would love to hear what you all thing re the Skype calls as we have been advised not too?

bberry Mon 28-Apr-14 13:17:00

we had the initial 2 visits by FC's, which, although I was naturally apprehensive, seemed good for DD, she tested her boundaries a little afterwards but nothing i wasn't expecting - I don't know if i will plan to see them again in the future - maybe once DD can vocalise her feelings we will see them once a year?

They did a wonderful job, its not me who is saying she should forget them, but her sw who thinks she should have time here just with us first before re-initiating contact...

I guess the best thing is to ask her why... it may all make sense then!

Buster51 Mon 28-Apr-14 13:26:28

We didn't have those contacts until DS had been with us longer than 2-4 month. He was already starting to get 'attached' to me - and it seemed to almost enhance his attachment after these calls (which I wasnt expecting). Like you I am unsure how often I will keep in touch.

How often do others??

Angelwings11 Mon 28-Apr-14 16:41:51

I thought that I would add another perspective, to the excellent advice you have already been given smile. My AD has been placed with us for nearly two years now and she is two nearly three. At the beginning, I would show her photos of BM and her previous FC. I noticed that after showing her the photos of her FC, it would impact upon her behaviour/emotional well being. It was like she was getting re-traumatised again, as she was reminded of loss etc. After, I made the connection I stopped showing her the pictures for a number of months. After being given some excellent advice from another adopter, I instead read adoption related stories (the tweezels) and would talk about when we first met her or mention the word 'adoption' when appropriate. This worked for us. Recently, I showed her some pictures again and this time focused on us as a family and she seemed more at ease this time.

OurMiracle1106 Mon 28-Apr-14 18:31:25

As a birth parent my worry is life with me will be forgotten. I also didn't like the idea of being his tummy mummy. The social worker said he would be told he had a tummy mummy but then went to live with his mum. To me that left out the three years I was involved in his life so have asked to be referred to as birth mum or by my name rather than tummy mummy as I was his carer for 2years and two months and we did do a lot of fun things together.

Buster51 Mon 28-Apr-14 18:41:02

Ourmiracle, DS was always told to refer to his birth mum as "tummy mummy" but since his placement with us I say "birth mum" & her name. We talk about his time with her & FC more so than showing pictures. We get his memory box out / phone photos every other month - prompted by him. We talk weekly about it though.

RhinosAreFatUnicorns Mon 28-Apr-14 21:11:56

DD was almost 1 when placed and been with us for 2 years.

We started by reading The Teazles' Baby Bunny book as part of a bedtime story session when she was about 18 months.

We have spoken about her being adopted since that age. It used to feel awkward in starting a conversation but now we use opportunities such a nursery worker being pregnant to talk about things. I don't use tummy mummy - I find the use of mummy very confusing for her, but explain that she didn't grow in my tummy.

In the past few months she has asked to look at photos of her as a baby lots (on a daily basis for a couple of weeks after a talk about why mummy couldn't have a baby sister for her!) which gives us opportunity to look at pictures of FC. We try and meet them twice a year and send emails/videos more often.

In the past few weeks she has picked The Teazles book to read much more often and asks me to read the story several times in one sitting. It is very much aimed at that age group and the guidance book is really helpful smile. I can see that she is processing the information now too.

I find it really difficult to judge how much information to share but do my best not to overload her.

bberry Tue 29-Apr-14 08:15:54

Thanks for all your advice ladies - I love this group :-)

I will get some teazles' books today :-)

xxx

MyFeetAreCold Tue 29-Apr-14 08:19:50

There's also a baaf one about a squirrel -- it's called Nutmeg gets adopted. It talks a fair bit about BM not being able to look after Nutmeg before it gets to the adoption bit.

bberry Tue 29-Apr-14 08:29:05

great - just about to come back and ask about that one and the most precious present!

will order nutmeg and tezles now :-)

bberry Tue 29-Apr-14 08:32:23

done :-)))

UnderTheNameOfSanders Tue 29-Apr-14 14:11:41

We never got on with the Nutmeg books, they are a bit worthy.

DD2 liked 'A Mother for Chocco'.

excitedmamma Tue 29-Apr-14 20:40:06

I can't read Teazles without crying!! blush

RhinosAreFatUnicorns Wed 30-Apr-14 15:04:16

excited neither could DH until very recently, and he still always gets me to read it smile

AndiPandi Wed 30-Apr-14 15:16:06

I honestly think you may have just misunderstood the sW. I think she must have just meant to not keep going over the photos, you could have them around so if child picks it up and comments or asks a question you can answer appropriately, but then it is child led, rather than you deliberately reminding child if that makes sense. It is very important that small children feel secure in their forever home and can build up a trust that they can stay there forever no matter what. These are the bonds you need to be building. If it is you that keeps bringing up FC or birth family it might make child think it's an option to go back. That doesn't sound right either, I don't mean you should hide it or never mention it, like I said, the photos could be readily available for child to pick up, just that you don't need to instigate it. When child was with FC they prob kept showing child photos of you before they came to you, it can be confusing.

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