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Steaming towards placement

(45 Posts)
Mrscollydog Sat 20-Feb-16 08:32:09

As some of you are aware we are mid intros with our LO, 17 months. We had to commit to extended intros because of a previous disruption and to be honest its gone better than we could have hoped for. We are just all getting exhausted now. DH and LO both ill, BS getting massively fed up as his normality (socializing etc) has been disrupted. I have had a few thoughts of what the hell are we doing, life was so easy and now I am worrying about everything. Scared whitless about sleep and nightimes. I generally a worried by default but I seem to have gone into overdrive. I suppose what I am asking is in a convoluted way did anyone else feel terrified at this point (3days before placement), how long did it take to find any kind of normality whatever that may be?
Sorry for slightly convoluted mental.post!

Mightywease Sat 20-Feb-16 09:10:26

I think it's natural to be scared before placement, your life is going to dramatically change!

Plus introductions are mentally exhausting so it is not surprising that you aren't thinking straight and I do sympathise being a right worrier myself!!

I went through the same kind of thing before placement and yes I felt terrified. All I can suggest is keep talking to your partner about your worries etc.., that helped me and remember why you wanted to go through the adoption process in the first place and why that particular child.

Once they are with you I won't say it will go back to normal but practicalities will take over. I wish I could say it will be plain sailing, it won't be but you will manage

Our LO has been here 5 months today and, yes, I think normality (a different kind of normality than before of course!!) has been achieved smile

Good luck

Kr1stina Sat 20-Feb-16 15:28:26

I think feeling exhausted and terrified is completely normal . It's like labour really , except over several weeks and with no drugs .

It's not really a good indication of what your life will be like later .

I think extended introductions are a really bad idea BTW and I don't think there's any evidence that they reduce the likelihood of disruption. Sounds like it was a bit of a knee jerk reaction by SS without thinking through the implications for yourselves, child and FC. Sorry you are all having to solider on through this .

It will get better, really it will. Be kind to yourselves .

NigelLikesSalad Mon 22-Feb-16 09:51:49

How has it gone over the weekend MrsColly?

Mrscollydog Mon 22-Feb-16 10:04:44

Its been OK, she is struggling with the back and forth between our house and the foster carers. She is increasingly happy with my husband and not with me which I am finding really hard. To be honest I am an emotional wreck. Can't stop crying and desperately scared I have ruined the perfect family we had. Have called the doctors, wonder if I need a little help.

Buster5187 Mon 22-Feb-16 12:03:32

Ah Mrscolly. I remember that time being THE most exhausting experience of my life. DS too very happy with DH, not me, for a long time. It was all very emotionally draining. I literally thought to myself (whilst weeping hiding in another room, mid intro) what the hell have I done.
It does get better, I promise. But you're doing right by talking about it / seeking help. Whatever makes you feel better at the moment. flowers

thefamilyvonstrop Mon 22-Feb-16 12:51:53

Yes, another one who remembers crying in a different room many times over. My LO didn't show preference to either - he clung to both of us or shoved us both away. It's fucking exhausting.
Try to remember - this will pass. You will settle, so will she. Don't worry if she shows a bond to one over the other - often in my experience the female carer is often pushed away initially.
Take small steps and try and have a breather. We are all here, so keep talking and we will do all we can to help and support.

RaspberrySnowCone Mon 22-Feb-16 15:08:44

I think that second part of intros where you're back and forth is probably the hardest part. Everyone is exhausted and children get confused. You want to start to get some normality for you and them but you can't quite as you have to return them to FC, it's really hard and was the point at which I felt overwhelmed too which ended up with a reassuring after hours discussion with our SW when we got home. It's exhausting. Keep talking to your husband, it's such an emotional time.

Kr1stina Mon 22-Feb-16 15:23:02

I think that tired and emotional is normal . Especially if LO is rejecting towards your. Can I ask how she is with the female foster carer?

Can you have an general chat with her, without anyone else present ? Listen very carefully to what she says . Ask her open ended questions and try to ascertain how she FEELS about LO. Don't ask this directly .

Remember it's her job to make this match work and she will not want to say anything to mess it up . She may feel that saying anything " negative " is unprofessional and she has to sell LO like a sales person.

You need to find out for yourself If LO have a history or signs of attachment problems ? And if som how bad is it and how much risk are you willing to take ?

Do you know why the last introductions disrupted ?

It's difficult to advise you, because it is a very stressful time and I suspect that the process has been badly managed . On one hand, it may be that Lo has some attachment issues and you are picking up on these . IME mums are much more sensitive to these things than dads, as they are used to being the main carer ( generalisation I know ) .

OTOH, it may be that the stress has triggered a health problem for you , and that you would benefit from some medication from your doctor . When you say you are crying all the time, do you mean that you feel a bit anxious and tearful she you are alone with youR Dh at home. Of when friends ask you how it's going ?

Or do you actually mean that you can't stop crying ?

You really need to talk this over with someone you can trust . Ideally a counsellor or therapist. but unless you have one already, time is not on your side. choose the very best listener out of all your friends and family . Someone who will not push their own agenda or minimise your feelings.

Kr1stina Mon 22-Feb-16 15:25:21

I'm sorry, I feel I'm saying two opposite things

1. Trust your feelings, this is a sign that there may be something wrong

2. Ignore your feelings/ get medication to suppress them , it's just stress and it will pass

Mollybird1 Mon 22-Feb-16 17:55:11

Hi. I have been following your posts and been thinking how you've got in since your intros around the 12th feb. I too have a 7 year old bc. We have been approved since November, but not had any news as yet. I can completely understand how you must be feeling though. We are a really happy family of 3 and sometimes I think, what am I doing!! Our daughter is a very happy and settled little girl,and really not worried at all over having a new brother or sister. I imagine, when the time does come, I will be going through the emotions just like you. But I think even if you were bringing home your own birth child, it might be the same feelings. It's total disruption and change of routine for everyone. I'm sure things will calm down and once she's been home a few months you won't be able to imagine life before her. Keep talking to people, that really helps and don't feel bad about how you feel, it's just normal I'm sure. Take care. Xx

dibly Tue 23-Feb-16 22:35:03

Hello how is it going? Feel free to pm if you'd prefer, but our LO was initially very rejecting towards me and I found it a real struggle. She also showed signs of other attachment issues. We expected this to some degree, but if I'm honest I expected they'd be directed at DH rather than me!

Don't be scared to get help from your GP, in the end I got a diagnosis of post adoption depression/secondary trauma and wish I'd sought help sooner. I was terrified that it would be viewed as a weakness, but there's a big school of thought that recognises particularly empathetic people are more likely to experience this, so I now view it as a strength.

You're at the start of a life changing adventure, after exhausting intros, so it's not surprising that you feel anxious, but keep talking and we'll walk you through step by step.

Mrscollydog Wed 24-Feb-16 05:43:26

We survived the first night. I swear we picked up a different child to the one we met in intros. She is soooooo upset. But thankfully she slept, albeit fitfully. Poor thing is so nervous and scared.I had a good chat with an experienced adopter friend last night which helped.so grateful for the support on here. Is sooo f ing hard.

Mollybird1 Wed 24-Feb-16 08:09:42

Ah bless you and bless her. It must be so strange for her but It's amazing how quickly children adapt to new surroundings. You are doing such an amazing job and so many people admire you. Keep going, it will all be fine. I know this first bit will be so tough. Be kind to yourself and don't be frightened to ask your doctor for help and advice.I'll be asking for your advice when my turn comes!

Kewcumber Wed 24-Feb-16 08:52:50

It is exhausting - I don't think I've ever been so tired in my life. I did start tosettle more once we were home but I cried. A lot.

Mrscollydog Wed 24-Feb-16 10:02:03

The saviour is the buggy. She is like a different child when we get her out. Its definite separation anxiety from leaving the foster carer. At the doctors this morning, had PND aftery son and know the signs. Meds will keep me level. I can feel myself pulling back from her and I need to stop. DH has booked another week off work and its a 2 man job at the moment.
Its so hard.

tldr Wed 24-Feb-16 11:05:50

Well done you for knowing you need help and seeking it flowers

For weeks, we went to bed when the LOs did. Partly because it's the only way they'd stop crying (if they could see us across the landing) and partly because we were exhausted.

I also used to hide to cry.

Do whatever you need to get you all through the next few weeks, if LO needs to sleep with light on, do it. If she'll only eat custard, roll with it.

You'll get there.

Buster5187 Wed 24-Feb-16 12:59:24

It is really good that you've realised and have asked for the help. Great that your husband can take that extra time off, it will ease things for you a bit hopefully. I also had to go to the docs in the early days for post adoption depression, each day was such a slog!
Hopefully as each day passes and she gets more used to being around you things will start to settle for you a bit, it can be much easier to pull away from them when you're feeling that way, just keep it all low key that helped for us and not too much pressure on yourself.
Take care flowers

cantthinkofannewname Wed 24-Feb-16 14:15:35

desperately scared I have ruined the perfect family we had

We adopted our DC1's younger birth sibling and I thought EXACTLY this even though DC2 was already family to DC1 and whatever we decided wouldn't change that.

Despite a bit of pushing/hitting (on both sides now DC2 is bigger!) DC1 says "DC2 is my best baby" we're glossing over the fact that DC2 is no longer really a baby and they are now at an age where they can actually start to play together.

Coldwatebay Wed 24-Feb-16 15:53:58

We aren't adopters but foster carers for many years and I vividly recall when our first placement arrived (long term). The shock was immense. I felt completely upside down and almost homesick if that makes sense. It does settle down, I promise you. Keep talking to other people who have been through the process. Get enough time to yourself - long hot baths, dvd in your bedroom, whatever you need for space. Be kind to yourself.

Mrscollydog Wed 24-Feb-16 16:15:53

So a pattern is emerging. lo literally screams her head off when we are home. Its not when we are out, she is perfect, having fun and chatty. The minute we step through our front door she cries. Does anyone have any ideas what we can do to help? Its killing me. I don't want to make it worse. I feel like a stranger in my own home.

tldr Wed 24-Feb-16 16:52:18

So going out is a great distraction. That's good news. And it's a good enough distraction that she's prepared to accept you as carer. Also good news.

Will she accept cuddles/comfort from you? If she does and it quietens her, just do that. For as long as you can.

Does anything calm her at home? TV? Food? Toy? Story?

Are you sticking to/trying to stick to FC routine? Have you things from FCs to use? (Quilts, clothes, cups?)

(Do you know how often she got out and about at FCs? I don't think mine did at all.)

flowers I remember it well. Keep speaking to us here.

Mrscollydog Wed 24-Feb-16 18:16:03

She hardly went out with the FC, she is over the moon to be put but just cried for 3 hours tonight. The bath which was her favourite thing at the FC now makes her so distressed she vomited tonight. I think as a consequence of us bundling her into a car after her bath on introductions. She will.accept comfort to a point but.more so from DH. Spoke to my SW who was fuck all help. Just need to know it will get better because this is pretty unbearable.

tldr Wed 24-Feb-16 18:52:04

It will get better. She's little and she's grieving so she doesn't understand and can't articulate it. It's not about you at all. (Though I know it feels like it.)

We had similar thing during intros - even weeks later they didn't believe that bath and pjs didn't meant bed because it could also have meant car back to FCs...

The bath was quite possibly favourite because it's where she got most attention, so it might be where she's feeling loss of FCs most strongly. It won't hurt to switch to every other day or shorten baths or even to skip it completely for a couple of days if you need to.

Honestly, hang in there.

Mrscollydog Wed 24-Feb-16 19:22:52

Thank you! Just need to hear that this is normal. Its the bit that nobody prepares you for. The bath thing makes a lot of sense, I think just taking it out for a bit won't hurt.
Feel ridiculous that I am struggling so much so so early on.

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