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Holiday advice!(40 Posts)
As many of you know we are 4 weeks into placement with our little dot who is 18 months. After a difficult start she has settled wonderfully and is just a joy to have around despite being a bit of a diva. We have a great routine and she is thriving, the attachment between us all is getting stronger every day and despite the initial rejection of me, we are now inseparable.
So at the weekend we are due to go away (4hrs drive) to BS rugby tour. He has been looking forward to this well before the match happened. We made a decision that he would still be able to go. Its also close to my family so they will be able to meet the dot. Its 4 nights in a static caravan with some matches. Lots of familiar faces will be there and dot is now well accustomed to cheering her big bro on in the cold.
Just terrified its going to upset the apple cast and break what we have worked so hard to achieve. Any of you wonderful experienced people have any words of wisdom? Is it too soon? should we send BS and DH leaving me and the dot at home(this feels like a bad idea to me as think separating us will do more damage!)?
Just wobbling about it.
Don't take your little one. If your son can't go on his own or with a friend then you should stay - but ideally your husband should also stay.
I think it is far too soon. We barely went anywhere for the first three months and only took a 2 night holiday after 7 months. Adopted children can find any sort of holiday quite stressful. It upsets their routine, they need familiarity.
So yes - I do think it may well set your little one back. It will be v confusing for it.
I think it's too soon too, I don't think your daughter will cope with this so early on. I'm sorry, I know that will leave you in a conundrum. Can another family member take your son to the tour and stay with him? I know that's really hard for him but I honestly think you will trigger your daughters trauma if you or your husband go at this stage.
I agree it's far too soon and you really may live to regret it. If it's close to family members could some of them take DS?
If not, I still think you and LO should stay home, even without DH.
I'd even be very careful about introducing other family members this early too, especially at their houses. What if LO thinks it's a new set of intros all over again? (There was a poster here whose DC thought he was doing intros all over again when he started school. Don't underestimate the impact they may have had.)
I'm going to be the odd one out here and say if I was you I would go. My LO and I went to stay at my parents house for a couple of nights very early on (approx 6-8 weeks in). As I was there with her the whole time it didn't seem to affect her (she's been with me over three years now and actively enjoys going away with me to stay with friends, family and in hotels / caravans etc).
At the end of the day go with your gut. It was right for me and my DD to have this time away early on. I needed the support (as a single adopter) and she needed the time to bond with grandparents. It may or may not be right for you and your LO. Trust your instincts. For what it's worth I think your BS would benefit enormously from you all going too.
I hope whatever you decide works well for you all
So either (1) you all go together and risk upset due to being in a different location
Or (2) your BS and almost certainly your DH go and risk upset due to them being absent
Or (3) your BS doesn't go and you definitely get upset due to BS not being able to do something he loves and pre-arranged due to new sibling.
I would rule out (3)
So out of 1 and 2 I think it is your call which you think would be least disrupting.
If you went, would you be able to drive home early if necessary?
I'm going to be an odd one here to and say go. Although not quite as soon we went on holiday earlier than most into placement. I won't say it was hicup free, but it was thoroughly enjoyed by all. We all now actively enjoy going away a lot and have done from quite early doors. Like Poppy as said, I also needed the support around that time too.
Whatever you decide I am sure you will work through it.
Its such a tough decision and I really appreciate everyone's honesty. It is too soon but we are a family of four and we have to consider everyone not just AD. BS would be heartbroken to miss out. I suppose now its about damage limitation. If we all go at least we are together, no one is disappearing. If DS and BS go I could left alone with her in a right state.
My dad has said he would drive us home if we needed to bail out, or DH/BS could get the train home. Need to talk it through with DH tonight. We are a family who go away a lot and it is part of life for us. Just wish the first trip wasn't a million miles away and not in our own caravan.
Will keep you all posted.
So now I'm wondering if you could do it but keep it as the 4 of you - save family visits for when they could come to you?
Tbh, it's that I'd worry about more than the 'being away' bit of it, but especially I'd worry about that happening in conjunction with new environment.
We go away as often as we like now (and nearly always for a free holiday at the grandparents ) so I'm not at all saying you won't ever be able to.
I wouldn't even think of it tbh.
I would suggest DH and DS go. At least your DD will be in her familiar surroundings albeit without her brother and dad.
I don't think it's fair to say ' we are a family of four now ' and ' this is what we do ' referring to going away a lot as your DD has only just become part of your family and this would wholly upset her.
I didnt intend to sound unfair. Its a bloody hard decision which is causing a lot of upset all round. Obviously whats best for her is top priority but we also have the needs of DS to think of as there has been a lot of upheaval for him too.
It's too early for both a holiday and introductions
Ideally send Ds with another family member, especially if they live nearby
Otherwise send Ds and DH.
It's also WAY too early to be saying 'we need to think of everyone not just AD'. It really is.
And by thinking of prioritising AD's attachment you ARE thinking of everyone. Your family is going to be a much nicer place to be in if your AD has secure attachment.
I get that your DS is going to be sad to miss out or just go with your DH. But more sad than DD is going to be if she thinks her whole life is crashing down around her ears again? Really? Will he be potentially traumatised?
You say that you are a family who go away a lot and it's part of life for you .
I don't mean to offend you, but didn't you think about how this might affect a newly adopted , deeply traumatised toddler ? Didn't you think that you might have to make some changes to your lifestyle, at least for the first year or so ? Some adopted children never do well at holidays .
I didn't mean to come across as an uncaring and selfish parent as I obviously have by the responses. I care deeply about both children and will make the necessary changes to our lifestyle to make it work. Everything is about building the attachment and will continue to be so but I can't not think about my son too. Thanks for everyone's advice, opinions and experience.
Of course you have to think about your son. I can imagine it's been very unsettling for him having a new little person come into his house and share his parents etc.
But you have to put your DD and her needs first for the unforseeable future, if you want her to attach and cope with the trauma of her previous life.
It's a long road. Not one that you can force.
Have you asked your SW what they think?
Yes the SW was fine with it, we spoke about it right from matching with them! Hence why we went along with the plan this long.
So something to bear in mind is that most SWs know very little of attachment/trauma. They've (mostly) not lived it.
I am surprised she said it was fine knowing that you are so early in your placement.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
I don't think you sound uncaring. It's more that you're thinking short term and it's going to be better for you (and most especially for both of your children) if you think long term.
Most parents get to think short term - I want her to eat her broccoli/pay attention at school/have a nice holiday. If you're prioritising attachment, because of adoption or for other reasons, you need to think long term. And that's hard to do all the time.
And sws are actually fairly clueless about attachment
and children in general IME
I'm afraid that narnia is right, they are mostly clueless about adoption in general and attachment in particular . Though in fairness , they get very little training and the few that are knowledgable have usually made the effort to learn about it in their own time .
You need to change your whole mindset to prioritise attachment , attachment and attachment . Although your daughter is young, she has a number of factors that make her high risk for serious long term problems. I'm sorry I know it's very hard and it's not how most mums spend their maternity leave
I really sympathise on having to juggle the needs of your whole family- our BC was 4 when we adopted and it was a massive adjustment for them. That said, our SWs (who were excellent) advised us not to take any overnight trips in the first 6 months of placement, and even after that I felt quite wary about it. I would have thought it would be much better for your AC to stay home with you (assuming that you're the primary carer). Yes- she'll def notice that other important people are missing but I'd have thought the consistency of being in her new home and having you there would offset that quite substantially. Arguably having some 1:1 bonding time with you could be really beneficial.
If you do decide to go anyway then I would back some of the earlier posters in choosing not to see your wider family this time. It would still be pretty early to be having visits from extended family if you were at home, I really think it would be a step too far to introduce a lot more people when everything around her has changed as well.
I appreciate that your family are probably really keen to meet her and that you'd love for that to happen too. I was very aware when we first had our AC that I was desperate for family to welcome them and view them the same way as our BC, but that at the same time we had to ask them to keep their distance and follow our lead. It is a strange time but it's so important to get the foundation right as poor attachment is way harder to address down the line...
Just think about it from her POV - going away, especially seeing other people, might feel like the introductions process all over again. You are just starting to build a trust bond but how is she to know that you are going to stay in her life if you make her feel like she is going again (even if not on purpose)?
It's a shame, it makes so much sense short term for your DS to enjoy the family trip he has been so looking forward to, and the family to enjoy a short stay away.
Obviously she's your DD, you know her better than anybody here, so only you can make that call.
I think it's very early days to be going away. We were advised at least 6 months before going anyway over night. At 4 weeks in the only people to have met DS were our parents and the health visitor, very short meetings, generally while he was asleep and in our home where he was hopefully starting to feel safe and even then I felt twitchy that we were going to fast. Meeting new people, in a new place after a 4 hr journey might just be too much for LO. She's been through so much, I'd really be letting your DS/DH go to this one on their own (father/son bonding?) And have something in place to help LO understand they will be coming back.
It is hard, we had to say no to two big family events that were in the couple of months after DS arrived. But they don't get it, they haven't got the knowledge that us adopters have of our children's trauma and their needs so as hard as it is we have to grow a thick skin and do things differently. Your DS will I'm sure be disappointed if you don't go but you may also find LO struggles and disrupts the whole weekend then takes ages to settle once home and you're back to square one. You may find she takes it all in her stride but, it's not a risk I'd take personally.
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