Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.

Feeling unsure during intros

(35 Posts)
tybalt22 Sun 11-Sep-16 12:10:49

Firstly let me say I know adoption is right for us and the LO we are matched with is amazing. However, over the last few days of week one we have been frustrated as the FC has certain rules and a routine. We observed these and feel we are keeping them. Then we will be told that she would do it differently or that we shouldn't have done a certain activity. It's all very contradictory and we feel we are on tenterhooks. We also feel awkward being in their home constantly. We were to be left alone for a full day which just never happened. The LO can be very spoiled and Bratty at times but never seems to have these behaviours explained just told to be nice or distracted to move on.
I guess I'm wondering if anyone else felt conflicted on intros? We are starting to look forward to the end of the day, which isn't fair on the LO as we already feel connected. We feel like one week is enough as there is no room for LO to connect further whiles FC are around. Because we are miles from home we don't get the week intro at our place. Our SW says it will have to be bared with. We can't address it as we still have a week here. Please tell me we aren't alone and should be okay!

matimeo Sun 11-Sep-16 13:19:07

Yeah, it's really weird being in someone else's house. Our first FC was amazing; really supportive. Even so, with all the heightened emotions and long days, we found some things grating and wanted her to let us take over a little more. There will always be lots of stuff you wouldn't do the same way.

Try to grin and bare it. If odd things really do need discussing, make it low key, and ask nicely :-). If possible try to grab the odd hour to yourselves during the week- it's easy to get snippy with each other as well.

Its all worth it.

JustHappy3 Sun 11-Sep-16 13:35:03

I feel your pain. For different reasons we also felt tense and strained at the foster carers' house. It's not to be sniffed at.
You do have to grin and bear it for now. That's tough though flowers.
I can only suggest you think of a treat to reward yourself with or play "foster carer bingo" - it helps.
Be careful though about labelling or judging the child's behaviour. LO is dealing with far more stress and emotions than you are. Perhaps foster carer is recognising that but choosing her battles. Temper tantrums from an overwraught (sp?) LO won't help your attachment. You have a lifetime to sort out manners - keep focused on the attachment side of things.

Wittowoo Sun 11-Sep-16 16:52:33

You're not alone and you will be OK. Importantly your frustrations are not with your LO but with the FC.

Will you move to your own home at all during intros? Or at least more uninterrupted time without FC... The whole purpose of intros is to phase primary care of child from FC to adopters.

People usually start feeling more positive about things in their own environment. Have a very candid conversation with your own or the child's SW if you feel the FC is being deliberately obstructive... Some are and need challenging appropriately.

pleasemothermay1 Sun 11-Sep-16 18:06:34

Just nod and smile in a few days she will be at home and you can do what you like

marmalade999 Sun 11-Sep-16 20:02:06

Yes smile and get on with it.... we found it very hard although fc are lovely. There were lots of things we changed (over time) but tick the days off till you're home with lo.
I feel your pain but honestly just get through it and you'll be home soon xxxx

Kr1stina Sun 11-Sep-16 20:06:58

FC has been managing the child that way for months or years. However much you disapprove , another week won't make any difference . Just smile and nod .

It's sounds very stressful and awkward. If it's any consolation, most adopters find that at best it's tolerable and at worst really awful. Even with the best FC, it's tiring, stressful and awkward .

Some Fc are quite bossy, so you may have to cope by deferring to her wishes all the time unless it's something completely untenable .

However you need to speak to SW if the plans are not being adhered to eg you were to spend a day alone with LO

MintyLizzy9 Sun 11-Sep-16 20:22:51

It's such an awkward experience camping out in someone's else's home. I also found it weird to watch FC parent my DS whilst I was there.

I had a very rocky start with FC's prior to intros and was very nervous about being with them. I went into it thinking just smile and nod its 6 days, it was hard.

If the plan isn't being followed let your SW know. We had a review partway through where all SW's came to FC house. My SW boss also came (following the earlier issues) and I had the chance of a chat with my SW prior so she knew what questions to ask so it didn't sound like I was complaining more them checking the plan was being followed. To be honest my SW called me most evenings to check in and have a chat.

the plan should only change with input from everyone for a good reason i.e LO isn't comfortable with you yet.

It's so bloody stressful flowers

MintyLizzy9 Sun 11-Sep-16 20:24:34

Sorry, re behaviours I was the same, they just didn't guide or discipline but again it's smile and nod, you will be the one making these decisions soon enough X

Well I must say, just to give foster caters their due our fcs were amazing and I felt fine in their house. BUT it was still nerve wracking and tense, and tiring!

I'd also say just smile and wave. As others say. Really like the penguines on Madagascar! Because once this week is over, your child is your child and the fc will not be in the picture.

Use the time to find out all you can. Also ask to see photos and ask for copies, DVD footage, always saying to fcs how great it will be for child to see footage and photos of themselves and of fcs.

What do you mean when you say little one spoiled? I'm curious because it means different things to different people. It may also depend on age of child. I mean we might do more things for a three year old child who is in foster care than a three year old who is not, because we want to respond to needs in a certain way (Eg helping them do things) once truly settled into new family it may be less helping and more encouraging them to do some things for themselves. If you see what I mean. Plus once child is yours you won't need to 'spoil' them bit you may need to transition that slowly.

Lastly, you may want to 're-think how you describe the behaviour, it may 'appear' bratty but that suggests the new child is a brat. They almost certainly will be actually acting out from a varierty of confusing emotions and you will need to understand why they behave as they do, IMHO.

So you could use this time to gather all the info you can on your new child and how foster caters have handled things.

You won't need to do things the same way but it will, IMHO, help you to know how foster caters have 'coped' with behaviour in the past.

All the very best . smile

parenthoodie Mon 12-Sep-16 10:10:14

The behaviour is I want I want without manners, ignoring people that aren't saying what LO wants to hear, demanding etc. I have had a lot of training on the signs and behaviours of a cared for kid and these aren't them. We have a lot of pictures and footage from all carers.
The temper tantrums and acting like a baby etc we know is the emotions being vented and we also know that it's a really emotional time for LO.
We did a talk through of what we really like about LO and what behaviours we didn't like. We had more likes than dislikes and we talked through the dislikes. We compared those behaviours with other people's kids or spoke about how those behaviours are signs of emotional struggle. We are feeling a lot better this morning. It's good to hear that a lot of you felt similar.

JustHappy3 Mon 12-Sep-16 13:31:55

Hang on. LO is 3 - "I want, I want" and selective hearing is pretty normal 2/3 year old style - and distracting/moving on is pretty standard parenting. You're not going to be able to explain to LO not to do it! Positive reinforcement is going to be a major tool in your parenting techniques box. Praise is magic as they say on parenting courses (and Catch your team doing things right as they say on management courses).
Don't compare to non-adopted children - that way misery lies.
Focus on making the child attached and happy before you eradicate things you don't like.

Koalaquakers Mon 12-Sep-16 14:19:46

It sounds like your expectations of this child are way to high.

Kr1stina Mon 12-Sep-16 14:45:29

I agree that you seem to have very high, probably unrealistic expectations .

And why are you comparing this child to other people's children - that sounds very unhelpful TBh.

I have to say I'm struggling a bit with you description of how you evaluated this child according to how many of their behaviours you liked / didn't like . I've never heard of anyone doing this to a child.

It sounds more like someone deciding to buy a house -" we can keep the bathroom suite but these tiles must go " .

What about looking at the child in terms of what their behaviours are saying, rather than deciding if you like them or not. And wondering if these are helpful or unhelpful ways for the child to handle things.it good that you recognise it's about feelings.

What is this child telling you about her needs? how can you meet these ? I'm afraid her needs have to be the starting point and not your likes/ dislikes .

Have you talked over these things with your social worker?

Clockworklemon Mon 12-Sep-16 14:48:40

You've had some good advice here, but back to your original thread title: feeling Unsure. What are you unsure about? Being sure that you want to adopt and thinking this child is fabulous doesn't always mean that child is right for you.

It sounds as if you do need to get to the bottom of the childs behaviours before you bring them home, and not assume things will be ok once FC is out of the equation. Intros are very intense and unnatural but necessary.
If alarm bells are ringing now, don't ignore them and hope it will be ok.

The mid way review meeting is the time to express your concerns, if not before. Please be honest and don't let SW fob you off.

Wittowoo Mon 12-Sep-16 15:36:09

I'm confused. Is parenthoodie the same person as tybalt22 ???

parenthoodie Mon 12-Sep-16 16:14:39

No no no we were comparing the behaviours to other people children of that age to understand if that's age related or a behaviour that needed to be addressed with other techniques. There is much more at play than what I have written and we have really struggled to connect. The child we are seeing is a much more complex child then we were presented with. There is little to no current ground work on dealing with very troubled behaviours and violence and we wouldn't be able to be full time carers we would only get 9 months standard! We need to be realistic in thinking are we going to be able to tackle these issues to make them manageable for school or for relatives when one of us has to return to work.

I'm not in a great place right now so please read things properly with the presumption that I am well informed.

Kr1stina Mon 12-Sep-16 16:29:47

That's my point really. You are comparing this child to non adopted children, which isn't helpful .

Then you are deciding what behaviours should he addressed because you don't like them, rather asking yourselves what these behaviours tell you about her needs.

However you say that you are struggling to connect. I certainly get that feeling from your posts and that a very important thing that you shoudl not ignore.

You suggest that the child is more complex than you first thought, that you have no desire or ability to take on "troubled behaviours". You need a child than can be OK for childcare in 9 months and you don't think this child will be .

These are all major red flags and I suggest that you discuss with your SW as a matter of urgency. Like tonight .

If this match isn't right then you need to put it on hold while you talk things over with the revelant people.

I'm sorry if you feel that people haven't read things properly. And no one can guess from an Internet post how much you know or don't know and your knowledge or experience .

People are doing their best to help you at this very stressful time

Koalaquakers Mon 12-Sep-16 16:50:31

You need to put her needs first, this is about her not you.
Everyone going into adoption should be prepared to be a full time carer, non of us know what our lives have in store or how our children will be once placed.
Sadly if your feeling these things now and having trouble connecting then these are huge red flags.
Please speak to your SW.

Clockworklemon Mon 12-Sep-16 17:02:17

Yes you do need to be realistic. This is not about whether you like or dislike this childs behaviours but about whether you are able (and want) to meet this childs (apparently complex) needs.

I'm confused - I thought you were original poster tybalt22 and had NC, but OP said they felt that one week of intros was enough?

Kr1stina Mon 12-Sep-16 17:17:18

Clockwork - I m assuming that it's the same poster who has NC. Sorry if that's wrong

MypocketsarelikeNarnia Mon 12-Sep-16 18:30:36

Op I get that intros are bloody awful at the best of times. flowers

And I would have quite cheerfully given our fcs a good kicking by day 3 so I sympathise totally with that. It was horribly distressing and really just much worse than I think anyone realised and I think I was significantly affected by it - I still can't smell the brand of wipes the fc used without feeling ill. Others have had similar experiences here so you are not alone.

Regarding your feelings about this lo - are you feeling seriously conflicted about the match or is it just the way you've phrased it here?

winebrewcake

RatherBeIndoors Mon 12-Sep-16 19:43:25

Intros are incredibly tough. Most people find it eases when they get to start spending time in their own home, but I see that your intro plan isn't set up that way. It's very intense, and if you need your SW to step in and gently remind everyone of the plan (so you get to be out and about with LO) then definitely involve them. I regret not asking my SW for more help during our intros, when we were getting railroaded, but we all survived somehow!

LO will, like most children, be a very effective emotional barometer i.e. highly attuned to the emotions in the room/household. They will have picked up the stress, perhaps feelings of loss in the FCs, and they'll have no way of knowing those feelings are anything other than scary. The behaviour you're seeing is likely to be trying to tell you they're frightened.

If you feel the child has radically different needs to what was in the CPR etc, and you're worried, you really need to raise it now. Sometimes you just know - I emailed my SW on day 2 of intros and requested a referral to a specialist, because it was already evident we would need it and I wanted to get things in motion. Your SW has done you a disservice though, if they haven't been clear that even the "no additional needs" hmm profiles should be read with an awareness that this further move from FC to you will cause grief and insecurity, and that attachment needs may be significant, and may become evident far more strongly in the permanent family than in FC. My wonderful LO had nothing about attachment in their CPR, although the life experiences led me to believe it would be a need - and it has taken 2.5 years for them to cope with being looked after by a family member for a couple of hours. That's obviously had a huge impact on my capacity to work etc, but LO needed what she needed, and it took time. I had a return to work plan that had to be abandoned - as a single parent that was a bit challenging! I am just getting back into it now, utterly broke but with an increasingly confident, calm child. Worth every second, and every penny. I understand you need an outline plan about working, but you may end up having to do something very different.

PotofGold1186 Mon 12-Sep-16 21:22:24

Our fc was amazing. She was supportive and kept out of the way wherever possible. She encouraged is to be alone with lo and was generally supportive.
We STILL found it so exhausting and awkward. Goodness knows how I would have coped if she had been inflexible. We looked forward to going home too because, ultimately, you just want to get them home and start your lives in a normal way! When lo moves in with you, try to follow the routines. It really does make it easier. Good luck and hang in there!

toomanypetals Tue 13-Sep-16 22:23:45

So you are describing the behaviours of a child who is in foster care as 'bratty' And comparing to non-adopted children?

As others have said, your focus should be attachment not already trying to mould the child into an image of what you feel they should be.

And I speak as an adoptee. I see such positive things on this forum but I also see things that make me sad and angry. A lack of empathy for the child's pain namely. Too high expectations.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now