Week into placement, my heart aches

(67 Posts)
TrinnyandSatsuma Thu 07-Nov-13 17:07:21

We are now a week into placement. Our little boy is doing so, so well. His world has turned upside down and he is grieving for his foster carers.

He broke down in tears today, first time we've had tears. Up until now, he's just said he feels sad, but at last today he let out some of the emotion we know he is feeling. It is absolutely heart breaking to see him so upset.

He has been trying to control everything and not surprisingly, food is the one thing he can control. We know he must be hungry, but he just won't eat.

Please someone come along and reassure me that he won't let himself starve. We are feeding him like he is a much younger child, having foods we know he likes etc. his afternoon, we had inclusion time because he didn't eat any lunch. We all sat quietly on the sofa together and read books. We told him we loved him, but that without his lunch, he wouldn't have energy to play. I have no idea of that's a good response, or a terrible one.

Only a few hours until bed time and then I plan on having a big cry, a glass of wine and a cuddle from hubbie!

LEMisafucker Thu 07-Nov-13 17:11:29

I don't have any advice, but just wanted to say that i think you are pretty bloody wonderful - what a lucky lad. I am sure he wont starve, so long as he is drinking it should be ok?

Quangle Thu 07-Nov-13 17:16:33

I strongly advise a glass of wine (for you, not for him). You are feeling his pain with him and that's what love is.

No advice re the food as I have no experience but sending good wishes at what must be a deeply emotional time for you all.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Thu 07-Nov-13 17:18:36

It sounds like you're doing a wonderful job. What a lucky little chap to have such lovely parents.

Don't have much advice, it sounds like you're doing great. I guess just don't put too much emphasis on food, but it sounds like you're doing that. Perhaps give him control in another area? How old is he? Could he choose colors for his bedroom or something like that?

Lilka Thu 07-Nov-13 17:20:38

Oh Trinny, it's so so tough at this stage <<hugs>>

Keep looking after yourself and cry out it, drink wine, do anything you can for yourself at every moment you can grab it

No, he will not starve himself. Only a child with anorexia is going to refuse food to the point of starvation, your son will eat enough to keep himself going naturally. I think my approach would be to have snacks throughout the day at certain times and offer a snack at those times in addition to meals, which he might eat. If he refuses then reassure that next meal/snack is at x o'clock and assume he will definitely eat a meal/part of a meal at some point, because he won't starve himself. I might also be inclined to leave a couple of snacks in his room...he might well eat them when he's alone in there and you haven't literally just given him the food

Having said that, there's more than one approach to it, that's just one and you might find a better approach to food for him

My son had a few great days when he came home, then he suddenly realised what was going on, and he grieved really hard. He didn't want to eat (it might have been control, on the other hand it might just have been the grief and confusion, that can make your appetite reduce dramatically). It really is awful to see your child so upset, but this will pass with time

Hang on in there, you're doing a fabulous job by the sounds of it

TrinnyandSatsuma huge huge hugs. Please ignore me if this advice is wrong (someone else please tell me to shut up!!) but if he is doing it for control and feels he has none etc I would.....

offer him some controlled choices that you are happy with

Shall we fly a kite today or you can be in charge of the remote controlled car, or shall we do some painting, would you like to do painting or water play, or let's have an art competition and you can be the judge, who does the best picture Mummy or Daddy etc etc.

How about some fun work, building a walll with bricks or drying up soem plastic cups etc. Then just very simply say half way through play, "Break time, the workers deserve a break, fish finger sandwhich for Daddy and for Mummy and for lovely lad etc." Plot a little plate with a little bit of food nearby and don't stress if he does not eat.

For drinks how about lets make some smoothies, you put the fruit in the jug (bananas, blueberries whatever he might eat) and you do mashing and Mummy will mix in milk and who gets to taste it first etc etc.

If he has had a fairly restricted diet before you may need to stick to what he knows.

I don't think he will starve but just try and be inventive. Good luck.

All those choices were meant to be presented just a choice of two at a time not altogether!

FairyJen Thu 07-Nov-13 17:41:00

Try including him in basic food prep like baking etc, a bit if raw cookie dough etc won't hurt.

Or include little treats into games. For example play snap but everytime you win you get a couple of grapes etc as well as the cards.

Do keep going, as hard as it is this will pass with time as he grows more secure.

I'm a sw with experience in adoption and fostering so do feel free to ask if you have any questions smile

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 07-Nov-13 17:42:16

Hugs here too. Nothing much to add the sensible suggestion from Lilka and Italian, except to reinforce that he won't starve himself. Is he drinking?

I remember the day DD had her grieving. I have never ever heard crying like it before or since - this was about three weeks in, and it really did mark a change in our relationship with her.

Keep smiling and have some wine

BaldricksTurnip Thu 07-Nov-13 18:10:38

What wonderful people you are who adopt. Absolute admiration and respect for what you do. He is so lucky to have you as his parents and though he came down a different path to meet you, you are a family now and always will be. There is no family that does not have hard times and tears but you all have each other now and in time he will learn to trust and love you. Bless you for taking him forward into the light.

DiddyLady Thu 07-Nov-13 18:42:52

Oh bless you all. It's sounds like your doing a great job. Do you have any plans to see his foster carers at a future date. It's very important that he realises they are happy that he is with you and that he doesn't need to feel any guilt about leaving them.
He won't let himself starve. Enjoy your wine you deserve it.

TrinnyandSatsuma Thu 07-Nov-13 19:13:38

Thanks all, much appreciated.

I'm delighted to report he ate 90% of his tea. My husband and I looked at each other across the table as he shovelled in his peas and were amazed! I'd given him a small glass of milk mid afternoon and we had tea a little earlier than normal, aware that he'd been really hungry. It feels so counter intuitive to let him go hungry for a few hours. He's already suffered such terrible neglect and it just feels awful to know he's hungry. I am so relieved he's had a good meal now, and is going to bed after a nice bath, bedtime story and he's snuggled up with his two favourite teddies.

In answer to your questions, he's 5 in a few months, so has some comprehension of the changes he's been through, but is struggling to make sense of it. Today we had the "why?" After nearly everything we said. I think that's him generally questioning "why is all of this happening?".

Thanks again, your support means a lot.


Broodymomma Thu 07-Nov-13 19:19:27

You are doing amazing! We are also a week into placement and I have to admit I am finding it so much tougher than I thought i would with most of it being down to sheer tiredness. Just wanted to say you are not alone xxx

Lilka Thu 07-Nov-13 19:27:09

So glad to hear he ate tonight and he's all snuggled up now

Now go pamper yourself and have your wine smile

Magslee Thu 07-Nov-13 19:45:03

Glad to hear things were a bit better this evening. I have had similar issues with my DS and have at times been completely panic stricken that it is my awful cooking/appalling parenting etc that have caused him to not eat and that he was going to collapse from hunger any minute. It's particularly hard in the first few weeks after the move as you are all getting to know each other.

It doesn't matter how many people tell you it's fine and he won't starve himself you're probably still going to stress about it but over time it will get better as you get used to his eating patterns - I now know my son stops eating when he's coming down with something and whenever there's change going on. Also, I got the health visitor to weigh my son every 6 weeks or so as that means a responsible adult is also monitoring things and I assume will let me know if/when I need to worry.

All kids are different but the things that work for my son are: I'm leaving eating completely to him (I put the food out but I don't encourage, cajole, comment etc even if he eats none of it - much as I want to!). I also put a snack box on a low table for him with a few things in like crackers, raisins, bits of cheese etc that he can pick at as and when he wants to through the day. And when things get desperate we go off to IKEA as their pasta and tomato sauce is a lot more popular than mine (and you can address any starvation panic with cake (for you and him)).

MissFenella Thu 07-Nov-13 20:57:14

Cooking together is an excellent thing to do - must do more with my girls actually.

You sound an intuitive parent top that with the love you so obviously have and I don't think you will go wrong xx

Glad it is going OK and keep hugging your boy

flippingebay Thu 07-Nov-13 21:01:22

So glad to hear he's eaten something tonight.

You posted some lovely things on my thread and I'm sorry your DS is grieving, but you both sound like fantastic people so hang in there.

TrinnyandSatsuma fab news. Very pleased for you.

Broody yay how exciting.

Andro Fri 08-Nov-13 00:21:38

Not eating is a pretty common reaction to grief, I had this with both of my 2 (they were grieving for their bio parents who had died as a result of a car crash). Gentle encouragement and reassurance is the way to go, don't try and force the issue though (a bit of bribery can also work when used sparingly).

It's good that he ate this evening, but it's not necessarily the last you'll see of this.

Solo Fri 08-Nov-13 01:20:26

Trinny your last post made me tear up.

All the best!!

YouAreMyRain Fri 08-Nov-13 04:11:50

I agree with pps, leave accessible healthy snacks that he can help himself too and pretend not to notice if he eats anything. That takes the control out of the situation. My two DDs know that they can help themselves to fruit etc anytime, we have a healthy snack box.

Good luck with it all, you are lucky to have found each other thanksthanks

RudolphLovesoftplay Fri 08-Nov-13 06:19:47

Wahoo for tea eating!!! Well done, it sounds as though you are doing amazingly well.

We had (and still do a little bit) a food gobbler who would eat anything in sight and still beg for more food. He is mostly fine now, but food issues are tricky, and you are handling it brilliantly.

KristinaM Fri 08-Nov-13 12:16:51

That's good news you are seeing progress.

As others have said, it might be a control issues but it might also be grief. Are his FCs coming to see him soon?

If it's a control issues you need to avoid getting into a battle with him. Only pick battles you can win. And you can never win food or elimination battles . So calories by stealth is the best plan . Never punish him for not eating eg by withholding a game or treat

If it's a grief reaction, you might find it helpful to read the webistes of child bereavement charities, like Winston's wish. Children grieve very differently from adults and you might not recognise the signs.

It's good that he can verbalise his feelings and that you don't feel the need to rubbish his feelings or " cheer him up " . He needs to know that you can hold him and his pain and loss, it's too big for him to deal with alone .

Ledkr Fri 08-Nov-13 12:25:11

I am a post adoption sw and read the adoption threads to give me insight.
Your post is so moving and you have such a clear empathy for what he is experiencing its lovely.
My only advice would be to make sure he knows what it is he is actually feeling ie. sadness, fear or whatever and make sure if he doesn't you name it for him.
Congratulations btw, he's very lucky to have you both.

KristinaM Fri 08-Nov-13 12:30:31

Ledkr -it's nice to know that you are listening AND client focussed. :-)

Not many SWs would take the time to update their knowledge and understanding in their own time. Respect to you

Ledkr Fri 08-Nov-13 12:42:17

Thankyou.i also recommend mn to clients but then sorry they will spot me on another thread ranting about something or being smutty!! grin
I feel quite humble actually, you guys are incredible, I have a close friend at prep course stage so see it from all angles.
Nice to know you think it's positive me lurking on here.

Ledkr Fri 08-Nov-13 12:42:33

Worry not sorry

TrinnyandSatsuma Fri 08-Nov-13 19:13:34

Thanks again to you all for your posts since my last one. I am touched and grateful.

Only a few mouthfuls of tea tonight again :-(. It's like he is rejecting our attempts to care for him......he did have a good lunch though and a medium sized breakfast. It is so hard. All I want is for him to be happy, well fed and healthy.

Need to remind myself that we are days into placement. Such early days, and to him, we are strangers really.

Thanks again to you all


Privatebanker Fri 08-Nov-13 19:56:38

OP, please keep us updated. This post has really touched me, although I have no direct experience of adoption.

Ledkr Fri 08-Nov-13 20:06:17

How about going out for a bit of tea of his choice?
He's eating, try not to make much of it and in sure t will pass.
Can I recommend Margot Sunderland books, she is my idol.
Might offer some good advice.
How old us he? Sorry if I missed it.

Bumpiemalumpie Fri 08-Nov-13 20:11:23


I think you are amazing and asking for advice is hard but necessary.

I would just say, think about when you are confused, upset, unsettled and anxious, you are on high alert with everything and so your cortisol and adrenaline levels are so high that your body goes into function mode i.e puts it's energy into the vital organs and so your tummy misses out as you don't feel hungry and it is last thing you can stomach(no pun intended)

As he settled and becomes more comfortable with what to predict at home and in his new life he will relax some more and his appetite will come back and control over food will lessen.

When he eats, look at what happens before the meal, why does he feel so settled that he can allow himself to eat?? Try to repeat that and perhaps, just like bath/story/cuddle/sleep routines, look at a meal time routine.

You sound like you are patient, caring and loving, keep that up, he is so lucky to have you!!

Remember to mention it to your Social Worker as they may have some other hints as well


MissFenella Fri 08-Nov-13 20:18:36

I feel after living with the girls for a year that children need a lot less food than we think. I also know that my two are really put off by a 'big' meal and all the expectations around that. so quite often we have picnic teas (a buffet) we also have bits and dips on a Thursday - all healthy stuff but with a 'naughty' pud. They like being able to select what they want and how much and probably eat more this way.
Hold onto the fact he is eating, just not a lot, but maybe he doesn't need a lot at the moment. I promise that when he is having a growth spurt and eating non stop you will look back at this and wonder why you worried x

TrinnyandSatsuma Fri 08-Nov-13 20:29:07

Thanks guys. Good suggestions. I will dig out Margot's book. It's in my bedside cabinet!

Dips or a picnic might work. Will give that a go.

Have updated our social worker and outlined our approach and will also take their advice.

When we have eaten in a cafe, restaurant etc, he has eaten really well, so might go out for lunch or tea tomorrow, and that way he is guaranteed one decent meal tomorrow.


TrinnyandSatsuma Fri 08-Nov-13 20:33:03

P.s Ledkr, he's 4

sittinginthesun Fri 08-Nov-13 20:41:07

Just wanted to add that many children seem to eat very sporadically at that age - my ds2 would have days when he ate one meal, and then picked at others. It is quite rare for children to eat a regular amount of food at each meal.

No personal experience, but my gut feeling would be to relax, try to keep mealtimes calm and fun, with no pressure to eat, and all will fall into place.

Congratulations, by the way. I have a close friend who is a foster carer, so usually see this from the other side. It is so lovely to hear how the journey continues. smile

Liara Fri 08-Nov-13 20:45:15

Please shout me down if this is completely on the wrong lines, but would it be possible to let him feed himself at times of his own choosing?

My dc from the ages of around 4 were happiest when left to pick from snacks which were available pretty much all day long. We would have nuts, dried fruit, savoury biscuits, healthyish cakes, fritters, french toast, etc hanging around in the kitchen and they would come and serve themselves to snacks whenever it suited.

We would still sit down to meals as a family, but without the pressure of worrying that they might go hungry if they didn't eat we could use these as an opportunity to offer them more adult food.

It sounds really tough, I feel for you. It sounds like you are doing an amazing job with him.

KristinaM Fri 08-Nov-13 20:51:09

One good meal, part of one and a few mouthfuls of a third is PLENTY to keep him alive. I guess he is also having milk or water outside of meal times too?

Please try not to worry so much. And try to stop seeing it as him rejecting you. You need to try and emotionally disengage from seeing food as love. It's not.

Your son is acccepting your love and care in many others ways. It's very early days yet, you are building a relationship that will last for your whole life. You are not going to fix nearly 5 years of trauma and loss in a few weeks.

You are all doing really well :-)

ugglyboots Fri 08-Nov-13 20:56:55

Your post made me cry, you sound like wonderful parents, he's very lucky.

I'm sure it will get better soon, good luck.

TrinnyandSatsuma Fri 08-Nov-13 21:12:03

Thanks, and KristinaM that's a good piece of advice and my husband said something similar tonight.

Just peeked round his bedroom door to check on him. He's snoring softly with his teddies. Makes my heart full of love and if things weren't a little tough, it wouldn't be real life would it.

I am at risk of being very in-MN and gushy now (maybe the wine is to blame for that), so off to bed.


FamiliesShareGerms Fri 08-Nov-13 22:15:28

Ah, Trinny, that sounds lovely (I think children are at their absolute best when asleep blush)

Kewcumber Sat 09-Nov-13 00:10:24

What everyone else says.... and...

I go off food when I'm stressed and I think thats quite normal and OK. I think you can even say to him "when I feel a bit sad I don't like eating because my tummy feels wobbly".

I feel that he does need to know that however he is feeling is fine and that you will be there to help him deal with it. Naming his feeling as Lekdr said has also been useful to us in the long term as its hard to talk to a child about how they feel if they can't name their feelings. I find watching TV/reading books with DS and saying "how do you think he feels about that?" and discussing that the character might feel "sad" or "worried" etc takes the pressure off DS a bit and stops making the focus about him 100% of the time.

DS was the opposite of yours (though much younger so different issues) and ate until he was sick virtually every day for about the first three months. Then he started eating barely enough to keep a bird alive (IMO) for a couple of weeks then would eat like a horse for a couple of weeks. The biggest learning exercise for me was not to get so stressed about his feeding habits and let him find his own level.

He did carry a sippy cup of water around with him for probably a year 24/7 (issues with no easy access to water before) until that wore off. At 8 he has no issues about food or drink at all.

Mind you I did think for a while I was going to be the first adoptive parent in history who exploded their child with food because I just let him eat as much as he needed to even if he was subsequently sick.

LocoParentis Sat 09-Nov-13 00:25:14

I'm not an adoptive parent, or parent at all for that matter yet but I've seen friends with children they struggle to feed making meals into a smiley face, or cutting a sandwich into a dinosaur with cookie cutters.
I know the circumstances are different but it might make him laugh and distract him from his feelings for a little while.
Good luck

Methren Sat 09-Nov-13 01:06:41

Trinny, I'm not an adoptive parent but both my DCs have been fussy eaters. A couple of things helped me to fret less over how much they ate at each meal.

The first was realising that each of my DCs had their own individual body clock when it came to food. DC1 has to be coaxed into eating any breakfast at all, isn't too bad at lunch and usually eats a big supper. DC2 is the opposite - massive breakfast, less lunch, often just picks at supper.

The second was reading somewhere that small children often balance out their intake over several days rather than eating a balanced diet at each meal. So they might eat veg but no meat at one meal and the opposite at the next, but if you watch over several meals they're taking in a decent range of food groups. DC2 definitely does this, DC1 less so.

I'm sure that grief and stress will be modifying your DS's appetite at the moment, but you're also still learning his individual eating patterns and that's bound to take a bit of time.

LoveAndDeath Sat 09-Nov-13 01:42:56

Wot Methren said!

I am not an adoptive parent but I do have a five year old and my oldest boy was a fussy eater when he was little.

I suppose for your little boy, it's a bit like going on a trip to a different country. The food is different and everything is different and sometimes you just want egg and chips! I remember being little and having to spend a day in a neighbour's house. She asked me if I wanted sausages and I did but I meant sausages like we had at home. She produced sausages which were sausages but not like "our" sausages and I remember feeling so down about it and that I had to eat these strange sausages because I had agreed to eat them!

When my eldest was little, he was a dreadful eater and I got so much well-meaning advice from lots of people who led me to believe that my child would starve to death! He didn't and he now eats raw oysters!

You are getting used to each other and you sound like you are doing really, really well.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Sat 09-Nov-13 02:00:23

A lot of 4 year olds are like this and that's without a troubled background.

You are doing really well smile Try not to stress about what he is or isn't eating - don't encourage or cajole, or in anyway make it a big deal (I wouldn't say he wont have the energy to play etc). He will eat when he is hungry and wants to - he will be fine x

wine or probably a nice hot brew at this time of night!

Trinny, you sound lovely and caring, just what he needs.

My thoughts on the food issue are that if he's been neglected, he is probably not used to regular meals and portions. I don't know how long he's been fostered for but if he hasn't had mealtime routines or not enough food, he might need a long time to adjust.

I would just treat it as a non issue. It doesn't sound as if he doesn't eat enough. If you just provide food and attach no emotions to it, he will find his own balance.

You have my highest respect flowers

Slothlorien Sat 09-Nov-13 07:45:54

U are incredible op. just keep loving him and everything else will be ok. smile

TrinnyandSatsuma Sat 09-Nov-13 21:37:58

A much better day today. Three good meals!

Took on board everyone's advice and just stopped any of the cajoling and fuss and encouragement.

I realise now we were just adding unnecessary anxiety when he is already in a turmoil of change. Not helpful, but we have learned a valuable lesson. He will eat when he's hungry.

I suspect grief is suppressing his appetite as some of you suggest. I have had that feeling myself. The butterflies in the stomach, slightly homesick feeling and it doesn't make food appealing at all.

He's still asking at least once a day to go back to his foster carers, which we always acknowledge and reassure. They were a very positive influence in his life; big shoes to fill!

Thanks again, the advice is so helpful.

Kewcumber Sat 09-Nov-13 22:32:26

Do you have a plan (at least in theory) at this stage to meet them again. I wonder if it might be helpful to talk about seeing them again (in the future obviously when he is more bonded with you). I don't know what the offical advice on this but I always felt it was important for DS to know that the people who cared for him did genuinely cared and that they hadn;t abandoned him and that though they were sad that he had gone, they wanted him to have a family that he wouldn't ever have to leave.

I know that balancing act of reassuring him of their care and presence in the background and that they haven't abandoned him vs the need for him to look to you for comfort and support -there is a horrible no-mans-land when they havev't learned to be comforted by you but have lost the person who could care for them (or in DS's care lost his self soothing mechanisms). I found it the hardest thing because really nothing much that helps - except time. It does pass and in Ds's case it passed within a few weeks.

It was a long few weeks though!

KristinaM Sun 10-Nov-13 18:52:53

I agree with kew. The Foster carers really need to visit you at your home. Sooner rather than later. Does he speak to them on the phone? If not, why not?

TrinnyandSatsuma Sun 10-Nov-13 19:16:02

Really interested in the view that he should see his foster carers sooner rather than later. We had been pretty certain this would / should wait at least a few months so that he is really settled. I worry that seeing them would confuse him......I worry he would want to go back to their house and it would be so painful for him to say goodbye to them again.

We always planned, and still do, to retain contact with them, but hadn't planned to have the first meeting for a few months.

Does anyone have experience of an older child who was very settled in foster care, who had early contact with foster carers?

sittinginthesun Sun 10-Nov-13 19:25:02

Not older, but my friend fostered a baby who moved to her new family around 20 months. She was very attached to her foster family as shed been with them since birth.

They meet every few months; I think the first meet was around 6 weeks after. At parents' house, or now sometimes in the park or cafe.

My friend was half dreading the first meeting, but it went very well. She has quickly become an "auntie" figure, who is still important to the child, but in the background. The parents always chat about her etc and sent pictures back and forth.

Don't know if that helps.

Happiestinwellybobs Sun 10-Nov-13 19:37:37

We met DD's FC 5 weeks after placement (although she was much younger). I had thought it a little soon but we had an appointment near them so tied it in. As it was I was so pleased we did - it was good for DD and for them too.

We exchange photos often and meet up every few months. We talk about them often. I would definitely encourage some contact with them soon.

KristinaM Mon 11-Nov-13 09:14:01

" I worry that seeing them would confuse him......I worry he would want to go back to their house and it would be so painful for him to say goodbye to them again. "

Well it sounds like he's missing them dreadfully , if he's asking about them every day. And he DOES want to go back to their house , so that wouldn't make any difference. And it is obviously very painful for him now.

So if he's missing them very much , wants to see them and asks about them every day, why on earth wouldn't you let him? Of course he will cry when they leave, but it sounds like he's crying inside anyway, you said that he has been sad. And you said that you were planning to have them visit " in a few months", do you think it won't be painful for him to say goodbye then??

It's very difficult to make a new attachment and grieve a loss at the same time. This is why SW insist on a Gap of several years between losing a child and adopting . This is why there is so much emphasis in the home study on have done some grief work for bio children /infertility issues etc ( if relevant ).

If he is using all his energy grieving for his FCers, he won't be able to bond to you.

If it were me I would be trying to gradually change his relationship with his Foster carers from being his primary carers to being like a distant auntie that you see a few times a year . Not trying to go cold turkey .

Did you read the information about how children deal with grief? I think you have a very sad little boy there and you need to help him . You wrote in your thread title that your heart aches - that is how he is feeling inside. Not talking about his loss, making sure that you don't have to deal with him crying. Not letting him talk to or see the ones he loves so much - won't make these feelings go away. It will just encourage him to bury them, especially if he feels that you can't handle them. And believe me, that's the last thing you want to happen.

Ask the Fc to visit you. It reinforces that this is his home now. He can show them his room and toys etc . Yes he will cry when they leave, but that's better than crying in the inside every day :-(

Buster51 Mon 11-Nov-13 09:42:25

We have adopted a 4 year old boy, who lived with his foster carers for 2 1/2 year. He is very very attached to the mother figure. As a result it has had an effect on our relationship (my previous thread post adoption blues). 3 weeks into placement with us he doesn't ask for her as much as he did, but makes reference to her in conversatuon daily.

He seems to not want to get "fully close" or "attached" to me. His daddy is in the forces & has just gone back away, he initially asks for his foster carer, then his daddy, this is something I am finding quite difficult & to not get upset by (I have been very upset recently).

Does anyone have any advice on the above? We were advised not to allow him to see his foster carers for at least 3 month?? I don't think that will be a problem but it is trust with his new mummy

KristinaM Mon 11-Nov-13 17:04:13

Ok, imagine you were abducted by aliens and taken to another planet. A very nice planet, where you could have a beautiful new home , and live with loving aliens who would care for you. Would you have forgotten your home and family and have begun to attach to your new alien family after 3weeks?

What if they explained that they were your new forever family -would that make you feel better? Perhaps if you had more things in your new home, nicer food, more attention, a bedroom of your own? Would you be reassured to know that your chances of getting a good education and job in 20 years would be improved, now you lived on a new planet?

Would you be thinking about the aliens feelings? How hard it is for them? how much they wanted you?

How would you think and feel? What would help?

Thepoodoctor Mon 11-Nov-13 17:12:19

Hi Trinny

Just briefly to say that with my DD, who was also very attached to her FCs, we did meet up after about 6 weeks, and found it very beneficial. She was - of course - unsettled to a degree afterwards, but I think it really helped her to understand that they were still there and cared about her and for her to settle with us.

She has done very well since and as others have said, the FCs are an aunty type figure in the background.

It's very hard not to fear the relationship with FC, but if the child can quickly see the FCs supporting you, and know they are still there for the child as well, I think it is to the benefit of all.

Well done- it sounds like you're doing a fantastic job with him.

Thepoodoctor Mon 11-Nov-13 17:13:47

PS DD was knocking on 3 and had been with FCs from a tiny baby.

MissFenella Tue 12-Nov-13 09:08:35

We didn't hook up with the FC again despite FC asking for it from week 2. The reason we did not was because the FC had issues with letting go (culminating in a very bad handover experience) and I could not risk the girls wellbeing with someone I could not trust.

I do think its important that the FC make it clear to the children that it is OK for them to move on and to not feel guilt about moving on. That is what we would not get but if you can I think a meet or call could be worthwhile. How about 'bumping into' each other near a café and spending 30 mins together. That may be a less traumatic situation and easier for FC to leave?

KristinaM Tue 12-Nov-13 09:30:30

That's sounds very wise, miss fenella . I think it has to be about the child's needs, rather than the FC. Also you need a FC who is able to allow the child to move on ( however they are feeling ) and give the child permission to be happy in their new family

That's why I think it's better for the FC to visit the child in their new home. They can admire a new bedroom, toys, pets etc . If you " bump into " them in a park , the child will always be alert, wondering when you next might bump into them .

I think it should be open and planned ( obviously in an age appropriate way ) . So saying to a 5yo " let's tidy up this morning because x and y are coming here for coffee in an hour. You can show them your new bedroom /kitten /fire engine " . Not " they are coming in 10 days " .

Just my opinion of course

I have no experience of adoption, but was really touched by this thread! My DS is 4 and has special needs (e is autistic) and he has been a very poor eater at some stages in his life, still not great. He was premature and small, and is still very thin so we do tend to worry and fuss when he does not eat. So I do understand a bit. You description of looking at your DH when your little boy was managing to eat is just what we have done/still do: when DS is actually tucking properly into a meal whoever is with him (if the other parent is not there) will shout out through the house "come and look, come and look"!

It will get better, I am sure.

FamiliesShareGerms Tue 12-Nov-13 21:36:53

Even though DD settled brilliantly with us, it was still incredibly beneficial for her to see her FC after about three months (agency guidelines were no sooner than that). They came to us for around two hours one afternoon (ie not over a meal time or some other "care giver"-y time) and played with her and told her they were pleased how well she was doing.

TrinnyandSatsuma Fri 15-Nov-13 17:05:46

Hi all,

Two weeks in now and I thought I'd update.

He's eating like a horse!

We talked at length to our social worker, and his, about contact with his foster carers, and are planning to see them briefly quite soon. It's obviously very unpredictable how he will react, but we want to do this to reassure him that they know where he is and are happy for him to be with us.

Thanks again for your input and support. I'm sure we will be back in the future with another thread asking for help!!

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 15-Nov-13 19:56:59

Lovely! Thanks for the update

KristinaM Sat 16-Nov-13 13:29:06

That's good news!

Hi all this is a very interesting thread to read as someone not yet matched, I am starting my own thread now about 'relationship with foster cares how to manage, research on transition etc' and would welcome any comments there but did not want to 'hijack' this one.

Trinny glad all is going better. I am not yet an adopter but am a parent and it seems to me life is up and down with kids! Some days better and some worse. So my only advice might be to keep a note of what works and how and to be able to use it in future. Not work works as in makes him not talk about foster carer or not not appear to get upset but what makes him able to talk about it in a better way, perhaps what allows him to grieve but in a way that is better for him. Sadly, I have no idea how this will work! I will be scanning this thread for guidence from one all!

It is here is anyone wants to advise me, please!


And I will keep reading Trinny and hoping all is well.

musickeepsmesane Sat 16-Nov-13 20:47:29

It is very important for kids to be 'given permission' to move on. Last birthday DS was unsure what he wanted, unsure of a party, wouldn't commit to anything. He had already had a birthday with us but it was not long after he arrived. I had a chat with him. Reminded him his previous carers wanted him to be happy. Half hour later he came through with his party list. He had a great day.

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