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

Takes a lot more than love...

(14 Posts)
NeverendingStoryteller Wed 31-Aug-11 22:54:38

I am literally counting down the days until school starts again. We adopted (final order) in April and my oldest DS7 has been a total nightmare since it all officially went through. I'm exhausted, and so grateful that the post adoption support worker is coming to see us on Monday. Today he ran away from a play date, kicked his younger brother (karate style) as hard as he could in the stomach, and then vomited his dinner everywhere (deliberately). He's exhibited one or more similar behaviours every other day since the adoption went through. Totally knackered.

What's hilarious is that all the professionals were more concerned about DS5 and his 'attachment difficulties'. DS7 was supposed to be the one who would settle well, and who was going to be fine because he did very well in the psychological tests they put him through. So far, DS5 has shown no difficulties with attachment, and DS7 has become almost impossible to live with.

So, how do I trust these professionals who got it so, so wrong in the first place?

Sorry, just needed to vent... please tell me that your experiences with post adoption support have been amazing... Actually, please just tell me about your experiences - all information welcome and appreciated.

ChildofIsis Thu 01-Sep-11 08:09:04

Hi just read your post and had to respond.
I don't have any real advice for you, I'm an adoptee not an adopter.

All I can say is that you are doing a great job and don't give up on your dream of a loving family.

Your DS is pushing boundaries in an attempt to test your resolve to be his forever parents. No doubt he has fears of being sent somewhere else in the future.

I'm sorry you feel let down by the 'professionals'. No doubt they can learn lots from your experiences of the system.
I hope your support worker is able to actually support you in this.

Please don't be alone in this. Well done for having the courage to post about your experience. I hope there is someone who has been through similar and can help you out.

RandomMess Thu 01-Sep-11 08:16:24

I really really hope that you get adequate support. Can you insist on a CAHMS assessment for how he is now, family therapy etc?

I get very upset when I read posts on MN that think foster carers should not be paid etc as all these dc need is love - people who've never witnessed caring for dc that have had an appalling start to life have no idea.

I wish you very well and be very vocal and demand help now, resources are tight but the sooner you all get the help you need the easier it should be in the long run.

hester Thu 01-Sep-11 09:41:27

Oh lordy, poor you. my children are younger so I don't have any good advice, but huge sympathies. What support have you been offered?

gillybean2 Thu 01-Sep-11 10:53:04

It's quite common for adopted dc to 'act up'. He is testing you to know that firstly his boundaries are there and you will enforce them for him - he needs that stability. But also because he need some kind of proof that no matter how 'bad' or worthless or awful a person he was (In his eyes he must be for his mother to have abandoned him) you won't abandon him too.

It is exhausting for you I'm sure and you are right to seek help and support for you all.

Re your ds5 please check that he is ok too. Where there are 2 adopted dc in a family it is also common for one to act up and the other to be compliant. Both are hurting just as much and you may also need help and support on how to help him.

Lilka Thu 01-Sep-11 13:54:07

I'm sorry things are so hard at the moment sad I can safely say I've had such bad times with two of mine (especially DD1) I considered disrupting the adoption. DD1 had so many problems for the first few years - then things starting improvingh drastically a few months after we actually accessed really good therapy. Good post-adoption support is so dependent on where you live (our CAMHS is good) and the support worker you get and the attitude of the placing/local authority. Didn't get the therapy in place till we got a change in PASW, I was beyond relieved. DD2 quite similar story (but to give you some hope it is so much better now smile ) And yes, in my LA we have good post adoption support generally

And even though it's so much easier now, I still am looking forward to school restarting just for the peace and a little less oppositional behavior.Summer holidays don't help since your son lost the school routine he was used to - mine always behave worse in the holidays. And the adoption order going through may have pulled up some complcated emotions for him that he needs to work through

Are you seeing post adoption support at the moment? Are they or you suggesting anything for DS? Sounds like you all need additional support (you as well as him, it's so hard to live with traumatised child, and if you don't take care of yourself, it becomes next to impossible to parent in a therapeutic way) How are you dealing with his really challenging behavior at the moment?

I really hope things improve soon

KristinaM Thu 01-Sep-11 15:34:59

I agree, please ask NOW for therapeutic input for BOTH your sons. Dont wait until it gets worse. The referral process is very slow.

NeverendingStoryteller Thu 01-Sep-11 22:27:51

You guys are amazing - thank you so much for being so supportive and helping me through a really crappy day yesterday.

The post adoption support worker is coming for his first visit on Monday, so we'll know what support he's going to offer once we've met, although he's been very vocal about ensuring that a CAMHS referral is something that we might like to consider. My husband and I also have support from a specialist service - we can get therapeutic parenting advice from them in 'therapy-style' sessions, when we need it - they're back from holidays next week, so we'll make an appointment. The post adoption support worker, bless him, listened to me for an hour and a half on the phone the other day, and he has suggested we might need some respite, too. We'll see what happens on Monday.

Lilka, thank you so much for your response - your honest was so refreshing. We've told the PASW that we aren't looking for a disruption, but I must say that it has cropped up in our conversations after some of our darker days. We're looking for an improvement - some strategy and support so that the number of days like yesterday decreases. Small steps, and all that... Thank you for assuring me that looking forward to offloading them back to school is normal - he he!

The good news is that we had a lovely day with both boys today - good behaviour on the whole, and a real effort from DS7 to manage his behaviour.

Thank you all again grin

RandomMess Fri 02-Sep-11 22:15:27

Lovely to here that you've had a great day.

I have 4 dds (all bio) the drive me nuts at times, they are so ready to go back to school, the bickering and the being "difficult" deliberately - arggggggggggghhh!

Kewcumber Sat 03-Sep-11 11:38:24

"What's hilarious is that all the professionals were more concerned about DS5 and his 'attachment difficulties'" but attachment isn't the only difficulty that adopted childrne can present with. It may well be that his behaviour is (in his mind) the best way to display what he's feeling (sorry a bit woo-woo there!) and teh best way of testing you (you've got to admit that deliberately throwing up your food is an excellent way of testing you!).

Anyway my point is not that I have any idea what his problmes are but that just becasue he was deemed to be the child that would more easily attach, it doesn't mean that the professionals were wrong (though of course not ruling that out!) it could just be there is somehting additional going on.

Glad it sounds like you are well supported and yes, its totally normal to be thrilled at school restarting and you have more reasons than most. DS (5) has relatively few issues and we have had on balance a nice summer but I will be skipping out of school drop off on Weds with a big relieved smile on my face.

Like this => grin

NeverendingStoryteller Sat 03-Sep-11 14:59:57

Kewcumber - I think you minunderstand - I have two adopted children - it is my 7 year old who is presenting with difficulties at the moment, not my 5 year old. The professionals all thought there would be problems with the 5 year old though. They thought my 7 yo would be fine, and that we would struggle with the 5 year old - - it has turned out to be the other way around...

NeverendingStoryteller Sat 03-Sep-11 15:01:21

Sorry, or have I misunderstood your post?

gillybean2 Sat 03-Sep-11 15:06:00

I think kewcumber is refering to her 5 year old ds. But I may be wrong!

Kewcumber Sat 03-Sep-11 19:19:55

yes you misundestand me (though thats easy to do!)

I meant that just because your 5 year old was deemed more likely to have attachment problems than your 7 year old that doesn't mean the professional are wrong because its your 7 yr old having more difficulties - not all adoption problems are attachment related. I only pointed it out because you said you felt like you couldn;t trust the professional if they got it so wrong - but they not have been worng (about the atachment stuff).

I'm sure you know that food and aggression (and sleep) problems are incredibly common in adoptive children and not necessarily related to any attachment disorder. My DS is well attached (although he continues to have separation issues) and even he had/has sleep issues and food issues - not in the same league as yours and the food issues resolved within a few months.

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