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

Struggling at the moment

(148 Posts)
YouAreMyRain Sun 30-Jun-13 21:28:35

This will be long so I apologise. (I have name changed for this, if anyone recognises me, I would prefer not to be "outed" or linked to my usual nn.)

I have 2 Adopted DDs, they are half siblings. DD1 came home at 2.4 and DD1 came home 14 months later at 1.7

DD1 was placed 5yrs ago and is now 7yo. Her behaviour has always been challenging, she is very anxious and aggressive. Very insecure emotionally, very low self esteem.

I separated from my H 16 months ago, he was not coping well with fatherhood, his behaviours were abusive and SS were involved after one incident.

Since then I have been a single parent. A couple of months after STBXH moved out, I was suddenly hospitalised with a critical illness for 10 days. This separation was traumatic for DDs, esp DD1 who thought that I had died, despite being reassured to the contrary. STBXH refused to bring them to visit me in hospital, which didn't help.

Seven months ago DD1's behaviour escalated, I got her referred to CAMHS, before we were seen, it got to the point where I found her trying to jump out of an upstairs window to kill herself because she had people in her head telling her that she was stupid.

We got seen urgently and they are currently still involved. They decided that because her issues are connected to attachment and loss, that establishing a therapeutic relationship with her that then came to an end, would be upsetting and counter productive. So I have regular meetings with a CAMHS psychotherapist who has met her once, so that her issues can be worked with through her primary attachment with me.

The problem is that there seems very little improvement in her behaviour. She is very defiant, rude, violent, dishonest, angry etc. She still hates herself and wants to kill herself. She "knows" that I don't love her and she says that she wants to kill me, her sister etc

According to experts/professionals, I am doing everything right and handling her really well and they are very impressed with the therapeutic parenting that I am doing and how I am using "PACE" etc.

But it's so hard.

She is also soiling herself repeatedly, including at the dinner table.

Basically it feels like parenting her is a five person job but there is only me doing it. I just give and give and give and give and she constantly kicks me in the teeth. I don't blame her, I know she can't help it but I am exhausted with it all.

The status quo is shit and just maintaining that everyday is totally draining. I feel completely burnt out. Last night, for the first time, I felt like its all too much for me and that the placement may breakdown.

Post-adoption support have been useless. They offered me a handful of visits with a random SW. I asked for the SW who worked with us for 3yrs and who knows us inside out but that's not an option. I can't see how a strange SW visiting a few times will help at all, whenever I ring for advice they tell me to ask CAMHS what to do, CAMHS tell me to ask post adoption support.

I am currently pregnant with my new partner (we don't live together) after 12 yrs of infertility with my STBXH. I know that this has unsettled her but it feels like it is only going to get worse when the baby is born.

She say that she knows I will love the baby more than her and she wants to kill the baby etc, I don't react or take any of this at face value because I know that she is traumatised and hurting.

I don't want this placement to break down but I have nothing left to give sad

YouAreMyRain Thu 04-Jul-13 23:14:10

STBXH = soon to be ex husband.

I will shout and chase it up the chain, definitely.

Italiangreyhound Thu 04-Jul-13 23:25:22

Rain definitely find out about the respite before you turn it down. Make sure it is not suitable because it just might be.

It's good that you are thinking what would work for you and your DD. At least if you can visualise what would work you can fight for it.

Good luck.

fasparent Fri 05-Jul-13 10:59:25

Hi Try this not respite but affordable holiday for all including groups can accommodate around 30, cost I think around £450 for 30 a week. individual's pro rata. Referral's can be made via LA's also .
www. Mellor County

Piffyonarock Mon 08-Jul-13 20:08:24

Hi Rain,

Hope you've had a good weekend, and the children too. Hope you're all OK.

Italiangreyhound Mon 08-Jul-13 20:23:48

Yes, thinking of you Rain.

YouAreMyRain Wed 10-Jul-13 21:59:21

PAS are still just sympathising and asking me why I don't want to go to one of their coffee mornings (as that is the only support they can offer me).

DD1 is away at my sisters having a fab time and I (and DD2) are/am having some breathing space.

Have a meeting at CAMHS tomorrow, hopefully that will be positive in terms of what additional support they can offer.

Italiangreyhound Wed 10-Jul-13 22:11:34

Good luck Rain. Maybe you should go to a coffee morning and just bore the t*ts off them with your current problems and ask really specific questions like 'what can I do.' 'what can you offer.' to any professional there. Or are they all just harrested parents??

YouAreMyRain Thu 11-Jul-13 10:00:50

Mainly other adoptive parents with a SW or two to mingle and facilitate. They also offer "social and discussion evenings" around a set theme but with no input from any professionals apart from telling us to get in groups and chat about the given theme eg "education". So you just hear everyone else's woes without anything constructive or useful going on at all hmm.

YouAreMyRain Thu 11-Jul-13 18:00:05

Had CAMHS meeting, they will actually be doing some direct work with DD1 around her feelings towards the baby! Phew! I am so relieved

Piffyonarock Thu 11-Jul-13 20:06:02

Praise be! That's something anyway, sounds like it is badly needed.

About the coffee mornings, good lord! It would be tempting to go just to loudly complain about being brushed off and embarrass to SWs, but I don't suppose that would acheive anything. One thing with adopting, you get mad but you never want to get the SWs offside, no wonder the service isn't always so great. Italian's approach might be better smile.

YouAreMyRain Thu 11-Jul-13 22:33:30

Also, these coffee mornings have people who have not yet been assessed/matched. Basically a really diverse group.

How can I meet other people in situations more similar to mine (I'm not asking to meet another pregnant single parent of two adopted DC, one of whom is a suicidal seven yr old, - unlikely!!- but at least if they had a bit more in common) the last coffee morning I went to everyone I got the courage to start chatting to wasn't even matched yet. Not very useful to me, selfishly.

fasparent Thu 11-Jul-13 23:04:13

If you see your community paediatrician ask for a referral too Genetic
consultant at genetics clinic, We followed this route for two of ours one aged 3 months and one at 10 years, similar problems, both were diagnosed with congenital conditions. We were able too apply correct interventions, educational statement's and support, both where home schooled , with support of Education dept. and local schools.
They are now both adults , in full time employment , independent and driving.

Italiangreyhound Thu 11-Jul-13 23:34:14

Rain good news about the progress. Keep pushing, every thing that gets you closer now to what you want will be worth it. Do you have your wish list of what you want? thin kof it like ocunting down to Christmas, the more things you can get for your situation the more you can cross off and the closer Christmas will be!

Good luck, and the carrot for Rudolph and the mince pue for Santa? Why coffee and cake for social workers. Can they be bribed with snacks to make them more effective!! wink

PS Look after you and your unborn baby... lots of rest, good food, make your ex pull his weight, get your DP to treat you like a queen, back rubs, food cravings, the works. Thinking of you.

Italiangreyhound Thu 11-Jul-13 23:35:08

thin kof it like ocunting down to Christmas, should be

think of it like counting down to Christmas,

and mince pie not mince pue!!!

Maryz Thu 11-Jul-13 23:52:59

Some years ago I was the parent of a suicidal 7 year old adopted ds1, an adopted 5 year old dd and a home-grown (accidental surprise) 3 year old ds2, so I really feel for you.

I don't know how to tell you to get help, or where you should go, and I really don't envy you. But our story has a pretty happy ending, so I will just offer you some (((((((((((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))))))) and good wishes.

And I want to point out something someone (probably Flow4) said on a teenager thread. Sometimes being a parent involves looking after yourself first. She used the analogy of the oxygen masks on an aeroplane. You are told to fit your own mask first, and then your children's. Because if you die of oxygen deprivation, you can't help them.

So keep going, keep fighting. I would consider splitting the girls' time with their dad if necessary so you can give both some one-to-one time before the baby arrives. If dd1 likes your sister, then time for each child with her might also help. But most of all, be nice to yourself.

I know you want to stay in cognito, but you aren't anywhere near me are you?

Bananaketchup Fri 12-Jul-13 10:06:35

Rain I'm so glad they are going to do some direct work with DD, I'm so glad you got that for her. Thinking about you.

LOL at your description of the coffee mornings - I went to one locally when I was first enquiring about adoption, it was full of middle class marrieds (I live in a vary naice town) looking pityingly on me as a singly - one literally patted my hand and said 'you'll have to get your neighbours to do that' every time someone mentioned their DP doing the washing up or swapping tasks with them when they got stressed etc. I never went back!

Piffyonarock Fri 12-Jul-13 10:47:58

<pats Banana and Rain on the head, and runs away cackling>


Lilka Fri 12-Jul-13 14:49:32

I agree with Maryz, look after yourself x I know I've been trying hard to follow her advice and it does help in difficult times

The direct CAMHS work sounds like a step forward, I hope it can happen soon and be helpful to your DD

Italiangreyhound Sat 20-Jul-13 10:22:11

How's it going? Any news Rain?

ConstantCraving Sun 21-Jul-13 21:29:54

You need help from specialists. This organisation is excellent; Family Futures - but it does cost.

YouAreMyRain Mon 22-Jul-13 19:53:38

I have been avoiding the calls from PA"S", can't stand the hand wringing and lack of any actual help. The SW who has been not doing anything "dealing" with my case managed to catch me out earlier and got through to me.

After plenty of "oh dear"s and "that's very hard"s they said "How are you going to cope over the summer? That's going to be really difficult isn't it?"

I had enough at this point and just told them that empathy was all well and good but that I am not getting any benefit from the phone calls as they can't actually help me!!! Aaaarggh! angryhmm

YouAreMyRain Mon 22-Jul-13 19:54:33

I can't afford Family Futures hmm

Piffyonarock Mon 22-Jul-13 21:34:24

Don't blame you for telling the SW Rain, they might as well use the time they're phoning you up to do something practical. I'd be tempted to e-mail complaining about it - it makes me think they are only phoning so that they can say they were supporting you if they are called to account if things go belly up, but they are not actually helping you by the sounds of it.

So, you've had a bit of a move in the right direction with CAMHS since you first posted. Have you found anything else out that might be useful e.g. Barnardos or Homestart contacts?

It looks like Family Futures have a Crisis Fund, might it be worth giving them a call in case they can help you without charge, or a reduced one?

How did DD enjoy her little break with your sister? Is everything still the same at home or have things settled down a bit?

Hope you're feeling OK and a bit less overwhelmed than when you first posted.

Piffyonarock Mon 22-Jul-13 21:45:19

If nothing else, might it be worth e-mailing your PAS team with the link to Family Furtures to see if they can a)fund some for you and/or b) see the costings they give to compare helping a family as oppose to a child being returned to care?

Italiangreyhound Fri 26-Jul-13 21:42:43

Can you email social worker to ask what she is now going to do?

So sorry to hear they are still not being helpful.

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