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What am I called?

(99 Posts)
Bananaketchup Wed 04-Sep-13 14:24:05

First day of intros - only 1 1/2 hours but I think it went well and included a kiss from DS and DD giving me a pile of her toys to bring back with me which seemed like a really good sign!

However - I don't know what my name is. FC, SW and DD's therapist are all calling me Banana, to and in front of DCs. As in, 'show Banana this', 'Banana will be back tomorrow'. Therapist has done DD a chart of the intros plan and on every day there are parts with 'FCs name' and parts with 'Banana' written down. When I met FCs we talked very briefly about me being called mummy or mummy Banana, but it wasn't discussed at the intros planning meeting. FCs are first time FCs and LAC SW is new to adoption - my SW isn't but is on holiday. Don't know about the therapist.

I'm not sure if I'm over thinking it, or expecting too much for a first day, I just feel uncomfortable with the adults calling by my name to DCs I think. I know DD has talked about me as her 'forever mummy' but I'm being called by my name by the adults to her. Today she showed me photos and keepsakes from mummy and daddy and of course I'm not going to push her to call me mummy if she doesn't want to, but am I wrong in thinking the adults concerned should be having a go at referring to me as mummy to her?

Sorry if this is a bit muddled, I'm trying to process. Thoughts please.

Janek Wed 04-Sep-13 14:32:06

When my good friend adopted she and her husband were referred to by the children (and presumably everyone else otherwise they'd have been confused) as mummy and daddy. Which was obviously quite weird for them, but when do you start being 'mummy' if not when you're introduced? Sounds wrong and i would query it asap.

AngelsWithSilverWings Wed 04-Sep-13 14:36:37

I was called Mummy all through introductions. The SW and FC would all address me as Mummy in front of DS.

Seems odd to call you by your first name.

cedar12 Wed 04-Sep-13 15:37:06

I was called mummy from the beginning ds didn't say for a while but he was a lot younger 20months. My friend who adopted a older child her mummy then her name.

Exellis Wed 04-Sep-13 15:59:21

I waa also called mummy from day one of intros. Certainly sounds confusing and I would definitely question it

Lilka Wed 04-Sep-13 16:53:56

How old is your DD again?

I was introduced as 'Lilka' not mum to my daughters, who were 10 and 7 (DD2 turned 8 part way through intros). I also introduced myself as Lilka in the book I gave them before intros.

I think you'll be fine, and I guess this is going to follow the same pattern it did with DD2

She called me 'Lilka' the first few days, then changed to 'mummy Lilka', for the rest of intros and a few weeks after she came home it was just 'mummy'.

The change to 'mummy Lilka' was led by the foster carers. The change to just mummy was all her own choice - I felt it was going to happen very naturally in a few weeks because she was already using the word mummy and I waited for her to be ready. One day she just stopped using my first name.

It wasn't confusing for her because she understood that all adults have first names as well as titles. So she was fine with the concept of my first name being Lilka and me being called mummy as well

I think with your DD, especially because she knows you as 'forever mummy' I would ask the foster carers to refer to you as 'Mummy Banana' in her presence. Once she starts calling you mummy Banana it should be a natural change to mummy once she feels comfortable. As long as she understands the concept of all adults having first names it shouldn't be confusing for her

Congratulations also grin

Lilka Wed 04-Sep-13 17:00:10

Also, does your DD call her birth mum 'mummy'? My DD2 did so if I had been called only 'mummy' at the start she might have mistakenly thought her birth mum was coming to visit and then been disappointed or confused. That can be another good reason to do a transition of names

Bananaketchup Wed 04-Sep-13 17:06:26

Thanks all, it was such a lovely/strange/emotional day that I wasn't sure if I had hold of the wrong end of the stick in terms of what is usual, or if it's because FCs and SW aren't experienced in adoption. DD is almost 5, and obviously calls FCs by their names - I suppose what I felt especially in seeing the chart the therapist had made, with the FCs name and my name, was that it made it seem like I am another FC? That might be me projecting my feelings, I'm sure it wasn't the therapist's intention. I will try to get a quiet moment with FC tomorrow and ask if we can try 'mummy Banana'.

DD was shy and wouldn't be in the room with me when I arrived. By about 45 minutes later we were in her bedroom alone together and she was piling her toys on her bed for me to take home. She helped me carry the bag to the car and put it in! grin

Bananaketchup Wed 04-Sep-13 17:11:59

Sorry x post Lilka, DD referred to birth mum as mummy to me today, and showed me her photo and a drawing they'd done together at contact; when she spoke to the therapist on Monday she called her 'old mummy'. I'm more than happy to be 'mummy Banana' for as long as she wants. I was just a bit taken aback and unsure that the adults weren't referring to me as that. If DD doesn't go for it that's okay, I do want the adults to do it though I think. I think it makes it less likely DD will call me that if the adults don't.

AngelsWithSilverWings Wed 04-Sep-13 17:55:28

It makes more sense to me now knowing that your DD has had recent contact with her birth mother.

My DCs were only 10 months and had only had contact a couple of times so they had never really had anyone known as mummy before me if you see what an mean. DS's birth mum uses her first name when writing to him and has always done so.

Lilka Wed 04-Sep-13 18:00:29

Sounds great smile My DD1 hid behind furniture when I came the first day! Took her ages to come into the same room as me and then she went behind the sofa in there!

I do agree the adults should start using 'Mummy Banana' at least, given her young age. However I don't think your DD is old enough to fully understand the difference between an FC and an adoptive family yet - she will with a bit more time, but for now I don't think you being called your first name is going to change what she thinks about what's happening to her.

I hope I can be a reassuring example for you - what she calls you these first few days can change very easily, and at her age she should transition to mummy pretty easily whatever you are called in introductions smile

Bananaketchup Wed 04-Sep-13 19:04:51

Angels yes contact with birth mum has been very recent. Goodbye visits with various members of extended family only happened last month.

Yes it is reassuring thanks Lilka. Back tomorrow hopefully she will talk to me again!

TeenAndTween Thu 05-Sep-13 20:40:46

Another one here who thinks 'Mummy Banana' is the way to go.
We used this for our intro books, but the (very experienced) FC referred to us as Mummy and Daddy straight away.

(Birth Mum referred to as 'Mummy X'.)

Hope all going well.

Bananaketchup Thu 05-Sep-13 20:47:20

Update - I raised the naming issue with FC when we were alone today and she took it on the chin and said she'd be aware of calling me 'mummy Banana' from now on. Had a lovely day, some times of rejection when FC suggested I do things for DD which FC would usually do, but lots of playing together and although she hasn't called me 'mummy', I did hear her say to FC 'I'm playing a game with my mum' grin

However, a new day brings a new dilemma. DD showed me some photo albums from birth family: baby photos, photos with captions of mummy, daddy, auntie whoever etc. Okay. However, one has written on the inside cover something along the lines of ' from your nanny x, with loads of love until you come back to us again'. Now DD can't read yet but she will be able to, and I don't want her to read that. However, she's already been given the photo album. I'm kind of impotently cross - it shouldn't be me pointing out what the professionals involved should be calling me, and it shouldn't be me having to say this isn't appropriate and shouldn't have been given as it is, but that ship has now sailed. Suggestions please?

AngelsWithSilverWings Thu 05-Sep-13 21:14:55

We have a few of these things with messages etc from birth family.

We have a treasure boxes for our two. They have one which has stuff like soft toys and keepsakes etc. These are stored in their bedrooms but on a high shelf so that they have to ask us to get them down so that they can look at them with us.

Other more sensitive stuff goes in a storage box that we keep separately with the intention of showing to them when they are mature enough to deal with the contents.

Lilka Thu 05-Sep-13 21:33:39

That's a shame, yes the professionals shoud have said something to you at the very least. It should be obvious the issue with this

I have lots of the same kind of stuff for my younger two, including both photo albums and loose photos. Also presents etc

I agree with Angels

What I did for my DS, was to gather the uncaptioned/loose photos into an album and caption some of them myself. Then he has photographs, but appropriate ones, whenever he wants to look at them. There's also the life story book, which I made myself with things passed from SS, containing a couple of photos and a family tree.

The things with 'granny misses you very much' etc written over them (including a little album/scrapbook) got put away safely. I've told him that I have other stuff but told him that it's for when he's a bit older. He's not at all interested

(I didn't do that with DD2 who had most things freely available to look at, but that was different because she was older. I think the approach you take with your DD would be the younger child approach)

Bananaketchup Fri 06-Sep-13 07:23:57

Okay thanks guys, Its seems there is free access to the photos in FC but hopefully at home we can have the appropriate things around and the less appropriate stuff put away for later.

Moomoomie Fri 06-Sep-13 13:44:49

Glad the intros are going well. It is such am emotional time.
It is fortunate that dd can't read yet and hopefully by the time she is able to read the captions she will be more settled, and you may be able to put that particular photo album away.
Our older two girls were given a bible each from grandparents with " until we meet again " aspartame of the inscription. This was actually nice and reassuring as we have a good letterbox relationship with them.
Continuing to think of you this week.

Bananaketchup Sat 07-Sep-13 16:02:00

Sorry guys, need to catch up properly on what's been going on with everyone, I've been in a hotel for some of intros with no wifi! I am now mummy - DD both talks about me as mummy, and calls me mummy to my face grin. FC has been an absolute star, so supportive.

The longer the intros go on, the less I think the professionals involved have a clue though - FC questioned her SW about giving DD the photo albums and was told she had to do so. DD's therapist has also told DD she can have them in her room and look at them whenever she wants to - that is my decision, not the therapist's, and although I would never stop DD looking at birth family photos when she wants to, I do not want them in her room where she can look at them by herself, I feel she needs support for this, and I feel the therapist has stepped outside her remit by saying this. She has also told DD she can have something and got her excited about it, which DD is going to have, but not immediately. Not good.

Another question (sorry) - did anyone else find the stress of intros coming out physically? I'm not sleeping, have a cold, have thrown up twice and started randomly shivering this morning. I definitely feel like it's not a genuine illness, I think it's the stress of being in a strangers home for hours every day ( as lovely as they are), all the emotional stuff to process plus long hours of driving, coming out as physical symptoms. It's really weird. I hope everyone is okay and will catch up properly soon I hope!

Moomoomie Sat 07-Sep-13 16:21:03

So glad she is calling you mum.
I totally agree that the professionals do not have a clue. I remember when we adopted our first two girls twelve years ago, the SW said, I had to stop her having a bottle of milk for comfort and so many other dreadful things.
Remember you are her mum, you make the decisions, go with what your hart is telling you.
I went against so much advice, but looking back now I am so glad I did.
You will soon be home, just the two of you, you can lock the doors and enjoy being her mum.
Oh, and yes, I felt so ill. tired and emotional during intros. It is so draining, so don't forget to look after yourself too. X

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 07-Sep-13 19:11:12

I'm glad intros are going well and you have got the name sorted.

I agree you need to trust your instincts - if something feels very wrong it probably is. Some stuff is just different to how you would do it and you just need to suck it up until you get DD home (eg jammy dodgers for a snack at 9am grin)

And do look after yourself! I didn't get physically sick, but I was sooooo tired!

When do you hope to be home with DD?

Lilka Sat 07-Sep-13 21:29:17

I'm so glad to hear it's going well and you are now 'Mummy' smile

Sorry to hear you aren't feeling well though. Intros are stressful and exhausting even if you are really happy all the time. I certainly felt exhausted, anxious and a bit sick at times. Look after yourself as much as you can

I completely agree you have to trust your instincts and do what you feel is right

How long are your intros going to be?

Bananaketchup Sun 08-Sep-13 08:03:46

Thanks guys. I'm just trying to accept feeling crap physically is how my body is dealing with the anxiety and stress. When we are together it's lovely and I feel much better physically, it's only when I get up, the drive over and then after I leave that it kicks in! Re photo albums you're right, I need to do what I feel is right. It bugs me though, both the FC and I think it's wrong but the 'professionals' don't see the issues when it seems so obvious to me. Not too much longer now - day out with grandparents included today, days at home together Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday is the review meeting then just a couple of hours at FCs, then Thursday morning we come home! grin

Piffyonarock Wed 11-Sep-13 00:22:12

Glad to hear that everything is going well Banana, hope you're feeling better. I found being in someone elses home really draining too. Hope the transition home is going well.

Lilka Wed 11-Sep-13 00:33:20

Hope everythings going well Banana smile

In 36 hours time you'll be on your way home/home already!!

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