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Trying to get my head round being a grandparent who has been treated so badly.(29 Posts)
After a shaky end to 2013 and a very traumatic 2014 to date. I thought I would spend some time trying to get my head round this adoption fiasco from my view point and try and get some information from Adopters to try and make me feel 'better' about my loss. Try and see what Adopters are writing about their experiences and it seems it is not as rosy as I had thought it would be. It seems that adopters can be left in a pickle too. Especially if they don't have support or dodgy SW to deal with. Adoption UK has not been very helpful as it seems I am from the wrong client group. the Grandparents assn I thought might be of more help but again they don't seem too friendly with forced adoptions. There but for the Grace of....
As a professional myself, RGN and ex SCM I found that the LA we dealt with were bordering on the criminal and needed an aggressive visit from the CQC. If I thought I dealt with patients like they did with us I would deserve to be struck off.
Loosing my grandchild through no fault of my own or my son and problems with the first letterbox to us has been chaos emotionally. I am not used to being written to with such 'ill feeling'. I am just hoping it was first letter nerves. We are trying to write a reply without being sarcastic and make things worse next time. There was no support for me and her Grandad throughout the whole of the SS proceedings. We felt like ships adrift with no hope. The first letter was a like a bombshell which left us wondering what the adopters had been told about us. Did they think we were monsters too?
We have no faith in the SS and we has hoped for some sort of comfort from the adopters. We thought they may understand or have had some training in how to help extended family who get letterbox. Is there anything anyone could suggest we try to break the ice, or do we just have to put up with what we get. I have no faith in the system that has treated us so badly and we had hoped for better from the people who will be looking after our grand child for the next 16 years. We are still waiting permission for getting photographs, so we can put them with our family ones in our new house. A house we had to move to during the guardianship fiasco which was doomed to fail we found out too late. Also is it allowed to write one to the adoptive parent and one to my Grandchild for when they get older? How will I know if they are shown them? I have huge trust issues at the moment. I just need reassurances from people who are doing it. I cannot and never will be able to trust what the SS tell me.
I am sorry to hear about this. I was talking to a Guardian in court today about indirect contact and he told me about research which shows that indirect contact can cause harm, for precisely the reasons you describe. I think this research should be more widely spread as I had no idea - we are always told it is the 'usual' approach to post adoption contact.
It must feel very raw and horrible at the moment and I do think you have to give it some time. If you can, write back a friendly chatty letter and just stress that you would love to be updated about how your grandchild is doing. If you send back anything negative or sarcastic this will probably derail the whole thing.
We also heard evidence today from a child psychologist who pointed out the real use of contact for an adoptive child was to allow him to know the 'reality' of his birth family so there weren't any shocks in the years to come when the child wants to seek out his birth family; this is a pretty common desire.
Is there any counselling or support you could get to get your through this difficult time? have you tried the British Association of Adoption and Fostering?
I'm so sorry that you've been having such a rough time. You sound very distressed, and understandably so.
My feeling about indirect contact - and this is only going on my own experience, so may not be typical - is that it's all a bit tokenistic. During preparation for adoption it's talked up as A Good Thing, but when we finally got it we were surprised at how little priority is actually given to it. A social worker told me that, typically, adopters write their contact letters but the birth families don't reply (I say that without judgement; I think we can all imagine why). So they have filing cabinets full of unanswered contact letters that are basically there so that social workers and adoptive parents can say to the children when they are adult that they did at least try. In practice, I have had no reminders from our agency, no guidance on how to write the letters, I have to nag them every year to let me know if the birth parents have replied (they haven't yet).
All of which leads me to: I don't know why you have had arsey letters from the adopters - they may be horrible people, they may have been told something horrible about you, or maybe they and you have not been adequately prepared and are not sharing the same expectations of indirect contact. To be honest, I can't imagine why they wrote to you with ill feeling. Personally, I wouldn't agree to contact if I couldn't do it with courtesy - what is the point? I see it as me honouring the fact that, whatever went wrong, these people are my daughter's birth parents and the least they deserve is to know that she is safe and healthy and loved.
But on the other hand, I am struck by you saying, "We thought they may understand or have had some training in how to help extended family who get letterbox". I don't think they will see it as their job to help you, to be frank. And I do think you need help to cope with the enormity of the loss you have suffered, but it isn't for the adopters to provide that. Bear in mind, too, that they will presumably be preserving confidentiality - it can be hard to write a letter that tells birth family some of what they want and need to hear, without giving away identifying information. Could it be that their letter is stilted and cool, rather than unfriendly?
Going forward, I can only advise you to keep writing, keep courteous and acknowledge that these people are your grandchild's parents now. By all means tell them what kind of information you would love to hear, if they feel able to share it, and of your hopes that continuing contact can be meaningful and positive for all involved, but most especially your grandchild who is the most important person in this. You may want to put in a covering note for the letterbox co-ordinator to ask if you have got the tone right and whether you are saying anything inappropriate.
And, what Spero said: please do get some help for yourselves.
I'm really sorry to hear that the first letter was not good
Adoptive parents don't get a lot of guidance on what to write, some local authorities don't really give any. Your grandchilds adoptive parents might have had some general pointers but probably not a lot more than that. I remember being left to figure it out myself. I think lots of people struggle with how to write and present it and what tone to take. For my first letter to DD2's birth mum, I wanted to be chatty and friendly, and yet I was really worried that if I was too informal, it would come off wrong, like I wasn't taking it seriously, or something like that. Very difficult to write and I was still worried that I'd said the wrong thing
I think nowadays a lot of adopters are advised to write like it's a report, rather than a chatty letter. So like, write an A4 page with headings like "School", "Health" etc, and avoid any chatty paragraphs
I prefer to still write a chatty letter with the slightly increased risk of accidently saying something which causes offence, but I can see why some people struggle with that format
I think in your reply, try your best to be friendly and chatty, and give information on how you are all doing, any significant family news (births, deaths etc), any significant things you've done this year, if there's any information or anecdotes about your grandchilds early life that you think your grandchild might like to know about in future, include that, you can ask any questions you'd like an answer to about your grandchild
Who you are writing to, really should have been told to you. It's social services fault if they haven't told everyone what's happening.
If you don't know who you're writing to, I would say always write addressed to the adoptive parents, and I would write only to them, because it's usually the rule that letters don't go directly to the child, and so IMHO its safer to not do it. It's possible to my mind that SS have agreed with the adoptive parents that letters don't go to the child, and then forgotten to tell you that (which is stupid but that's SS for you)
However if you are up to it, I would contact SS and ask them exactly what the letterbox agreement is - who you're writing to etc.
You won't know whether your GC sees the letters, I'm afraid. Most adoptive parents don't show very young children letters and leave it until they are a bit older (at least school age, but often about 6-8) to talk about it. This is partly to avoid confusing a young child, but also because a lot of birth families write the first letter but then stop and never write again, and most adoptive families will therefore not talk to their child about it until they are reasonable sure that the letters aren't going to just stop. They don't want to tell their child and then have their child say in a years time "where's the letter" and it never arrive
I hope that's in some way helpful to you. I am really sorry letterbox has started in a bad way, and I really hope it gets better
ps. Like Devora, I wonder if they didn't actually mean any ill-feelling, but they didnt know how to write and chose a tone that came off badly, which they didn't mean to happen. I don't know.
I also agree that contact is likely to go well if you can acknowlege the adoptive parents as your GC's parents in your letter, in some way. This might make them feel more friendly and comfortable?
Indirect contact is definitely often very difficult for everyone, and everyone involved, child, adoptive and birth family, all have my sympathies. There needs to be more information and guidance out there for everyone
Interestingly in my case today the Guardian is really pushing for post adoption direct contact as he thinks it will benefit the children to know the reality of their birth parents. BUT given that I am dubious about what kind of on going support will be available to make this work I can see it backfiring. If it is so hard to make letter box contact work, surely direct contact is going to be even harder without the right support.
We really do need much more honest and open discussion about how to make these kind of things work. It has to be in the children's best interests. The worst case scenario seems to be when young teenagers seek out birth families utterly unprepared.
Thank you for taking the time with the replies. I have 16 letters to write. I want to be found and I do not want to be thought of as the monster I know that SS made us look like for their own reasons during the guardianship hearing.I have to trust someone sooner or later and my grand child's new family are my only hope. I am just hoping it was first letter nerves and the letters will improve as the years go on. Getting information from the A&P team is so difficult, it is almost like they want us to give up so they can prove We abandoned our grandchild so we won't ever get to meet in what seems like a lifetime. It doesn't help it was them who stabbed us in the back. It could have been so much different if they just were polite or gave us some direction for information that would help.
It was the court who determined we should have the letterbox. After the criminal trial we now have to wait for, the judge said some direct contact may be requested. I can only see that happening of we hang our son out to dry when we give evidence. Short of a summary execution.....
Counselling did not work for us. I really don't think the counsellor knew what to do or say, despite being experienced in bereavement, because basically that is what it is. It may be something we return to in the future we are still so very angry at how this was all dealt with. The lies that were told and the incompetence of doctors and other health professionals. To think I can never trust people I have worked with ever again. The thought of being a patient there is out of the question. My Retirement cannot come soon enough so I can be out of it. The cost of counselling is prohibitive after a huge legal bill and nothing to see for it.
I have noted some of your comments and have a few anecdotes to include. I have seen a poem and have a few photographs to add from the first birthday party we were allowed. Songs which remind us of our time together. There are so many of us on our side of the family. Each year they will be eager to hear how things are going. Her birthday is the same day as her Dads cousin and it will remain a double celebration regardless. Her great grandparents will never forget either and it is a shame that they did not all get to meet her in person.
I really do hope that her new parents realise how much we love her and want her to know this while being loved by them too. We do not want to steal their thunder, a glimpse of the rainbow is all we ask.
Clake - thank you for posting. Your mention of a criminal trial makes me think that the adoptive parents of your GC probably never met him. Do you know if there is any chance you could request a "meeting" with the adoptive parents? I know one adopter who met the grandparents rather than the daughter (who was the birth mother) due to age of daughter and other reasons although I think this was hugely an exception?
As adoptive parents, we are often encouraged to meet the birth parents (or at least the birth mother) once. Having read your post, it makes me think that in some circumstances - esp where a court orders indirect contact with Grandparents - there should be a possibility of GPs meeting the adoptive parents. I am probably being too idealistic.
Can't really add to what Devora and Lilka have said but do remember that, even if your letters aren't given by the adoptive parents to the child, they will remain on his file which your GC will be able to access when 18.
As for the criminal trial, if he is found not guilty as he should be I am wondering how that affects the situation. His family legal team literally fed him to the wolves. I am just hoping that the adoptive family will not be too judgemental with what information we have told they will be given. If we had succeeded as guardians we were told that we would have to make sure we told about all the injuries and how they happened and her parents were dangerous. If adoptive parents are told the same thing how will we ever have a chance worst case scenario if it is used to protect them against us. Are you told things like that, to ensure the LA still has a way of punishing the parents ensuring that the child as they grow older are less likely to seek out family.
From reading other threads it seems like some families are told hardly anything.
The SS even though we were interveners and applied for guardianship, will not speak to us directly, even though the A&P team promised support through the process.
I noted that there was a comment to make sure the new family were aware of possible medical problems. Inherited disorder etc. I need to know that if my grandchild has learning difficulties, that they are aware of the incompetance of a medical procedure will most likely be the cause rather than anything the parents were 'responsible for'
My greatest hope is that the adoptive parents will see in any letters we send that we are not evil. If I can get my son to write as well that he is not evil either. All we want is for them to have an open mind.
Asking to see them is something I would like to do, I would have to go through my son and because the SW is SO vindictive to expect no for an answer but will never know if the parents were ever asked. However if I don't ask I will never know. It's all the uncertainties and the lack of openness that I have so much difficulty with. I respect the confidentiality bit. But it's all the secret squirrel stuff from those in authority.
Had my son done anything and it was so obviously definite it would be so much easier that we 'lost'. If his partner was responsible again we would see why this all happened.
As a nurse I have colleagues who we simply cannot 'sack' ! Any of you out there who work for health and social care teams will know people who are grossly incompetent. For the past 18/12 I have been up against not one but a whole team of these types.
I have just sent my son a message to ask, its worth a try. Thank you for the suggestion Hels20.
I just wish my questions and concerns could be answered properly than bore you all with it. However never ask a manager about your job, always go to the people doing it seems to work at work. seems that I have to come to you guys to see your side of the story.
Clarke I am so sorry for your obvious pain. I cannot really add to the already excellent replies from Hels, Devora, Lilka and Spero.
Can I just add one thing which may help you and perhaps even your grandchild one day? I am a great belier in the therapeutic powers of writing. Can I suggest you journal or diary your thoughts.
Can you calmly write a record of your experiences while fresh in your mind, and also keep a journal of your thoughts and your memories of your grandchild? Can you do it in electronic format so you can add bits in as and when you remember (rather than on paper) and also perhaps as time goes on your thoughts will develop too.
Reading and writing this may prove a little therapeutic for you, in the way counselling has not for the moment.
It may also be that at some point in the future you do seek out counselling, I personally would see if you can get some specialist adoption related counselling. Although your experiences are a grief and bereavement it is possibly not the same as the bereavement of a death. I would say in some ways it is harder since you feel an ongoing need to make contact and to know what is happening where as when someone dies in a peaceful way you can grieve and not feel the need to strive to understand/you can put that grief to rest. So your bereavement is more like a death where things have gone horribly wrong and you still want to work out the tangled mess - which may well need a specialist kind of counsellor in the future if you feel it would help.
Finally. when your grandchild is older she may seek you out and at some point in the future you may wish to share with her about the past and having things written down in a clear way may help you to remember it all.
As well as recording what happened, you can try and record how you feel (powerless/anger/emotional etc), which may one day help your grandchild when she is older to see how much you cared for her. I am not suggesting you post this to her or show it all to her when you first meet up in the future, but rather that it is there for you as a way of storing those feeling and facts.
Maybe it is a way of containing those feelings to some extent, so you can enjoy the other bits of your life, like your retirement, and have a 'place' to go - your diary - to think of your grandchild. You might read or write in your garden or a certain room in your house which may give you a sense of closeness to your grand daughter. This is just a suggestion, you may already be doing this.
Whatever you do, please do keep it civil and polite in your letters back and let the adoptive parents see how much you care for your grandchild in a positive and non-frightening way.
My husband and I are not yet adoptive parents but are approved to adopt and are matched. When I write my letters to the family and get the replies I will begin to have a feeling for how to write to them. If the replies are friendly and welcoming I am sure I will write better. If the family miss the child and express love I will feel encouraged. However, if they were to write something which is true but is frightening or overwhelming it may make me feel nervous when I write back. Does that make sense?
Anyway, Clarke I hope this is helpful in some small way and if not, please ignore it.
Thinking of you.
Clake, your emotions are obviously extremely raw at the moment, so I would say first you need to look after yourself and your mental health. As you say you have been through a bereavement of sorts and you will need time to recover from that. It also sounds like you are going through a stressful time with your son and his trial. Look into the counseling/therapy again with a different person - people don't always 'click' with the first person they talk to. Get a recommendation from your GP.
I'm an adopter of two siblings. We were told exactly why they had been taken into care by SS, we read the files that had been presented to court by SS to get the protection order. They presented a picture of chaos but there was no doubting the birth mother loved her children, she was just incapable of being a parent and this is what I tell my kids.
We met the birth mum during the adoption process, we also met another significant person in their early life. I was very apprehensive about this before the meeting, but I now really see the value of those meetings. Again the love was clear but the capacity to parent was not: I am able to answer some of the many questions that my kids are naturally curious of. If a grand parent came out of the woodwork at this stage (4 years later), I would be happy to meet them, because it fills in gaps of their early life. In fact I would be happier to meet them now because I know my kids so well from a certain point in their life but I'm aware I'm missing their early history.
I have stopped sending letters to the birth mum - she complained about the first 3 I sent and never responded so I figured there was no point. The other person we met did reply. We haven't shown it to the kids, but it's there in the file to show them at a later stage. SS also keep a copy of all correspondence. SS asked me before forwarding the letter.
If you write SS may not forward it, but they will store it. My children will have access to their SS file when they reach 16 I think (possibly 18), if they wanted access to it earlier I would consider helping them with that (a bridge to cross if we come to it). I can't deny that they have a history before us and that it is vitally important to them that they have access to that. I know that there is a 'later life' letter that they will get when they are 16 from SS explaining exactly why they were taken into care and adopted.
How about doing up a family tree for your granddaughter? Again it will go on file, but it will help her understand her place within your family when the time comes. Also consider things like birthday cards - with a sweet 'thinking of you' message. Nothing too heavy. The most important message that you want to get across is that your granddaughter was & is loved. I know that would mean a lot to my two.
Given your distrust of SS I would keep a copy of all letters you send. However I would attempt to try to mend those bridges, however hard it might be. You will have to deal with them for at least the next 16 years and you won't be able to do that through bitterness, however understandable. That's easy for me to type, I know, but please consider it.
Lastly please take care of yourself, in a years time you will see just how stressful your life is right now, and you do need to give yourself a little head space to recover from such an amount of trauma.
Sorry if this is inappropriate or unhelpful suggestion because I can see things are very raw - please ignore me if so.
But this thread and my current case has really got me thinking about the whole post adoption contact issue and I want to out something together for this site childprotectionresource.org.uk.
If you think you would find it helpful, do you want to write something about your experiences? Or would you be happy if I cut and pasted some of your observations into a post?
I want to have a look at the research and get a clearer idea about what works and what doesn't and what support could/should be available.
Sorry, am predictably rubbish with links.
Also, on the point about the criminal trial - I am afraid a 'not guilty' verdict is not likely to have any impact at all as the family and criminal courts operate on different standards of proof.
The criminal standard is much higher so a failure to reach that standard does not impact on ability of family courts to make findings on a lower standard.
Thanks,again. Family tree done already but grateful for the suggestion as it gives me some assurances. I have all the electronic records of everything from court and concerns I raised which I now know themSS used against me. If only to show what those concerns were to try and give some balance should the day come I ever am,still alive to share them. The diary is be electronic and thanks to safe storage retrievable from any laptop in the event of a failure.
I learned a long time ago to write feelings I could not share down and 'empty my bucket' I have a happy file at I can sheer one day and a file that hopefully will never see the light of day.
I have a 37 year long professional hatred of the SS and this was just the cherry on the cake, so I don't think my leopard spots re them,will change anytime soon. They have not seen fit to try and interact with me in any sort of positive way. Promises made in court forgotten minutes later. The guardian was not much better. Reading some stories here has been more help than I had thought it would be for the most part. I have added so much to the letter this morning, most of it will tears running down my face, so will have to go back and check the spelling etc.
as per usual my GP is useless. There is no funded help for people like me. Specialist counsellors cost a fortune if you work. I have some very close and special friends who I can off load to. If only my Dad were alive.
I have 16 years it seems and could possibly be more than my lifetime. As a precaution I will make sure provision is made in my will. Along with a 'final' letter'.
I will have to wait and see what comes from my letter, I just wish it was not so long between. I thought I might just pretend she was in Australia with family. Some of my friends only I get phone calls and cards from their children and grandchildren.....only more frequently.
Work calls , I really do appreciate the comments.
Spero , I do not think there is anything like enough information for birth relatives or even less able for want of a better word, birth parents out there to help them with anything. Information is so vital to understand everything involved. Being kept in the dark, ignored or patronised is not the way to get the best from anyone. The SS need a huge shake up in every department. Too many do not live in the real world or are simply lazy. Too few are doing it right. I hate to think what they would say if a family member were treated like it, child or parent.
I live in a mindset of do as you would be done by. I am struggling to be civil at the moment with the LA staff. We have no rights and we are largely ignored. If you can find anything constructive within my rumblings cut and paste away.
This could have been handled so much better. I am more than aware of the confidentiality issues but there was so many ways we could have been helped if they had wanted to.
I am more than aware of the different standards of proof. Our guardianship was destroyed on one single episode distorted by the SS, while our referees , one RGN, second child care manager and the third god parent to our sons with their combined 75 years observations of our parenting skills was not even looked at.
While 'the child' needs protecting, more needs to be done to ensure it is not at all costs. Too many cases are being uncovered where by the SS Health and legal teams have got it so very wrong. All being too late. The thing that is the hardest though is that almost all of them have meant the findings that were challenged were only possible because the child has died. I too have been drawn to the published judgements. The behaviour of LA and their experts in the Jayden Wray case was uncannily familiar.
Adoption is final and that is how it should be. We are in a position where by my son I hope will be rightly found not responsible at all. He will then still have to live a life without the child he has been wrongly accused of hurting and taken away. That is almost a life sentence tariff with no parole. Regardless of the criminal court finding, possibly preventing from having any further children because of the multiple mistakes made by the SS who seem to make rules as they go along and get off Scott free to go and carry on doing it to other families. When his child is 18 because of the way the court system works and the way the information is presented by the LA, designed in such a way to have the child removed, he may never get to have any sort of relationship with her, because the not guilty counts for nothing. We have to hope somehow the adopting parents do as I see those who have made comments have some sense of the feelings of the parents who have lost so much.
Luckily I have all the medical records and can prove things were manipulated and ignored. I can present the information in a way that there can always be two sides to every story. From personal experience, I hated my step mother because my mum told me stories I had no reason to doubt. It was not until my mothers sister sat me down after a bit of a rant at my Dad did I realise there was far more to the story I had been told. I am hoping that my grandchild will be brought up to have an enquiring non judgemental mind, not to accept everything she is told, so when she is presented with all this so very warped life story the LA have compiled she can see straight through it. What she does though will be her choice.
Once I move I will have to explore how I am going to spend the years waiting in hope. To work through all my so many SS/legal/health/experts made issues. To hope I do not die in despair before we see her grow up and so need to meet and tell her everything I told her the day we last saw her. To say what cannot be portrayed when only written down. To hope that any counsel I seek, do not belittle my concerns, anger and frustration against the professionals I have so little respect for. To make me someone she will want to come back to see again with her parents blessing. To possibly live long enough to be part of her childrens life. I can dream....
Thanks very much Clake66. I hope you have found this thread useful; I think you have been given some very helpful insights but I appreciate that you must be feeling pretty raw at the moment.
I have done a first draft - I need to add more about the research about indirect contact as I only found out about that yesterday.
if you have time, please have a look and tell me if this is the kind of thing you would have found helpful. I have included some of your words at the end.
would the other posters mind if I borrowed some of your 'top tips' for what would be helpful to include in such letters?
I don't think I have said anything useful, but if I do, you can use it.
Thank you Spero, I made a mistake of going into the myth buster segment after reading what you had sent me there for. Some of the 'myths' I have been subject to, so not myths really. There are SW out there who simply should not be doing the job and trying to get rid of them is probably similar to getting rid of a bad nurse midwife or HV. I have made my list for the HSPC and NMC will report my concerns, as well for the HV and Midwives concerned. I just have to wait to see the SCR report. after so many years of service I never thought I would be as unhappy with my profession's as I am today. No longer a practicing midwife thank heavens.
I am going to try and leave you all in peace for a while.
Thank you all so much
I feel very sorry for you...you have suffered a tremendous loss, whatever the circumstances and I'm not surprised you feel so angry. However, now it is extremely important that your GC settles into her new family, building strong attachments for the hope of a stable and secure future.
Her adoptive parents are now her parents, not just looking after her for 16years. I can see how difficult that is to accept but you must do so to be able to develop a successful pattern of contact and the possibility of a relationship with them in the future.
I have always felt a great sense of sorrow for the GPS of my adopted child. They were not to blame and did their very best. This is the message I have passed on to my child. Letterbox contact has developed from a 'report' from me to more personal letters, cards, pictures included from my child. In response the GPS have always been very respectful towards us in their letters, showing love towards child and their gratitude for contact. Any resentments, anger etc has been kept well away from any contact. My daughter reads any contacts she receives and we have them all in a special folder which she can access at any time.
Good luck for the future to all involved in this very sad story x
I am sorry that the site may have caused you more upset. If you took away the message that we deny SW are ever wrong or ever make mistakes, then that is a problem with the way we are presenting our information because I agree that of course this happens. There is good and bad in every profession and some SW should not be doing the job because they are either incompetent or very bad at getting on with people or showing compassion etc.
But what I do profoundly disagree with is that your grandchild would have been in any way 'targeted' for adoption to make money, which is the assertion of all those who talk about 'forced adoption'.
I don't think that is remotely true and no one has ever shown me evidence for it.
If you have been badly treated then yes, you need to take it further if you have the strength, if only to try and save people coming through the system after you from similar bad treatment. But I would not want you or anyone to waste their precious energies on fighting myths about state sponsored kidnapping of children.
There are a lot of things that went very wrong with this case. If by pursuing this as far as I can with the professionals involved who did that wrong, to help prevent their behaviour affecting even one more family it will be worth it.
In time I am sure the process will become easier. Only time will tell. As I sit writing this the comments you all have made, have made my writing of this letter easier. Strategies to help me cope are being arranged.
I hold no malice towards the adoptive parents, I need reassurances and again only time will tell if that is going to happen. Luckily even though I have lost my Dad, my rock in times like these, I have family and friends who will listen and support my Husband, children and me through this. My daughter and younger son, both teenagers are finding this especially hard, the things they were put through in the attempt to make us as a family look like the Mansons. Our family and friends are the only ones who never say they understand. All the professionals we are in contact with use this and other synonymous words far too frequently.
Forced adoption I am sure is a myth and I do not believe it. However incompetent adoptions, that is the process by which it is decided, are I am sure far too frequent. The papers are full of sensational stories. One only yesterday. Stories of babies and children dying for want of someone to make a stand. Children who should have been taken and given safe homes. Knowing what I do about our case, it makes me feel I am taking part in a game of snakes and ladders. If I could just take myself off to a desert island. Life must go on. Life will never be the same again. Two phrases being used and are of no help at the moment.
Each year everything that has happened, her arrival and her departure, all around Christmas and so close to both our birthdays and wedding anniversary a perpetual reminder of what should have been. We also have a constant fear of what might happen with our son, the father. Will he still be here if she wants to find him, the potential loss of two people and possibly forever.
The trust I once had in two of our great institutions, Law and Health in tatters. Listening to the Lawyers on the news last night made me want to be sick. The legal aided team looking after the parents were simply on the gravy train. I know what me fees were, theirs would have been considerably more. The family system is medieval and I so hope that there soon is a better system in place to reduce the tragedies of the past.
I have never had any trust in over three decades dealing with Social services, both personally with a friend and professionally at work.
We just have to find a way to live with this that can make our lives bearable. My younger children who at this moment cannot bear to think about children for themselves as this experience will haunt them forevermore. My daughter was talking about getting sterilised to prevent it all and the awful conversations I have had with her to make her see that this is just a lesson to be learned.
However the lesson is not a good one and things may happen for the worst as a result. The worst one is not to trust any health or SWs. Be paranoid throughout a pregnancy and delivery. The need to mistrust everything a HV says to you. Never be alone with a child for fear of being accused of things that simply did not happen. Does this mean she would have to home school them!
Being open from the beginning with the health professionals will just lead to being judged, the days of common sense in the NHS are long gone. As much as I 'liked' my own HV I would never trust her with this information. This is not the life to lead as a new parent.
I have told my children I will never be a Nana again. I cannot be a Nana to my only grandchild and so All the children that just may follow will know me and my husband by our first name.
The adoptive parents are also crucial to our survival. The way we are presented to our grandchild by them and their family moulds the way we will be thought about. Will we be worth the effort and the most difficult thing if she does come to find us will we still be here. Or will she be too late. The 'Normal' me has always been cup almost full. This has turned me into an empty, washed and dried up and put back into a dark cupboard.
All my original hopes for my grandchild are still there along with the biggest for the adoptive parents sake, turn into her 'mothers daughter', to give her a run for her money.
Hopefully soon things will improve, but having been knocked down so many times, I now have to wait to see if it is worth getting back up again.
I hope you and your family can get through this and find some peace.
I am sure that the letters you send, will in time be of great comfort to your grandchild. I hope no one is suggesting to her that her birth family are 'monsters' because, of course, this is where SHE comes from and she will need to make sense of all this when she is older.
I am glad you found the thread helpful. I think you have access to some very experienced and compassionate adopters on this site.
Agee Grandparents can be the ultimate Casualty's, All our Adopted Children are fortunate in that they see and have regular unsupervised contact with them , This we saw that the children's attachments too them was good and now are part of our extended family, It was as a result of our insistence as adopters that they be included in the process as them being an integral part of the children's life's.
So with careful and progressive handling it can work , but has too be slow increasing contact and length for it too work long term. And important the child's choice will be considered and respected during and after the process. There may be underlying problems that only the child is aware of these may surface way after Adoption and into later childhood.
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