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Presents from BPs(32 Posts)
Last day of intros and best day together so far. Currently enjoying a cuppa whilst he naps. When I drop him back at FC's later I'm picking up the rest of his things which includes a memory box and toys from his BPs. Mostly these are cuddly toys - in quite lurid colours (definitely not my or FC's taste!). These have just been put away and he has never had them to play with.
My question is should I do likewise or should he have one or more of them now? He's 18 months old.
Your post comes across as if you're turning your nose up at them. I thought toddler toys were supposed to be bright, stimulating and 'lurid'? Are they not age appropriate?
At 18months your DS has no idea who his BPs are or what these toys are. Put them away so later on he knows they cared enough to choose toys for him.
If it were me I would do the same and keep them for him and let him play with other things. I think the important thing is that you keep them rather than whether he plays with them. I'm quite sure there are plenty of adopters who have similar decisions to make as people's tastes are different.
Congrats on lo coming home forever!
Dimples just my opinion but I would make sure at least one is available in his room. I would choose the one I liked the best! Or I would let him see them and see if gravitated towards one or two.
Later these items can be refereed to when birth parents came up in conversation. Perhaps if your county has an adoption day picnic or bbq that you go to or if you meet other friends with children who joined the family by adoption and find yourselves talking about his adoption.
I would say 'Blue Teddy or Tiger or Mrs Panda was a gift from your birth parents' or whatever.
If you put them all away out of sight it might be that in some way in the future he feels that part of his life is to be out of sight, and although I do feel it is private and not to be discussed with all and sundry, I also feel it is important for your son to know about it and for it not to be a shock when it first really registers with him.
Our son is a lot older, 4 now, 3 when he came to us. But I know as he becomes more and more ingrained into life with us it might be easy (for us) to feel his previous life was almost not real and he may even feel that at ties. The toys his birth parents gave him are on display and are very special to him, and to us. They are signs of the care his birth parents felt for him, or at least of their effort to make his birthday nice or to bring something to contact.
If a child had a very distressing past with birth parents I would maybe feel it was right to 'hide' some things or 'store them away'. So your own child's experiences may affect how appropriate my 'advice' is.
Of course my ds does remember birth parents (more from contact than actually living with them) and the gifts have some meaning for him but I would still feel that these gifts are a part of his history and need to be something age appropriate he can access. That is as long as there is no other 'issue' (unsafe/unhygienic/associated with negative memories etc) which could be a problem.
Can I also say the most precious cuddly our son has is an item given by foster carer. More important currently than the birth family toys or the things we have given.
For this reason this item has special pride of place (all be it in a heat in his room!) and other toys, which we gave him, come out for days out and outings. This way they are more easily replaced if lost and ultimately as he is now with us those things (which are not so special) would not be so sorely missed if we did leave them at the park etc.
Yes, you do sound sneery. These toys could become very important and significant to your potential adoptive child and in my opinion that means they should matter to you too.
I have a toy, brought to me by Father Christmas, when I was in a children's home along with another cuddly toy I have had for as long as I can remember. I don't know who gave it to me but both toys are incredibly precious to me and I would never part with them.
I've done a combination - BPs gave two enormous things that were about two years too young for LO even when she entered foster care. Foster family stored them carefully and handed them over. I have stored them too, but worry about them getting damaged, so have also taken photos of LO with the things in the background. The smaller things LO has in their room to play with, as I figure if a soft toy ends up worn and well-loved by the time it goes in the memory box, that almost makes it better.
Although my Ds is not adopted he doesn't see his Dad..He has a teddy that his Dad bought him before he was born.It has always been around.. But not important or special.. He said when about 5 ..he didn't want it anymore .I asked him if he wanted to keep it in my room. He said yes..It is like new as he never played with it but he had chance to.
Hi Dimples, as we have learnt you can't always keep everything. There are plenty of toys our DC has grown out of from BP's. I take pics of everything and then they go to a charity shop if they are still in good condition. When DC first moved in DC came with two car loads of toys and clothes. I have kept a few precious things like baby blanket, teething ring, a couple of teddies and also a few clothes that were in pics. We integrated everything old and new but no way could we keep everything
Dd had an array of soft toys in her cot from BF. We kept these in her cot when she came home as they had when she was in FC. She also came with a memory box from BM and her FC and was given toys for her first birthday from them. We have kept everything. Some are in her room (which we look at) and some have been stored away. Some gifts etc were not of my taste. However, these belong to our daughter, not us, so we will keep them until she is old enough to decide.
I would ignore the "sneery" comments by the way. When you are shatteringly exhausted after a week of intros you don't always phrase things in the perfect way.
If your new DS isn't used to them being around then I would store them away until a later date. Whats important here is that the move is a smooth for him as possible and he transitions as well as can be expected. Introduce as little new stuff as possible, at most I would may choose one toy and put it on a shelf in his room.
Most 18 month olds wouldn't "play" with a cuddly toy in my experience and even if he did you wouldn't necessarily want them damaged.
It's a fine line I think. Our ds has quite a lot of little shoes in his memory box which have never been worn. I think he may be sad one day to see that his bp made the effort to buy him things that be was never given the opportunity to use. He plays with some of the toys from bp but there are some in his box too. I agree to keep one or two out in his room would be a good idea and may be important later.
Give your ds one toy and put the rest away. And try not to be so snobby the toys were chosen with love by his bp's.
Exactly what Kew said.
Especially the first bit.
Thanks Italian and Kewcumber.
It made me feel sad that the toys had been bought with love when he was a newborn but that he had never had them. That's why I put in the comment about their colour - I can understand why his FC didn't like them. I wasn't judging his BPs, far from it.
Could you occasionally, or even just once, let him explore the toys and take some photos of him with them? Do keep them in good condition but one day he might really value seeing that this part of his journey/heritage was cherished.
If he doesn't look back and has no curiosity about BPs nothing will be lost but if he is really curious and needs to know more one day you might be glad you did it.
Ah ok misunderstood tone of your post, I apologise.
Our son came with a lot of stuff but not much of it was from birth family. At first I might have felt surprised at how easily things get all mixed up together but now I see with my dd's and ds's toys and books even though there is a big age gap they play with each others stuff and it is hard to know what is for whom!
I also think kids do like younger kids toys, anyway they do when you try and pass them on to someone else.
At first I kept ds's tops and clothes, not sure what to do with them, still got one in a bag to one side! But increasingly his belongs are things we have bought and the stuff he came with has diminished a lot!
Dimples all the very best, I hope all is going really well.
Hi Dimples and well done on surviving intros week.
I would (and do) leave one or two toys around that came from the bp's.... mainly so that it can lead into a conversation about bp's.... she's now 3 and has so many teddies that she asks who bought her this one, who bought her that one.... when she gets to her teddy from bp's I say their name and she repeats it... a good foundation to her story I think....
Anyone who has been adopted and is ok with it, tends to say 'they've just always known they were' and I think this is the best way... so having something around for as long as they can remember (even if that only starts now) and is related to bp's I think is a very good thing... if nothing else it shows them that you are ok with bp's.. iyswim
Thanks all for sharing your experiences and apology accepted Soontobesix. I can see now that I didn't express myself very clearly in my first post which was a combination of being shattered and racing to do things whilst LO slept. I really appreciate the supportive comments from those of you who got that.
Other than the time I spend with LO I don't seem to be doing anything great and have just noticed that my Xmas tree is at a rather jaunty angle. Think I had better address that asap as LO is fascinated by it and I'm now fretting about it crashing down on him.
I think I will just keep out the smallest teddy and put the others away. I like the idea that it could be used as you said excitedmama to have v natural references to BP in the future.
Going to try and get some more sleep before this big day.
Dimples is either already comatose or is wired to the max and can't sleep and is checking that DS is still breathing
Dimples, totally understand why you would be unsure what to do. Our LO has only a couple of things from BM....none of which LO is particularly attached to. I dont happen to believe they were 'bought' with love or anything else in mind. But happy for LO to believe they were. Our LO is older though so slightly different for you. I would say keep one out for LO to see and talk about as gets older.
Hope intros are going well. It's a tiring time but so worth it.
All the best
LO seemed to decide that he didn't need to sleep last night and then when he did go off I was anxious about going to sleep and not waking if he cried as I am a very deep sleeper.
We're both rather tired today but he has gone down for his nap fine and I'm hoping a walk with him in the sunshine might help sort us both out ....
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