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The big annual updates thread 2014 - How's your year been?

(44 Posts)
Lilka Wed 31-Dec-14 16:00:44

Hello!
It appears it is time for my 5th Annual Updates Thread (what?! shock )

If you want to, please tell us how your year has been. The good, the difficult, anything you want to. We like to know how everyone else has been faring, and hopefully we also 'get it', also being neck deep in adoption-land! Adoptive parents, prospective adoptive parents, adoptees, birth mothers...and lurkers, feel free to make yourselves known.

Wishing everyone a good 2015 x

My update

My eldest granddaughter is now over 2 and a half, and the little one is 16 months old. They brighten every day I see them on, and I've needed it this year. GD1 is loving and stubborn like her mum, and loves nothing more than getting herself wet, muddy, covered in snow etc. Her favourite shirt is her oversized 'xyz' club football shirt her dad bought her (as part of his determined plan to make her as much a fan as he is...it's working so far). GD2 is a bit quieter and less keen on being snuggled for ages, is in a picky phase over her food, loves her sleep/naptime, and bathtime too. And loves me, obviously. I'm clearly both of their favourite person ever wink grin

DD1 met up with all of her other 5 brothers and sisters this year and I got a lovely photograph of them together smile

For me though, this year has been very hard. The house is much quieter now DD2 has left, but it still feels empty. I miss her so much. She is still living with one of her sisters but I don't really know how its going. I try and communicate with her, but how she responds really varies. Sometimes I go and sit in her room for a while and lie on her bed. I don't know what to do with her things.

I'm moving forwards, slowly. I'm sure the antidepressant has made quite a big difference. I'm sleeping better, eating much better, stopped reacting to unexpected noises. I've got an appointment with a counselling service in the New Year. I have a small pile of books stacked up to read. I have the urge to read back again. I'm enjoying walking etc. The Gerbils (both of them are still here and fine!) still live in my room, I love listening to them when I'm in bed!

DS is in Year 5 now, and after a not-very-good start to the year, things are going much better now. Had one difficult adoption related incident but it was resolved as much as it could be and he's back on track in nearly all his subjects. Not living with DD2 has made a big difference, which is painful for me to see but at the same time I've needed to see the evidence that I did the right thing in telling her to leave. He started Judo classes at the beginning of the year after having a couple of trial lessons of that and Karate so he could choose the one he preferred, and he's really enjoyed it. Did his first grading recently and he did well smile He also changed his name, so all of his names are now ones I chose for him (he refused to wholly choose his new middle name). His middle name is now my Dad's name, and it was an emotional day when it was chosen. He was so proud of his new passport, showing it to everyone. I'm so very proud of him and how he's managed this year, given it's been so hard for him.

He's on about more pets. Fish or a cat. As I've said before, I'd love a cat, I'm just concerned about mixing a cat (and it would be a rescue cat) with 2 Gerbils, although I do have a lock on my bedroom door. We'll see, it may happen, we may have to wait a while.

Best wishes to all x

UnderTheNameOfSanders Wed 31-Dec-14 16:54:20

This year DD1 starting withdrawing from letterbox contact. She is really reassessing her relationship with BM, realising it won't be a pick-up-where-you-left-off at 18. She has continued to try hard at school but at the end of the year we finally got a dyspraxia 'diagnosis' for her. Shame she's already y11 really, but it might help for college. School continue to overestimate her GCSE predictions (in my view) which doesn't help for thinking about post-16 options.

DD2 has gone from a happy child to quite a sad one. Struggling at school both academically and with friendships, (and possibly adoption?). We actually withheld a difficult contact letter this year because she really wouldn't have been strong enough for it. She has been assessed as having Developmental Coordination Disorder which is no great surprise, but it was sad to see written down how much she struggles with motor skills. School have promised more support in the new year though. Keep wondering whether she will have her sister's difficulties too.

So a bit of a struggle really, but at least finally I'm getting some 'expert' recognition of the DDs' difficulties, so I'm not just making it all up.

Hoping for a more upbeat 2015.

Kazza299 Wed 31-Dec-14 18:00:29

Ok, well this has been the start of the journey for us. We applied in January 2014 and meet our boys in 8 days! They move in on the 19th which is quite possibly a year to the day that we made the first call!
It's been a frustrating year and I have realised many things about myself but 2015 will definitely be much more exciting and harder work but I can't wait. I wonder what next year's update will say! X x

Devora Wed 31-Dec-14 20:31:55

Wow, Kazza, that's very exciting (and nerve-wracking). Best of luck!

It was a difficult year for me, too. But not all bad. dd1 is now 9 and dd2 5. dd2 (the adopted one) is such an amazing, wonderful child - loving, smart, wicked sense of humour, sharp as a tack, very athletic, an incredible dancer. But her attachment issues are causing real problems at school, and her anger and aggression is causing real problems at home.

So we're fighting for increased support (actually: any support) from post-adoption and from the school. It's been good to link up with other adoptive parents at the school; very very helpful to see the common themes.

Work has been extremely demanding this year and I've struggled to cope with it plus family demands. The big casualty was self-care and my health is definitely suffering. I want to get that better balanced in 2015.

Whenever I write my whinging posts, I'm aware of the prospective adopters reading, and how desperately I needed good news stories when I was in their position. So it's worth saying that I love my girls so very much, and that even though dd2 is definitely a challenging child who requires high intensity parenting, she brings huge joy and love to our lives. I wouldn't have missed the adventure that is being her mum.

Velvet1973 Wed 31-Dec-14 20:37:44

We started our journey by applying to adopt in March and we finish our year by saying we have the most amazing incredible baby boy asleep upstairs in his cot. He's not even been with us 2 weeks yet and I can barely remember how things were. I can't wait for all that 2015 brings, us beginning our lives as a family, his 1st birthday, 1st time he crawls, walks, talks etc and when we can legally become a proper family.

trafficjam Wed 31-Dec-14 20:45:34

Aw, devora, that's a lovely thing to say about your daughter.
We have had an incredible year. We were approved to adopt in March, then in June we met our beautiful boy. It's been a rollercoaster of emotions - I don't think anything can prepare you for the first few weeks with a grieving child, but the bonds fell together so quickly and he really is the centre of our universe. He is settling really well and I'm so proud of him. We still have issues that arise primarily around his reactions to food but he is a wonderful boy to parent.
Our hopes for 2015 is to secure the adoption order and continue to move forward as a family.

GirlsWhoWearGlasses Wed 31-Dec-14 21:57:16

It's been an amazing year.

Our girl came home in February and everything has been transformed. She lights up our life, we're so lucky.

There are plenty of question marks about the future. People ask if she's "totally settled now", which is so simplistic and impossible to explain that things don't work like that.

You hope you're getting it right most of the time.

Thank you all for the wisdom and encouragement over the year.

excitedmamma Wed 31-Dec-14 22:43:44

Well, in 2014 I legally became a mummy with our adoption order being granted... she's just had her 3rd birthday and is doing amazing.

My whole life has been transformed... I now feel whole, worthwhile and so very bloody lucky that I have her as a daughter. She is adored and accepted by the whole family and she has taken to nursery brilliantly.

This forum has been amazing and I feel so blessed to have found it... I lurk a lot smile

Very best wishes to you all - at your own individual stages of this life long process grin

CloserThanYesterday Thu 01-Jan-15 11:06:26

We are in the same position as you, Kazza. We applied to adopt mid January 2014, and will meet our little girl in 11 days (not that we're counting down!)
We found the approval process moved quickly and was even quite enjoyable, but we were approved in July and found the next few months very hard.
We've known about little one since September but weren't able to do anything due to legal issues, and then once these were resolved we've had the festive period in the way.
In reality it's only been 4 months to wait, but it has felt like forever, and we struggled knowing how much she was growing and changing without us as the weeks rolled by. Not to mention how much harder it would be to leave her foster family (who are wonderful, by the way. If she had to be delayed anywhere, we are glad it was there).
But ... we're moving on now and preparing for the whirlwind to arrive in our lives with excitement and some trepidation!
Just echoing the sentiment of others, this forum is such a great source of support and information, thanks all.
Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2015!

RhinosAreFatUnicorns Thu 01-Jan-15 12:25:16

I emailed our initial application form to our LA 4 years ago today. New Years Day is a very special day for me for that reason. smile

This year has been a good one. DD (now 3.5) has come on leaps and bounds with her speech and development. She continues to test boundaries at every opportunity and I have started to pick up on some attachment-related behaviours too. But she is an amazing, funny, confident, beautiful girl. This age is so incredible.

We continued our plea to LA to chase her half-siblings families up for contact letters; something which saddens me as I would love to know how they're getting on in their adoptive families. I am planning on doing a personal plea in my upcoming letter to them.

We started pre-school this year in readiness for starting school in September. Which makes me very emotional. She is getting ready for it though.

Happy New Year everyone.

Kazza299 Thu 01-Jan-15 12:28:22

Wow! closerthanyesterday very similar! We have also know about our boys since September and all was ready just before christmas! Good luck in 11 days. (We are also counting down and days are sooooo slow at the moment!)
Keep in touch x

Kewcumber Thu 01-Jan-15 13:24:30

2014 has been a bit of a year of two halves for us. DS developed serious problems in school going into year 3 which the school refused to connect with his adoption issues. The teacher tired her best but wasn't really able to grasp the idea that DS's difficulties arise from dreadfully low self-esteem and attachment issues and that telling him off constantly was part of the problem.

It culminated in DS hitting himself saying "I'm so rubbish" at school when being told off on one occasion thankfully observed by the inclusion manager who got involved.

Situation has improved slightly - partly because I've got a bit more of a grip on it and am trying to boost his self esteem a bit, new teacher in year 4 is a bit more empathetic and handles him better, school have started a couple of low intervention therapies which I am doubtful about but that will give him a little more individual attention which can only be a good thing and inclusion manager contacted me at end of term to say that the EP has agreed to assess him for possible executive processing problems. Added to which I have been told there is a possibility of getting pupil premium plus for him as we have a UK adoption order (fingers crossed) school will be trying when we get back.

So I am optimistic about the year ahead and also I think that DS is remarkable in his ability to hit rock bottom then pick himself up and somehow turn it around.

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 01-Jan-15 17:02:41

A really boring, non-eventful year - which is actually really lovely! DD started school and took to it like a fish to water. I've met some other adoptive parents at school - it seems far far more common now to see families with a mix of bio and adopted children

dibly Thu 01-Jan-15 18:26:46

Well we're 5 months into placement with our 1year old now. Lots of ups and downs, attachment issues, felt quite desperate for a while; but battled SS for help and things are starting to get better now, although very early days still. Contemplating applying for the AO soon.

Big changes planned for this year, thinking of a career change when return to work in the summer, first family holiday at some point, poss having
LO christened if all goes to plan from here.

Kewcumber Thu 01-Jan-15 18:39:43

Glad to hear things are settling dibly. From memory it was somewhere between 6-12 months when things really came together for me although they were improving daily before that.

OurMiracle1106 Thu 01-Jan-15 18:42:41

In the last year with the helps of this board, my friends and a few professionals I have accepted my sons adoption. Backed the adoptive parents in their adoption order. Accessed counselling which is still on going. Sorted out my home. Applied to college and have two job interviews this month.

I have taken baby steps. But they are steps forward which was always my plan. Not to do too much and fail.

I'm mentally and emotionally much more stable. I have made it through my second Christmas without my son and mum.

I'm hoping 2015 will be a year of further steps forward

Devora Thu 01-Jan-15 19:23:40

Wonderful to hear about your progress, OurMiracle; I don't think those are baby steps, they are huge steps. You have shown such strength and insight this year - I'm sure 2015 will bring good things for you.

ThankGodThatsOver Thu 01-Jan-15 19:35:48

Hi, I've never posted on here before. I am a lone parent to 2 adopted dc. We have had a tricky year I am sorry to say. My dc have multiple needs which have become more extreme over the years which make everyday life a challenge for them/us. We are very isolated as they are troubled children and people find it difficult to be around them. I am hanging on in there and love them dearly but do question how long we can remain as a family.

mineallmine Thu 01-Jan-15 19:54:09

We've had a lovely year. dd is with us 3 years now and to me seems completely settled. She's a whirlwind and goes nonstop from morning til night. She's still cosleeping, still has her soother (dummy) and in lots of ways is a very young 4. We've made the decision not to send her to school next year so she'll be nearly 6 when she goes. She has 2 pals on our road who are a couple of months older than her but they run rings around her so we feel another year to mature won't do her any harm. She's a real sunshine personality- her default position is a happy mood. While she's very busy, she's also very 'good,' (hate that word cos all children are good but not all are well behaved!) and even when running wild, she can be easily 'maneuvered.'

We had an incident with her granny and presents this year which has been a bit of an eye opener and brought out the momma bear in me. It's sad because dh's parents are 10 years younger than mine so she'll probably have them in her life longer than mine but now I'll always keep them at arms length and feel that I have to be on alert for favouritism.

Ds (14 and bio) has had a tougher year. Hormones have hit him hard and at times he can't control his emotions. We went for a new years day walk today and I asked him if he wanted to go to legoland this year again and he couldn't have been more excited if I suggested Disneyland. He held my hand as we were walking and I was afraid to move in case he took it back again.

mineallmine Thu 01-Jan-15 19:58:26

Thankgodthatsover, I'm sad reading your post. I hope you have support as parenting alone is tough enough without having children with extra emotional needs. stick around on this board, it's s very supportive place. I sincerely hope your 2015 is better.

dimples76 Thu 01-Jan-15 22:22:29

Hi

On 2nd Jan 2014 I submitted my application to adopt and my little boy came home almost three weeks ago.

The approval process was not as bad as I had feared.

Since my little boy was first mentioned to me it's been an emotional roller coaster but mostly positive. I feel like we're making progress every day and I love him dearly. He seems very happy and content during the day, nights are tougher but getting better.

Feeling very tired and happy.

Best wishes to all for 2015

slkk Fri 02-Jan-15 21:25:40

Hello, I've been lurking and sometimes.we posting here for about a year now and have found the board really helpful and supportive particularly in the dark lonely early days of placement. Our ds came home in July and we certainly didn't have a honeymoon period. However he's made such great progress in the last 6 months and his behaviour has really settled down. Still some issues with control, some obsessive behaviour and I suspect some attachment issues, but it is early days for a child his age. Hopefully as his language develops he will feel more secure and settled. He has started nursery happily (something I would never have believed a few months ago) and this has really helped his confidence and speech. We have also been lucky to have good support from our la. With all our ups and downs we are now settling into a busy chaotic (and as my dss would say, weird) family, with him at the very centre of it. Not the family I dreamed I would have when I was younger but definitely mine and I wouldn't change it. I will continue to lurk around this board and am grateful to all you lovely experienced ladies and all the support you tirelessly and repeatedly share with us newer members.

dibly Sat 03-Jan-15 00:35:28

Cheers Kew, still having ups and downs, and Christmas has unsettled her (and me!) but feel more confident now I've seen her make progress that she doesn't just hate me!

We started the process officially last December, so it's been very quick, and boards like this have really helped us learn on the run (plus the huge adoption library we seem to have amassed!).

Italiangreyhound Sat 03-Jan-15 00:46:47

Lilka Hope things will improve with your dd2.

Sanders love to your little one. Hope you get the help you need. My dd has dyslexia and has struggled at school but year 4 (last year) was a turning point. I got involved with a dyslexia charity and that has helped us.

Kazza great news.

Devora you don't need to tell us all good stuff, although it is nice to hear, you can tell it like it is, that is what we all expect from mumsnet!

Velvet wow did not know he was home!!!!! thanks smile grin wink

Hugs miracle.

blossom101001 Sat 03-Jan-15 01:32:49

So my little family. This time last year we had just moved into Stage 2. Our SW started talking to us about two little boys 3/4 who were difficult to place due to question marks over a diagnosis of the older child. We were invited to an Activity Day to meet them and we fell in love- i fact they fell in love with us too. SW amazed on how well they took to us. Fast forward a bit and we are matched to the two little boys we fell in love with. Fast forward a little more and after difficult introductions they move in earlier than expected.

They have changed our lives. There have been some rocky parts but my dh and I have worked together to create a happy home with different experiences and lots of memories. The boys are happy most of the time and we need to teach a few things about the world but that will come. I still get upset when I take them to school an miss them terribly. We now find that the oldest is much more settled in school when I am volunteering there. I don't know how that will work in the future but at the moment he needs to feel happy at school.

I will never forget taking them to the forest for the first time after it rained. We had just bought them wellies. They stood at the edge of the puddle for a good 3 minutes wondering what to do. Mummy had to jump in and show them. Now I can't keep them out of puddles. Do I regret it? No, part of being a boy..or even a kid. Jumping in muddy puddles!

Another great moment- and this was down to a great coach. Oldest wanted to play football so we went along to a little class. Oldest stood on the edges for ages, arms folded, not joining in. Over comes the coach and he asks for help, next thing I know he is running around calling out to other players and having a go. Biggest smile on his face and arms not folded! This is a kid I was told never ever joins in. One proud Mummy!

We had a great Christmas together and I think I went a little overboard (I couldn't help it). They came to us with barely anything and it was easier to buy them Christmas presents than buy them stuff when we went shopping. They have taken it in their stride and have been so careful to look after everything they have got (so far). In the past because they didn't really know how to play they would just break stuff. So we have done a lot of work on playing with different toys and it seems to have sunk in and really for the first time they have their very own toys. Which I think makes a difference.

But the best moment and I am surprised to get it. After our night time book. I get a hug from both with Ilove ou Mummy. Still brings a lump to my throat!

We plan of going for the AO soon and looking forward to it.

As for the diagnosis that made them difficult to place? Watch this space! We are having assessments over the next few months...

Anyone reading this who is thinking about adoption. Prepare yourself for it but is the best thing my dh and I have ever done!

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