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Calling us mum and dad(27 Posts)
We started intros yesterday at last 2 gorgeous chatty boys.
Dh and I were very nervous and initially referred to each other as our forenames. The kids, who were clearly unsure what to call us, latched on to that. I feel annoyed with myself for not being more confident as I really wanted to be 'mummy' but I am hoping, and this where I need some advice/support, that they will call us m and d in due course.
Ideally we'd have a conversation about it but both boys (aged 4 and 7) were not ready to talk about future. They were friendly and chatty but very much in the now. Is this normal? It's only day one but I'm a bit of an analyser!
No experience but sounds lovely and very respectful, congratulations on your growing family
I adopted much younger so didn't have to deal with this and I know the "older" adopters will be along to give you their views. My perspective is more from having parented a 4 and 7 year old...
I suspect the 4 year old will very much take his lead from his older brother (though not always) so you may find that he naturally starts calling you mummy sooner because once they start nursery/school everyone else will be calling their parents that. At 7 DS would certainly not have wanted to talk about the future and in fact would be totally avoiding it at all cost. These are children who can only trust "now" as the future has probably brought scary things.
You might want after a few days to start calling each other Mummy Ann and Daddy John (assuming those are your names!) - it sounds a bit forced but it will probably cement in their head that you are mummy and daddy and they can pick that up and use it when they feel ready.
In a similar vein I gave DS a new first name (his first name became his middle name) and initally I used his old first name until he was more relaxed with me then I started calling him David John (both names) then I dropped the John. It took about 5 weeks in all and he transitioned seamlessly but he was so much younger.
I suspect you will have to move at the pace of the 7 year old but don;t underestimate the peer pressure when he starts school of wanting to have a "Mummy and Daddy" like everyone else.
That fraudulent feeling of being the worlds worst babysitters does eventually pass!
And you will get too tired to over-anayse... within a few days would be my guess!
Hope today goes well.
DSs FC & SW referred to us as mummy & daddy before intros. So we just picked up from there, he has called us that from day one. Slightly different setup as we had already met him as a 4 year old twice before as our names! As well as knew him as a baby...but he took to mum & dad with ease. Maybe start with mummy Name etc like Kew has said?
Yes them not wanting to chat about the future seems fairly typical, DS didn't want to talk about any of it at all on our first weeks, he just wanted to play / distract / get used to us
Our daughter was 4, nearly 5, when we started and we used mummy and daddy from the off - the SWs had used it and that is who we were, even if it was early. I'd say just use it from now on, you want to start creating feelings of permanency even if they don't want to talk about it yet.
And yes, those feelings of "who on earth has trusted US to look after these children, what were they thinking?" will pass!
Enjoy starting to know them, it's a peculiar time but it's just the beginning of your family...
I think you need to start calling each other mum and dad so you might say oh that's lovely paul why don't your show daddy or daddy luck if you see what I mean we adopted and 1 year old so pretty much didn't really have that whole issue
I think it also depends on whether or not the children have any contact with their birth family , or can remember calling someone else mummy and daddy
How long have they been with their foster family ? If it's been a long time they might be referring to them as M and D, even if they call them by their first names. This often happens if there are other children at home . Or the kids are at school /nursery and don't want to feel the odd ones out
Please remember that mummy and daddy are relationships, not names, and it will take a while for the children to accept you and trust you . They will transition to M and D eventually , when they feel ok with it .
Likewise I wouldnt talk about the future at all with them, just take things day to day. It's fine to say - we will come back to see you tomorrow and take you to the park
Don't try and discuss being their parents forever - it's too big and frightening for them to deal with. Unless of course the 7yo asks you .
FWIW my bio 8yo rarely talks about things beyond today, unless it's a special event he's looking forward to , like a holiday . So he might ask at bedtime tonight " is it Callum's party tomorrow ? "
But he won't have mentioned it all week, he just thinks about today .
We started calling each other by our first names on day one and quickly switched to Mummy and Daddy on day two, Ds called us Mummy and Daddy very quickly (hubby actually said he used it on day one before we did!) But I would not personally wait for the kids to take the lead, I would also not 'correct' the kids if they use your first names. Just refer to yourselves as Mummy and Daddy or Mum and Dad and let kids do so if they wish to.
Kristina makes a good point, as always. Are they in touch with birth parents and what did they call them? My son did not refer to them by mummy and daddy when talking about them, and uses their first names, so that is what I do.
Ideally, long term they will call you a name you are happy with, and if you start to model this they can choose. Make sure you are attentive if they use your first name too, so they do not feel under pressure, then when you hear it for the first time, it will be lovely.
Blessings and hugs MummyKazza!
Thank you everyone. Birth parents are still on their minds. Oldest did asked me if I knew he had a mum before me. So thought that was positive that he saw me as mum. Continued as forenames yesterday but will try mummy blah and daddy blah today.
Congratulations on your new family!
I think the 7 yo sounds understanding enough for you to say (on more than one occasion if needed) "I know you had another mum before me and I'm not going to make you forget her, but I want to be the best mummy I could ever be for you, and if you feel ready to call me mummy that will be lovely, but you don't have to before you are ready"
I don't think you need to do the same with the 4yo, who will take cues from his bro and classmates/activities naturally - and won't be so conscious about it. 7yo may have more complex feelings so may need a bit of time.
Kazza - you want the relationship, that will take time
The rest are just words . If the kids feel under pressure to say them before they feel them, it will feel false to them and empty to you
Were you ever in a relationship with a boyfriend / girl friend /partner when they said " I love you " and so you said " I love you too " back, even when you didn't really want to and you didn't know how you felt about them But you thought you should ? How did that feel ?
Did you refer to your DH as your husband aftre you had known him for two days ?
I don't want to be harsh , but the reality is that you are not their parents , you are total strangers to each other.i know the hopes and dreams you have for the future , but they are not not real yet . Please please take the pressure off yourselves and the children and give yourselves time
DD was pre school age so slightly younger but wasn't quite ready for Mummy immediately, so I was Mummy Threesocks for a while. She dropped the Threesocks over the first few months of placement, in her own time. I quite like the 'Mummy Threesocks' approach, to me it suggests that you are and intend to be Mummy, but acknowledges that you aren't the only one they've had.
We referred to ourselves as mum and dad straight away and we adopted a 7 year old. When we chat about birth parents we refer to them as Mummy Suzzie and Daddy Dave. I know it might feel odd but you ARE now mum and dad so that is what you need to call each other. It took no time at all for our little one to follow our lead. I recently found a drawing she had done of her family, there was mummy, daddy, our little one and her new sibling, all with hearts drawn next to us. It's REALLY special when you know you've been accepted. Very best wishes for your future.
As, it's been going brilliantly thank you. Can't believe how comfortable we feel after such a short time. I understand about honeymoon periods but this time has been better than I ever expected. Had an overnight stay last night, where both boys slept, are eating and generally seem to be having a nice time. Gonna miss them lots until we pick them forever on Monday. [big smile]
Lovely Kazza. Our little one comes home on Monday too - what a week, eh?!!
If it helps i think using your forenames in the beginning is probably a really good thing especially if they still have memories etc of their birth parents.
My friend has adopted twice, the first when the little girl was only 3 (now 13) and the second when the girl was 8 (now 11). The first girl took to Mummy/Mum straight away due to her age, but the second daughter found it all much harder as she had very firm memories and attachment to her birth parents despite having been in a care home for over 2 years.
I would take it slowly and continue with forenames for now and then when the boys are more confident around you both then broach the subject of what they would prefer to call you both. I appreciate the desire to be called mummy, but they are older and if you can approach it from their wants then it will play out more favourably for you in the longer term.
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