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Early placement - how much to mention FC(12 Posts)
Congratulations. I'm no expert in this arena & I'm sure some one who is far more experienced will come along soon. Although you're probably understandably anxious about getting it 'right' It does sound like your sensitive enough to your DS needs to intuitively know when it's appropriate to reinforce the love his FC have for him. There will be times that he needs that reassurance. These times are likely to become fewer and further apart over time. Wish you all the best
This is a tough one as I'm sure it's so different for each child. Our DD (then 3) was placed with us on 1st Feb and had been with the same FC for almost 2 years so was very attached.
We skyped after a couple of weeks and they sent an Easter card and a birthday card. We allowed her to have a picture by her bed for the first month then slowly moved it to the shelf at the end of her bed, then top of wardrobe and now it's in a drawer.
She talked about them allll the time to start with. Literally every sentence. We did a mixture of engaging with it, changing the subject and once we had some memories of our own introducing those to her as she does get very confused about who she's done things with.
We were advised to meet up around 8 weeks in but I found it was just when we were forming a proper attachment with her so I postponed it until this last week- 15 weeks into placement. It was lovely and both the kids loved seeing them. I email them updates about every fortnight or so and when they email back I tell the kids that they've been asking after them- they like to think they are missed, bless them.
Imagine aliens came and abducted you to another planet . How much contract and mention of your family woudl you like ? What do you think woudl help you adjust to your new home ?
Our DSs were 7 and 4. We rang fc the first night and probably the second and whenever they cried for her. When they did something nice, like won at bowling or built a cool lego car, we would say "let's take a photo and send it to ....." We still do that 4 months in but they are less bothered. She sends texts which we read, depending on what they say and how often - ie- it got a bit frequent at one point. We have not me tip yet as there has been some issues and worries from the boys about whether she is coping without them!
Maybe meet up in another couple of months.
I've done this with two toddlers. Is he verbal and able to talk about FC? How long has he actually been with this FC if he's had many moves?
Contact wise with our first child we didn't see FC for about a year and I think that was wrong. With the second we had a quick visit from them to us about six weeks in and that worked very well. Rationale is the child needs to see they haven't disappeared off the face of the earth and be given permission to settle into their new family. Now with
DC2 we have birthday cards, Xmas cards and a visit once or twice a year.
Brace yourself for some real grief and confusion in the early days - a 2 year old will not comprehend that they are moving permanently and that first night is an awful shock to the system. Like all grief it takes as long as it takes and all you can do is be a loving support.
I'm sure you have been told this but try and keep a consistency of food, routines, toys, clothes from FC. Even if they are wearing clothes you detest and their preferred diet is ketchup sandwiches it doesn't matter! DC2 came with a dummy and I hate dummies for children who can talk, but in it stayed until they were ready to drop it Try and use same washing powder as FC. Keep the rest of their world as familiar as you can. But there may be some things they resist - eg DS always had a bedtime bottle with his FC and made it very clear he was not accepting that from us!
An email or text channel of communication between you and FC in the early days is a great idea. Will be a life saver for all those small panics you have too!
* MyPreciousRing* I will tell you what we did with our three and a half year old. I can't say it is right but it seemed to work well for him.
No contact for a month but a visit was planned for exactly a month's time and he knew we would be seeing her. Be vague about the exact day in case it needs to be changed.
A photo in the room but not on the wall in a frame, on the side, so he could touch it and look at it and hold it but if could be removed by him is he wished, less of a big deal than taking a photo off the wall.
Phone calls about once every two or three months. Usually brief. He knew I talked to her, he knew he could is he wanted to and usually did. Do about four times in the last year by phone.
He has drawn pictures and sent them to her, about four times in a year but has now pretty much totally lost interest in doing this.
We met after about one, three, four, eight and twelve months. So about five times in that first year. In future we plan to meet two or three times a year because she lives close and we all get on. She seems to like meeting and so does ds and so do I. But I would imagine we are not 'normal' to meet so much.
I'd say early days you need to handle carefully, she is not out of his life but you are mum (or dad) etc.
Hope that helps.
PS He has a memory box and looks at it about once every two months. He can look any time he likes and it is only really things from foster family (not birth family) that interest him at the moment.
I also talk about her when he wants to. If he says she is pretty and kind (which she is) I agree and say she is nice too! It is easy because she is! He has said he misses her but to be honest, now one year in, she is like a lovely auntie who was very special and who we see now and a again. I think I am more excited to see her than him!
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