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Day 3 of Placement and really tired!(14 Posts)
I have been a bit rubbish at keeping up with posts on here - matching happened more quickly than we thought in the end after panel.
We did an 8 day intro of our LO aged 5, he moved in 3 days ago. He has GDD but not LDD, probably not ASD but is at least 2-3 years younger developmentally than chronologically. He has an avoidant attachment style, doesn't seem to recognise emotions etc. Has lovely manners - says please, thank you, sorry etc. but somewhat without feeling! Everyone involved with him said what a lovely and charming little boy he is and how far he has come etc. and he was delightful at intros (with a little defiance which we would expect).
Oh my gosh is he pushing boundaries yesterday and today! His favourite is No, Don't Like it, I hate it, I no want to live here....lots of scowling, stamping etc. I know it is early and he is in emotional turmoil but it is exhausting! In other words, total regression to how he was when he arrived in foster care almost 2 years ago.
There are 2 things I've observed - 1, he does not generalise - he is totally black and white and in the moment. He does not appear to have generalised the strict rules of foster care to his 'new house' - he had lovely manners and had certain routines which he now seems to think don't apply - he is trying to reset the rules to what he wants - and 2, he has odd ideas about 'mummies' - we play these strange games of being loving one moment and him being 'naughty' the next and him demanding 'mummy' tells him off, at which he escalates, or real mummy (me) has to obey every minute detail of his instruction and always gets it wrong and gets scowled and shouted at e.g. put your car here, exactly here (I put it there) NO mummy, not there I just told you...and so it goes on...it's like trying to have imaginative play with Herr Flick of the Gestapo.
I'm just letting off steam here - everyone around me is in that loved-up 'aww' stage of 'aww he must be so cute, how wonderful,' and my parents ring constantly for updates but I don't want to speak with them as I am exhausted and wrung out so I am venting here a little instead. The last thing I need is parenting tips from my parents (believe me they are no experts!). He is scheduled for play therapy to help with attachment, and we will also do more training in therapeutic parenting which I am hoping will help.
He also is not yet at school - will start after Easter if we can get a place - so routines are all over the place with regards to that and he has already told us in no uncertain terms that he will not be going to school. Ever.
I'd better go and rejoin him and my DH. I'm taking a breather. Wonder how long I can escape for... ;-)
It will get better won't it?!!!
It will get better pootle. You are still the best flump.
Posting in haste before I have flu - ridden weekend nap but read old intros threads and, if you can find one that says 'day three with our five year old - it's all going like a Disney film', I'll give you a billion pounds.
It will get better. Promise.
Send a message to everyone saying you're exhausted, thanks for kind wishes and you'll be in touch shortly and then ignore them all.
I only spoke to people by text/Facebook for weeks because I didn't have the energy for a call (or the will to deal with having to be upbeat when I wanted to cry...)
I hated the first 5 days of placement and wanted to hide (after pretty lovely intros)! For us it has got better really quickly, 4 weeks in now and actually enjoying my gorgeous LO.
Hard not to scrutinise everything with an adopted child, I was convinced ours had serious issues but seems that when she was so very anxious and grieving she just couldn't focus on anything else.
Sounds like your boy is trying to get control of what must feel like his world has just imploded. It really helped me to put myself in the LO's shoes.
Do you have a buddy system with you LA or VA? Talking to an experienced adopter friend really helped me rationalise things while I was sobbing in 3 day old underwear on the kitchen floor with a pint of wine.
Hang in there pootle.
Thank you. It really helps. I have cried a bit in the bathroom today because he has been so downright horrible to me at times. He adores my DH though - he's never had a positive male role model and he is really responding to his kindness and playfulness - a lot of problems occurred yesterday when DH let way too many boundaries slip and Mummy had to be Bad Cop too much.
I have stepped back a lot today and let Daddy set boundaries and he has responded really well. I really don't think he is ready to accept a new Mummy yet.
Bedtime only took an hour tonight and no tantrums...
No buddy system yet but LO's SW and our SW will visit next week.
It's hard not to feel a failure when he is playing delightfully with DH then marches up to me and yells something about being hungry and wanting food NOW.
He has emotional regulation issues which will be the focus of his therapy, and he really can turn on a sixpence. He was yelling at and hitting the dog earlier so we had 'words' then I went out of the room and listened a bit, then I heard him calling the dog again - 'Why are you calling the dog again?' I say. 'To tell him I love him' he says. Sigh.
What can you do?!
MrsCollyDog I read your thread about how difficult it had been after placement and glad it is getting better. I hold on to the idea that he will grow and develop and things will change with time.
Actually, having written it down here, I realise he is doing a lot of splitting. He is splitting me versus DH. Previously he had Mummy and occasionally Bad Daddy. So Mummy was split into good and bad Mummy - she has BPD and was either clingy and needing to smother him in 'love' or aggressive and unavailable to him. So mummies are both which is basically what he plays out in the bizarre mummy/baby games. But now he has '2 mummies' so he is splitting.
Ha. Thanks for giving me space to write it down and reflect. I should have realised what he was doing, what with being a therapist
Our LO hit it off with daddy first too. Horribly rejecting of me. I think from what I have read its quite common for them to bond to the male carer first. I am always the bad cop too and that's hard as daddy is so super fun. It actually got better when daddy went back to work and DS to school. Finding the new normal really helps, the routine just clicked and helped build our bond.
Hang in there, cry in the bathroom and have a wee gin if you need too. We have just got to help each other get through and remember if it was supposed to be easy anyone could adopt. Talk with your DH lots.
You are doing an amazing thing.
Remember none of it is personal. LO is doing whatever LO thinks he needs to to get through the days.
It will change, it will get better, it will take time, it's not personal.
Thanks - yes DH is super super super fun daddy. He is brilliant but it makes me feel crap! I'm watching what he does and doing more of it which helps. He is watching what I do and doing more of it and that helps. We talk for about an hour after bedtime to discuss what's happened and what to do better/differently next day.
What is particularly vexing is that a lot of the stuff that helps us to manage him are down to me - I've put glow in the dark stuff in his room, pyjamas, new toothbrush, warming his towel after his bath etc - all little things that have saved us from tantrums - and he loves them but only with daddy. Grr!
But I have to say he copied me a bit today, suggesting he was influenced by what I was saying even if he wasn't letting on. So I feel hopeful that he is not entirely rejecting me.
I'm glad your LO found it easier to get into new routines when your DH went to work - I was worried that LO will become unmanageable when DH is not around.
I think school routine will help but FC went through hell and back getting him to school for months so I am not relishing the task!
We'll do it MrsCollyDog, we'll do it. Superhuman, pretty sure that was on the assessment form in stage 2. We ticked those boxes.
I know I'm teaching you to suck eggs here but surely he's reserving his extra specialist baddest behaviour for you because he realises a. You're the important one and b. Some mummies aren't very stable so it's worth pushing them to find out if they fall over?
My kids certainly reserve their extra wonderful behaviours for me. I had a text today from a friend who took the oldest out this afternoon saying what a little angel she was - she's been the devil incarnate since she got home. I haven't been well this weekend so I clearly need to be punished
Oh poor you. Ds also bonded more quickly with Dh - how exciting to have a dad! I didn't really worry about it - if it is you having adoption leave you will be the one there day after day dealing with his needs and helping him and your bond will have time to slowly grow.
Are you planning for him to go to school full time? It might be good to keep it part time for a while to give you quality time together.
If he is functioning as a 2 or 3 year old, is he going to cope with mainstream? Has anyone discussed an ehcp or other educational support with you?
Do hang in there - Dh and I barely spoke for the first 6 months as we both found it so hard and couldn't really talk about it so if you're communicating well then you're already doing better than us!
Day 4 was better! Played nicely with me, only a couple of rude tantrums. Did really well all day and I even got a 'I love you Mummy' at bedtime
Now having a
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