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How long before you left you AC with a relative?(31 Posts)
Lo has only been here a month and DH is already complaining that he misses spending time alone without the kids (have a bc). He is saying that we need to get her used to his mum so we can look at going out in the new year. I am in no rush and feel we have ample time in the evening
if he gets off his laptop.
For reference how long did you have lo before they were ready?
For info, she has only met his mum twice so far but we were out in public so as to keep things light for lo.
have you been granted the AO yet? If not you are not legally allowed to leave her with anyone.
Hi tinks. We should have by Feb at the latest. We know we legally cannot leave her and I wouldn't want to any sooner than that anyway.
For some reason I thought your op mentioned new year. Ignore me.
It was quite a while before we could, but our son was older and had issues (rightly so) around either of us going out once he was in bed let alone both of us. Think it something you need to judge. But personally I would be there to put to bed and wouldn't be out long to start with. Xx
Thanks tinks, I did say new year but I didn't mean at new year (should have said next year).
Lo is only one and doing well so far but I don't want to assume that we won't have issues arise in the next couple of months.
The other thing is I don't think MIL will watch the kids at ours. With DS we have always had to drop him off at hers, he goes to sleep there and we transfer him to the car and then to his bed. I really dislike doing this but as DH keeps reminding me, she is doing us a favour so we cannot really dictate where she has them. Consequently, our alone time will probably be a couple of hours mid sunday afternoon for a very long time!
It was well over a year - people came to me instead in the evenings after bedtime, to share coffee/a meal. LO was 3 on joining our family. Several years on, it's still always me that does bedtime and settling down, although DM does then
keep the sofa warm babysit so I can pop out occasionally.
Well over a year here too.
Your husband sounds a bit selfish I'm afraid . Didn't he understand that adopting a traumatised child woudl affect his life ?
My LO was a similar age and we didn't leave him with anyone till around a year. I know that's probably not what your husband wants to hear but a month is so, so early.
We were required to leave ds with my in laws for a meeting about 2 months on. It was daytime and he was at home with his older sister, our birth daughter. I also had to have a mamagramm and my friend looked after ds while I went. The first evening time we had a sitter was probably about 10 months in.
To be honest I am not sure why you want your MIL to look after the children if she will not do it in a way suitable for you. I'd rather cultivate a very good local friend you trust, also a mum (you may know several if you have a birth dd). Could be a couple of mums.
That mum, or a couple of mums, could be a babysitting circle together. If you see the other mums with their kids socially your children will probably feel at home with them. Of course you would need to sit for them too. But my experience is it is quite nice like that. Restful, no ironing!
With your MIL - your child/children going to sleep in one place and waking up elsewhere could be very unsettling. Especially, for a child who has had a traumatic past, IMHO. If your MIL isn't able to do this age she isn't the ideal sitter. It may be she doesn't like driving home at night so you or dh could offer to collect and drive her, or for her to stay the night.
Just my thoughts.
Thanks guys. I may show him this. He doesn't want to go out right now but he is saying if we get her comfortable when we around now, then early next year we will be able to leave her. Not sure why he thinks it will be okay so soon, I didn't leave our birth son until 6 months and I really struggled with that.
We do not have any mummy friends who could baby sit and my family live an hour away. MIL is our only option. It is frustrating because she does whatever she wants with DS regardless of our thoughts. She has no problem driving in the dark, she just doesn't want to come to our house. We always have to go to hers.
I appreciate the feedback and will perhaps show him what has been said.
Maybe if I refuse to go out in evenings he will eventually speak to her about coming to us.
Sorry if this sounds harsh - I have a poorly toddler and not much sleep - your husband needs to prioritise your child's needs over his mother's. She is an adult who can rationalise, make decisions and understand what's happening.
Your child, on the other hand, has lost everything and everyone they knew just 4 weeks ago and at the least, this will be the second time it's happened. It sounds like your husband is forgetting this because of the child's age and the fact that they are preverbal and appear settled. A birth child might now be at the stage where you would consider leaving them, but this child is the equivalent of a 4 week old new born in relative terms. They have no idea about forever families, adoption or your lifelong commitment to them - you are just virtual strangers and your husband wants to leave them with another virtual stranger.
I know it can seem like everything is ok in the first few months - we were surrounded by social workers, friends and family telling us how settled our son was. He really wasn't, and its only with hindsight and getting to know him that I can look back and see just how awful the experience was for him - and how he masked it (he was a baby too). There are exceptions to every rule, but I've never met an adopter who says that the first few months were actually genuinely ok with retrospect even when they initially thought it was all ok.
Again, apologies if that's blunt - I'm really tired and have a sick boy on my knee so I'm not firing on all cylinders.
Not harsh at all max thank you. Thinking of her attachments in terms of a newborn is very helpful actually.
Agree with everyone.
The only thing i'd ask is whether your DH is ok. It's just so unreasonable to be focusing on going out at just a month in - it makes me wonder if he has issues he's not voicing but it's coming out this way.
Are you talking properly about how it's going? Has he a safe space to say "this is hard"? Is he starting to bond? Is he getting good advice back - of the "fake it til you make it" variety rather than the "you need a break" sort.
I know it can seem like everything is ok in the first few months - we were surrounded by social workers, friends and family telling us how settled our son was. He really wasn't, and its only with hindsight and getting to know him that I can look back and see just how awful the experience was for him - and how he masked it (he was a baby too). There are exceptions to every rule, but I've never met an adopter who says that the first few months were actually genuinely ok with retrospect even when they initially thought it was all ok
This . When I look at photos of my child at this stage, I can now see that she was terrified . None of us look at these photos because they are so upsetting. At the time everyone thought she was doing really well.
I think that you are seriously misguided to think of leaving any child, let alone a traumatised and distressed one, with a person who does what they want with them regardless of your views. This applies to this Christimas, next Christmas and the next ten Christmases.
Do you really have NO support system at all except your MIL? Wasnt this discussed with you during assessment? If that's true , you need to start building one now.
Kr1stina, it's the photos that are like a knife in my heart too. So many beaming, happy family shots then this little bundle with haunted eyes sitting on my knee. It's only now, when I see his genuine joy at seeing me, when I see him in nursery laughing with friends that I realise how far from ok he was.
OP, you said in your original post that your husband wants her to "get used" to his mum and I think that might be the main issue. She won't understand that logic, that you are familiarising her with someone and that she will go home afterwards. Her understanding us that sometimes you do go back to your familiar place and people but crucially sometimes you don't. That's an experience that she won't just rationally get over in the way a secure birth child would experience attachment and being temporarily cared for by another person.
I think justhappy raises a good point - is he perhaps struggling with the intensity?
I just want to stress that I will not be leaving lo until I decide she is 100% comfortable to be left with someone other than me or DH. I am asking because I need to check I am being reasonable by letting him know that it will not be for quite some time.
I don't think he is struggling with bonding. He keeps saying how well he thinks she is doing, how great she is. He is great with her but I will talk to him when the kids are in bed and see if he is harbouring any feelings.
MIL is our only immediate "babysitting" available. She is not our only support. Emotionally she isn't a support at all really. If I was struggling I would ring my mum, if I was really struggling she would come up on her days off. She cannot be there for 2 hours to watch the kids as it would take her an hour to get here and an hour back. My mum tends to do days out more or my son goes to hers for a sleepover.
DH has friends to talk to (not really about this though)and we have met some great friends who are also adopting on our course but unfortunately they are also an hour away as are most of my friends.
The people we really thought would be supportive haven't really. It has been a bit of an eye opener.
I get what you mean about pictures. I took one of lo sat next to my mum. My mum was playing with her toys and lo was sat next to her looking so confused. I have deleted that one.
Thanks again this is very useful.
Lucky, I totally understand you wanting to sense check. It's so hard to gauge sometimes isn't it - particularly if you are in disagreement about the best approach.
Enormous yes to looking back and seeing a frozen terrified child in the early photos We don't look at those much either, except as part of life story work where we talk about "you look like you feel sad/scared, that must have been so hard for you" (usually the point I get emotional and LO looks at me like I'm a lunatic )
If your DH is feeling overwhelmed, that's totally normal, and you could each take it in turns to give each other a break?
LO came home to us aged 9 months and we didn't stay overnight at anyone's house (together with her) for well over a year. She's now been with us for 19 months and we still haven't left her at anyone's house overnight. We have asked GP's to come and stay at our house and babysit overnight once this year and had a couple of friends who she now knows well to babysit (again at our house).
Absolutely agree with Kristina and Max re the photos and early days. We were repeatedly reassured by SW's that she was settling and bonding well. It breaks my heart to see her "rabbit in headlight" eyes although at the time we couldn't believe how well we thought it was going.
You are absolutely right to trust your instincts on this. You're her mum and she is counting on you to get it right for her. I don't mean to make sweeping statements here but my own beloved husband can be a bit simplistic at times and I've had to push back many times when he's suggested similar "good ideas". Therapeutic parenting is really not the same as "normal parenting" (whatever 'normal' is?). I bought a copy of "related by adoption" for my MIL who despite having been prepped re funnelling etc expected to be "here to meet LO" on the first day she came to visit our home during introductions. It's very hard for outsiders to get it, I'm fully aware that my In Laws probably think I'm uptight but I'm willing to stick to my guns for LO's sake.
Rather- we have each had some time for ourselves, he has been out with friends a couple of times and I went shopping on my own. It's not loads but it is no less than we would have had with just our birth child.
Steve- MIL already thinks I am uptight because I won't let her take my son abroad without me at 3 yr old and I said I wanted to spend time with him whilst on may leave so wouldn't let her have him a regular day every week whilst I am off. She wouldn't read a book- she begrudged going to the family workshop that our agency put on saying it was pointless. sigh
I feel very much on my own fighting against our family and sounding like a loon when I say she wont be ready for a long time.
Oh and I totally get your need to take a break and have some together time as a couple. It's very hard, I suffered post adoption depression. Only now am I managing to get a better balance in terms of "me time" and "me and DH" time. During the early days we had to be a bit creative and find other outlets. We started watching entire box sets together in the evenings, the more 'escapist' the better, a glass of wine, eating together at the table and chatting - it was a concerted effort as we were both knackered but it helped to have better quality time together in the evenings at home when she was in bed in the absence of our weekends away and proper nights out together as a couple.
It will get easier, it's ok to find a local babysitter at some point in the future, who can babysit and give you back your social life.
Lucky - we don't share a MIL do we?!
Mine is the same with BC, also wanted to take her away on holiday without us age 2?!?! And every year since..luckily I've been able to use AD as a temporary excuse to get her to back off a bit.
Just repeat the message, you can use SW as an excuse, "we're not allowed".. Repeat that it's too soon, too stressful for LO, imagine last time she went to stay at a different house overnight, she lost her FC's etc, she is too little to understand that this won't happen again.. We're sure you understand..We have been strongly advised by experts etc
DH thinks I have an issue with In Laws but I just want them to be on board with the therapeutic parenting and respect our LO's needs.
In the end, we just asked MIL if she could come to our house and babysit on x date and she did.. I think it was easier for AD that BC was there to reassure her and make her not feel truly abandoned.
I didn't leave my boy with anyone else until six months in and I would have left it longer but my Dad was dying.
You can get someone else to look after a child pre-AO as long as they are approved. I'm a single adopter and during the approval process my Mum and sister had DBS checks so that I had people lined up (the advice from SW was that this was really for emergencies/illness/exceptional circumstances). It took over a year for us to get the AO so my son had started nursery by the time it came through.
In short . You are right. Your husband is wrong.
You will need to get used to everyone thinking you are a loon. That's why adopters hang out with other adopters, as sometimes we are the only ones who understand. Welcome to the club.
Don't leave your adopted kid with your MIL EVER if you can't trust her to behave.
Re "We do not have any mummy friends who could baby sit" I really think making friends who will be good to look after your kids just if needed, in an emeregency etc is so important. I do not want to sound harsh but although my mum was fine to babysit for dd when she was litle 10 years ago she got ill and we would not have or ds with her. My in-laws are amazing and love the kids and babysit brilliantly, but they live over an hour away and travel a lot.
Very good and importantly trustworthy friends who have kids your kids age are vital. they will know what is age appropriate for your kids as they will have kids. Can you cultivate friends with other adopters in your area. You already have a birth child; how old are they? Are they at school, do they have friends? Could their friends' parents be your friends?
Relying only on an older relative who does as they please makes your 'support' network sound very weak. Did social workers talk to you about this before?
I just wrote that and then read this from Kristina - "Do you really have NO support system at all except your MIL? Wasnt this discussed with you during assessment? If that's true , you need to start building one now." I totally agree 100%.
Building support doesn't mean you will leave your kids with these friends at the drop of a hat, it means you and they will socialise at the appropriate time and the kids will see these other adults as trusted people you know and like and they will feel OK to be with them. DS (adopted) has about half a dozen people built up over 2 and a half years who e is happy to spend time with them in their homes, in our homes and without me.
They are all parents, all with kids aged from dd (12)'s age to ds (6)'s age or younger. They all have toys in their home and a similar attitude to parenting as me. And when their attitude varies they respect my wishes.
The leaving my child with them has been built up very slowly for short times like trips to the shops to longer times like an evening babysitting. It is a two way street and I babysit for them too sometimes etc. This was well established my 12 year old birth daughter before ds joined us.
I also agree with comehomemax.
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