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Friends have just been approved - practical and emotional help I can offer?

(7 Posts)
ElizabethinherGermanGarden Tue 10-Dec-19 18:43:14

My friends have just been approved to adopt siblings and I want to be helpful. Obviously will play it by ear and just do what comes up as and when it does, but I was wondering whether anyone had any advice on the kind of support that would be useful, both in the early days and as time goes on.

From reading posts on here to try to understand, it sounds like it's going to hit them like a ten-tonne truck! I haven't got kids so don't have the practical parenting experience but do have flexible evenings so can be helpful in other ways, hopefully.

Make me a list, please...

OP’s posts: |
JohnPA Tue 10-Dec-19 20:02:15

I think when your friends finally adopt they will obviously start by being very very busy developing a bond with the children. I think what I appreciated the most from my friends during the early days, was that they gave us the space that we needed while also remaining available over the phone in case we needed anything. Initially we obviously didn’t see much of them, but we knew that they were always there to support us if we needed.

As time went by and our routines with the children settled, we started seeing more of our friends again. What I appreciate the most now is that they are always willing to listen to our issues without judgement and they remain understanding.

ElizabethinherGermanGarden Tue 10-Dec-19 20:54:48

That's really helpful, thank you. I'll bear it in mind.

OP’s posts: |
jellycatspyjamas Tue 10-Dec-19 20:57:26

How lovely that you want to support them, tbh that intention more than anything is a good thing.

Things that helped me were friends who would just drop off a prepared meal without staying to chat, friends who met me for coffee and allowed me to laugh, very, cry without judgement, people who would just drop a text saying they were thinking about me or who offered to pick up some shopping when I was stuck at home with two scared little ones.

I would say that the folk I thought would be most intuitive and helpful to me weren’t, my support system looks vastly different to what I thought it would. Things that didn’t help were telling me to enjoy my children, trying to tie me in to longer term arrangements, telling me that “all kids do X”, slagging off birth mum, being late for things that involved the kids (my kids get massively dysregulated when things do go to plan), telling me how nice it is to see my kids so excited about X (when I know they’re actually struggling and will be off for the next few days). Oh and asking about the kids background - and going in a huff when I wouldn’t tell them!

Basically go with how your friend is day by day and expect that be quite fluid.

Callthemidwifeplease Tue 10-Dec-19 21:00:48

It will possibly be a long time until the children move...for various complex reasons and they will feel frustrated about this. So take the approach that they will offer you news when they have it.
Once the children are placed they will need a lot of quiet family time- more so and in a different way to a newborn birth child - so will be unlikely to have visitors or outings with friends for a while. But each parent may appreciate a short break for a coffee to get time out. Focus on practical tasks they might need help with eg hand in food, take away loads of washing etc.

ElizabethinherGermanGarden Tue 10-Dec-19 22:16:05

I just don't want to be one of those people who says 'if there's anything I can do...' and does nothing. Thanks for the suggestions - very helpful.

OP’s posts: |
Mrsdoubtfireswig Thu 12-Dec-19 00:53:57

One thing we appreciated (which may sound daft) was cards. We received some congratulations on adoption and some new baby boy etc which were lovely. With a birth child it’s the natural thing to do but sometimes with adoption people don’t, maybe because the children are older or like pp you almost have to lock yourselves away at first to develop the bond.

I had a couple of friends on a WhatsApp group doing a ‘daily check in’. They were only brief messages but it really helped as initially I think it can be quite lonely

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