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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.


I'm really excited, but aprehensive

10 replies

HazelBite · 04/11/2016 08:13

Ds1 and my lovely daughter in law have been approved to adopt, wonderful news, at last I will become a Granny.
(They are hoping to possibly adopt a sibling group)
Can I have some advice I'd like to be the best and supportive Granny that I can be, both to the Dc's and to the parents.
(They will also have three uncles!)

OP posts:
JustHappy3 · 04/11/2016 09:58

The fact you're asking indicates that you're on the way to being a brilliant granny.
If you have some spare time then a little bit of reading about adoption (and particularly attachment issues) will go a long way.
If part of you is thinking it's all a lot of "airy fairy social worker nonsense. We'll just love them - that's all they need" Then you really need to STOP thinking on those lines.
The new parents will need to funnel all the physical care through them for the first few weeks/months. So if your grandchild falls over and you're nearest you will need to step aside and let his parents get to him/her first. I think it's v hard to do in practice - i found myself going to do it to friends' adoptive kids.
My parents were verbally on board with everything but a week in started piling on massive emotional blackmail about wanting cuddles etc. It was quite upsetting that they were focusing on themselves and not our traumatised child.
Currently we're struggling to get them to understand that we love her AND she's adopted not we love her DESPITE being adopted.
Police yourself carefully around words like "your own" and "real mum".
Remember the child will be traumatised. My dd has taken 6 months to properly relax. To help with this they'll have to parent him/her as though a much younger child (kind of to make up for what has been missed). So never compare with other parents/children - they're on a different path.
But moving on from a load of don'ts.... Do just enjoy the child. I love seeing the relationship building between dd and her grandparents.

HazelBite · 04/11/2016 11:32

Thank you JustHappy, can you (or anyone) recommend any book that would be helpful for us (as extended family) to read. The social worker has told us that we can contact her for advice, but I am imagining she is/will be very busy, and we are very anxious to get it right.

OP posts:
grumpymcgrumpypants · 04/11/2016 11:44 Is the initial book.

You can find other adoption related books recommended on amazon from that page.

Google 'what adoptive parents want you to know' and search this forum for 'funneling'.

JustHappy3 · 04/11/2016 11:46

Related by Adoption is good but pricey for its size (you should be able to get it from library).
There's the new one for parents which is excellent but i've forgotten the title - if noone pops up with it i will go look it up on my kindle later.
After that just go on Adoption websites.
You'll be fine!

PoppyStellar · 04/11/2016 13:02

Hi Hazel it's really lovely to hear how excited and supportive you are as soon to be grandparents. Reminds me of how keen my mum was to learn all she could.

I gave my mum past copies of adoption UK magazines as they have lots of good articles in them. She said she found them really helpful.

Depending on the ages of the children your DS and DDIL adopt I would also recommend 'First steps in parenting the child who hurts: tiddlers and toddlers' by Caroline Archer. It is aimed at parents but is written in a very easy and accessible style, has lots of really useful stuff about attachment and bonding and needing to parent to your child's emotional age rather than chronological age. All of which I imagine would be helpful background stuff to know as grandparents. It's available quite readily on Amazon - you can even get a kindle version!

Italiangreyhound · 04/11/2016 16:31

Hazel wonderful you are so keen to learn and understand.

My in laws are amazing.

Here is an example. They contributed to a bike for adopted son, aged 6, they wanted to see him get it. We said fine but warned them he may not react well (for lots of reasons and some maybe we have no idea about).

We wheeled in the shiny bike in his favourite colour. He fell to the floor and wept, not tears of joy, but tears of anger and frustration. He wanted an electronic device and we said no! At six he cannot ride without stabilizers and is not physically very able, although not actually impaired and is very bright!

His lovely granddad and grandma said nothing negative to him or us, they took it in their stride.

I would also say be aware you may or may not be told about elements of his or her or their former life. I would hope when and if you are told it is for his/her/their benefit and must be treated in strictest confidence.

We started out saying we could tell nothing but softened a little because we feel it is helpful for very close family to understand a little of what he had experienced (partly because they might have worried it was worse than it is!)

Good luck and congratulations. Smile

LateToTheParty · 04/11/2016 22:16

Congratulations to them and you! Agree that the Related by Adoption book is good. Also this fact sheet gives a good summary:

Hope it all goes well for them.

MrsMontgomerySmythe · 05/11/2016 13:59

Please be very careful to use the correct words and language. And if one day in the far future you are out and about with your grandchild please be careful what other people say in their presence.

No mention of "real parents" or "how lucky the children are".

tldr · 05/11/2016 17:21

If this is how you feel, imagine how they feel.

I was terrified whilst everyone else was telling me how happy I must be.

Daisiemoo · 08/11/2016 20:32

Wow congratulatios OP! It is very exciting time for everyone.
When the introductions start it can be a very stressful time so if your DS and DIL will allow you, offer to pop into theirs to do bits of washing/ cleaning/ shopping and leaving them a cooked meal for when they get home. The last thing they will want to do all the above, even if they are thinking right now, "of course we can manage that". Trust me, they wont!!
Once the children have moved in, help with washing/ironing/ shopping to begin with will be a godsend!
You may not be able to see the children whilst you are doing all this, which will be massively frustrating, but please have bags of patience!
Gosh thats alot to ask I know!! I would have loved someone to do all that for me. Our Foster carers took pity on us and cooked us amazing meals most nights which we were so grateful for! I just wish someone had cleaned the house/ walked the dogs as we were shattered!
Best of luck xx

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