I’ve decided that 2018 is going to be my year to start thinking a little bit more about myself. Not in a selfish way but I really need to care as much about myself as I do about others. In the last 18 months I’ve battled with anxiety. Some days I don’t struggle at all, other days I feel like my inner self is falling apart.
I’ve decided that I’m going to eat healthier at work (easier said when I work in an office) and that I’m going to try and do some sort of exercise in the evenings, well not every evening, I’m not turning into a fitness fanatic, I leave that to the hubby!
I had a lot of trouble with my stomach last year and after having the dreaded camera down the throat invasion they said there was nothing wrong and it was down to stress. I’ve now been given tablets I can take if my stomach gets bad which does get a handle on it but I don’t want to be relying on them when I know the root cause.
My main problem is that things have to be perfect, and as you all know life isn’t perfect, especially parenthood. I remember on our adoption journey when we were doing our work sheets and I didn’t want to hand over one of our sheets to our SW because I’d made notes and wanted to type it up again and our SW told me she didn’t need it perfect and was happy with how it was. I need to be more like that.
Danny isn’t the cause of my stress and anxiety but I do put myself under unnecessary pressure to try and make things perfect for him and our family. No one asks too much of me but I feel myself that I need to strive for perfection.
I didn’t want to accept the fact that I suffered with anxiety because I used to think I had failed but now I realise that isn’t the case.
So here’s to 2018 and me being a little kinder to myself.
Adoptive Mummy x
Before I tell you about last night, let’s rewind a couple of weeks when Danny came out of school with a party invitation. I’m not sure who was happier, me or him! He’d had a couple of invitations previously but none he was able to attend for one reason or another and he hadn’t been invited to a party for about 18 months. I’d seen boys in his class going to parties but Danny hadn’t been invited. So when this party invitation came I was making sure he went.
Fast forward 2 weeks and it’s the day of the party. Danny had written his card and we’d made sure we got him a decent present as well, that was wrapped nicely and placed in superhero gift bag. Football gear on and it’s time to go to the party.
Danny was super excited, I on the other hand felt sick, this was Danny’s first party despite being at that school for 3 years and to make matters worse I didn’t know any parents. No one really talks to me in the playground so I tend to just keep myself to myself. I didn’t know what to do as I walked into the venue. Do I stay and try and make small talk with strangers for 2 hours or do I politely excuse myself and have a latte in the café?
Only a couple of parents stayed so I hung around like a spare wheel until it was me and another Mum left as all the children had gone outside to play football. As we couldn’t stand the repetitive drone of match of the day theme we decided to go to the café. We found a table and she kindly offered to buy me a drink. One of the dads then came and sat with us and we spent a good 90 minutes talking about random things. It was fantastic. We then went in to sing happy birthday to the birthday boy and stayed in the room with the children for the remainder of the party but stayed in a corner chatting out of the way of the chaos that was 12 boys playing tig in a very small space!
All in all I don’t think it could have gone any better and hopefully now I’ll have someone to say hello to in the playground at school. Danny had a fantastic time at the party and what I thought was going to be an awkward 2 hours for me was actually a lovely evening. I’m glad I took myself out of my comfort zone because I feel a lot better now I know some of the parents.
Danny has now asked if he can have a birthday party there next year and who am I to refuse him! Time to get saving – haha!
Adoptive Mummy xx
To give you a little background on me I am in my early thirties, been married for just over 9 years and have worked for the same company for well over a decade.
I was never a career girl but have always been keen to do my best and progress within the company. When going through the adoption process I couldn’t wait to have 6+ months off work and I said I would be reducing my hours and working part time upon my return. I was lucky that this was an option in my job and I wanted to make sure that I would be there for Danny every day after school. I didn’t want him going to childcare, I wanted to have that time with him myself.
I loved my Adoption leave as it helped me create my bond with Danny, however as he was a school aged child when we adopted him he was at school and I found that in the last month of my adoption leave I was craving the normality of office life when Danny was at school.
When I returned back to work after adoption leave I found the development path I wanted my career to go in. What I didn’t realise was that I wouldn’t be able to do the role as it is a small team and they need full time people due to the nature of the role. I remember being told the 2nd time I applied for it that they couldn’t accept my application due to my hours. When I told my boss I wouldn’t be getting an interview I started to cry. I honestly didn’t know I felt so strongly about it and it took me a long time to get over it. The one thing that helped was Danny, regardless of if I couldn’t have this job at work I had the best job in the world, I am Danny’s Mum.
I do not regret my decision to reduce my hours because I had wanted to be a mum for a lot longer and a lot more than I wanted this role. That role will always exist, Danny will only be a child for a short period of time and that time seems to be flying by.
I am also a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and that right now isn’t the right time to be starting a new job. Danny needs my support and I want to be there for him whenever he needs me. If its meant to be I’ll get that job when Danny is older. In the mean time I am going to prepare myself as best I can at work and increase my experience and enjoy those extra hours at home with Danny after school.
That boy is my life and a lot more important that any job.
Adoptive Mummy xx
National Adoption week has been centered around siblings and while we didn’t adopt siblings Danny does have a half sister who has also been adopted.
Before we adopted Danny we were advised he had a little sister who had already been adopted by another couple and Social services wanted us to ensure the 2 of them would have contact with each other.
I remember the first meeting we had, it was in a in a play centre. Not only was Danny seeing his sister for the first time in 12 months but we were also meeting his little sister and her Mummy and Daddy for the first time too.
Would we get along?
Would they get along?
Was it going to be awkward?
Would it be possible for us to keep up the face to face contact?
I’m pleased to say that it did go well and we meet up a few times a year and have a day out together. We also exchange Birthday and Christmas gifts and Danny takes great pride in picking out a Sister card each time, he makes a fantastic Big Brother. I couldn’t wish for a nicer couple to be the Mummy and Daddy for Danny’s sister.
I can’t stress how important it is to keep up contact with the birth siblings providing the circumstances permit. Danny has never lived with his sister but you can see the genuine love he has in his eyes every time he sees her.
With NAW approaching I thought it would be nice to put a good news story out there. Adoption only seems to feature in the public eye when something has gone wrong or a system has failed.
I’m not saying our life is perfect, however I can say with all my heart that when we have asked for support from our adoption agency they were there to help and I feel like the support they gave us during our adoption journey prepared us well – thank you Families that Last.
Did we have attachment issues during early placement, yes.
Have we had endless meetings with school and professionals to ensure he gets the support he needs, yes.
Do I know people that have had difficulties with adoption, yes.
BUT if I’m honest right now we have the best support in place for Danny. I am sure as he gets older his needs will change and we will encounter difficult times but I don’t feel that my life parenting Danny is any different from any other parents I know.
There are definitely improvements that need to be made for adopted children and adoptive parents so we don’t have to jump through so many hoops for support with health, education, therapy etc. There are delays for the sake of delays sometimes and this isn’t helping anyone.
HOWEVER, Danny has enriched my life in so many ways, I love him so much and cannot imagine my life without him. If I could have seen my life as it is now before we adopted the only thing I would do differently would have been to do it sooner. Danny was in foster care for a couple of years and I wish we could have had those years with him.
If you are considering adoption I would ask you to speak to 2 different types of people, the ones who have lived it and the professionals who can support you. It isn’t for everyone but if you think it could be for you its worth finding out!
Adoptive Mummy xx
It will be years until you read this (if you do at all) but I needed to write this down.
Dear Danny, thank you.
When I was younger (in the olden days) I used to dream about what my family would be like. When I look back on those dreams I realise I not only met them, but in my eyes exceeded all expectations for what a family actually is.
You have brought a light and excitement to my life, given me a purpose and I couldn’t be more proud to be your mum.
I love that when writing birthday cards for family the amount of kisses you give is whatever your age is, I love the cuddles we share everyday and I cherish every moment you say I love you.
I love the fun we have together, I love teaching you new things and I love watching you grow and learn (but I’m secretly searching for a way I can keep you 8 forever).
I love how you still want to hold my hand, I love how you rush to me in the playground everyday after school and I love that you tell me that you missed me even when you were sleeping.
You truly are the best son I could have ever asked for and I promise to love and protect with all my heart forever.
Thank you for being everything we wanted, thank you for being you.
Love you Always,
I remember staring at a profile of this gorgeous little boy with the biggest eyes I had ever seen and picturing what life would be like with him in our family.
When we got to learn more about Danny they told us that he has Global Developmental Delay, that he struggles in all aspects of his life but we didn’t care. We wanted Danny to be part of our lives, part of our family.
We were told of all the uncertainties for Danny, whether he would catch up to his peers, progress through school, live independently etc etc. None of these mattered to us, we already had a connection with him and would fight for him everyday.
He was 5 years old when we first saw his profile but nearly 6 when we got to meet him for the first time. He does struggle with things that some children might learn quickly or find easy but we take things at his pace. He loves sports and is a very active little guy.
The progress he has made in the last 2 1/2 years is OUTSTANDING.
- He has gone from not being able to read to reading Roald Dahl’s The Magic Finger to me in 4 days.
- He’s gone from a fear of water to passing his Stage 1 Swimming.
- His writing is fantastic and he gets complimented on it often.
We were told in our prep training that adopters can’t just be good parents they have to be great parents. We’ve put it in a lot of effort with Danny, having countless meetings in school being his advocate and ensuring he gets everything he needs and that we are supporting at home. We do this because he is our son and we will do anything for him. We’ve always said we don’t care if he isn’t the highest achiever as long as he tries his best and he does that everyday.
My husband and I work well as a team and instead of being fearful of the uncertainties we embraced it and I’m so proud of Danny everyday, he has already achieved so much and we know this will continue.
Danny, I love you always and forever x