"Where's the mummy? Where's the daddy?" the not so normal viewpoints...

Sometimes it is little things that remind you that your child is not a 'normal' child ( I hate that word- what is normal? Everyone's 'normal' is something different!). I am not sure what else to say though- we don't need anything to remind us they are  adopted as it is a living and breathing thing that is always with us as adoptive parents, well I believe that to be true. So, I am sticking with there term 'normal' in this case.

Beyond needing to know where their own parent is- 'Where daddy?' (in the loo), 'Where mummy?' (in the kitchen), 'Where daddy?' (gone to work, you know that, you said goodbye to him...), 'Where mummy?' (in the same room as you, just look around)- we are reminded that our children don't have the same viewpoint as other children- or maybe they do but we know it comes from loss and adoption so it is deeper rooted as an issue and not just a passing question or concern. How are we reminded?   Films a…

Top 5 of everything! Adopting start to finish.

Last week I attended an adoption open evening as a guest speaker for Coram. I was nervous and excited - I wanted to come across as truthful but not negative and certainly not all rosy tinted specs- a good mix of my story, what to expect and positive vibes for the process. I want to give back to the community- hence I became a media champion but also I want to talk to others, to encourage them that this step is a positive one, a hard one, but a positive one. It was an enjoyable evening and I hope I have helped in any small way. it was lovely to see everyone there signing up to proceed into discussions :)

Before you begin

1) Don't listen to advice from anyone who hasn't been through the process in some way or who doesn't have a good working knowledge of the process. Birth parenting is very different to adoptive parenting in many ways. Certainly  don't take any 'horror stories' of disruption (when a placement breaks down). extreme 'poor' behaviour or a terri…

We wanted this didn't we? What do we all want from adoption?

We wanted this so badly specifically I wanted it the most. It got to the point where I couldn't accept that I was childless. It was not the path I had wanted for my life and I had not been able to successfully bury these feelings (see much earlier posts for my feelings about this!).

After some shocked and bemused discussions we dipped our toes in and skirted in the shallow end for quite some time, gathering information and time after time being astonished that we were a viable couple for adoption.

In truth, I kept being astounded by this fact until the day they came home!

So what did WE think adoption was?

I knew in my heart you didn't get babies anymore- this was not a shock to me to find this out.

I thought the process would be grueling and we would be weaned out at some point.

I thought it would take a while before a child or children would call me Mummy.

I thought I would end up with a child or children with a seriously sad background of abuse.

I thought I would be lucky t…

#adoptionrocks- or does it? (with an adoptee guest writer)

I have seen and used this hashtag on instagram and twitter on many occasions.

I first saw it used on instagram and it spoke to me  of happiness, new beginnings and all the positivity of the children's lives now they had found stability.

What was 'ROCKING' about adoption for me? A number of things and in no particular order:

The fact they were settling and thriving.
The fact they were sometimes sharing wonderful sharing moments (especially as mine have more reasons than 'normal' to not share well).
The fact they were in wonder at new things, places, experiences.
The fact that they tried new foods, new activities and in many cases overcame fear to do them.
The fact they were showing how loving and caring they could be, first with the dogs and then with us and family and friends.
The fact that there are moments of utter joy and happiness for them and us.
The fact that some of their delayed learning and development is coming on leaps and bounds (largely caused by negle…

The panic of parental leave days- guilt, fear and worry.

I am not talking maternity/ adoption leave here- I am talking about having to take parental leave days from work.

Okay, this is not specific to adoptive parents, it is all parents but I will go on to adoption specifics later...

I did not preempt exactly how many I would need to take in such a short amount of time. I mean, in the grand scheme of things it isn't that many but it is enough to make every one a day filled with worry, frustration, guilt and fear.

Worry- How will I be thought of at work? 'Oh, another day off? r=Really? Hmmm' or 'Can't her husband/ mother/ dog look after them?'...Often it is those that are child-free that say these things (okay, not the dog comment!) but not always. I have heard these things said by people about others in the same situation in the past so I assume someone, somewhere may be saying them about me. Am I looked at as a lame excuse of an employee skiving an easy day off? The brain goes into overdrive and the worry about look…

feeding the foundlings- prejudice at panel

We are not strange. We are in a growing number. We are pescatarians.

We eat fish but not meat.

This is usually so hard to understand that we tell people we are vegetarian (another growing number of people).

I have encountered some alarming viewpoints about how we feed our children (and indeed when they were prospective children). Views range from it being tantamount to child abuse to not feed children meat to befuddled views about how we manage to feed children without meat.

We faced hard questions at panel for our children, what if they will only eat chicken nuggets? (Yes seriously, this was a question!). Well A: they should be trying other foods, has the FC of 10 months really restricted them like this and not tried to change it? and B: have you heard of quorn and soya products? As far as A was concerned it was a question not even based on the children we were hoping to adopt as they would eat most food and with B apparently some of them hadn't! (it is not exactly a bizarre food…

Sleeping with a stranger- or a return to babydom

Adoptive parents of children that are older (by older, I mean not a young baby) may well, like me, come to parenting with no experience of  babydom, the all absorption of parenthood, the skin to skin contact and the feelings of utter connection (because I don't actually know first hand, I take this from friends who have had babies). We may come to parenthood of our toddlers with a total disconnection of what being a parent is- we come at it through theory, some childcare experience (we helped out at Beavers and i am a teacher) and we read.

Some of us may have nieces and nephews, be exceedingly close to a friend's baby or know some baby in a more connected and intimate way. I would hazard a guess that many of us don't.

And this is okay really- a majority of birth parents come to their with no prior experience and none of them have been though intensive questioning and appraisal of peers to be a parent.

But- and here is the real lesson- we miss out on the crucial bonding sta…