Archive | December 2013

Merry Christmas to you all

It’s Christmas!!!!!!!!!

The boys are up. The dogs are on top form and grandparents are in their element.
The Christmas morning madness has begun.

Okay to be fair it began hours ago (4am to be exact, although Buzzbee did eventually fall back to sleep).

Our Christmas traditions are in full swing with one new addition – christmas jumpers.

My 2 stress monkeys have now been transformed into helpful, chirpy elves and have turned the charm factor up to maximum in preparation for great-nanny’s arrival.

More about our adventures later in the week.

To all reading this – I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year

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Yum Yum!!

After a very difficult and painful couple of weeks, I thought I would pull myself out of the doldrums by sharing a yummy ‘memory box’ moment.

I have just spent a wonderful 2 days home baking with Buzzbee and I think he has been bitten by the Christmas baking bug or should I say the Christmas gift goodies bug. His creativity juices has been in full swing.

Every year I make homemade rum/brandy truffles for friends and family as well as our traditional shortbread cookies, but this year Buzz wanted to do something special for his babysitter and a friend of ours by making one of them a gingerbread house and the other a chocolate house.

I have no idea how much chocolate we have actually used or how many different kind of sweets we have used, but it is fair to say that the Tooth Fairy will be in business for a very long time.

Yummy

Memory Box

Meet my ‘Secret Santa’

This week I’m hosting my first guest blog post as part of ‘The Adoption Social’ Secret Santa blog exchange. For several months now I have enjoyed reading Lindsay’s blog posts over at Grey Street and following her and her family’s journey. So I am really pleased that I get to host her ‘Secret Santa’ post this week.

Once you have finished reading this wonderfully festive post, why not check out more of her fantastic writing over at Grey Street and while you are at it, pop over to ‘The Adoption Social’ for more great blogs, support and advice.

Enjoy!  And, Season’s Greetings to you all.

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First Christmas

Last year when Christmas rolled around, Jonathan had been with us for just over a month.

Looking back, I think I was nuts!

Our lives had just completely changed; roles had been flip flopped, familiar schedules thrown out the window, I had lost my old identity and hadn’t found my new mom-none-working one yet.

I was completely in love and completely… I think in a state of adoption shock sums it up!

Yet, I Christmas baked like it was my job. I Christmas shopped like my life depended on it. I canned jam and sewed for a little Christmas sale. We had family over for Christmas day and dinner. And I cooked a turkey. Maybe I was trying to just carry on like not big deal, there’s just this little fellow here now but it hasn’t changed me that much. Or maybe because I just didn’t know what else to do.

But all the nuttyness melted away as soon as we woke him up on Christmas morning.

It was his first Christmas that he had any stability. That he had any language to express and know what was happening. And as far as we know, that he had a lot of new toys (we *may* have gone a tad overboard in wanting to make his first Christmas pretty spectacular) and a lot of love.

He didn’t quite understand at first. He was hesitant with the first few presents. Watching the rest of us tear the paper he seemed in disbelief that this is how we were all behaving. But, he caught on pretty quick! Tear, oooh and ahhh, place in a pile, repeat.

We spent the day eating yummy food, sitting around chatting and opening new toys and it was a very very perfect day. Cozy. Warm. With family. With love.

When the lights started to appear on houses a few weeks ago, Jonathan would squeal from the back seat of the car “I see Christmas time!” every time we drove by some. He was over the moon when Gord pulled out our Christmas tree and he is very impressed about the presents already appearing under the tree.

Clearly, our efforts last year made an impression and I can’t wait to repeat it (minus a few less toys) this year.

Merry Christmas everyone!

The Weekly Adoption Shout Out
This entry was posted on December 15, 2013. 4 Comments

“Oh, Christmas Tree…………..”

“…… how much learning can there be”?

Okay, I know I am being cheesy, but as Buzzbee and I are now 4 weeks into our Home Education adventure and still alive, I wanted to celebrate how hard he has been trying and add a little festive cheer at the same time.

For 18 months his school kept saying that he refused to learn and gave up even trying to teach him. When Bumble and I took the decision to remove Buzz from school they could not tell me what levels he was at.  They had allowed his fear of failure to cripple him emotionally and he left school believing that he was ‘stupid and unteachable’. I could go on about how my bright, determined and curious little boy had turned into a child who would fall apart the moment he made a mistake and how the thought of reading a book aloud sent him into a state of blind panic.

I am not going to sit here and write that it has been a breeze having to now not only play ‘mummy’ but also ‘teacher’ but I cannot fail to notice that he already appears calmer and more relaxed, and I am certainly reaping the rewards of having extra time to build on our attachment relationship (although this weekend both he and Beeswax are pushing every button they can)

But, this is about celebrating what he has achieved in a short time with a few of his proudest pieces of work – Christmas style.

learningtree tag2 tag1

Buzzbee wanted to create a ‘Learning Christmas Tree’ to list his triumphs (one tag for each day)

santaletter2 bauble xmas words

Handwriting is a huge anxiety for Buzz and usually he will only attempt writing if someone has written it out for him before but both of these were achieved with only assistance with spelling and WITHOUT meltdowns (resistance but no meltdown).

snowmanchart1

Buzz loved the idea of learning about bar charts by creating a graph of all of our names (okay so this was his second attempt using all our pseudo names) – Thank you Pinterest for the inspiration. He is now running away with the idea and creating a bar chart to find out which street in our village has the most Christmas lights.

But, of all the different ways of trying to help Buzz feel better about himself and realise that he is as clever as his peers, Buzz has discovered that he loves writing stories and acrostics.

SANTA CLAUS

SANTA CLAUS

How my snowman melted

How my snowman melted

I don’t know how long Buzz will continue with his renewed enthusiasm for some aspects of learning, or if I will find myself in a position where I don’t feel it is the best thing for our relationship, but for now I believe this is the best option for him and for as long as he needs it, I am going to continue supporting him.

This post has been written as part of this weeks ‘Adoption Weekly Shout Out’ #WASO

The Weekly Adoption Shout Out

Don’t you want me baby?

This weeks’ #WASO theme of ‘rejection’ is a difficult topic for me. At the best of times, I struggle not to take it personally when the boys try their hardest to keep me at bay but, when it comes to the damage that has been caused by previous professionals believing that the relational, attachment and behavioural difficulties with Beeswax were down to my responses to him, and that I was using his previous history as an excuse to keep him at bay….. (enough!!!)

Over the past couple of months there have been some significant and memorable changes in the hive. Some have been happy and some bittersweet.

At the moment so many people are expecting us to be bathing in the light of the finalisation of the adoption order and being the happiest we have ever been, but there is a part of me that still doesn’t seem to be able to quite reach the dizzy heights that maybe I should be striving for.

Please don’t get me wrong, I am over the moon and couldn’t imagine anything more amazing than being able to say they are “Our Sons” and our celebration party recently was more than I could have ever possibly wished for or imagined happening.

So what is holding me back? Or should I say ‘why don’t I feel able to fully commit to the excitement of it all being finalised and legal’?

After a couple very difficult weeks with Waxy, I have found myself reading back over entries in my old diary desperately searching for an answer and torturing myself with the knowledge of how much blame I put on myself for the relational difficulties between Beeswax and I.

We have come so far as a family and I have much more self-awareness of my own triggers and reactions. While reading my diary it occurred to me that there is one area that has barely changed and I fear never will – and that scares me.

Waxy’s need to reject me the moment he senses we have had a glimmer of an emotional connection.  It scares me that I will never be good enough for him.  No matter how much he openly declares that he hates his birth mother and “never wants to set eyes on her ever again”. I have accepted that there is a very strong primal connection between them and that it controls his relationship with me. Although we know very little about his early years’ experience or his relationship with birth mum, every day he is home I feel the impact of his early years loss and his feelings of rejection and I am often left feeling that it doesn’t matter what I do or say, I can never win, because he simply cannot trust that I wouldn’t let him down if he allowed himself to get close to me. As a result, over the years, he and I have slowly become more and more disconnected on the surface as we both slip into self-protection mode (subconsciously both boys will always show me when they really need me to be their mum).

I wrote a post recently about how while both boys used to stay with Bumble and I on respite, Waxy was unconsciously claiming us and that he had a strong desire to have a forever family but the realities of this have proven to be very painful for him and all around him.

I have always tried to explain to onlookers who are unable to understand the dynamics in our relationship that I am living with 2 real life push-me-pull-you’s and that I accepted a long time ago that this may always be the way my sons relate to me.

But, who am I trying to kid? It kills me every time the boys feel the need to push me away and keep me at arm’s length.  I constantly strive to not take it personally but fail every time.

If I am lucky I manage to avoid letting the boys see it affecting me, but, being someone who is known for wearing her heart on her sleeve, I pretty much suck at doing this.

Enough of that Honey!  I am not sitting here writing a post that sounds like a pity party for one.

As the boy’s primary carer it is difficult when they feel the need to reject my attempts to create a relationship with them and it is bloody hard sometimes but I do ‘get it’, well I hope I ‘get it’ which in turn helps me to depersonalise it when I am strong enough.

Several readers will know that Beeswax attends a specialist EBD boarding school during the week and this decision was made as a result of his bravery in admitting that the intimacy of living in a family 24/7 was too hard for him.

His fear of abandonment meant that he went to great lengths to make sure that he couldn’t begin to feel something for me or believe that I wanted to love him.  He is so hurt and angry that allowing himself to feel safe enough to contemplate trusting another mum is still too much for him to handle.

It is easy for me to say that I hope that I will never let them down, but I have no right to expect my boys to trust me, but I won’t stop trying to gain that trust.

It is funny really, but if I think hard enough about it. There has been so many times over the years where, although it would kill Beeswax to admit it, he has shown me that he loves me in his own weird way.

I read a quote recently that went something along the lines of – “Rejection is difficult to deal with, especially if you are singled out as the recipient of your child’s rage. But, there is every reason to hope that a strong attachment will happen. And you must remember, falling in love is a process, not an event. Tolerance usually precedes acceptance. One day you are ‘persona non grata’ and the object of your child’s rage and then you are mummy dearest”.

(I only wish I could remember where I read it or who wrote it so I could credit them for this)

"That's close enough"

“That’s close enough”

 

The Weekly Adoption Shout Out