For weeks now I have been writing posts and dancing around topics, saying plenty but never really saying anything at all. Well, not what I really want to say anyway!
Why? Pride! Fear! Sheer cowardice! Or, as someone pointed out to me this week, have I skirted around the topic, because I am so hard on myself that I am expecting the same from others?
Just under 2 weeks ago I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a 2 day DDP network conference and had the pleasure to hear many amazing speakers including Dan Hughes and Jon Baylin.
It was a wonderful opportunity to gain further insight into the practical side of DDP practise and remind myself of elements that were covered in the Level 1 course that I did earlier on in the year. Although at the time of booking it was not high on my list of importance, possibly more importantly, for the first time in a while, I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with some lovely ladies that I have not seen for quite some time and in all honesty (gosh, I have just realised how often I actually use that word), I underestimated how much I have missed chatting with them about the boys, without having to explain anything about all their idiosyncrasies or feeling defensive about admitting how it is taking its toll on Bumble and I (there is very little they don’t already know about the boys, both good and bad). I can’t describe how refreshing that was at the moment, at a time when I am feeling incredibly overwhelmed by the boys’ needs and the chaos their ‘trauma bond’ is causing in the household, but at the same time there is a pang of sadness and grief for what we have lost (as in their wonderful support) and may never get back.
Maybe I am being selfish? Or maybe I am being realistic, but in the past couple of months two wonderfully different conferences have had me leaving with a very similar message – I need to start taking better care of myself, and that needs to start with asking for the support my family needs at the moment.
This has started me thinking about what would my ideal ‘post adoption support package’ look like, if money wasn’t an issue (LA or self-funding) or we had a fairy godmother who with a ‘Bibbidi–Bobbidi–Boo’ she could wave her wand and magic up everything we need.
Here goes with my wish list.
- Relocation to a property with an attached beach, in a secluded area, with plenty of space around us for the boys to play and let off steam, and we can be a family without people scrutinising our parenting, making constant allegations, or making us feel like criminals in our own home.
- Therapeutic/psychological support for Bumble and I from a qualified DDP therapist / psychologist.
- Subsidised ad hoc childcare service, so that Bumble doesn’t need to keep using his leave to cover child care when I have to attend meetings (Must be CRB checked babysitters who have the hide of a rhinoceros, but experienced, caring and unflappable by the challenges they may face).
- Complete Ed Psych, Occupational Therapy, and Therapeutic assessment for Buzzbee to finally assess his complete needs in order to return to school in the future if he should wish to.
- 1:1 home tutor for Buzzbee to help him begin learning that mummy is not the only person who he can trust to show how ‘clever’ he is and not be fearful of showing the areas he struggles with.
- Commitment to fund Specialist post adoption therapy, i.e. DDP qualified therapist (private as no longer available on NHS/CAMHS in our area) or other appropriate services until 18 and transitioned to any relevant/suitable adult provision.
- Guaranteed specialist education placements/provision until 18
- Ok I actually already receive some adoption allowance for Buzz but I would like to see adoption allowance payments which are in line with our LA’s foster care rates until children complete full time education.
- ‘No questions asked’, Non-judgemental Post adoption handyman service that we could ring up after a violent outburst and arrange for them to come and repair damaged doors, walls, etc.
- Access to holiday camps/activities with additional support funded (thinking of Buzzbee mainly on this one).
- Proper and effective developmental trauma and attachment training for Waxy’s school.
- Parent/school advocacy service to mediate disputes/misunderstandings – parent partnerships in our area not up to the job.
- On-going opportunities for training (new skills, etc.), access to out of hours/in hours non-judgemental support/advice when needed (in person/email/phone)
- Pupil premium for every child whether they are in full-time education or have been forced into home education because of the huge deficit in the way the national curriculum and ‘school rules’ are so rigid and unsustainable for some of our children.
- On the ball Letterbox service – Oh hang on we actually have this already.
- Access to a database signposting adopters to ALL support services and training available etc.
- On-going support for us and NOT JUST when difficulties develop / Crises occur.
- Crisis intervention support plan – violence, bereavement, allegations, sibling trauma bonds, and so much more…
Maybe I should also ask for:
- The entire staff of Downton Abbey minus the backstabbing (I get enough of that already) to run my house for me.
- Spa sessions at Center Parcs’ Aqua Sana at least 3 times a year.
- Endless supply of chocolate and diet Pepsi for evenings and weekends when the boys are together (trauma bond survival kit), served by ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ male pros, bronzed Adonises, the ghost of Patrick Swayze, really any nice male eye candy, as and when needed.
- Mummy rescue package provided by local Firemen.
- Automatic hotline to Il Divo or Michael Buble to personally serenade me when I need an extra big slice of self-regulating/self-care mummy time.
- Pocket sized Andre Rieu and orchestra, so he can come everywhere with me to keep me regulated all day long.
- Pocket sized Dan Hughes, Bruce Perry, Jon Baylin, etc. who can be taken out as and when advice is needed.
- Uninhabited deserted island with mute blonde Adonises waiting on my every need.
- Soundproof, purpose built study for Bumble to play his online roleplaying games.
In the spirit of fairness, I have also asked the boys what their dream support plan would include.
Here it is:
- Weekly private training with a premier league football player for both boys.
- Private street dance lessons with Ashley Banjo for Buzzbee.
- Kate Upton as Beeswax’s 1:1 teaching assistant (lock up your daughters!)
- ‘No Social Workers’ trapdoor/hidden ejector launchpad under front door mat.
- Purpose built adventure playground and climbing wall for the garden.
- Hypnotist to brainwash mum and dad into letting us play Xbox all day and night.
- Girlfriend for Buzzbee (Waxy wrote “not that he has had trouble getting them in the past, LOL”) .
So that is our list! I am sure there are things I have forgotten but if you could do the same what you put on yours?