Tag Archive | siblings

Catch them before they fall

This weeks’ The Adoption Social #WASO theme is “So far, we’ve”. I could probably think of 8 or 9 different angles to write from for this theme and maybe I could have blended them all together in a single post but anyone who has regularly read my posts will know I am not known for keeping it brief. You could probably start reading it at breakfast time and still be reading it when supper time comes around, going on past experience.

Instead, I am focusing on one angle that is very current and important to us.

Earlier in the week I tweeted…..

sweettweet

I had dropped both the boys off at their separate holiday club and forest school. Bumble had gone to work and for the first time in weeks, I had the house to myself. Yippeee!!!!

For 5 blissful hours, it was just Beedog and me, oh and a nice big slice of chocolate cake.

While I have to admit that by lunchtime I was starting to miss the noise and chaotic mayhem…….. I know what you are going to say “why on earth would you be missing that? Have you lost your mind?” The few short ‘child-free’ hours I had were most definitely needed and gave me some valuable breathing space to regroup after a tricky week before, and more importantly it is giving the boys the space they need from each other (or in Waxy’s case – space from the pressure of the intimacy of being part of a family).

To be fair, Buzz’s plan for the school holidays hadn’t changed. He was always going to be continuing with his regular forest school day throughout the holidays but as usual we had taken the opportunity to increase it by a day because they run daily holiday clubs during school holidays and the blend of new children with some of the regulars has been great for Buzz, as well as the relationship he has begun to build with the staff.

Now Waxy attending a holiday club was never originally in the immediate plan – lingering in the background – but never a direct plan of action. Now the he is 14, I have found we have come up against some tricky hurdles…

  1. Waxy is 14 years old and doesn’t want to be doing something ‘babyish’ (his words not mine).
  2. There are very few daily holiday club activities that are available to 14 years olds in our area and many of the ones that there are he, has either pooh-poohed our suggestions or they are just a REALLY BAD IDEA FOR HIM.
  3. A couple that we have thought were possible and had caught his attention were either cancelled due to lack of numbers or they suggested they may not have the right staff to support him – just to point out A) He only plays Bumble and I up and would have been a perfect attendee, B) Just because he attends a specialist school for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties does not automatically mean they need 1:1 support (that would be a bad idea for him anyway).
  4. Finally, understandably Waxy wants to be like the other teens in the village and do the stuff they do. The problem is… he wants it, but cannot cope with it and lacks the social skills and confidence to successfully achieve it – even with our support and encouragement.

And it is the final hurdle that in fact has been the catalyst for what had been up until recently a positive start to the school break with the boys.

We’ve come ‘so far’ with the boys in the last year in terms of their ability to spend time together without it falling to pieces and Waxy had made huge leaps in managing his discomfort and distrust of being part of a family and at the beginning of this years’ school holidays, he was almost always a joy to be around – something that I haven’t been able to say very often in the past couple of years.

Anyway, getting back to my point. Over the past 10 days or so, Bumble and I couldn’t help noticing that Waxy was slipping back into his old ways and his interaction and responses were rapidly becoming negative and volatile, and this change in mood in our opinion could be directly linked back to his attempts at independence around the village, which have not gone how he hoped they would, or he had pushed himself so far outside of his comfort zone that he couldn’t cope and his frustration was taking over.

if you fall

Watching the boys slowly unravelling with each other (Waxy particularly), my instincts were telling me that I needed to metaphorically ‘catch them before they fell’ or maybe it was just my own ‘secondary trauma’ speaking, but rather than allow Waxy to carry on the path he was on and just wait for him to completely self-destruct before trying to pick the pieces up, Bumble and I agreed that we needed to give Waxy a break from independence and insist that he attended a multi-sport/activity holiday club twice a week and to my surprise he agreed – although he claimed it was because he would rather do that than sit in a waiting room, playing on his phone while Buzzbee had his appointment and then afterwards “drag him off to adventure playground so Buzz can run off his nervous energy”.

And, guess what! He enjoyed his first week so much he has asked to attend 4 days next week. He says he is enjoying the structure, but after meeting the staff, and listening to him talk about a couple of them, I suspect there is a touch of teenage male hormones coming into play too – he is 14 after all – SO not ready for the relationship stage! And neither am I!

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A Time To Celebrate – National Adoption Week Special

court

Well we have finally done it.  Last week we finally had our Adoption Celebration Hearing and are now legally the boy’s parents, and it feels appropriate to write this post during National Adoption Week for #WASO

We managed to get the boys to the court and through the proceedings almost without incident, despite the lateness in the day and the interruption to their routines.  Both boys were extremely nervous (Okay so were Bumble and I, but we had to appear calm for their sake). Buzzbee nearly flipped out when we entered the court room and the judge came out all robed up. He is dinky and the room was big and intimidating to him. But it wasn’t until we left the court that the stress of it was all too much for the boys and they attempted to annihilate each other for a few seconds.

The rest of our afternoon/evening celebration was wonderful and I got my first genuine “I love you” from Beeswax (Okay it was because we had brought him something he has been wanting for some time, but I will take that). Since the hearing Buzzbee has taken to checking at any opportunity that we really mean ‘forever’ and has taken it one step further and monologues as he climbs in to his “forever bed” every night, drinks his “forever hot chocolate”, and has a goodnight kiss from his “forever mummy and daddy”.

It has taken us more than 4 years and throughout our journey to adoption we have had more ups and downs, twists and turns, and have had to loop the loop more times than the scariest ride at a theme park.

  • I have gained so many new hats throughout my time with the boys, some favourable, some hysterical and some I would gladly do without.
  • I have felt that I have had to prove myself over and over again.
  • I nearly lost my boys due to the trauma that their history brought to our household.
  • I am constantly fighting for my boy’s needs to be met.
  • I have pretended to throw a tantrum in a supermarket to diffuse a colossal meltdown (I’ll let you into a little secret – sometimes I am not pretending).
  • I have learnt more about football and dinosaurs than I ever imagined, and sometimes I even manage to pronounce the names correctly (although Carcharodontosaurus is still a mouthful).
  • I have learnt that no matter how difficult a day it has been with my boys, they will always at some point unintentionally have me chuckling for one reason or another (usually because of their fantastic logical reason for their actions.  “It is not my fault that I throw Buzz’s toys down the stairs at you. You told Buzz to put them away earlier so they shouldn’t have been there.”)

The list is endless.

Although we were approved as prospective adopters, we met our boys through respite fostering and I don’t mind telling you that, out of the countless children we provided respite for, Beeswax and Buzzbee were the only 2 children that broke my heart every time I had to hand them back to their foster carer.  We had very young babies, we had sibling groups (come to think of it all but one of the placements we had were sibling groups), and I even offered emergency daytime respite but none of them ever had the effect my boys had on me.

There was always something there – something special! Something I still cannot explain and this was unconsciously reciprocated by the boys over the several times they stayed with us.

Buzzbee had claimed our home, pet and neighbour’s daughter very quickly and, according to their foster carer, would get excited by the knowledge of coming to stay or me coming to babysit.

Beeswax’s claiming was definitely sub-conscious. Beeswax knew that we provided respite for other children but as the visits increase, Beewax’s questions went from “what children slept in the room?” to “Who was sleeping in my room?” and the biggest give away came in the form of his ‘hopes and wishes for his forever family’ comment sheet for is adoption profile. Each thing he wrote described Bumble, his career and personality, myself and all the bizarre skills that I have that he and I had discussed during his stay. He described with specifics our pet, his ideal new home and so much more.

Up until that day we had always thought that it wasn’t possible for us to be considered to adopt them because I had on several occasions met the birth family (well grandparents and extended family) but Beeswax’s list changed everything.

There had to be a way to make it work and that is exactly what we did and how I am now sat here writing this post, welling up with emotion and finally able to say to my boys “I am your mum, now and forever!”

Would I change a thing? Well, there is plenty I would change for the sake of my boys if it were in my power. So maybe the question should be – if I had the chance to do it all again, would I do it differently?

I can’t say I wouldn’t and I can’t say I would.  Each of our childrens’ needs are different and what is best for one is not necessarily best for another. I have learnt so much from my boys. But thing is sure – if I had the chance to do it all again, I would still choose my boys!

Yes there are difficult times and it would be wrong of me to suggest otherwise but at the top of every thorny rose there is a beautiful flower waiting to bloom. So blossom swiftly and some take their time but each and every one of them hold a special place in my heart.

Yes, I missed out on their early milestones – I may not have given birth to my son’s. I may not have seen them take their first steps or heard them say their first word.  I couldn’t protect them from what they have seen and heard, and I can’t take those memories away. But, for every milestone I missed I have so many more that have been made since the boys moved in and each one is as precious as petals on those rose buds.

We'll Bee together 'forever' homemade cake

We’ll Bee together ‘forever’ homemade cake

The Weekly Adoption Shout Out