This is my first round-up of 2013. Last month the very lovely Vicki at The Boy’s Behaviour guest-edited the round-up for me, which was wonderful to get a new pair of eyes on the Adoption and Fostering blogosphere. It was also great for me as I seem to be increasingly up to my eyes in it with my 3 little ones, all under the age of 4. I probably don’t need to tell most of you about the day-to-day hectic life with babies and toddlers – although DS2 has started walking now so I guess they are all toddlers now! We adopted 3 children in 15 months and there is less than 16 months between each of them (don’t try and do the maths, it boggles my mind still) …Anyway, somehow amongst the nursery runs, meals, naps and endless ENDLESS laundry, I have managed to surface and hope to deliver to you some fantastic Adoption and Fostering blogs from the last month.
I’m going to start with a blog from ‘Love, Life and Ruminations’ (love the superhero drawing btw) who writes about expectations in the ‘rollercoaster of life’. I’m sure we all know those times when battles lines are drawn and there’s a control struggle going on - you either have to ignore it and thereby put in a performance worthy of a BAFTA or step up to the battle line with gritted teeth and take what’s thrown at you (literally, sometimes). I really relate to this post, especially about feeling about walking on eggshells and trying to avoid things that you know might spark an explosion but balancing that with the guidance and training for life.
Also on my list this month is a post from one of the few gents blogging about adoption. I really enjoy the blog of The One Hand Man who is relatively new to the adoption journey but seems to be having a fantastic time! This month he has blogged about ‘parental responsibility’ following a little accident at home (ok this bit not so fantastic). Children who are newly placed for adoption remain Looked After Children (LAC) until the Adoption Order is finalised, usually a few months in. At this time, parental responsibility is shared between the Adopters and the placing Local Authority – which means things like medical appointments or trips to A & E can be a bit complicated! Thankfully little one was ok.
Gem at Life with Katie has written a moving post entitled ‘Unique Experiences’ that I really related to. We all make judgments about one another – I guess its part of human nature – but her post speaks volumes about how we all have our own experiences and stories that other’s cannot possibly really know. How or why we adopted or how we came to adoption or fostering – that is down to each of us, our own personal decisions which some may or may not agree with. Ultimately though, however we came to be where we are, it’s all about the children. There are so many layers to adoption, involving the adoptees (including adult adoptees) and the birth parents. Its complex and therefore its good to listen and learn from one another.
Mumdrah has recently launched her site about her wonderful life with CHT (Curly Haired Thunderbolt) and she has written this week about the labels. FASD, RAD, DV, there are many labels for the children who come through the care system to fostering or adoption. It’s got me thinking about the labels of my own children (some shared with CHT) and what these mean – nothing and everything. It would be easy to ignore them, these theories and diagnosis but they are experiences, they are what form our children and in some ways, what brought us together.
Sezz from ‘Dear Daughter..’ has blogged about the School Disco this month – oh I remember those. Awkward dancing in the school hall. Excitement and nervousness. Possibly too much sugar and fizzy drinks. Bad hair and shoes….Anyway, enough about me – Sezz writes about how the school disco was for Missy. Sometimes what seem like regular childhood activities can become even more complicated for an adopted child, who can be fraught with anxiety about change or special events.
Sally Donovan has had me giggling at her giggling - but also sympathizing in her post ‘ Falling Over Laughing’ . She gets the giggles at times when it may not be wise to laugh - such as when people fall over (I bet you love You’ve Been Framed Sally!) How does this relate to parenting? Well it does…in empathy, empathizing that sometimes our children just can’t help themselves in their reactions.
Sarah at The Puffin Diaries wrote a very beautiful post about her First Love – read it here. You will love it. You might cry. Its been nominated for a SWAN award – so help her out and vote!
The Chair of Scottish Adoption, Chris Creegan has written this month about the changes in Adoption over the past years. Its reflective and insightful with Chris offering his own perspective as an adoptee. He touches on the importance of life story work and maintaining contact in today’s adoption processes, something constantly under discussion with the DfE, as well as the changes in the circumstances that lead to children being placed for adoption.
Carrying on with the theme of contact, Sally Donovan has also written for the Community Care blog about her thoughts on contact for adopted children. New legislation has stated that social workers are no longer obliged to promote contact with birth parents and its sparked debate on many sides. As she states, it can sometimes be ‘destabilizing and frightening’ and I agree that it should not be considered automatic and that the interests of the children - which may change over time – are crucial. It a very complex area as none of us know what the future holds and whilst we parent, we often have to make decisions for our children until they are able to tell us or make those decisions themselves.
Fiona Ferguson is a relatively new blogger on the circuit and she’s blogging at a phenomenal speed! Her posts are honest, open and very interesting. As she states, she has survived 15 years of adoption and undoubtedly is a fantastic Mum with some wise words that us newer adoptive parents can learn from. Her recent post on Contact visits is worth a read particularly in light of the recent debate around the issue as I have mentioned. She also has some wonderfully nostalgic posts and photos making her blog a really heart-warming, personal story.
Adoption is increasingly in the media and often its the process to approval which inspires the most hot debate. It’s an intrusive journey and rightly so in my opinion. Vicki at The Boy’s Behaviour has written this month about her thoughts on the intrusiveness of the adoption process and also about her pregnancy and birth experiences. She is in an even more unique position of having been blessed with both an adopted child and a birth child. Her post is thought-provoking, honest, brave and insightful as she speaks about the 2 paths to motherhood.
Because adoption is an intrusive process – both through approval and beyond – there does exist Adoption Support Groups. Adoption UK run several, details of which can be found on their site. Naomi at Getting There has written a short post about how she values these groups for bringing her together with people who share the adoption experience. I can actually hear how renewed she sounds from benefiting from meeting with fellow adopters who know what it can be like sometimes. I haven’t been to any ‘real life’ adoption support groups in my area yet but there is a wealth of support online which is amazing and extremely reassuring.
I don’t get to read many fostering blogs but I am really pleased to be able to include ‘That Nice Woman’ at ‘ Fly Baby Bird, Fly’ to give the very valuable fostering perspective. Foster Carers are an integral part of a successful adoption placement. Her post is moving. Read it – that’s all there is to say.
Before I finish this round-up it would not be right of me to not mention WASO. What is WASO I hear you say?? Well don’t you know? Where have you been? Its the latest buzz word on the adoption blog track – the Weekly Adoption Shout Out hosted by Sarah at The Puffin Diaries and Vicki at The Boy’s Behaviour. They have linked together so that every Friday, there is the chance to link your adoption-related blog to the WASO and thereby bring together the week’s adoption posts. I believe it is now in week 5 and has got off to a flying start - it has certainly brought together some fantastic new blogs for me to read and there is a badge too!! Here is the latest WASO, complete with accompanying blogs – so many more to add to the great ones I have listed here. Follow it, keep track of #WASO on Twitter and join in.