I was too tired yesterday to write anything... so I'll do it now, but it may not be as clear in my head as I would like it to me.
Our day started by looking at our support networks - we were given large pieces of paper, and asked to do a diagram of our support networks, including family and friends, but using the thickness of lines to signify the amount of support that would be given. It was an interesting start to the process, although it will need refining and sorting! We were warned that we won't get the support from some people that we think we will, and that others will be added to the mix.
We then had a talk from an adoptive parent. They adopted 2 girls, one aged 20 months and one aged 5 1/2 years. This happened 3 years ago. She talked about the different characters that her girls are, and how hard sometimes it is to judge what behaviours are happening due to adoption. She told us about the issues that they have had, and what problems they have encountered.
In the afternoon we talked about identify - and how important it is. We did two exercises linked to it, but one was a lot more effective than the other. We were asked for memories, from whenever, and whatever. One social worker wrote them all on the board, and whilst someone was speaking the other social worker, ripped them down, and ripped the paper and screwed it up. It was then impossible to smooth out. This was then related to the fact that adopted children will have memories, and that we won't be able to smooth them all out, but how important it is to stay in contact (no matter how little) with the birth family, so we can ask questions. Our memories are built with help of our families, saying 'do you remember when?' adopted children won't have that about their early life.
We also listened to a post adoption support worker, who told us about all the work that our agency do after adoption. Things like a stay and play group for adopted children and parents only. Things like offering phone support. Putting people in contact with CAHMS and other support.
We have finished our last full day - and we do feel generally positive about the experience. We have learnt a lot and have ideas of what else we need to think about, and research more. We have another evening next week, then a meeting with a social worker the week after! It's all moving forward!!!
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