Thursday, 28 June 2012

signs of improvement...

I wrote a long blog post the other day and saved it to drafts to think about... well I've thought about it and decided to leave it where it is! I would only follow up with this, I will be removing a few posts over the next few weeks, I have reasons, many and varied for it, but I will be doing a clear up!

This week has been been busy and frantic; and at the same time boy-o seems to have relaxed some more - that will of course have blown it. When M picked him up from his childminder's on Tue boy-o said he was tired...he had a little tea and then agreed to go to bed without any fuss. By 6.15 he was asleep - no arguments or tantrums about it.

Yesterday I picked him up from the childminders (he has tea there on a Wed) and we came home talking about his friends; he was able to tell me some names, and when I suggested others he thought about it and said 'sometimes' 'no' and 'yes' to what I was saying. We played outside with bubbles when we got home, and spent some time kicking a ball around. He was a complete delight to be with.

This morning, he was a happy and jolly and kept coming for cuddles whilst I was doing jobs, then going back to play. He didn't need to be entertained for the entire time.

Small signs of progress - but signs never the less!

Monday, 25 June 2012


I went a couple of weeks ago to a wonderful evening to introduce me to the world of Theraplay; although to be fair our first social worker did tell us about it, and had see still been our social worker when boy-o was placed she'd have done some with us. I really enjoyed the evening, not just because it was nice to be with adoptive parents who are becoming friends but because the information was useful.

Theraplay for those not versed in adoption theory is a 'method of enhancing attachment, engagement, self esteem and trust in others'. The goal is to help the relationship between adult and child so it is secure, attuned and joyful.

The SW who was leading the session pointed out that even a child that was removed at birth and has had minimum moves, they still have a different experience to birth children that have always lived with mum and dad. That they have lost an inherent belief that they will be where they are forever. Theraplay helps by working on structure (and encouraging safety and regulation), engagement (connection and attunement), nurture (regulation and worthiness), and challenge (competence & confidence along with supporting exploration). For more information have a look at their website...theraplay institute

We watched a video of a SW working on some theraplay activities with her son. It was useful to see some of the ideas in practise. We did some of the activities. We had a discussion about some of the practicalities. Thankfully the SW leading the session knows boy-o so when I said 'what about when he won't sit still to do this or that' and she referred me to some of the more active activities.

My plan is to try to do some theraplay activities during the long holiday... it's only 4 weeks away now. I'm going to do some planning and collect some equipment and practise with M! The idea is that the adult leads, and that it's relatively fast paced for a short time. The plan is that if it seems to be helping I might contact the SW's and ask for someone to come and do a session with us to make sure that there isn't anything I haven't missed.

In an aside I spoke to boy-o's key worker at pre-school this morning in an attempt to gather information in preparation for the visit I have booked to speak to next year's nursery class teacher. She can't believe how much he has come on in some aspects, social and communication are amazing to look at. However, he doesn't recognise numbers, colours, or shapes (I knew that!). They also commented on his concentration... he's just too nosey. Which of course makes me wonder about hyper-vigilance; does he need to know where everyone else for safety. They also raised several over issues; which I knew about... can't be helped it's who he. The big question mark I have is over how he will do in a new environment, and how long it will take him to settle. I can't imagine until he's happy and confident in the nursery class he'll do very well at school...but that is the point of making the change now, not in 12 months when he starts school. He can have a year getting used to it.

He will be okay, he's a happy, jolly and social child. It doesn't matter that he can't do what someone else of his age can, it's only someone else's idea of where he should be. He is doing amazingly well... he's progressing in all areas, and in the right manner. He'll get there, and if he doesn't, so what, he's our boy and we love him.

Thursday, 21 June 2012


So I still haven't managed to blog about my evening learning about Theraplay, or the results of our holiday... but I need to blog today's happenings before I forget detail. The others should hopefully follow.

We spent the afternoon with two of boy-o's brothers; the ones that we have met before. They are twins who are about 14months older than boy-o. We met at a soft play place, where they were able to play and their Mum and I were able to talk. I have a photo of their meeting this time, which last time I was so nervous I didn't... I also have Mum's mobile number stored on my phone, so we can connect easier.

Their Mum and I were both shocked at how much like the elder twin, boy-o is. In looks, character and abilities. There was one moment where the three of them were in a dark corner, and a loud noise emerged... we couldn't see who it was; whether it was twin S or boy-o. Apparently boy-o and twin S are both noisy and make similar noises. They are both active, and jump around a lot. They actually look more alike than the twins do - although twin S is a little taller.

They don't have gorgeous curly hair, like my boy - and they are blond, boy-o isn't. They have blue eyes - boy-o doesn't. But you line them up and you can see that they are closely related! All three of them wear glasses - although twin J's eye's aren't as bad as the other two.

Boy-o came home and chattered about them, we told them in the holiday we will go to the park. Boy-o has decided he will take his big ball and play with twin J. He's going to go on the slide with twin S! He has it planned.

It was lovely to see them and their Mum, it was lovely to chat over some things. It was nice to be able to share about birth mum and our meeting with her, as their mum wasn't given the opportunity. We talked for a couple of hours, and the boys played, with each other and not. I couldn't see boy-o at one point and twin J went off to find him, and brought him back. It was a lovely moment, just like when we said good bye, I got a hug from twin J!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Tired Mummy....

I don't think I've ever felt this tired after a holiday before. I've lots to blog about, but very little enthusiasm... which is a little like what I said about exercise earlier on today!

Holiday was great and horrific. Not even in equal measure. To the people at work who've asked and said 'you'll have had a lovely time' I've just nodded and said yes. It was lovely. It was. But I was so relieved when I was talking to an adoptive mum last night and I said we'd gone away and she says 'how are you, how bad was it?' I'm so blessed to have people who get it in my life.

We had a wonderful time, we went to the beach and built sandcastles, and went in the sea. We went to an amazing adventure playground, which boy-o loved. We saw my Great Aunt and Uncle - boy-o even managed to get to sit on their tractor. I was still in shock that 5+ years after last visiting them we managed to find their somewhat obscure street (in the middle of no-where 5 miles to here, 4 miles to there). We did walks, we did playing, and we did no sleeping, regression in behaviour and high levels of stress and anxiety!

We know he would find it hard - why wouldn't he, somewhere strange? What sort of questions does it rise in his head?

And to back it worse, we came home on Saturday and spent all day Sunday either at Church or at friend's house as her youngest was baptised. And no pre-school this week. No return to routine. Can you guess how this week is going. We went to same friend's for eat up lunch on Monday, and she commented, he's not settled at the minute - and I just laughed. Luckily she is a friend that gets it - and works with small children.

M and I are trying some new ideas. Some things that seem to be working. Some that don't. Tonight's tantrum was superb.... I needed to leave at 6.15 to get were I was going on time.... we started to get him ready for bed about 5.50, so all M had to do was give him some milk and supper. I left at 6.40... after 30 mins of listening to boy-o scream. We did get him to calm down before I left... I was late. Who cares?

We will get there, or not and we will readjust our expectations.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Excited and nervous...

I'm heading into the next week with some worries...

We are taking boy-o away, last year we went to stay with my parents, but we are going to stay in a chalet this year. It'll be interesting to see how he takes it. I keep selling the idea of the seaside, and the beach, and sand... the boy loves sand.

I'm not taking my computer! I am taking my phone, but no Internet access means no point taking my computer. I may use mobile Internet on occasion to check email etc, but no real Internet for a week... disconnected or what!

See you on the other side of our holiday!