Saturday, 30 March 2013

Park Life

Is it just me, or do you always have to have sight of your children?

Despite Mini's need to hold on to the buggy when we're out walking, if the mood takes him, as it does at parks and sometimes in shops, he runs and explores.
I struggle with this a little bit, ok a lot.
I know I need to back off, give him space to explore, watch from a distance and let him be a normal young boy, but at the same time I worry...for all sorts of reasons.

You know those mums you see at the play area hovering right by the climbing frame, or standing at the bottom of the slide, following their children around? That's me.
It doesn't help that I don't wear my glasses as often as I should, and I really do need to be close to distinguish my 6 year old from all the other 6 year olds, but I have this need to be able to see Mini at all times. And I have found that the design of most of the parks around here don't make it easy for you to sit at the side and see your child running around...there are bamboo screens, log pole fences, and usually a large climbing frame in the middle so wherever you sit, your view of the opposite side of the play area is blocked.

So why do I worry?

The lack of distance between birth family and us. And the fact that we know they visit our town. This makes me incredibly paranoid about them snatching him. And yes, they are that much of a risk....yes, even now after this many years.

Mini's clumsiness. I guess to others he wouldn't seem that clumsy, but he is always tripping over his feet, and his legs are multi-coloured - dotted with purple, yellow and black bruises, punctuated by bright Ben 10 plasters. When he's 8 foot up on a climbing frame, I worry that his clumsiness will cause him to fall, and I want to be there to catch him.

Coupled with the clumsiness, is Mini's 'hurty' problem. The one where he'll come running for a bumped knee, but not for a split open head. Indeed he recently bashed his head quite hard at school, but didn't tell an adult for 2 hours, til it really started to hurt. However, a fall in the playground resulted in a bit of a grazed knee, which he reported straight away, and happily went off to the medical room for a clean up and a plaster, and on returning home he screamed and cried when the plaster was removed, has limped for 3 days, and will only sleep in short pyjamas that don't brush against his leg!
So anyway, I worry that he'll get hurt, but won't say anything. And I worry that he'll have a seizure, but he won't know (because he never does) and so I'll miss it.

I worry that if I'm not nearby, Mini will run off. Because he does. Because the grass is greener and he wants to see over that hill. Because he doesn't think about getting lost, or running near a road or car park. Because Mini lacks common sense. Despite lessons to teach otherwise, Mini doesn't have much safety savvy. And I've had those heart-in-mouth moments when he's ended up too close to a moving car, or edge of the road for my liking.

Mini's social skills aren't great. I feel I have to be nearby in case I need to intervene or remind Mini to take turns, or to make sure he's OK if confronted by another child.

And I guess I'm just one of those parents. I have this overwhelming need to keep them safe and nearby. It took me a long time to have my children, and it wasn't easy to have either of them. Therefore, I must keep them safe at all costs right?

Twice I've experienced that heart-stopping, stomach churning moment where I've lost sight of Mini. On one occasion it took me 3 or 4 minutes to find him and I cannot describe to you how I felt, it was without exception the scariest moment of my life. Thankfully, I was with someone else who saw him and pointed him out where he was happily playing and running around, and hadn't of course noticed me looking for him, turning paler and paler as I did so!

I've tried, really I have, to keep my distance and I manage it better at soft play where he's more enclosed, and he couldn't escape the building. And we're fine at the beach as it's much more open and I can see him and anyone else approaching us too. But at the park, or in a shop, I just can't help it.

This is definitely my issue and something I need to work on. Mini and Dollop both need space to develop, and they need to become independent. The trouble is, both need to learn dependence first and I'm just not sure we're there yet. There's a fine line which I'm yet to find, so any pointers would be gratefully received.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO Week 10

So WASO seems to be going from strength to strength with new bloggers joining in and the community of bloggers connecting on Twitter growing. We are both so pleased with the great response we've had to WASO and the continued support everyone gives to the link up and each other. If you are not on Twitter and would like to join in but would like some advice, leave a comment below and we can try to help. We are not experts but keen tweeters who enjoy connecting with all you great bloggers.

This week we have chosen the theme of "play" and we look forward to reading your contributions on this topic. This theme as always is optional, so if your post is not related, that is fine, please still link up.

As both The Puffin Diaries and The Boy’s Behaviour are hosting, this linky will appear in both places but you only need to add it once below.

It would be great if you could visit some of the other blogs that link up and please let them know who you are, and how you found them, you can even share your favourites on Twitter or tweet your own post with the hashtag #WASO.

And you can add our badge to your own blog by using the code here:
Weekly Adoption Shout Out


This linky list is now closed.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Watching the waves

Regular readers, and followers of my Project 365 page will not be surprised to hear me say that by the sea is one of my favourite places to be, and not just me - Dollop, Mini and the NC all love it too.

Whether it's cold and we're wrapped up with salty, vinegary chips straight out of the paper or a flask of hot chocolate and a bag of marshmallows...

Or maybe throwing stones into the water, seeing who has the biggest, smallest, shiniest, prettiest stone or who can throw highest, furthest, or with the biggest splash!
Or whether it's a crisp Spring day and we walk along the promenade to the Pier...

And then there are the hot Summery days when we head with picnics, blankets, buckets and spades to the beach -


No matter if we're at the new end, the old end, the busy bit or the quiet bit; the seaside is a familiar, comforting, restful, thoughtful place.

Despite, actually, in fact because we live so close to the seaside, we've holidayed in a caravan a couple of times there with my mum and step-dad...these have been our first family weekends away and it's been reassuring to be so close to home. It's meant that we've known we could come home easily if Mini has struggled at any point, and I'm really pleased to say that he's been fine, and the familiarity of it all has eased things for him. So much so that we're planning a holiday later in the year at another seaside, except this time we'll be much much further away from home and *eek* camping!

Each trips sees us bring home trainers full of sand, the odd shell, and always pockets and pockets full of stones. Days later, I find the washing machine sounding more like a machine gun as the forgotten stones rattle around and work their way out of those pesky pockets!

Whatever the weather, whatever the temperature, whatever the moods when we leave home, we almost always come home restored. We're often windswept, occasionally a bit pink, full of chips or swirly soft icecream, but restored.
For me, it's the space, fresh air, and the rhythmic waves lapping at the beach, giving me space to think or clear my head completely; I could watch the waves for hours. For the children again the space, but also the never-ending joy they get from creating castles, then smashing them down again, filling buckets with water and running up and down to fill the moats of those castles, the jumping of the waves, the fresh air and always, but always the swirly, soft icecream.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO9

Welcome to the Weekly Adoption Shout Out Week 9! It was really great to see so many of you taking up the challenge of our theme of ‘Contact’ last week, there were some really interesting posts, from a range of people. If you want to have a look through…you’ll find the list here.

No theme this week, but advance warning of next week’s topic 'Play'. As always this is optional, and we hope you’ll link up all your adoption related posts.

As both The Puffin Diaries and The Boy’s Behaviour are hosting, this linky will appear in both places but you only need to add it once below.
Please do show your support for the other blogs by leaving a comment on them, letting them know how you found them. And if you’re on twitter you can share your favourites too, using the hashtag #WASO
And you can add our badge to your own blog by using the code here:
Weekly Adoption Shout Out

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Thursday, 21 March 2013

Sickness, science and a new job!

All sorts happening here in the Ministix household and I was getting quite concerned about how we'd fare this week, but no worries needed...

The NC has a new job, one that doesn't involve a 90minute commute, but instead a 15minute walk. We're really pleased that he'll be closer, earning a bit more, saving money on travel, we'll see him in the mornings, he'll be less tired. And instead of taking a whole days holiday for our midday fortnightly theraplay sessions, he can take a long lunch instead! It feels like a big relief after he's spent the last (nearly) 3 years commuting to a job that he hasn't ever really enjoyed, but had to take after his previous job ended in redundancy.
The downside is that he's spending his first week away to train...and it's weird. We've never spent this long apart in our 12 years together.
We'd prepared the children for daddy going away, and they've both been remarkably good. Mini's been a little star. Dollop less so, but she doesn't seem that bothered by daddy not being here. I've not coped brilliantly and have really missed him, but he'll be home tomorrow, phew!

What made the NC being away harder, was me being ill at the weekend. Both Mini and Dollop have both suffered with sickness (we thought Mini's might have been caused by a party he went to, or nerves about mother's day, then Dollop got it too). I managed to get the whole thing...sickness and diarrhoea, and I swear I've never been so ill with either. I was in such pain during the evening despite paracetamol, that the NC called NHSdirect, who were concerned enough to send an ambulance immediately. Friendly paramedics arrived within 10 minutes, and I just had everything checked...blood pressure (fine), pulse (very very high), sugar (high). I was told that it was doing the rounds and I'd have to grin and bear it. Luckily by this point strong painkillers were kicking in, and desire to sleep was overwhelming.
Of course though we were concerned where this would leave the NC who was also fast becoming ill himself!
He had to go of course, couldn't risk losing the job, and luckily his recovery was a quick one. Mine slower, but almost 100% now.

However, the week has been much easier than expected as Mini is coping brilliantly! One of the student teacher's that he's had (and seems to have been unsettled a lot by) left last week, so he's relaxed a bit. And this week he's had 'Science Week' at school. I was initially really worried by this, as each day he's moved around 3 different classrooms, been with an unfamiliar teacher (although with familiar teaching assistants) to do different experiments and science 'stuff'. But he's loved it!
We had a bit of an issue yesterday with meltdowns over wellington boots that were needed, then in the end, not needed, but other than that he's been fantastic. He's shown enthusiasm about going to school, he's told me about his days, he's brought home the tat  results of his experiments, the magnetic kite, the spinning top, the boat that floats (or does it? yet to be tested), and he's seemed lots happier. Today was an open afternoon so parents went in for an hour to see what the children had been doing and learning.
To top it all off, all children were invited to plan and make a moving vehicle. They'd have to present it to their classes, and then it would be displayed in the hall with all the others. Each class would judge their own entries. Mini and the NC made a car (which we later pimped up into a Spider Bus - don't ask!) at the weekend, and Mini presented it today. And he came 3rd in his class! He was really pleased and even won a little prize. And I was really really proud.
So yes, he's coped well, but then he always does do better when it's just one of us around, whether it's for a day, or an evening, or in this case, a whole week.

So that's other news, we're still to-ing and fro-ing over the IEP. I've been sent some great links about IEPs, and will put together a post with them in when I've finished getting Mini's sorted. It's my birthday soon and the children are being secretive about what's in the Emma Bridgewater box that arrived this week, oh and tomorrow is WASO day!

Friday, 15 March 2013

Connections and contact

Contact in adoption. There are so many aspects of contact to consider - letterbox, direct, with siblings, with grandparents, with foster carers, but I've written about that type of contact before, and I'm not ready to re-visit just yet.

This time, I want to write about a different type of contact - touch. Skin contact. Something so vital in building a relationship. Indeed when Dollop was born skin to skin contact was encouraged as soon as possible. And when Mini came we were advised to try skin to skin cuddles where we could. Mini wasn't ready though to start was too much, he recoiled, he pulled away, he shivered, he would swipe our hands away, even when very little, not wanting touch from strangers or comfort from a held hand, stroked cheek or ruffled hair...and it's taken time (and a baby massage course) to get there.


I longed for him; I longed for my child,
and a tender touch between him and I.
A gentle caress, that joining of skin,
a contented sigh while I stroked his cheek.

But for my child and I this was not to be,
he pushed me away, too fearful of touch.
I could just about hold him,
but gentle caress was too much, too tough.

He was careful not to offer many signs of affection.
Hugs, kisses, touch, kept to a minimum.
Hands turned defensive, or to weapons.
To push, sometimes pull, then push again.

Years in, I'm allowed to stroke his back,
relaxing him into a blissful place.
Drawing patterns, different pressures,
sometimes til sleep comes.

Trust came, was learnt, was earned, 
and loving touch was accepted.
Time has helped, and many reassurances have passed with a quick hair ruffle,
gentle, less intrusive, but loving...touch.

I'm linking this post up with the Weekly Adoption Shout Out on the theme of 'contact', do head over and have a read of some other interesting adoption blogs...

Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO Week 8

Last week we had some great new blogs join us on the Weekly Adoption Shout Out, so a big welcome if it was your first time and we hope you are joining in again. We also saw some wonderful posts by those who are fast becoming the WASO veterans; I’m sure you know who you are and thank you, keep up the good work.

This week we have chosen the theme of “contact” a subject that many adopters have to deal with, whether it is letterbox or direct contact with birth family. We are really looking forward to reading your contributions on this topic. This theme as always is optional, so if your post is not related that is fine, please still link up.

As both The Puffin Diaries and The Boy’s Behaviour are hosting, this linky will appear in both places but you only need to add it once below.

It would be great if you could visit some of the other blogs that link up and please let them know who you are, and how you found them, you can even share your favourites on twitter or tweet your own post with the hashtag #WASO.
Grab our badge here:
Weekly Adoption Shout Out


This linky list is now closed.

Friday, 8 March 2013

I did not shout.

For a number of reasons, Dollop goes up to bed first and goes to sleep in her room.
Mini goes up last and goes to sleep in our room. Later, the NC lifts him (and takes him to the toilet) and then pops him in his own bed, in the room he shares with Dollop. If they went together, they'd never get to sleep, Mini feels safer in our bed (and it's big enough for us to lay in and cuddle him), and it means we don't disturb Dollop when Mini goes to bed.

Usually Mini goes to wait in our room, with a book or two, whilst Dollop is put to bed, read a story and settled. Then it's Mini's turn and he likes to read to us, as well as be read to.

Last night after settling Dollop, the NC went into our room to sort Mini out and discovered a pair of my crafting scissors, laying close to a long thread of cotton, and he couldn't work out why or where it was connected to...although suspected my sewing machine which is currently loaded up with the same colour cotton. So, not knowing if I'd got the scissors out or not, he came to get me before tackling Mini.

Worried about how Mini could have reached my scissors, and what damage might have been done to the sewing machine I marched upstairs. Went straight to the machine and could see it had been unthreaded, and there was now several metres of red cotton all balled up, with the scissors beside.

"Oh dear Mini, what have you done?" I asked, without shouting.
"Nothing, it wasn't me, it wasn't me", bawling away, face down on bed.

I calmly sat down on the bed, took the book out of Mini's hands and gently encouraged him to turn over. I did not shout.

"OK, OK, ih wa mey"
"Sorry Mini I can't hear you when you're crying and your face is buried, come on, sit up"
"I seh ih wa mey, mey!!!!"
"Come on, let's sit up so I can hear you properly"

As I turned Mini over, he sat up, but was still crying and bawling, so I pulled him close. I did not shout.

"Look, I'm holding you Mini, you don't think you're in trouble do you? We're having a cuddle, and I love you, so let's just talk about what happened'.

Mini calmed down, wouldn't look at me, but snuggled up. I did not shout.

"I said it was me. OK I did it, with the scissors"
"OK, what happened, why did you do that?"

Mini tried to pull away and I realised I'd pushed it a question too far. Mini shouted.

"I don't know why I did it, I just did"
"OK, OK, it's all right, I'm not cross, I just want to know what happened so I can make sure you're not hurt. The scissors are sharp, the needle on the sewing machine is sharp."

Again, he tried to pull away, but I pulled him back close. I did not shout, and neither did he.

"You're not in trouble, I'm glad you're not hurt, but please don't touch my special things again...they might break and you might get hurt next time."
"I'm not hurt, I didn't touch the needle, I just did it"

He still wouldn't relax completely with me, but we did have a quick cuddle before he started asking for Daddy.

This is a big step forward for me. Usually I'd be cross, and even on the days where my shouty side stays buried deep inside, I can't hide my feelings of upset, distress and frustration. Mini always reacts to this by putting his defenses up, he won't talk to me, he won't let me hold him. He shuts down and if I try to reach him, he pushes me even harder...mostly often physically too. So it was a big step forward for him too.
It sounds like I don't do the therapeutic thing doesn't it? I do hard, I'm just an emotional person and not very good at hiding those emotions. So even when I do and say the 'right' things, the therapeutic things, my inner stuff shows anyway, and as a reasonably perceptive child, Mini picks up on it. And I do shout, sometimes. OK, sometimes quite a lot.
I think though that I really am starting to attune better with Mini, and think before I react. And hopefully he's liking this new mummy who sets boundaries and has rules to keep everyone safe, but doesn't get cross and can talk instead of shouting.

P.S I do keep the scissors out of reach...out of sight too and Mini couldn't have possibly known what was in the pot that he climbed over and up various things to reach...definitely an opportunist moment for my nosy little explorer.

Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO Week 7

Another amazing Weekly Adoption Shout Out last week with so many of you taking up the challenge of our theme - Education.
From feedback it seems that you enjoyed having a theme, and so this is something we hope to continue on a fortnightly basis, but it'll always remain optional. So as a head's up for next week, the theme will be 'Contact'. And we welcome your ideas for future themes too.

We're really pleased to be connecting with so many of you on Twitter, and it's great to see so many bloggers supporting each other and engaging with each other. If The Puffin Diaries and I aren't already following you on Twitter, then leave your @username in the comments below and we'll make sure we do. If you have a Facebook page, then you can stop by there and say hi too...The Boy's Behaviour is here, and The Puffin Diaries here.

If you're reading, we'd love it (and so would those who've linked up) if you go visit some of the links and leave a comment. Don't forget to say you found them through the Weekly Adoption Shout Out or #WASO. Tell your Twitter friends if you've had a look too using the hashtag #WASO.

If you're linking-up, do go and have a read of the other links, and then tweet your favourites. You can also use our handy Tweet Button to let everyone know where the linky is....

So without further ado, Week 7 is now open...jump in, link up and go read some interesting blogs!
As both The Puffin Diaries and The Boy’s Behaviour are hosting, this linky will appear in both places
but you only need to add your details to one.

Oh, and there's a badge...everyone likes a nice sparkly badge don't they? If you need help with adding it to your own site, then just ask!
Weekly Adoption Shout Out

This linky list is now closed.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Mini and Mother's Day

Whilst some adopted children struggle with Mother's Day, Mini's always seemed indifferent really. As far as he's concerned I'm his mum. There is no struggle or conflict, no worries about loyalties, no memories or considerations for his birth mum, or indeed his foster carer. And whilst I am prepared for his thoughts and feelings to change in the future, for the moment I'm happy for my children to treat me for a day, and for my husband to join in too!

So, in our house we do celebrate, and the children usually give me cards, flowers and sometimes small token gifts. I also get to go into Mini's school for an hour tomorrow for 'Mothers Afternoon' where last year we got to make tissue paper flowers to stick onto paper plate 'baskets' together, and I expect this year might be something similar.

The NC, bless him, isn't one for forward thinking particularly (read about last year here), and until I asked on Tuesday if we were doing anything, he'd given little thought to it..except for thinking about Afternoon Tea somewhere nice (rather than a formal lunch where we'd be nervous about the children behaving, and they'd be bored stiff!). He hadn't booked anything though, and I still think a 2 year old and a 6 year old would be pretty bored at Afternoon Tea. Lunch at Nando's/Ben&Jerry's/Harvester/all manner of family friendly restaurants may be a better option!

We know that Mini likes a bit of space to run around in, as does Dollop although she doesn't have the same need to climb, run and skip, so what about if we take a trip to one of our favourite places - the seaside, where Mini and Dollop can 'surprise' me by producing cakes, sandwiches, scones and tea that they've helped Daddy make.
Mini will love the secrecy and the surprise, he'll have space, he'll be in a familiar place, and I'll get to enjoy seeing him (and Dollop) run around and be free, rather than stressing that he won't sit down, shouts, meltdowns, won't eat etc etc.
Unfortunately it looks like rain is going to put the kibosh on that one, but we've still got a day or two to think about it or something similar!

I shouldn't really have to plan my own Mother's Day should I? However, it helped the NC consider points he hadn't already, and whilst he was really keen to make it about me and ensure I had a nice day, I'd rather the children were happy...they're what make me a mum after all.

So for Sunday, Happy and Peaceful Mother's Day to all you mums out there, including mine! Love you mum x

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Forget the old targets, we'll just make up new ones!

Grr...slightly ranty post coming up!

Back in October time, Mini was given an Individual Education Plan or IEP. It took a while to get it from his teacher (who had to write it with the SENCO). It seemed a bit basic, the targets were written as if for a 5 year old to read, not teachers/staff/parents. However, it addressed what we felt what were the main issues (although I can't remember what they were now) and we signed it. It was his first IEP and we were just grateful to have it recognised that he has additional support issues.

So this first IEP was due for review in February. A week late, we had the review meeting on Monday...just Mini's teacher and I. No SENCO present...this struck me as odd as she is responsible for it being appropriate, she has to sign it, and I guess some responsibility for meeting the targets is with her.

Anyhow, Miss P presents an entirely new IEP (that was after she'd been found in the staff room, despite expecting me in her classroom, having forgotten about me coming!). Again this struck as a little bit odd, because I thought we were reviewing the last one...but anyway, she talked me through the 2 targets she'd put down.

Now this is where I start to get a little bit cross....
The first target addresses Mini's daytime at-school wetting. It suggests the outcome should be Mini asking to regularly go to the toilet so he doesn't wet. However, this of course doesn't address the fact that it's not because he doesn't go to the toilet, but more because he's anxious/stressed/under pressure and much of the time he doesn't know he's done it. How can he be expected to pre-empt something that he doesn't even realise after, let alone before or during! (Although I agree he should be encouraged to go as much as possible, actually having a recently emptied bladder makes no difference to whether Mini wets or not, somehow he seems to find more pee within!).
So we changed it all around and Miss P agreed that we should try to address the possible stress factors more and that should be done between her, the staff and I. Mini should not be under pressure to try to address this. We'd continue to use the Blue Star Job system, that I talked about here. And in a attempt to do a bit more bladder training (that I've tried in the past) she has agreed to allow him to have an extra, scheduled drink, which may help expand his bladder...this clearly won't fix the anxiety wetting, but won't harm him either as he's not a big drinker...thus his urine is particularly smelly as he's often dehydrated. In a small way, it might improve that.

The second target I'm even more cross seems pointless.
Back at February parents evening, I asked about Mini's friendships. I was a bit concerned as all the other kids go running to their friends when we get to the playground in the mornings...not Mini, he stays close, follows the others in but doesn't really connect with anyone. But I was told that he had several friends in the class, and Miss P felt they were appropriate, and told me she had no concerns.
So what's on the IEP?
Making and sustaining friendships!! She said 'as you brought it up as a concern, I thought I'd add it'.
I'm still, even after discussing it, not sure why it's there, or what the outcome should be. She proceeded to tell me that on his table he is very friendly with two other children and they get too chatty and have to be 'strongly encouraged' to stop talking and get working. Does that sound like a child who needs help 'making and sustaining friendships'?

At the end of telling me about these targets I'm asked if I'm happy with just these two targets as they're 'biggies'.
I asked about the last IEP. Surely if previous targets hadn't been met they need to be carried over? That would make sense right? We review the last targets, look at why they have/haven't been met, discuss ways of meeting them, record progress made on them and then add them to this new IEP if appropriate?
Unfortunately Miss P appeared not to have thought about that. She didn't have a copy of the last plan (and I was never given my copy either), she'd have to get it from the SENCO, and then have a look.

As I write this, I'm thinking that as Mini's started Nurture Group this week, there really ought to be something about that on his IEP - what is to be gained by him attending for example.

Anyway, at the IEP 'REVIEW', we didn't 'REVIEW' anything, and will have to conduct a 'REVIEW' of the last IEP another time! Yes, you read that bloody stupid!

So now I wait for this new one to be re-written incorporating my changes, and actually reviewing the last IEP within it too. And I've asked for a copy of the last IEP, and will make sure I get a copy of this one, when it's finished and includes everything it needs to.What on earth is the point of making targets, if you don't look back to see if you've achieved them...just make up new ones every few months!

I struggle with this school coming up with some really great support ideas, but then they can't handle preparing a blooming IEP which was their idea in the first place to help us all address his additional emotional needs!


Monday, 4 March 2013

Gangnam Style, Goodbyes and Grandad

This weekend we were at a disco party for a little boy that Mini has known all his life. The little boy - Signals - is emigrating to Canada in a few weeks. You see Signals' mum is the grown up daughter of Mini's foster carer. During foster carer's ill health, Signals' mum helped out with the care of Mini, and so the boys as babies spent lots of time together. (Mini's older by about 5/6months).

Mini, like most young children doesn't really understand the permanence of emigration. Nor has he much concept of how far away Canada is...he only knows it's further than Nanny's house. And there is no understanding of how much it costs to go to Canada, and how much we'll have to save up.

This lack of understanding made it easier for Mini to have a nice time. He stood close to me and the NC, very close most of the time. He danced 2 foot in front of me, and didn't brave the main dance area but he was disappointed not to win a sweet for best dancing. He only played Duck, Duck, Goose when daddy was sitting with him. He only played musical chairs when I ran around with him, and then cried when he lost his chair. But these are all positive because not so long ago, Mini would either sit on me and not talk to anyone or do anything, or wet himself before, during and after the event, or he'd run around in a totally dysregulated state, out of control. And we'd have a very hyper child to attempt to calm down afterwards, during which time we'd be rejected, violently.

So from our point of view it went well. However, as adults we do understand emigration. And we'll miss Signals, his mum and his dad who have been in our life as long as Mini has. They are, and will always be incredibly important to us, and are connected to Mini in a way I can't describe. We'll keep in touch of course, and a trip to Canada in the future might be on the cards.
The boys had a hug, a photo was taken, photos were left for Signals' memory book and Mini got to dance to Gangnam Style...twice.Then I drove away with slightly leaky eyes.

Mini's foster carer was obviously there was her grandson's leaving party after all. It's been too long and we had much to catch up on, but it was neither the time, nor place, so we're looking forward to meeting again soon. But we were a little concerned about how Mini would cope seeing her. We've pulled back a lot and not seen as much of her as we'd initially hoped, but this was advised by CAMHS and Dave-the-therapist, fearing that seeing foster carer would frighten Mini and make him worry that he was going back to her. We talked about it in the car on the way, and talked about how Mini might feel. We explained that we were all coming home together. And this seemed to be enough.

As we were driving away, Mini did something incredible.
'Mummy, can we go to the crematorium, to see your dad?'. (I should add that my dad has a plant in memory, after being interred)
'Um, yes of course we can. It's very clever of you to know we're close by'.
'Oh no, I didn't. I was just thinking that it's been a while since we went, and we could go if you wanted to'.
This is from a child who continually denies that my dad ever existed. And not only that, when we realised that we had no flowers to take (being 5pm on a Sunday), Mini offered the flag out of his party cupcake, so 'Grandad-in-Heaven' could see it too.
It was almost as if he really did understand Signals leaving...perhaps he has a better grasp of leaving and goodbyes than we do?

It was an amazing day, very emotional. And I'm so proud of Mini for handling the party so brilliantly, and for being so thoughtful afterwards. 

Friday, 1 March 2013

Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO Week 6

So last week saw our biggest week so far on the Weekly Adoption Shout Out with 23 posts linked
up. We are both so pleased with the response we’ve had to the link up and really enjoy reading all
your posts. With so many great posts to read and share on twitter it is a little hard getting around to
them all straight away, so bare with us, we will get around to everyone. We also want to ensure we
are keeping in contact with everyone through twitter so, if you’re on twitter, drop us a tweet so we
know who you are and which is your blog.

This week sees our first themed week and we have started with Adoption and Education. We hope
the topic has provided some of you with some inspiration; it is certainly always a hot topic amongst
adopters with school age children. This theme and any future theme we do will always be optional,
so if your post is not related that is fine, please still link up.

As both The Puffin Diaries and The Boy’s Behaviour are hosting, this linky will appear in both places
but you only need to add it once below.

It would be great if you could visit some of the other blogs that link up and please let them know
who you are, and how you found them, you can even share your favourites on twitter or tweet your
own post with the hashtag #WASO.

And we'd love it if you added our badge to your own site too.
Adoption Badge photo BADGE7_zps59df311c.jpg

This linky list is now closed.