As you can probably tell from my lack of writing, life these days is pretty - dare I say it - normal.
Mini is happy at school, and happy that it's the school holidays. He's spending his days playing Clash of Clans, watching TV, bouncing on the trampoline, playing in the garden, drawing, on a trampoline course, at nanny and granddad's, baking with me and building dens. We've not had *too* many whines of boredom, though there's been a fair bit of bickering with Dollop. Can't have it all I guess.
The NC and I are still having sessions with a counsellor. Following a course of attachment focussed counselling, during which Mini attended *some* appointments, the NC and I also had our own individual counselling sessions, and after they wouldn't renew funding for more sessions for Mini to attend, we were given a package of 6 follow-up sessions, to be used one a month. We have one more left.
But as a whole things are fine. Which is why we approached post adoption support back in April. I know that our life is a rollercoaster. Some days are good, some days are bad. Equally some months - even years are good, some bad. And whilst we're in a good spot, we know it won't last. That's not me being negative about the future, just realistic. In April, when the adoption support fund launched, we contacted post adoption support and asked for an assessment, with a view to asking for some NVR training to prepare ourselves for the future. Why April? Well, as it's not been confirmed how or when the big adoption support fund pot will be refilled, we felt we needed to act straight away to be guaranteed any help or support.
As it happens, due to reorganisation of the team, we've had to wait until yesterday before that assessment! That's given me 4 months to get riled up, cross about the wait, worried that we wouldn't get money, concerned it would run out etc etc. So imagine my surprise when we were offered - without any hint of hesitation or questioning - a UNISAFE course.
Not only that, but a KEEP space (usually aimed at foster carers and kinship carers, but there are a couple of spaces for adoptive parents in this next local round), which hopefully the NC will be able to go to. This is a long-term support group, with sharing and learning from each other. It comes in a few age groups, and once Mini is older, we 'graduate' to the next group up to continue appropriate support and learning.
AND, we've finally got a definite yes to the life story work that we've been pushing for. Our previous social worker signed us off, case closed before he bothered to arrange this. But after a recent approach for a new letterbox agreement, we really feel that proper professional life story work will be useful in helping Mini decide whether he wants to begin, and continue this letterbox agreement with a sibling.
I'm still in shock. I really thought we'd have to fight and push for what we feel we need. But this time, we went in knowing what support we want, and I was much more confident. We've done the parenting courses, we've had the counselling, we've done theraplay, we've changed our parenting to suit our children, we understand why we see the behaviours we do, we now need to move forward and prepare ourselves for future possible challenges.
So the only thing we have to wait on is a sensory assessment. Mini's sensory needs aren't horrific, but he does react to certain sounds and noises, and he needs firm physical touch - just some of the things that he's a bit sensitive about. Our GP hasn't been helpful, so we've asked PAS for one. However, they're not sure yet if the ASF will fund assessments as it's not a therapeutic issue. (Bizarrely though, I understand the ASF will fund sensory integration therapy - just not the assessment to see if it's needed!)
So that's us...or at least the beginning of our next chapter in the world of adoption support.
In other news...
Dollop had a playdate at her 'boyfriend's' house this week, so I had a day with Mini - a mummy/Mini date if you like. We mooched around town, treated ourselves in Caffé Nero, picked lots of soft fruit at the farm, played in the garden, harvested more fruit from our greengage tree, shopped for new bedding and chilled together.
Mini keeps thinking about vegetarianism, and we now have no meat left in our freezer, just some salmon and fish fingers which I know Mini and Dollop will eat up.
I learnt how to do a lovely hair style of Dollop this morning (something that I'm not usually so good at), with the help of YouTube. Here's what I watched, this family do some fantastic hair styles and are well worth subscribing to...