Archive for March, 2014


Friday, March 7th, 2014

When we were going through home study we had to do an eco tree. 

This is like a family tree but is a support system who you will (hopefully) rely on for support, be it practical, emotional or physical, when you’re child moves in. This may well be the same as your family tree but, unless your family is double the size of the waltons, you’re going to need some friends on there too. I started to do this task thinking it would be easy. I got half way through the task and it got harder. It really makes you analyse your friendships.

The reason I thought I’d find it easy was because we’ve got lots of really good friends who we’ve had some really good times with and who just popped in to my head very easily when thinking about our “support” network. But, of course, we’re not talking about who will be best to go out with for a good meal and wine or for a hike up the hills with a pub lunch to boot. No, it suddenly becomes about something much more serious, much more important.

We had to think about who’d really be there for us emotionally. Who we could count on to, and could practically, drop everything if there was an emergency. And who would pick up the phone at 2am when our daughter woke in the night and we didn’t know what to do.

My head was spinning by the time we’d analysed all our friendships and the eco map looked quite different to what I imagined. But here’s the thing. If I was to re do it now it would look completely different. Friends have drifted away. Other friends have come to the fore. And other friends have been forged through our experience of adoption.

When our SW suggested that friends drift away when you have children I scoffed and said that I wouldn’t let the happen. But, of course, it has. For a long time I grieved for these friends. But recently I’ve found myself being rather thankful for the new friendships which have blossomed through our experience.

Some of the closest friends I have now are ones I’ve found through our adoption journey. But also some existing friends who we didn’t see that much of have really stepped up and are just “there”. We may still not see them that much but if I picked up the phone and said that I really needed a coffee and cake they’d be there like a shot (probably with the mention of cake) It’s been overwhelmingly lovely (friends who have stepped up) and upsetting (the ones disappearing) but I’m beginning to accept that friendships don’t stand still, they change, disappear and grow stronger.

You just might be surprised at which friendships do what. 

First Holiday

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

We’re on holiday, our first one ever, with our daughter

…and we’ve forgotten half the things we need!

We’ve come to Centre Parcs, the one closest to us which is only 45 minutes from home, and it’s perfect for a first holiday. A tester, if you will, of our capabilities as new parents taking a little one on holiday. And so far so good. We arrived and started with a walk to the village square to have a late lunch where we sat and ate panini’s and cookies, which went down a treat then had a meander back to our posh, 2 story villa with its 2 en suites and spa bubbly bath.

We got settled in and let Pickle help us set up her cot and then she busied herself unpacking all her nappies and “putting them away” (aka unfolding each one and then chucking them on the shelf) We’ve bought a ridiculous amount of stuff with us, even having forgotten some bits and bobs, but I actually think it’s really helped. Her cot, the travel one that’s hers for the week, looks like it does at home and she helped put (throw) all her teddies in ready for the first night. She even lobbed a couple of books in to boot for a bit of morning reading. (Always impressed with my daughters ability to know exactly what she wants at 22 months old)

We then ran her a bath which we put bubble bath in and proceeded to turn the spa bubbles on which escalated in to a half hour bubble fest with us laughing our heads off and Pickle slowly being swamped by the most amount of bubbles I have ever seen. It did the trick though. It relaxed her and, once we put her in the cot, she was asleep within moments. We were amazed.

It’s the first ever night she’s had away from home since she moved in 7 months ago. 3 days in and everything is going swimmingly. We’ve kept her, quite rigidly, in her routine which has been nice for us too as we’ve had an afternoon siesta every day. She seems to have coped incredibly well with being somewhere other than home and I’m hoping that’s because she feels safe and sound with us, Mum and Dad.

We’ve been swimming, bike riding with her in a buggy attached to the back which she looked über cute in eating her snacks and wrapped in her quilt. She’s walked loads, which has exhausted her but she’s loved it and we’ve eaten out a few times at different places.

But she’s also been ill. She woke on the second day from her afternoon nap a lot later than usual and she was on fire. Her whole body was baking and she was very floppy…but not distressed or out of it. We quickly realised it was teething and brought her in to our room and allowed her to watch CBBies in bed in her nappy to try and cool down. She then got shivery and had to snuggle then she got hot again and lay herself down on the cool duvet. It was horrid to witness. But she coped so well and was so brave. We dosed her up, she drank 3 bottles of cold milk and stayed on our bed with us for 2 hours. It wasn’t long before she was back in bed but she slept all night, waking occasionally but not distressed, and then we all got up at the normal time.

Our daughter is a coper. She never ceases to amaze me at how brave she is and how well she copes with change. We haven’t change her routine but it’s a big thing for her to not be at home. I’m simultaneously proud of her and a bit anxious for her as I want her to know that where she lives now is home. But I’m optomistic that because we’re still with her she realises that we’re here for her, forever.

For her, I hope, home now is where we are.

Real Connections

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

What a fantastic week we’ve all had. It’s been a week of feeling better, lovely weather, confidence building and positivity.

The week has gone without any real glitches, we’ve all felt better in ourselves and we’ve managed to get out in the sun and fresh air. More importantly we all feel much more connected. What’s really helped is that I’ve had a plan every day for the 2 of us. Monday we had a day pottering around the house. Tuesday we went to playgroup, a new one, where I braved going on my own. I’m glad I did, as soon as I walked in someone came over to me and introduced herself and said she realised I’d not been before. She was lovely and so was everyone else who made me and Pickle feel very welcome. But the best thing about it was that Pickle kept looking for me and coming back to me. I was so proud of her. I felt she really knew I was Mummy and that she wanted to be with me. It was lovely. When we got home she asked to go in the garden which we did. I believe that a child should be given a voice and she asked so politely (saying please in makaton) that we got her wellies on and Jack the cats harness and lead on and we all had a pootle round the garden. Afterwards we had lunch, I put her to bed and then decided to treat myself to a lovely long soak in the bath while she slept…bliss!

Wednesday we had a friend round for a play date in the morning and would have gone swimming afterwards but I had to stay in for a delivery, but that’s what we plan to do from now on. Thursday she went to Nanny and PaPa’s, who she adores. And Friday we went to playgroup in the morning, with a very good friend and her daughter who we see every Friday, followed by a quick visit and lunch to Nanny and PaPa’s, a sleep in the buggy on the way home and then a second play date in the afternoon.

And today, Saturday, Pickle and Daddy P have had an amazing day together walking in the park and checking out the flowers.

This week she’s wanted me there, really needed comfort from me when she’s fallen and hurt herself and when she was pushed at playgroup she came to tell me all about it so I gave her big cuddles and kisses which she enjoyed. She even got jealous because another child held my hand so she came over and held my hand. It’s all been pretty awesome this week and this is where all my one to one attention work is coming to fruition and I’m so proud of her.

She’s bloody awesome and I love her!