Archive for September, 2016

School Fast Arriving

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

In 4 days time Pickle starts school. She’s been with us 3 years. Where did that time go?

She is the most amazing child I’ve ever known. But, of course, I’m biased.

In the time since I last wrote we’ve moved house, she’s started and finished a brand new nursery. She’s made lots of friends who she’s going to school with and she can do things like get herself dressed, brush her teeth, copy writing her name, count to 20 and much more. Not that she chooses to do any of those things willingly but at least I know she can do them.

At the same time she’s regressed several times. She goes back to wanting to be a baby because she wants that time back, but with us. She wants lots of botbots, snuggles in her blanket, talks baby talk, crawls, you name it she’s wanting to do it. As long as it’s to do with being a baby.

She looks at baby photos and feels sad because we’re not in them and she knows we’re not behind the camera.

She draws on walls, takes my make-up and puts it all over her face, gets up to other mischief and we think it’s for the attention even though she gets tons of attention anyway. It’s negative attention she craves. Why? Maybe she’s trying to prove she’s not worth it. Maybe she likes feeling sad and being told off. That’s why, my gut feeling, is not to tell her off. Not that I don’t tell her off. Some days I just lose my temper like everybody else. But sometimes I just feel really sad that she seems to want that negative attention instead of all the positive attention we try and give her all the time.

Maybe I look in to it too deeply. But as an adopter that’s what you do. I try not to in some situations but, you know what, I’d rather over analyse and there actually be nothing wrong than think “what the hell, she’s just………*fill in the gap* and then find out there’s something really fundamental going on and I’ve dismissed it as nothing which would make her feel even more rejected.

Everything an adopted child goes through sticks with them. Forever. It’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just that it needs to be recognised. There’s no point in thinking it saying “aaah it’s been 3 years now, she’s settled, everything’s fine” because that’s dismissive. Sometimes I forget Pickle isn’t actually “from” us. But, again, that’s lovely. She is, after all, our daughter. But you never truly forget because that’s disrespectful to her history. Her story. Who she is.

We’ve lived the last year having the most wonderful time ever and, also having the worst times ever. Just like any other parent on this planet. But, in this scenario, it is different. It is important. And it is a very real struggle to get things right. For her. Which is what I want to do all the time.

And now I’ve got to let her go. I’ve got to allow somebody else to take care of my daughter. I don’t care about her being taken care of physically or academically because that’s going to happen. It’s the emotional and psychological well being I’m concerned about. I’ve spent three years nurturing, protecting, listening, waiting, being “there”, supporting, encouraging, loving, guiding and caring and I don’t want that to be undone with one wrong word or phrase or question. I know it’ll happen. It’s no where near a perfect system. I’m dreading it really. But I’ll just have to position myself so that I can catch her if she falls and be her cushion.

Just like I’ve done before and will do time and time again.

 

Memories in drawings

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

This is so significant that I have to write about it.

A while ago I had the idea to get Pickle to draw out here memories and feelings. With no prompting she would draw bits and bobs that meant a lot but it was taking a lot of questioning to draw it out of her how she was feeling and what she was thinking. Until the last couple of weeks.

About 2 weeks ago she picked up her pencil crayon and drew herself, as a baby. Just a squiggly round blob to you and me but most definitely herself because she said “that’s me”. She then picked up a dozen crayons all together, gripped them tightly and drew, frantically, up and down the page ask over the drawing of herself. I asked what the lines were. Her reply: “all the people around laughing, I didn’t like it”. I wrote this down at the side of the picture as a note to remind myself (not Pickle as she can’t read yet) and then she was gone, off playing and so the moment was also gone.

Tonight, two weeks later, my mum, her Nanny, was sat looking at the picture and Pickle came up to her to see what she was looking at. My Mum showed her and Pickle said “that’s everybody laughing at me” then suddenly jumped up, ran to get a pencil and said “I must draw mummy. Mummy came to fetch me”.

My daughter remembers. She remembers feelings. She remembers situations. Babies feel. Babies know and are aware.

The foster family she came from was very very busy. They laughed a lot. They just “got on with it”. Maybe our daughter remembers that because she was scared, alone, small and frightened and they all laughed. Not at her. But still they laughed. She was alone in that sense. There was no sensitivity. There was no calmness. People just hustled and bustled around her like everything was okay. Everything’s fine. She’ll be fine.

One day, in the middle of intros, the foster mum told us that her grown up Son used to walk in and shout out “how’s the druggy baby”? And then scoop her up. I remember feeling shocked and saddened at the time. Did they think that was funny. Funny enough to actually do it. Funny enough laugh about it. And, oddly, funny enough to tell us about it! Now, knowing how much my daughter remembers, I feel angry. Really angry.

But at least she knows I came, in the end, to get her.