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. 

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