I can’t believe it! I can’t believe it!
The first words we heard from our beautiful daughter when she came running out of the foster carers house. She was fairly closely followed by big sister who stumbled towards us saying nothing and keeping her head down. They couldn’t believe their new family were finally here to meet them.
Well, we couldn’t believe it either. After about two years going through the process of approval and matching, we were finally meeting our girls and becoming a family. This weekend we went out for a family meal to celebrate our 8 years together.
Littley is still chatty and dramatic about events although much quieter than when we first met; Biggey still, mostly says as little as possible and although she doesn’t keep her head down these days, it’s very quick to go down at any given moment.
In those 8 years there’s an awful lot of things that have happened that I can’t believe I’ve lived through and experienced. It has been the most incredibly steep learning curve and one that I was not prepared for and could never have imagined.
When I began learning about effects of attachment, trauma, neglect, abuse, loss and how the children respond it made perfect sense to me. Yet even when it all made sense, when I went to more conferences and training events I got to know more, I implemented everything I could, there’s still so much to content with. I’m glad I know what I do, goodness knows what state we would be in as a family if I didn’t!
We lost friends and even family support along the way, yet we’ve gained some truly wonderful, supportive friends too. Adoption has filled our lives in more ways than with just the girls. It has also restricted our lives too and we certainly live life very differently to that which we imagined when we started the process.
So, here’s my top 10 things I can’t believe.
I can’t believe:
- That we were told “they just need firm boundaries”.
- That in 8 – 10 years since we entered the process things haven’t changed much.
- That it’s apparently OK that even now we are finding out crucial information from files which would explain just how terrible their early life was.
- That the education system is not able to accommodate my girl even with a Statement of Needs.
- That we are well known to the police (but they are very nice and helpful about it).
- That I have had to learn to restrain my children – I certainly wasn’t told that on the prep course!
- That there are so many days when I say I can’t do this anymore, then get up again the next day, finding strength from somewhere to carry on.
- That instead of continuing to work in the corporate world that I now have my own very small, but very flexible business.
- That I am campaigning for change in our LA so that the Virtual Head is involved with adopted children.
- That we have dog! This really would never have happened if it wasn’t for Biggey’s intense needs but he’s almost the best thing we have done since the girls came.