We Are Family



Rollercoaster - Roller Coaster 2475115 1280

We were told that our adoptive lives would be a rollercoaster ride, weren't we? My day started on a dizzy high, and now I'm sitting here feeling like I've been turned inside out.

There was a moment this morning that I will cherish, when my son told me that he wished he’d grown in me. I’ve never experienced such a flood of joy, achievement, contentment... I pursed my lips to keep it in and hugged him awkwardly as we got on the train (well, you know these moments usually happen in strange places). I’m keeping that forever.

On the train back, two hours later, the scene was somewhat different. We were heading through the station when he ran into a photobooth. I anxiously checked the departures board. We had four minutes. I told him this, and that he could take selfies on my phone, but he wouldn’t come. I told him it wouldn’t work without putting £6 in, but he wouldn’t come. Then I ran off, yelling, “Come on, we’ve only got three and half minutes now!”

Total meltdown. I could hear him running after me so knew he was OK. Running and roaring abuse: “I hate you, why are you so, so stupid? You’re the stupidest person I’ve ever met. Arrghh!” I put on those special blinkers that came free with the kid – you know, the ones that block out loaded looks from strangers – and ran on, reaching the train with a minute to spare.  

Once aboard, the tirade continued. “I hate you so much, and I really mean it, and I’ll always hate you, and I’m going to deliberately ruin your journey. It’s so unfair! You stupid, fat noo noo (?)”, and so on and on. I explained why we had run for the train, then read my book. In the ten-minute journey he didn’t let up and I moved seat three times to get away from him, then finally offered him chewing gum to shut him up err I mean calm him down. Bad mummy. But I didn't shout - I kept it all in.

Then, the only way I could think to get him off the train was by promising I would carry him half way back home. He’d already forced me to carry him to the station earlier and knew that he was too heavy. At that point I realised that I am creating my own problems. I’m so frightened of denying him anything that I run off, just gambling that he’ll follow because he'll be scared on his own. I’m so frightened of asserting power that I bribe him with promises of carries, when he is far too big. 

This is how you spoil a kid, isn’t it? It’ s a penny-drop day. No wonder he expects me to do and give him everything he wants. He rules me!

Since writing that, I've had another half-hour tirade of insults, some lovely cuddles, a chat about grief and displaced anger and a "Love you, Mum" (which is all I ever wanted). Ups and downs... at least I learn something every day. 


adoption Family


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  • Michele

    Ha ha .... sorry I don’t mean to laugh but that sounds like my life. Nothing like an articulate, tall, gorgeous girl using big girl expletives in a 3 year old tantrum way!!

  • JM

    This is my life too and I also find myself using bribes or threats when I am desperate to get to work on time. I realise that I need to get up earlier but the only time I get to myself is after my daughter has gone to sleep after 9.30 pm. The kids are not regulating and they are also subconsciously testing testing all the time. Sometimes I think that if i’ve made it through the day without properly losing it, it’s a triumph. But I do notice that the trust is slowly growing and the threats of reduced screen time are actually working and can mean we have extra time to hang out together so sometimes I wonder if the behaviour is a roundabout way of getting attention and being tolerated no matter how many times I am told how much I am ‘hated’. The therapist at Coram has been really helpful at explaining how the ‘hate’ is a reflection of how she sees herself and that she is looking for confirmation of her worst fears. Having said that, the stress of missing a train or being late for work is real for us and they need to know that it’s not ok. We don’t know what has happened to them in the past though and what is triggered where and when. We are all a work in progress as parents too! Thanks for the blog. It made me smile xx

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