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We Are Family

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Category:
Adoption assessment

34 posts in this category

Finding Me a Family

Not me; I have one. Rather some reflections on the series on Channel 4 that ran before Christmas and on a recent blog in the context of us receiving our first contact letter from one of our child’s siblings, because ultimately it might turn out to be “Finding My Family” for them, in the fullness of time.

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The Diagnosis

It’s been one week since my son was diagnosed at St Thomas’ with ASD (Autism), ADHD, ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) and major emotional regulation difficulties.  He was diagnosed by a panel consisting of a Paediatrician, Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Speech and Language Therapist and Occupational Therapist who spent 3 hours assessing him.  They were thorough, professional and understanding.  

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Denial

Due to increasingly difficult behaviour in school - which is now very much spilling over into our home life - my partner and I have been reassessing our son and the behaviour we are facing and we have concluded that he does indeed suffer from Reactive attachment disorder (RAD).

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Letter Box Contact

Yearly letter box contact has been agreed and we diligently get the boys to write Christmas cards for birth Mummy and Daddy - regardless of indifference from our oldest and huge resistance from his younger brother - in addition we put pen to paper and write a letter updating them on the boys past year.

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Ask the Kids #5

As part of National Adoption Week we asked for contributions in the form of a list of questions and answers supplied by our children on the subject of us - their parents.

Here are the answers of a 5 year old.

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Broken

When I look at my two children I see, unreserved joy, excitement for the today and for the tomorrow and I feel goodness flows from them to me. They nourish our family unit and make us whole.
When I look at my siblings however, I see nothing but broken glass, jagged edges and unreadable faces and I am touched beyond belief that the tragedy of our childhood is so apparent.

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Dear Daughter: Jelly arms

I know that you do spend a fair amount of time in the car being shuttled around and you don't make much of a fuss about it, and there's not always that much to look at; but I'd like you to know - in the kindest possible way - that it is not necessary to remind me on each and every journey, that as I drive over speed bumps, holes in the road, etc, that the skin on my arms and legs "wobbles about like a jelly".

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You don't love me anymore

Social workers are just people doing a job and of course like all of us they are sometimes less than perfect; however they are dealing with people’s lives so even simple mistakes can be emotionally wounding. We became very aware of this through our own experience and also that of friends who have also been through the adoption process. It can be as simple as failing to immediately tell you of a change in the panel date - which of course means a huge amount to you, but is just a correction in a diary to them - to fundamentally not “getting it”.

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Points of view: A two-pronged review of Gareth Marr/Scott Casson-Rennie and Hermione Michaud’s talks at Southwark Library on Wednesday 24th February 2016.

Hearing that We Are Family and the South London Adoption Consortium were running a presentation on “Why Children Placed From Care Need Support In Schools” was exciting news for me on multiple fronts. As a prospective adopter, I am trying to gather as much information as possible to help me prepare for life as an adoptive parent, but additionally, by day I work as a Deputy Headteacher at a London Primary School, and am always keen to learn more about how I can support vulnerable pupils at school.

So with two hats on, I felt like I was well placed to write a review (or two) of the evening. Thanks to We Are Family for giving me the chance to share my thoughts!

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