11 posts in this category
Almost three years ago, we met our fabulous children and started family life together. While in the throes of building a family relationship and surviving instant parenting of a 1 & 3 year old, we were pressured by our children's social worker to select and apply for our daughters school place fairly early into our placement. Under time pressure, not knowing many local families with school aged children and being fairly emotionally exhausted, I will admit to doing fairly limited local research… visiting one school...
My one special present under the Christmas tree would be a mini, pocket sized version of our family therapist. I could then pull her out to consult at those moments when I’m a bit lost as to how to respond to our daughter’s more dysregulated moments, or am just in need a bit of a confidence boost.
I started a Blog a while ago suggesting that adoptive parents needed to have realistic expectations of their children's school and especially of the child's teacher.
Something stopped me completing the blog and now it is evident why that was so... I was wrong! Which sadly in our case has resulted in us failing to protect our son and failing to do right by him.
And so it begins… This week, this long awaited week was your first at school. I can barely believe it as I type the word- school! the very idea seems quite preposterous for someone as young as you are.
Dear daughter, You’re moving on and I can hardly believe it. -
Not moving on from me and your dad but from the first place you ever really learnt to separate from us – you Nursery.
If you had not screamed at my partner in the school playground, he could have explained.
If you had not embarrassed him in front of the school staff, the other parents and in front of the children - most especially our sons, he could have reassured you that we are aware of the problems, that we are dealing with them, that the school is involved, that we have a therapist for our son - that we are doing everything we can.
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!
The passage of time has always been uppermost in my mind during my ‘adoption journey’, perhaps inevitably given that my daughter was ‘old’ (in adoption-speak) when she came to live with me.