Two years ago I became Mum to an adorable, charming child who I can’t imagine life without but still no adoption order. The delay? She has undiagnosed complex needs, and I need financial support to ensure she gets the support she so deserves. I am pursuing the placing authority and they are ducking and diving from the reality that she is not the problem free child they conjured up in the initial profile; and that her two years in their care and the previous eight unknown months in utero have caused her trauma and impacted her emotions, behaviours and ability to ‘fit in’. ‘She is very affectionate and hardly cries making her a pleasant friendly toddler’, they said. ‘Is that usual?’ I said. ‘That shows she doesn’t have attachment problems’, they said. Alarm bells rang in my head and continued to ring when this ‘pleasant’ behaviour continued after placement. Yes she was affectionate, hugging and kissing anyone who responded to her wanting to sit on their laps and being picked up, including strangers in parks and shops. And yes she hardly cried, even when she fell over or touched a hot plate straight out the oven, for the first few weeks she only cried when we had to leave a playground or when I found her sitting up silently rocking in her bed in the dark. The placing authority felt she was settling well and ‘I was an inexperienced neurotic new mum’. (Ok…they didn’t say neurotic). So two years on despite her wonderful progress I have found love is not enough to make up for her previous losses and that long term I have to plan for what could be years if not a life time of therapy and support to enable her to function better in social environments which is basically everywhere outside our front door. I now accept the fact that I have to dig in and fight our corner even though I have doubts every day whether waiting is the right thing to do. Maybe if I sign the papers tomorrow, everything will suddenly become right; the complex needs will disappear; I will go back to full time work/income; she will simply sail happily through the school years; she will start to communicate without hitting and scratching and I will be able to sleep for eight hours straight! Much of our time together my daughter is a bright, articulate and caring quite ordinary child who happens to process some information slower than others yet desperately wants to understand the world she inhabits. However she needs more help than I can give her which is so hard for a former teacher and all round know it all to accept. I feel that I am now rarely that patient and calm mum I and others thought I would be, recently resorting to feeding my daughter lollies for breakfast just to be able have a shower without her having a meltdown. Naively I didn’t expect that getting post adoption support would be so hard, but I also didn’t expect to love my daughter so deeply that putting life on hold to get that support, would be an easy if not frustrating choice. Single mum of one brilliant little girl.

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