We’ve been blogging for about eight months now. We blog about our family life, our adoption journey, our faith and our church family, home educating our girls and other parenting bits and pieces that may come along.
During those eight months we have had frequent conversations, both before and since starting the blog, about what is off limits, what we wouldn’t or shouldn’t write about, how the girls might feel about the blog as they grow older and both they and their friends have access to the internet.
This post is the kind of post that we have debated. As only one of our four girls is adopted, when we talk about her it is clearly obvious which of our girls we are talking about.
But on our adoption journey, we wanted to read honest blog posts about the ups and downs of families living adoption. The triumphs and the difficulties.
We are currently waiting on some advice and support. We have had contact from the ASSA (Adoption Support Services Advisor) in the LA PAS team to get our Assessment of Need up and running. She seems to understand our frustration and we have an agreed telephone appointment tomorrow afternoon. So hopefully, things are on the move.
Thankfully. Because I think Little Legs has left a mark on Little Bud (her nearest sister in age) every day for a week now.
If I’m honest, this is the stuff that I feared about adopting.
That our new child would bring trauma into the lives of our three girls.
And of course she has. And we and our girls are learning how to live with that trauma at the same time as role modelling safe, predictable, behaviour that our family knows as ‘normal’.
Little Legs has by definition experienced significant, life changing loss. She has left behind everything that she knew and been moved to a new place. With new people. New rules. New sounds. New routines. And new smells.
When you are four years old, there are only so many ways you can let your new family know that you are frightened, or scared, or angry, or confused. Or just plain tired.
By telling them verbally. Using your very limited vocabulary.
Or through your behaviour.
“Behaviour: the way in which one acts or conducts oneself, especially towards others.”
Little Bud has recently borne the brunt of the behaviour. She has cried and shouted and come for reassuring cuddles more than a few times this week. But she gets up and carries on. She spent most of yesterday looking after her little sister at a wedding we attended. They played hide and seek. They shared sweets. They cuddled and danced and sang together. She tidied her little sister’s hair.
And so we move forwards. Supporting each other. Trying to maintain some normality for the big girls and not close down their world too much, whilst avoiding anything too triggering or unusual for their littlest sister.
I am hopeful that tomorrow’s telephone call will eventually yield the help and support that Little Legs needs and deserves.
Her behaviour is that of a child who is struggling to make sense of her past. Of the journey that has brought her to the place she finds herself today. The heart of the Six Family.
And if and when she reads this as an adult, we want her to know that it’s ok. That we understood her fear and anger and confusion. That her sisters love her so very much. She has a pack who will guard her and nurture her and take care of her and love her. Who will fight with her and challenge her and sometimes walk away from her.
But who will always be her pack.