We are so blessed to have some amazing friends in our lives. Friends who understand us and love us and who understand about some of the differences between their kids and our Little Legs.
Recently we have started attending a home ed group that we used to go to before Little Legs came home. This particular group of our some of our closest friends shares not only home education as common ground, but also our faith perspective. At the last get together a few weeks ago, we had a wonderful few hours of chatting, drinking brews and watching our children play together.
Little Legs knows most of the children in the group quite well, as a number of the families are woven into our daily lives. She adores the older children, who are so patient with her! She loves the younger children, as she is able to keep up with them. And a bunch of the Mums are some of her favourite people on this planet!
It is days like that when I realise how blessed we are that she is doing so well and thriving.
A few days before the group, we had had another Theraplay session with our Play Lady. This time she and I walked Little Legs through Her Story and talked about Adoption. It was interesting watching her take in the information, none of which was new to her, and tic her way through the activities. The nurture and feeding game at the end of the session was particularly poignant and Little Legs clearly appreciated the intimate interaction between me and her.
The few days in between were fraught with Big Feelings and behaviours that were telling us that she was angry about Her Story. Thankfully, mostly targetted at Mr Six and me.
So it was a breath of fresh air at our group to sit and watch her interacting and engaging with friends big and small, familiar and not so. She is such a gregarious little thing. Her Griffiths assessments since she was a dot have consistently assessed her social and emotional skills as being ahead of her age. She adores being in company and making new friends.
We have guarded against this, following the advice of social workers and other adopters, giving her lots of time and space to attach emotionally to the five of us. When she first came home we employed a funnelling technique on the advice of Social Workers, which means that we limited the number of people she met in her early days and weeks. The theory behind funnelling suggests that this enables her to primarily attach securely to the five of us, before we introduced her to wider family and friends.
This was tough at first for all of us, as we were craving support from close friends and lots of folk were really keen to meet our little girl. However watching her even now, almost two years later, she can be fairly liberal in her use of the phrase “I love you!”. Of course it is a lovely thing to have a sunny little munchkin bundle up to you, give you a hug and tell you she loves you…
She thrives at our church and is very settled in the kids work, thanks to familiar faces and fairly consistent routines. Almost two years post placement, she rarely refuses to go into kids’ church/club these days and loves her time there. She is a big dancer- her speciality is wiggling her bum, a legacy of being a late walker who had to hold onto a stable surface in order to dance! She loves the singing and the freedom of sitting with her sisters, cousins and little friends.
Little Legs did brilliantly at our home ed day and we are happy that it is becoming another staple in our monthly calendar. I am confident that even on a bad day, the other families would be supportive of us and even helpful in diverting and managing Little Legs’ most difficult behaviours.
We are so blessed.