The best kind of influence

We may not always like it, but our lives display the influences of people whose paths have crossed with ours over the years. From family to friends and even acquaintances, the way that people around us live their lives will impact how we choose to live ours. Just reading this paragraph will likely stir memories of the people who have most impacted your life. I grew up in a suburban area of South Manchester. I had an awesome Mum and Dad (still have my awesome Dad!) and a fab little sister. We lived in a semi detached […]

Our guide on the journey #supportadoption

No adoption journey can be undertaken without the support and guidance of social workers. Their role is to take both potential adopters and children in care through the tricky process of family finding, linking, matching, introductions and placement. They act as a guide on this journey into the unknown. They have the ability to help you traverse the the ups and downs. They warn you of the pitfalls. They tell you when to take some time to breathe and look out in wonder at how far you have come. Or they could wander off elsewhere and leave you feeling alone, […]

Operation: Get it sorted

Our house is a busy house. A home for six people, two cats, a large dog, a gerbil and two chickens (the latter obviously live in the garden though!). Four little people, two big people and all the ‘stuff’ that goes along with that. We also home educate our four children. So we are home lots. Most days. There is no tidying around opportunity once they’re at school! Most of the time I’m grabbing moments to tidy around them, as they get out more jigsaws, or books, or clothes, or dressing up outfits :oO There […]

Blending birth and adopted children

One of the things I have found difficult to learn about, read up on, get ahead on during our adoption journey has been blending birth and adopted children. There are a few books, such as ‘Oh brother!’ and ‘Adopting a brother or sister‘ . But nothing that really floated my boat, or that I thought would work for our girls. I’ve mentioned before that we prepared our girls by reworking BAAF’s ‘We are fostering’ workbook. I contacted BAAF at the time and they were happy for us to use their workbook as a template for […]

I love the Olympics!

I’m sitting here on our settee with a hot brew, watching the Olympic swimming from Rio. I’ve always loved watching the Olympics. My earliest Olympic memory was of the 1984 games in Los Angeles. I was ten and we were on a family holiday in Plymouth, staying with family friends. I remember my Dad and our friend’s Dad staying up really late watching it on the tv. We would get up early to have our breakfast in front of the tv watching the highlights show. Our home growing up always had sport on the tv. […]

An afternoon out

This weekend we spent a wonderful afternoon at a stunning National Trust property not too far from home. We’ve been there once before a couple of years ago and the grounds are just beautiful. We met up with long time awesome friends of ours, who live on the other side of the country and who we meet up with maybe just once or twice a year. We have seven kids between us, all aged between 4 and 11, so they all have buddies to play with and giggle with and tell secrets too. We have […]

The Scenic Route: To Placement

After Matching Panel, we sat in the little waiting room with our Social Worker (SW), expecting to exchange Christmas wishes and to set a date to get together sometime in January 2015 to talk matching. However… Our SW pulled a single A4 sheet of paper out of his bag and told us that he had a profile he had received via email the night before, that he would really like us to have a look at. There was no pressure and he was more than happy to hang onto it until after the holidays, but […]

The Scenic Route: To Approval

Our journey from expression of interest to placement wasn’t long by some people’s standards, but each step seemed to take so much longer than we had expected. Our local authority is part of a consortium. I spent two weeks trying to access their information online, only to find their website consistently down. Having read around a bit and spoken to other adopters on Twitter, we came to understand that generally VAs provide better access to PAS. So we looked at BAAF’s website guide to voluntary agencies and found two that seemed to cover our area. Our […]

Forging family relationships

This last week we had our first direct contact between Little Legs’ Foster Mum and Little Legs. I’ve been chatting with her lots on WhatsApp and sending photos and updates regularly, but there has been no direct contact with Little Legs for the year she has been with us. Rightly or wrongly, we have been feeling our way to find something that feels right. For Little Legs, for our family and for theirs. There is so much advice out there about continuing contact with foster families, initiating contact with birth families, and maintaining relationships with […]

When people just get it

Little Legs has been going to a pre-school (Ducklings) swimming class since late September. At the time we were offered the place, we weren’t sure whether it was too soon. She had only been home for about ten weeks and was showing lots of separation anxiety from me. But we decided to give it a go and see what happened. I spoke to the swimming coordinator and explained enough detail for her to make sense of Little Legs’ story and she asked for permission to share what I had shared with the swimming teacher who […]