as good as you are!

I’m going to be the prefect parent. In fact, we’re the dream team we can do this…

After all I’m in education. I GET young people and children…

I’m confident about who I am. I am a strong person inside…

SURELY our relationship can withstand the pressure, WHAT PRESSURE!

We have family, friends and lots of support…

WE’LL be a great family – just the four of us – what more could we need…

And they will love football…

That was our dream, or really mine, despite everything we understood and learnt what the needs could be when adopting a sibling group, in this case two sisters.  Elizabeth and I had pictured what our family would look, live like for years, then they arrived.

Annie and Jane have been with us for six months now.  Their story in brief: pretty stable foster homes but time to move on. Neglected by young parents, birth mother being around seventeen when eldest conceived.  Annie suffered the most and now at five years old is consumed and held captive by issues of neglect.

Introductions were not easy, which is a different story and one to come.  The sisters were not together in foster care. One was in London the other outside of the capital.  Surely this couldn’t be an issue, as they had contact up to three times a week; they are siblings albeit half-sisters, and they had never lived together, so what? The local authority had never placed siblings who were separated, or was it that they had never placed siblings, again can’t see the issues. Elizabeth and I have been together for 16 years – Surely this is in our favour?

Summer months 2013 what better time to get to know your new family? I don’t think I can recall a more prefect summer.  The heat was on therefore lots of time was spent in the park swinging, sliding and climbing, it felt wonderful. Until the honey moon was over, and in turn the girls realise they are not going back and we realise this was it, the real deal.

The impact of adoption on the children and the family is hard to describe and understand.  I can now look back and we perhaps thought love was enough. In the prefect world love should be enough. Why can’t the girls understand that I am, we are, the best thing for them? Doh, it’s not a perfect world. The prefect parent – I realise now everything I believed to be right regarding parenting, I was beginning to throw out of the window. Taking on these two little girls was always going to be difficult. But as I write I raise the question; how much of the perceived difficulties are what I, as the prefect parent, expected it to be…

Our relationship can withstand the pressure.

We have family, friends and lots of support.

We will be a great family – just the four of us.

And they will love football…

Six months on and it’s not perfect. Six months is nothing! My children have experienced nothing but neglect, from those, who claim to love them, plus WE love them! But six months is nothing!

Although six months IS enough time for me to hurt but seeing as I’m in my later years, I can articulate that feeling to those who will listen. It can’t stop the feeling of hurt and rejection experienced in the early days of adoption. How much of my frustrations is about being the prefect parent? I EXPECT my beautiful five and two year olds to realise that I am not the prefect parent but I am good for them, but they are two and five for God sake. I find it hard to accept I am not the parent I had hoped to be, the prefect parent.

Perhaps it would be more useful to accept that there is no such thing as a prefect parent and it is ok to accept to be just good enough most days if not all days.

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5 thoughts on “as good as you are!

  1. You’re right, the children don’t need perfect. They need Good Enough.
    But, adopting a sibling group is a massive shock (however prepared you are). Honestly, the first year of our boys’ placement is a complete blur in my mind.
    Do try to relax as much as possible and – just as you don’t expect too much of the children – try not to set yourself unachievable targets.
    Enjoy your family!

  2. There is definitely no such thing as a perfect parent, whether you’re an adopter or a birth parent. And it is absolutely acceptable to be good enough – for your family – not the Jones’ down the road or the Smiths opposite. On days when you feel you haven’t been good enough, and I’ve had plenty, I just look as tomorrow as another day. 🙂

  3. I can relate to so much of what you wrote here, as a mum of 3 adopted siblings placed with us together, 1 of whom was previously placed in separate fc to her sisters, I can tell you that am also not the parent I had dreamed I would be, but I can also tell you, there is no perfect parent, keep plodding along, that’s perfect enough 🙂

  4. I think I wrote pretty much the same post at pretty much the same time – six months in (now we are at 14 months) It’s strange isn’t it when you realize how you thought you would be is actually quite different than what you are. I think the stress of adoption, the overwhelming messiness of neglect and trauma can really catch you. What I have slowly been discovering though, is that even though I’m not the parent I thought I was going to be, that doesn’t mean I’m not good at it. Thanks for sharing:)

  5. It is very hard facing the fact that the family we had in our minds eye is not the one before us. I struggled for a long time with this and have only really (7 years in) become more accepting of it. None of us are perfect, and never can be, but I am absolutely certain that you are still doing a great job. It is really tough so it’s ok to find it har,d and it’s ok to say it’s hard and upsetting. Where you can find time for you, it can really help you stay strong for your family. Hope you can find lots of support among the #WASO blogging network and twitter gang.

    Thank you for joining in The Weekly Adoption Shout Out.

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