Waiting it out

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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10 thoughts on “Waiting it out

  1. Wow. What a story. I wish you every luck and every success in fighting for your amazing daughter and your family’s future. I am increasingly sure we all need to lobby as hard as we can for better post adoption support in every way we can (and for that support to be relevant and right for the child/family).

    Thank you for sharing your experience.

  2. What a beautiful post about the strength of the bond you have with your daughter. It frustrates me beyond words that you have to fight tooth and claw for the post adoption support you need, especially as you are saving the LA money over her childhood as she is no longer “in care”.

  3. As parents we fight for our children and it sounds like you are doing a great job of that, well done. Don’t let the fight get to you – it’s what we are there to do – the authority is only protecting the (no doubt meagre) funds they have available and if they did not there would be a far greater outcry from the likes of the Daily Mail etc.
    It may take time, but once you have proven your need and dealt with all the red tape I am sure you will be rewarded for the effort.
    Meanwhile it is forcing you to continually question your daughters needs, which will only help you be sure of what you need to be fighting for – delay is not always a negative.
    Good luck x

  4. Hello,

    Very sad to hear you are having to fight for this. Have a look at the links below and check if she may be suffering for FASD (do watch both links they’re really good). Also check out for attachment disorder and autism ? Your GP should be able to help and refer you on to the correct people. Failing which, you may have to try and get an official diagnosis ,so people like family futures will help (their based in London).

    As a last resort you can enlist your MP’s help and/ or the minister for children.

    Some children who come out of the care system have difficult experiences, which make it hard for them when they get to school. One way of getting over this is to start off by home schooling them, to give them the confidence and head start that they often need. A good link for home schooling is : http://www.theedenhomeschoolkit.moonfruit.com/

    Wish you the best =)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7zfJCW9Yco (FASD Documentary)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHgS7AvCvTg (A family living with FASD)

  5. This is so like my youngest son was for almost the first five years of placement. In the last three years he has become hard to live with at times and finds school exceptionally challenging. Those alarmbells are right, this is unlikely to go away and as I say, in our experience it does get worse. We are now trying very hard to get my son statemented as it has been identified that he is going to really struggle when he gets to high school in a years time. I wish you all the best with this and thank you for sharing on #waso

  6. Thank you all for your support and advice, much appreciated.
    Good news is that the allowance/funding issues have been partly resolved and we have now just got a diagnosis, which hopefully will resonate with the powers that be. It has been a long road. Mixed emotions. But we are good. It’s been reassuring reading your responses as at times I have felt I am asking for far too much! X

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