Monthly Archives: April 2016

“Help and support……..”

When I blog I try to blog positives even if it is a difficult subject. This blog I feel is going to be differnt! 

I adopted Spud as an older child 5 years ago. The journey has not been easy and could be described as “challenging” or, as I prefer “bloody hard work.” 

In the last 9 months  Spud started at secondary school and that was a very difficult transition. Just as I felt things were slowly starting to settle, Birth mum dies. This has caused the last few months to be vey hard for everyone. I asked for help as I felt Spud needed more life story work. Not only are the teenage years here but with the death of birth mum it was time for more support. 1st assessment of need was not worth the paper it was written on. Second assessment of need was better, or so I thought. I have not signed the second assessment of need but it was sent off to ASF. 

Various suggestions were made for support including 2 weekends of activity type respite so I could recharge my batteries while Spud had a good weekend away. Meeting arranged with the short breaks worker and then a leaflet is emailed to me to share with Spud. 

The aim of the weekend is to “prevent families breaking down.” WHAT? Who said our family was breaking down? How can I share this leaflet with Spud? He has had one placement that broke down before us!  WHO thinks this is a good idea to have the aim for the weekend around disoruptions? I can totally understand how for some families this is right and for the young people to have support and sessions around possible breakdowns but for a family not at risk and for a child who has been through one breakdown? Not on your life and I letting him go on this weekend. It would set us back 5 years, how would he trust us? 

HOW can professional who know our story think this is ok? I spoke to our PASW who suggested I spoke to the worker running the weekend. I did speak to her and she confirmed the weekend are for families at risk of breaking down and distrupting and this was why we had been referred.

I have either been totally misunderstood or our needs have been pigeon holed to meet a service that is available? I fear it is a bit of both. 

At this moment in time I feel –

Let down, hurt, angry, fearful of why we are seen at risk of breakdown, disgusted with professional that should be there to help, ready to cry, scream and shout and fiercely protective of my son and my family. So much so I have said I do not want to engage with any of their services. We have an assessment with an agency in a couple of months. It is over an hours drive away. When I raised this as a concern  I was told that others had raised it as well and it was not right, so why make the referral to them? 

Is this a sign of over worked/overstretched social workers?  A total lack of understanding of the real issues as text books can only teach someone so much? A case of making families fit into services available? Or a mix of it all? 

It maybe an over reaction from me but when you ask for help,you expect to get help and not be left in a state and not sure which way is up!!!!! Social workers ask why adopters do not ask for h LO and this is the reason why! The last few months I have cried so much I don’t think I have many tears left. The majority of my tears come from frustration with professions that are paid to understand and help. How can post adoption cause so much stress when we just need some help? 

Tonight is another sleepless night caused by the very people that say they will help ………

If Carlsberg did holidays ………. 

Ok the title maybe a slight exaggeration but it nearly sums up our holiday! 

I am writing this on the last day of our holiday while on the plane in the way home. If you count the night we spent in the hotel at Gatwick before we flew, this is day 13 of our holiday. 

That night away was truly dreadful! How can 1 pre teen roll their eyes as much as Spud did? I lost count of the number of tuts and oppositional behaviour shown to the point I was ready to leave him with the grandparents and go on holiday without him! 

Fast forward to the next day and the real Spud appeared. He was happy, laughed, joked and was great company. He even feel asleep on the plane for a couple of hours which is unheard of! 

When we arrived at the hotel it was very, very quiet with less than 100 guests and running at around 10% occupancy. I was very concerned that Spud maybe the only child here. Within minutes a mother and her 12 year old son came and introduced themselves. Suddenly Spud was off down the water slides with the boy and they had the time of their lives for 4 days. The other boy had his own quirks and he and Spud just clicked. They had fun the the pool, ate together, laughed,giggled and played cards. We had lots of relaxed fun. 

They chatted non stop which was lovely to see and hear. They were children without a care in the world. 

Then on the day that the other boy was going home we had a very sad Spud. He was sad his friend was leaving, had another loss to deal with and another transition. On the surface Spud coped very well but his eyes were sad.

Within a few hours another English family arrived. 1 teenage daughter, 1 pre teen daughter and mum. After what seemed liked hours of awkwardness from Spud, he allowed me to go and say hi to them. Spud took great delight in showing the girls around, taking them to the water slides, showing them the best pizza place and they quickly settled into a fun, easy friendship. Both girls have the longest legs you have ever seen and  towered above Spud which they would all laugh at.

They joined in with activities with Spud being a very good sport and taking a lesson on belly dancing.

The last couple of days have seen the number of guest rise in the hotel and this has linked with some increase in attitude, eye rolling and controlling behaviour from Spud. Of course it it also linked with Spud knowing the holiday is nearly over, he is going to have to say goodbye to the girls and more loss.

We have also seen a sudden dip in Spuds confidence and his need for reassurance and top up hugs, he has taken to launching himself in me while I am in the sunbed as this is an “acceptable hug.” Also a return of “my mum” instead of “mum.”

The positive to that is he has allowed us to get close again and go back to some of the games we played when he first came home.

One of his favourite games has been writing words on our backs with his finger and us trying to guess what he had written and then us taking turns to write on his back. Lots of acceptable closeness in the sunshine. 

He has eaten a wide variety of food, eaten well at the majority of mealtimes, chatted and been animated. He has joined in with poolside activities, laughed at jokes and been a delight in the whole. 

Tiredness is setting in and the need for control is creeping up. The selective listening is definitely there as is the need to be a bit more physical/sensory seeking.

The journey home has not been relaxed with the need to control rising, the not listerning increasing and the wall around him going up. The need to be fiercely independant is back.

We have had a very difficult few months since Spuds birth mum died and we all needed this holiday more than ever before. I feel the holiday has given us time as a family, time to relax and be us, time to heal and time to make memories.

It has given me hope. We start an assessment for therapy in June but to be honest, I think another holiday like this one would be as much therapy. It has given me the strength to get through the next few months as I know there are school battles waiting to be had on Monday – had emails over the school holidays! Assessments to go through and life to get on with. 

I think for this holiday we have seen glimpse of being an attached family and certainly fooled the majority who we met on holiday that we were “normal”!