Monthly Archives: April 2017

Thinking ……

I have been thinking the last couple of day, I always find thinking dangerous! 

Anyway, I was thinking about how Spud would have been if he had been matched with different adoptive parents. We were in a competitive match for Spud. The other adopter was a single adopter who I know although did not know we were in a competitive match at the time. She couldn’t be more different to me. She is laid back, spontaneously, travels around with work and single.

I am a control freak and have found this side of me increase since Spud came home. He has needed routine, planning, information, structure and home time or has he? 

Would he have thrived with a very different life? Would he have preferred to have traveled around the world with the other adopter? Would he have coped without routine and a much more spontaneous life? 

Have I changed to meet Spuds needs or has this side of me just come out and I use Spuds needs as an excuse? 

Did the social workers get it right? 

I can’t imagine my life without Spud and so pleased that the social workers did decide that we were the right parents for Spud. 

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Happiness is……..

If you had asked me 6 or 7 years ago what happiness was, I know it would have been very different to now. Would have entailed a beautiful beach, sunshine, friends etc.

Today happiness is very different.

We have been on holiday to Egypt for a week. Like many adopters we had to go through the pain barrier of holidays to even start to see the other side. We have had holidays where Spud didn’t sleep at all. Holidays where Spud spent most of it in tears. Holidays where I spent most of it in tears. Holidays where Spud would only eat spaghetti bologonasie and that included for breakfast! 

I am awake very early on a Sunday morning listening to Mr Football and Spud snore in unison. Looking back on the past week I have decided that my happiness is –

Spud sleeping in his own bed – yes it is 6 foot away from ours but he is still sleeping in it.

Spud eating anything and everything – yes that means 6 ice creams during the afternoon but we are all inclusive.

Spud making friends – yes they are younger than him and he can control them but they are having fun.

Family time playing in the pool – yes we are only a stop gap until Spuds friends come to play but we are playing.

Learning a new family holiday game – yes again until Spuds friends have have dinner but we laugh together. 

Being able to sit at a different table at mealtimes – yes Spud did spend the whole time giving death stares to the family sitting at “our table”.

We have had the difficulties like one day when it was windy by the pool so we had to sit on the other side. Spud could feel the difference, we explained why but for 30 mins anyone watching would have thought I had told Spud he was grounded for life.

Suddenly realising that the rules we put into place need to be given everyday and in fact, several times a day. I learnt very quickly that the rules I put in place on Monday, did count on Tuesday as it was a new day according to Spud! We now go through the 5 rules at every mealtime. It makes it sound awful having 5 rules but they are –

1 – Don’t climb up the water slides.

2 – Don’t swim under the water slides when people are coming down them. 

3- Don’t run along the pool bar.

4 – Have fun.

5 – Remember we love you. 

Not the hardest rules in the world! 

So back to my happiness, we have 4 whole days left and then we have made it! 

On a last note, I have discovered Gin 😀

The hamster wheel

Battles, fights, disappointments, being let down and misunderstands seem to have been my life for the past 6 years.

Before I adopted Spud I always thought I was a fairly strong person. Never has this been tested more than the past few months and it feels like it is ongoing. The told me during prep training I would need relisiance, be an advocate for Spud and stay strong for him. I didn’t realise they meant that this would be the case each and everyday. 

The past few months have seen me trying to get a referral for FASD. This was never even mentioned as a possibility during prep training. Drugs were, trauma was but nothing about FASD. Spuds birth mother died fairly recently and at a very young agefrom alcohol related disease. The coroner told me that there was clear evidence of very heavy drinking for the past 15-20 years. Meaning she started drinking in her early teens. Spud has a DX of ADHD and RAD both of which took a fight to get. There was always a feeling, a nagging I had that it was more. 

After I spoke to the coroner, I  started looking into FASD and to be honest, it was half hearted and reading documents through my fingers. A friends daughter was diagnosed and we spoke. I then attended a training session on FASD and it was like a lightbulb.  Spent the whole day nodding my head, feeling excited that this was Spud! Everything the trainer said and described I was agreeing with that Spud did it. It honestly felt a relief that there was something else. I was not just the neurotic mother I had been called. Suddenly there were people speaking the same language and understanding the subtleties of everyday life with Spud.

I made an appointment with the GP and poured my heart out. He looked stoney face and said that I had to take Spud back to see a GP before a referral could be made. I made another appointment, explained to Spud why we were going to the doctors and explained this in the best way I could why I was taking him. When we looked together at FASD he kept saying “that’s me mum, I do that!”

We went and saw the GP and went through the basics again although she had read the notes. Referral made to paediatrician – great! 

3 weeks later I call them check the referral had been received. I was told that the NHS had cut the funding and the paedtrician was not not commissioned for “just FASD”. She was unable to see us! Back to square one. No one in my LA or neighbouring LA’s has been commissioned for FASD.  I found a clinic a couple of hours away who would take an NHS referral but needed my GP to agree to fund £3500. This of course has to go to CCQ panel for approval and can take up to 4 months! 

I have written a very detailed statement to go through the CCQ and have my fingers crossed. In the meantime the EHCP is still not fully finalised despite us being in version 3 of the “final” plan. Errors, missing support details are just a couple of reasons we are currently on version 3.

We also had the communication and autism team not turn up for a pre arranged assessment due to them “being too busy.” For those of you that know me can imagine my face, the steam coming out of my ears and the shear desperation and frustration!

It really feels I am on a hamster wheel that each time I think I can step out, something comes along to speed the wheel up and I have to keep going, dig deaper and use much more energy just to try and stay upright. 

I knew adoption was going to be difficult but never thought it would be so hard to get the support and help we need.