Tag Archives: post-adoption

Antsy? Not ‘Arf!

12 Nov

No one person’s problems are any greater or lesser than our own, since fundamentally everything is relative!

My ‘tough shit’ is written here….in this little padded cell in cyberspace that I’ve claimed for myself, yet share publicly. This space is my psychiatrist’s couch. It’s where I lie; it’s where I spew guff; it’s where I whingebag my way through life; it’s my space to say what I like when I like and drink as much virtual gin (my new tipple of choice: Brockman’s Gin – Try it!!) as I like without having to suffer the intoxicating after-effects.

Right now, I am feeling frustrated. We’ve hit somewhat of an impasse in the Permanently Pickled Household. And I’m buggered if I know which way to turn.


Actually, to be honest, I’m feeling downright fecked off, Dr. T’internoob!

I lay awake last night pondering the TAC meeting that we had a couple of months ago. Going over what was said, what wasn’t said. Going over how I personally felt in the meeting.

Feeling the defensiveness and sensitivity rising up and overwhelming me and having to bottle it up while the professionals battled over who has more experience, who can blind who with their semantics, and who has the busier diary! And all I wanted to scream was this is a child, a child who doesn’t understand compliance once his mist descends, a child who will not conform to the ideals of your theory books!

Listen to me! But I stayed quiet for fear of being the inflexible, irate and witless harpy that I invariably am these days.

I listened to them preach to me about healthy eating, exercise, and yes….rewards and consequences (was that an audible scoff from the adoption community??). I was asked about my parenting and about how we are helping to control Pickle’s weight.


I. Am. Frustrated. I have been festering on this for weeks.

Can you tell, I’m frustrated?

We had a brilliant summer in terms of Pickle’s behaviour this year. Given the huge changes that took place prior to the summer and during this summer, this was somewhat of an achievement.

Grandma passed away after a long illness. He was a rock. As ever, we were unable to predict his exact response. But this time he shone. Or had we raised our game of patience? Probably both.

Prior to the end of the last school term, Pickle was removed from his ‘mainstream’ class and placed unofficially in the Moderate Learning Difficulties division. Unofficially because he doesn’t have an EHCP. He has taken the non-existent 11th place in a class of 10!

I will be completely candid. On being notified of Pickle’s move to the MLD division, I was beyond gutted! I broke my heart crying and felt like I had let him down. There is no doubt that there is an underlying capability that will allow him to do well in mainstream education. But his hypersensitivity and hypervigilance make it difficult for him to concentrate, to relax, to function, to co-exist with others without eagle-eyed adults pre-empting his every move.

He is followed around the playground!! This week he attempted to escape the playground. As would I if I were faced with such totalitarian constraints.

Not long before his transition to the MLD I had been posting about how well he was doing. So well in fact that the TAC team had decided to cut back on the meetings. We were spending our time discussing his achievements as opposed to any negative issues.

So what happened? I have my theories, I know my child. I had a plethora of information in my head that helps me understand what is going on for him. I have the supportive words of many other adopters, carers and birth parents going through similar issues. But to lambast at this stage is not going to move things forward.

Over the summer, we had our first meeting with CAMHS and Pickle has subsequently undergone the QB test for ADHD. We still don’t have the results!


We have purported referrals for speech and language, the educational psychologist, and occupational health.


He has seen a physiotherapist for his gait, though we have had no feedback from her supposed visit to school, of which the school have no record.


I am still awaiting the minutes from the TAC meeting. As well as the TAC plan and its concomitant timescales.


I’m sure you get the general gist of how I’m feeling!!! And, to boot…I’m at an age when you really shouldn’t be messing with my tolerance levels. Even my see-sawing hormones are frantically trying to escape my crabby body.


So here I sit, weltering in my cul-de-sac, with my Brockman’s gin and current malignant loathing of the system, planning which of my prey to attack first!



Motherhood and Apple Pie

15 Mar

Bringing a baby home for the first time is an exciting and nerve-racking moment in any parent’s life. Bringing home a ready-made bambino fitted with all its pre-set gadgets and gizmos is no less than utterly terrifying. I’ve always been a slight technophobe, and gadgets with a complete mind of their own and a refusal to conform when you press the do-as-your-told button basically just freak me out.

Before we brought our little contraption home, we spent 10 days getting to know all its features and its scope of functionality. During that time we were able to dodge entire responsibility for any frustrating downtime caused by hourly malfunctions by hiding behind the backs of the expert handlers (aka foster carers).

These 10 days were intended to help us get acquainted with routines, habits, likes, dislikes, tempers, chastisements. It worked, it worked very well. Buttressed by the foster carers, we thought we had it in the bag.

So armed with one small feisty Pickle and the much-repeated 3 Golden Rules: “Step away from the child”; “Stay out of the loop”; “Carry a packet of Chocolate Buttons at all times”, we skipped off into the sunset for our new life as a foursome.

But at no point in the Instructions Manual was there a section entitled “Troubleshooting – The Realities of Post-Adoption Life”. And it didn’t take us too long to realise that it wasn’t going to be all motherhood and apple pie….

Those first months were a blur of Pickle stampeding his way through every room, switching every light on and off repeatedly, turning on every tap full force, refusing to get in the car, refusing to get out of the car, clinging onto his coat for dear life, pouring his own drinks, layering the sugar on his weetabix, and generally making sure he could ‘control’ absolutely everything. This was his reassurance, his safety net. I got used to sitting on the front doorstep, brew in hand, whilst he sat scowling at me through the open car door. It was a constant kerbside stand-off!

But we couldn’t really know what was (and still is) going on inside his confused mind. We could only imagine what it must have felt like to be ripped away from everything he had known (again), the people he loved, the place where he had felt safe, and to be thrown into a house with almost complete strangers. Behind these ritual malfunctions was a very frightened little contraption.

And so began our expedition along the rocky road …….to baking one mean apple pie!



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