Sunday, 20 November 2016

NEW TV DOCUMENTARY: “Kids on the Edge | Last Chance School”


After adopting a sibling group of three boys 6 years ago, then age 4, 5 and 6, our journey has been challenging and rewarding. Our oldest son was diagnosed with Severe Attachment Disorder and at the age of 9 our local primary school wasn’t able to manage his challenging behaviour. This was a very difficult time for us as a family. We were first able to see the "light in the tunnel" when he started at a specialist school, Gloucester House Day Unit, part of Tavistock Portman NHS. At this school he was able to access intensive psychotherapy and group therapy in addition to education.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Adoption: Transition from a specialist school to a mainstream



Earlier on this week I attended a school meeting at my
oldest son's secondary school. In the vlog I created on that day, I share the
positive transition from a specialist school (Gloucester House, part of
Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust) he attended for 3.5 years to a mainstream
secondary school.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Adoption Challenges to a Bright Future | Pappa Stig

Challenges with adoption and the way to brighter future

Earlier on this week my son was coming home from school with the book “Captain Underpants”. He had spotted the information about the author Dav Pilkey in the back of the book: "When Dav Pilkey was a kid, he suffered from ADHD, dyslexia and behaviour problems”.  My oldest son felt that he could relate to the author.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Adoption: Why Does My Child Steal Food?


How would you react if you didn't know when you were getting food next? I believe most of us can understand that this would have been a difficult position to be in, but very hard to 100% understand if you haven’t been in the situation.
Our three children lived their first years not knowing when their next meal was going to be served. “I can remember when I climbed up on the kitchen bench to get some food for my two other brothers. I thought it was a tin of food, but when I was able to open it I got paint all over me and the kitchen” my oldest son told me. They can remember that they sometimes got a bar of chocolate for dinner. Normally they didn't have any food in the cupboards and in the fridge. Other times their birth parents were not able to remember their basic needs, as they were too busy with their own unhealthy lifestyle.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Behaviour

In this post you will find an overview of all the posts and vlogs I have made about behaviour. I hope you will find our learnings and parenting ideas helpful.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Adoption: Preparation Before Placement




As soon as we started the matching process back in 2010, we started the preparations to increase our family from two to five. My husband and I spent time to understand the needs of our three children to be, to be able to select the right school and nursery. We also prepared their bedrooms.

As part of the preparations for the boys, we created a book for them each that included pictures of us, our family, their bedrooms, school and surroundings. In addition we created a video.

In this vlog I'm sharing our preparations before placement.

Our Adoption Journey

In this post you will find an overview of all the posts and vlogs I have made about Our Adoption Journey. From the assessment, matching, placement and the day to day!



Thursday, 28 April 2016

Adoption: Journey of Diagnoses


When we adopted our children almost 6 years ago, we didn't understand to what extent their early years would affect them later in their lives. We received detailed reports of their background and current behaviour, but it was hard to read between the lines.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Two steps forward one step back


Sometimes this can feel more like one step forward two steps back. I believe most adopted parents can feel like this in periods and also sometimes not be able to see the “light in the tunnel”. I believe this is because adopting can be like a roller coaster due to the background of the children and their needs to re-create the chaotic life they had in the past as this make them feel safe. Like my children, they have moved many times and also been split up for periods – we can never understand how it feels to have lived with five families in your first 6 years like my oldest son has done. I can totally understand that he feels the need to constant test the boundaries to check if we will give up on him, just like what he feel has happened in the past. Behavior can be triggered by the feeling of being rejected. We constant reconfirm that we love them so much and this is their forever family. When we have difficult situations, we use phrases like “I love you so much, but I don’t like your behavior right now”.

Monday, 18 April 2016

A Very Special School Trip


Today our oldest son went on a school trip. Seems normal for most children, but this trip is a special one. He has attended a specialist school for the last 3 years. This is the 4th trip he has attended, as this is an annual trip at this time of the year at his school Gloucester House. But this is the last one.

I asked him on the way to school this morning how he felt about that this is the last trip “Well, this means that I have moved on and am ready for mainstream. We can always visit New Forest as a family” was his answer. I’m sure he had some mixed feelings which are sometimes hard to put into words. He has started to get used to the idea of moving back to mainstream school full time after the summer break, as he has already started taster sessions once a week.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

The Magazine Advert of our Boys



We felt our lives were on hold after we were approved as adopters in November 2009. We couldn't wait for the phone call from our social worker about a potential match. We tried to continue our lives as normal, but were at the same time ready to prepare the bedrooms and the house as soon as we had a match with a child/children. After we were told that our local authority didn't have a match for us, we were recommended to start to look through magazines like "Be My Parent" and "Children Who Wait". As soon as the magazine arrived in the post, Phill and I would go through each and one of the profiles of the children - to see if we could find our match. It was very upsetting to see some of the sibling groups we had looked into the month before, had been split up in the next edition of the magazine.



Saturday, 9 April 2016

The Adoption Assessment and Matching Process





This is my latest video blog about The Adoption Assessment and Matching Process. Together with my husband Phill we started the adoption process in 2008 and were approved as adopters in November 2009 for up to 4 children. We just felt like our lives were on hold. We had so much love to give to any of the 60,000 children living in foster care in the UK. The journey was an emotional roller coaster! Finally we found a match in May 2010! We went to the Matching Panel and were approved in September 2010 to adopt a sibling group of 3 boys. This is our story!


Tuesday, 5 April 2016

How to Stop Your Child Swearing




Since we adopted our three children in 2010 we have tried and tested different reward charts, in addition to our firm boundaries and structures that are in place. Behaviour has been our main concern from the start and is a key point in our parenting.  
When one of our children moved from a mainstream school to a specialist school in 2013, we had an increase in his swearing at home. This wasn’t a surprise to us, as the 12 other children attending his school all have the same kind of challenging behaviour,  from emotional and mental health difficulties to severe social skills.

Monday, 4 April 2016

The First Time we met our Children


After two years going through the adoption process, the big day finally arrived when we were going to see our children for the first time. We had already prepared ourselves reading 100’s of pages of reports about the boys, their family history, the abuse and the neglect they were subjected too during their first years of their lives, pictures from the foster parents and seen a video of them playing in the park. We had started to have a vision of our new family.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Introduction to Our Journey

This is an introduction to our journey as a family. I started together with my husband Phill the adoption process in 2008. After assessments and training courses we were accepted to adopt up to 4 children. Closer to 2 years after we started the process we were matched with a sibling group of 3 boys. In 2010 they were then 4, 5 and 6 years, they were placed with us. Our lives changed from having a dog to suddenly having three boys running around with endless of energy. 

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Our long walk into the woods

What a great start to the school holiday, 18 degrees and sunshine! We have just got home from a three hours walk into the woods. In addition to visit our picnic tree, we had some great fun on the swings, playing in the trees and feeding the ducks. A great way to spend some energy! The only downside is that the boys seems to have re-loaded quickly and are already full of energy shortly after getting home, while I'm only dreaming of having a cup of tea and relax in my comfy armchair!

Friday, 1 April 2016

Our oldest son and our dog Hetty

Adopted children can often take out their anger on animals and also be controlling and do hurting. We experienced the same for the first years after we adopted the boys, we also considered giving up on our dog Hetty. With great progress as a family, our oldest son have now become Hetty's best friend! Today we went to the vet for a visit and it was so warming to see the great bond between them. He showed love, caring and affection towards Hetty in the car journey to the vet - what an achievement!

The Beauty of Repair

Earlier my son was verbally abusive towards me after being triggered by his younger brother. I felt tired and empty just after, however now it feels awarding after we had a positive repair ! He also created a lovely letter to me! Great to see that he now are able to show remorse.😘

We have learned over the last years how important repair is after in incident. We are using sentences like:

I noticed that...
I think...
I feel...
I am happier when...

I want...

Hopefully this can be helpful to you too!

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Follow Our Journey

Together with my husband Phill we started our adoption process in 2008 as a same sex couple. After a period of assessments and training courses, we were matched with a sibling group of 3 boys. Our life changed totally in 2010 when we increased our family from a small dog to three boys aged 4, 5 and 6! Our journey have been challenging and rewarding. Follow our story!