Getting off the Rollercoaster - Going for Adoption

Monday, June 30, 2008

In which I speak sternly to myself . . .

Yes, Theo has had some knocks, but he left a very bad home situation aged just 6 weeks.
He will be fine.
It will, however, take TIME.
Have some PATIENCE!
I know this has never been strongest suit, but really, nothing can change in such a short time, and there is SO MUCH TIME to come.

PS This is all worth it, because the most beautiful sound in the whole world is Theo laughing - which he does frequently.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Trying too hard

When Theo was born he spent 4 weeks in NICU, recovering from his BM's drug habit. Now, I don't have any personal experience of withdrawing from class A drugs, but my guess is there is some considerable pain involved. Theo was a tiny baby, and couldn't possibly understand why he was suffering like this. In addition, there was no ever-present mummy to comfort him when he cried. He would have learnt pretty early on that pain is part of life, and that there is not much comfort offered by grown-ups.
He has had a few hard lessons.

He has developed a few strategies that make sense to him, but break my heart.

If I try and hold him if he is hurt or simply tired, he rarely allows it. He wails and wails, works himself up into a real state and struggles free - then he lies on the floor with his head down, his hands round his face. It's a 'leave me alone, I do this alone' pose.

I am trying soooo hard to help him to trust me. I know it will be a long process, but I need to be there, pick him up each time he falls, (prevent the fall even!), anticipate his every need, wish, frustration. Over time I need him to learn that I am reliable, will love him, will control his world and make it safe for him, that I will look after him, and he doesn't need to.

Some of this is a little different to what I might have been doing with a 16 month old birth child, and not many people understand what the issues are.

But this evening, after he had gone to bed, I cried buckets to R. I am exhausting myself but I can't put less into this relationship with Theo. I love him so much, it's physical. I feel so extraordinarily fiercely protective, but he has already been hurt - and I want SO MUCH to make him better.

One day I will write a post in praise of my fabulous social worker, KT. In the meantime, I will just leave you with her wise thoughts, which at least mean that someone understands the gap that I am trying so hard to fill. The thing is, Theo seems so incredibly normal, and is such a happy, sociable, bright and generally gorgeous child. But KT can see what I mean, and she said he wil be happy and secure, because I love him and that she absolutely believes he will be the best he can be. But she also said I need to realise he will never be the person he would have been if I had been his birth mother. Of course he won't - how could he be after what he has been through? I do know that.

How can I ever make it up to him?

Friday, June 13, 2008

6 weeks

Tomorrow we meet up with Theo's ex foster family again - just for an hour or so. We will meet at a park - neutral ground. The idea behind this is that Theo should not feel as though the family simply disappeared without trace, fell off the edge of the earth . . .

When we originally arranged it I didn't really think twice - I thought it would be a good idea. And now I am not so sure. OK - an older child might be reassured. He is just 16 months. Will he remember them? Assuming he does, how will it make him feel to meet them again, and then be parted from them once more? Will he understand that this is a reassurance meeting, done for his benefit? Or will he just be more confused, unsettled by the whole thing?

I have decided not to object if they want to pick him up, call him by their pet name for him (which we don't use), kiss him, cuddle him and so on. I don't feel threatened by them - though I think I did at first, when Theo was still so new. I know that the foster parents will be fine - they are straightforward, practical people; their teenage son, also, is unlikely to get over-emotional. But the teenage girl, almost at the end of her GCSE exams, is a potential wild card. But it's only a short meeting, and we never have to do this again.

I'm feeling like this is something we are doing for the foster family which is NOT THE POINT AT ALL. I am not looking forward to it for myself, but mostly I am worried on my little one's behalf.

Theo just woke, screaming, and inconsolable, which has NEVER happened before. It took me a few minutes just to wake him up enough to be able to calm him. Once he was properly awake he immediately calmed down, drank some milk, and went easily back to sleep. Thank heavens it was tonight and not tomorrow, though, or I would have been convinced that the meeting was the cause of unsettling him. Poor little bean, it made me cry to see him so distressed.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Here he is

Couldn't resist, but will remove these soon!
Will post more when I have found a way of making time!