Stolen from our social worker and modified by me.
1. We are Mummy and Daddy to 4 children, they may not all necessarily match our DNA but we cuddle them when they are sad, kiss their hurts away, tell them off when they are naughty, read them bedtime stories and know their favourite things. Never ever use the adoption word when introducing us. We are REAL parents to them all, got it?
2. We will probably parent differently now, it's called therapeutic parenting. This means that we don't send our children to their rooms or use naughty steps. Adopted children have been rejected enough so we won't reject child 4 in any way. We will keep him close. IT WORKS for birth children too, ask child 2 and 3!
By the way if you disagree that's fine but I don't need to hear about it, I can however lend you a book explaining it.
3. We may not join in conversations about pregnancy and or birth etc, our child 4 did not grow in my tummy he grows in our hearts.
4. We may make quick and quiet escapes from parties, get togethers etc, please do not be offended. Adopted children don't always cope with large groups of noisy people so sometimes it's best to sneak away.
5. If we don't make that quick get away please keep in mind that a child who's had a traumatic start in life will respond in ways that worked for them before – This might mean screaming, running away, becoming aggressive. They're not just “being naughty”, so your help in trying to keep things low key will help.
6. I know child 4 is gorgeous and will probably hold his arms up for a cuddle, but to start with its imperative that he learns who his Mummy and Daddy are and the way to do this is to let us do all the cuddling until the attachment is secure.
7 All children do ......... Your children probably hit, bit and tantrumed, just maybe not all at the same time, or for months on end or at the age of 9. This is likely to be my life so a little sympathy would be good.
8. Sorry no photos, in case a friend of a friend of a friend recognises child 4 from facebook and knows his birth parents. Who will then know where he lives,what nursery or school that he goes too and who his adoptive family are. Not healthy.
9. We won't tell you anything or everything about his history it's not our story to tell. So trust us when we say that this is the way things are.
10. Your support is wanted and required, there will be those who can't cope so will avoid us and those who will interfere, which will probably be worse. Nothing can beat a shoulder to cry on, a cuppa, chocolate or a bottle of wine to share. So if you are up to the challenge find out a bit more about adoption or just keeping reading my blog. I will be grateful for all the help we can get!