Advent for Christians is the preparing for the arrival of Jesus. Hope, peace, joy and love is what advent is all about.
From a world wide view, to a more local one of Europe and the U.K. Right down to what is happening within our homes, hope has become an integral part of how we live.
Our social worker dropped by this week to discuss the Theraplay session child 4 & I were Guinea pigs for. It was fascinating, if a little uncomfortable to watch myself on film, but child 4 loved it, when I showed him it later. The Theraplay team were particularly interested in child 4's avoidance of nurturing and his desire to be in control of the activities. So they have provided me with a list of activities that we can play as a family, as parent and child 4 and as 1 on 1 to help. Many of these we already sort of do but I am always up for new ideas and new games to play. I've photocopied it already so that I can share it with the pre-school and the school as there is loads that they can use too and not just for my little man.
It was lovely to see our social worker, we always got on well and she was telling me about some of the changes happening and explaining about the adoption fund given by the government this year. Her job has changed and she is much more involved in post adoption support now.
She told me about a young man she was working with, he was adopted as a baby. And yet his adoption was breaking down and he was currently in foster care because of his self destructive Behaviour. She had requested his PAR to look back into his past and have an understanding of his background. When she read about his birth mother she was struck by how similar their behaviours were. As a teenager she was in foster care and was being self destructive in exactly the same way as her son was now. How? Why? How much of teenage behaviour is genetic? This child was brought up by a loving couple from about a year old so where did he learn these self destructive baviours, you would have hoped that the nurture would have outweighed the nature. But attachment just doesn't work like that.
Our social worker asked me how could social services better prepare adopters for these types of outcomes, the courses we have to do tell us about the difficulties many adopted children have, there are often adoptive and foster parent speakers who talk of these difficulties and yet we carry on and adopt. I couldn't answer her, at the time of waiting for matching I didn't concentrate on the difficulties we may face once we had adopted I was worried that we wouldn't be suitable. Once child 4 arrived I was too busy settling in with new routines. I told her that I didn't think social services could prepare us better, I think they have to be able to support more once children have been adopted. Pre schools and schools need to be better educated in attachment to help our children.
I think HOPE is what adoption is all about, I think that the majority of adopters know it's not going to be easy but until you are actually living it you cannot understand how tough it is. I know that there are no guarantees that child 4 will make it through childhood and adolescence without any difficulties and being adopted means that life is a little weighted against him. I can only hope that we can hold his hand whilst he walks that path.