I stood today talking to a group of adoptive parents, discussing the closure of BAAF and the conversations that occurred on twitter re: national adoption week…it sprung thoughts into my head and discussions with others. (this was an ongoing conversation over the course of a few hours)
First I have to explain we were at an outdoor education centre with a group of families with children with additional needs. That is to tell you that our children as a collective are possibly on the harder side of (adopted) children. We are autistic, attachment issues, learning difficulties, FASD and various unknown issues. We are not straight forward happy adopters.
Someone else brought up the closure of BAAF and we were discussing the implications – and then I brought up the conversation that had happened on twitter about National Adoption Week and the idea of making it more realistic. Not continuing with the myth that if only we loved these children enough, if only we could be good enough parents that our children would be ‘fixed’.
We talked about the idea of how much better it would be if there was an honest picture of what living with traumatised children can be like during preparation. And better training in how to deal with it – not parenting courses, but courses that actually help us understand our children and help us to help them better.
We talked also about hope, the hope that things can be different, the idea that things will be better in the long term. We talked about the positives and the joys. We talked about our appreciation of each other (as adoptive parents) and the support that we can offer to each other. We discussed the importance of this support.
We know the difficulties, we understand how isolating it can be, we appreciate our children have ‘issues’ and we love them. And that is important… this is the reality. It can be tough, (not all the time) it can be frustrating, (mostly with professionals) but not one of us would change our children. They are ours and we love them.
There is much discussion about National Adoption Week at the moment – have a look at Gareth Marr’s latest post to see what I mean.