After a couple of properly horrid weeks; I finally have time to reflect. I need to state our new normal is still okay, we are still doing ‘okay’ no matter what it looks like from the outside or how tired I am. It’s been national adoption week this past week and whilst I have managed to avoid most of the hype & flowers it hasn’t utterly bypassed me.
It is still utterly the best thing we ever did. There is so much laughter and joy in our lives brought by the boys. But it is also the hardest, and day to day it is still the hardest thing we are dealing with. And trying to let people see that balance; trying to make people understand that adopted children are broken before they ever get to their adopted family has been my personal crusade for the past couple of weeks. A lot of it I cannot share…it’s not my story, it’s not our story, but yesterday I was called to meet the boys headteacher as a result of a letter I had written.
Jelly went to nursery class at the school he now attends in reception. He went very much pre-verbal with about 15words he could clearly say. He went with 2 friends who he knew & felt secure with. Over the course of the year he branched out from these friendships and made others. This was good, I befriended mums and let some of them know why he was ‘different’ and they understood and supported us when their children went home and said Jelly’s done this or that. There was serious disappointment for us then when the reception classes were announced and he was with not one of these new friends, infact he was going into reception with one ‘friend’ who happens to be a girl with very different interests and who he is friends with due to circumstance.
I spoke to the head teacher who told me that the classes were sorted and that was the end of it. Except it wasn’t, I wasn’t the only mum who was upset, some mums had a good rant and have continued to do so. So imagine my horror this week to discover that one child (whose mum was still kicking off) has actually moved classes this last week. I wrote a very angry letter to express my/our disappointment that the head hadn’t stuck to her word and had actually moved a child who I know has no additional needs and the only reason she has moved is because her mum shouted loudest & longest.
In my letter which I copied to the chair of governors, I went through all the explanations and reasons I had wanted Jelly to be with his friends. I also reminded her of all the things that Jelly had been through and copes with on a day to day basis living with Boyo. And I asked her what the school were going to do to improve this situation.
So yesterday lunchtime I received a call asking if I could go into school yesterday afternoon which I managed to arrange as we were on a training day at work. Quite rightly she told me she couldn’t tell me why this child had been moved, although she did say it was a governor decision (which I find highly odd as it’s not normally the type of thing governors decide). But apparantly there were reasons (I know this isn’t true). But as she had called an emergency meeting yesterday (having received the letter), with chair of governors, SENCO and class teacher she did have a significant plan to help Jelly.
She knows that I am extremely disappointed. She knows that I know why there was a space in the other reception class (adoption disruption). She has forgotten (although SENCO hasn’t) that we know lots of people and know that there was no reason to move the other child, so I am going to stick to my belief that the parent who shouted longest got what they wanted. She has also not realised that himself and I know a significant number of governors and some of them we have known a long time, so I will be asking questions about whether they are now decided which classes pupils are going into.
The only good thing in this is that yet again we were reminded that the SENCO gets it. She knows that they are broken and that we are working extremely hard to help our boys. She offered a life line yesterday, which we grasped with both hands. And when I mentioned another issue that had become apparent she promised she’d look into it. But both himself and I are determined that nothing will slip by, that we will be contacting school about anything that we have issue with.