y exience with intros with the bbs I know I was being judged and it has made me extremely wary the last two sets of intros I have done. is hard on adopters coming into someone elses home but can also be equally hard on the fc's having strangers in your home as well, particularly as a singlie I find this becoz I don't normally have to interact with other adults in my home, not on such a concentrated basis anyway and being naturally anti social I can find this a challenge!! hope its gone well today.
foster carer for babies and toddlers, and also an adoptive parent.
Have popped on here for a bit while the others are playing in another room. Parents are being really, really terrific! There's already a great bond between them which is lovely to see - especially as 12 months ago she couldn't handle one person's love and attention, never mind two.
LOBs I don't know why I felt I had to cook meat - Janet and John both said they'd have been happy with even a sandwich - I suppose I just wanted to put even more pressure on myself! The same with the tidying, which is usually at the bottom of my To Do list.
Will write a proper diary entry later. Must admit I feel a bit jealous of the laughing in the other room though... First of those hollow pangs kicking in. It's surprising how much you can miss someone when they're still here.
kind of one of those bitter sweet moments eh? I sometimes catch myself just watching little ones and parents and finding myself in a far away place!! but better to hear laughter than tears and tantrums.
foster carer for babies and toddlers, and also an adoptive parent.
A very full day today - Janet and John here from waking to bedtime. We are getting on really well (I've got on with all my adoptive parents but its still a relief when we do) but its still hard to keep up constant chatter with effective strangers.
Janet and John take Jane out to our local park in the morning and bring her back a couple of hours later looking very guilty - she's fallen and cut her knee. I assure them that plasters are a constant fashion accessory in this house but can tell they're still a bit shaken.
Dinner goes much better today as we have a picnic on the carpet - much more informal, less eyes on Jane and no pressure on her to eat (I've had to remind Janet and John a couple of times that lots of Lac come with food "issues", however small, and that my policy is always not to make a big deal out of mealtimes. They admit they're going to have to "de-learn" their own policy of "you must finish what's on your plate".)
The afternoon is spent with Jane and daddy playing house! Jane loves it and bonds much better with daddy today. She is now also looking to mummy for all toilet duties - yippee for me!
Tea time also passes without incident - and I think we're going to have our best day yet until Jane kicks off about bath time. She wants mummy and daddy to go home now. They take it in their stride, understanding that Jane is tired and wants a bit of normality. Still, they don't give in and once she's in the bath she has a great time.
Bedtime isn't quite so smooth and after 30 minutes of Jane getting back out of bed we decide to concede defeat today and try bedtime again another day. Jane is upset at Janet and John leaving but settles almost instantly when it's just the two of us. She must be as exhausted as I am, and it won't be long before I'm off to bed too.
Tomorrow we have a long, long drive ahead. SW has booked us a lovely cottage (I got to have a sneaky look at it online) but I'm feeling very nervous. Mostly about the driving, but also about being so far away. All my previous introductions have been near enough to home for me to drive there and back without having to stay overnight anywhere. On top of this I'm not feeling 100% well, really achy and pounding head. Probably down to stress - I hope!
Sounds like a very full on day for everyone involved.
Reading about Janet and John's guilt over the fall reminds me of our intro's. We took our girls round to visit one of ex's work colleagues (a single dad of two BDD's). It was a lovely hot day and we were sitting in his beautiful garden having a drink when EDD wanted some of my orange juice which I gave her whilst holding the glass for her. She only went and bit right through the glass, leaving me to have a heart attack making sure she hadn't cut herself and didn't have any glass in her mouth. It was so frightening and myself and ex were too scared to tell the FC in case she reported us for neglect. Lesson learned, DD's were NEVER allowed to drink from anything but plastic beakers after that scary episode. I had nightmares for ages afterwards imagining emergency trips to A&E, so I can fully understand J & J feeling guilty.
At what stage are you giving out the "eyes in the back of your head", NMT?
nmt, really thinking of you tonight, this is probably the hardest time, half way through, still supporting everyone, and that transition to the 'holiday home' to cope with tomorrow (though at least you are having the opportunity to be able to visit Jane's new home with her-----which in my book is essential) Please do take the opportunity to make the most of your change of environment, when Jane begins to spend time with Janet and John, treat yourself to a coffee and cake somewhere nice, a browse round different shops, a visit to somewhere that appeals to you, rather than just going back to sit and wait for her to return. Good luck with the second part of Intros, it does sound as though it is going well----thanks to your hard work xx
Thanks everyone again - I really am on my way to bed now, just had to do a quick email update to my friends who're all desperate to know things are going well.
Jmk, did you mean eyes in the back of my head for the car? No need - Jane is all too familiar with my extra car mirror that means I can see every little move she makes, even before she makes it. I'm also hoping the IPad helps pass some of the journey - she's not often allowed on it so even holding it should be a treat!!
Imp, I too am pleased to be able to see Jane's new house. It's something I always insist on. I can't imagine how scared she'd be without me there, even though things are going so well.
It is great reading this from the FC's point of view. Feel we have a good relationship with Sqk's - which is probably a good thing given we live a mile from her.... Reading about the guilt over the fall reminds me of the fact that Sqk managed to slide into the lake when we were feeding the ducks during Intros. Luckily his FC laughed and just said boys will be boys - as did the SW's.
Last Edit: Feb 28, 2014 7:16:02 GMT by Deleted
Married to Droroin, Mum to DS Sqk (9) moved in Oct 13
Thinking of you & your journey to the cottage.... You all sound so well matched!! Janet & John well prepared so good for Jane... Hope things go smoothly for you & you find some nice coffee shops & relaxing places to visit as you while away your days.... Hugs as it gets tuffer....
xx. moo. Xx
Proud single adoptive mummeee to brothers baa & skweek 14 & 13 .....
intros at a distance cause me big problems these days as our adoption team have been refusing to allow the children to visit the new home before they move. I had very strong words over my last little ones move and was proven right with my opinions when I was rung after he'd moved to hear he had reacted exactly as I had predicted he would (not well), but too late by then, damage was done. so glad you're able to go with jane for this vital part of the transition for her. am very likely facing the same battle again with squishy munchkin as he is also looking to be moving out of area in a few months time .
foster carer for babies and toddlers, and also an adoptive parent.
It is fantastic to read this and thank you for finding the time, NMT.
I can't imagine how you are feeling - it's such a hard part of your job to manage the feelings of loss and sadness you have at LO moving on, even though it all seems very positive and your adopters sound lovely, really open and responsive.
It takes me back so sharply to our intros 3.5 years ago, AD really enjoyed the novelty of us during intros and all the playing, but her grief and despair at moving on were profound. Makes me well up thinking about it and how vulnerable she was (still is). It is great that your LO has really lovely people around her to help her with this. Good luck with the rest of intros - and hope it's a nice comfy cottage at the other end of your long journey. x
looking forward to your next entry with news of Jane's new home.... Hopes she loves her new house, bedroom & garden etc.... Find somewhere nice for you to visit or even just chill & soak up the new environment....
xx. moo. Xxx
Proud single adoptive mummeee to brothers baa & skweek 14 & 13 .....
I'm back! And as much as I complain about modern technology I now freely acknowledge I would hate to live without broadband! I also realise I spend way too much time in my evenings on-line!
Still, my enforced technology ban gave me chance to keep up my diary so here's what you all missed:
Intros day 5 (fri)
I've been dreading today as we have a 4 hour car journey (on a good day) ahead (Jane gets bored during our 15 minute drive to the supermarket). The car is crammed full of boxes and bags and drives like its full of 15 stone men rather than Fisher Price little people and My Little Ponies! Janet and John set off early this morning with an even bigger car full, and both their social worker and Jane's social worker have similar! I've no idea how all of this stuff fitted into my house. Even worse, there doesn't even seem to be that much more space in my house with it taken out!
The journey passes very, very slowly. We are lucky with the traffic but are still both absolutely exhausted when we arrive. I'm seriously regretting agreeing to the SWs idea that Janet and John join us at our cottage for tea tonight, especially as we're later than expected and tea time is NOW!
My initial regret quickly turns to delight when we find Janet and John waiting in their car outside our cottage - with a big bag full of shopping, and wine!! Janet very kindly cooks tea for us while I unpack and Jane runs wildly around the cottage (chased by John!)
I'm very much a home bird so am a bit daunted at being so far away, with no idea where anything is. The village we are staying in is tiny and very, very quiet - a far cry from our busy town centre home. I feel very much that I've swapped places with Janet and John now we're on their "turf" so to speak - I'm the anxious one, whereas they are in their comfort zone. They are fantastic at putting me at ease though, and the day ends really well - Jane is overjoyed to see them again and settles well at bedtime, none of the chaos of yesterday.
Sorry I'm having to create new posts for each day as I can't work out how to switch between the Internet and my word processor on my iPad without closing a window...
Intros day 6
Thankfully today is a late start - both Jane and I sleep in until 8am! We have a quiet breakfast together then go exploring outside. Jane thinks we're on holiday so I have to explain again the difference between this stay and our previous holidays (ie she won't be coming back with me from this one!) She is insistent that she's coming home with me, so I show her a picture Janet has texted through this morning of her newly decorated bedroom complete with one of her favourite dolls on the bed. This sways things a little and she's excited to tell mummy all about her new room when Janet and John arrive shortly before lunch.
We have lunch together and Jane's eating isn't great - more on the floor than on the table and lots of spitting food out that she suddenly doesn't like (despite having eaten for the past 18 months quite happily). Janet and John are old hands at this now and I leave them to tackle the situation, managing to eat all my lunch without having to constantly leave the table for "another drink", a "clean fork", "I need a wee"... It feels fantastic!
After lunch Jane and daddy go out to play in the garden (it's freezing! Poor John). Jane is still much less confident with daddy and will look for mummy whenever they're all together, but spending time on her own with John is really helping. They really enjoy bubbles, balloons, hide and seek, trying to ride Jane's bike and Barbies. I'm not sure John enjoys the Barbies quite as much as Jane does...
We spend the rest of the afternoon at a local soft play centre. Jane has a small meltdown when she thinks I'm not going with them, but once we arrive she doesn't look for me once, spending well over 2 hours playing very happily with mummy and daddy. It feels very, very strange being in a soft play centre without a child!! It feels even more strange when we decide to eat tea there and I have to order for Jane, despite her clearly calling Janet and John Mummy and Daddy...
We return to the cottage for bath time which today Janet and John do by themselves. All goes well until its time to settle in bed. Jane is giddy from the bath and definitely not happy at having to go to bed whilst mummy and daddy are still here. It takes well over an hour for her to even stay in her bed, and she is still shouting loudly when Janet and John leave. I hope they believe my reassurances that she will settle once they leave (which she does) as they look most unconvinced.
Back to our early starts today. Janet and John arrive in time to see Jane wake, but she's already up and running about. Neither of us slept particularly well so she's a cranky wee thing and not very welcoming. They ignore her grumpiness and sit down to breakfast, waiting for her to warm to them. She's not giving in today though and it takes all my will power to make myself refrain from taking over. We end up with a tantrum at the breakfast table and a threat from John that if she cannot calm down then she can't go on the afternoon trip out they've planned (new parents beware... Never issue a threat you can't carry through!!). Luckily it works this time and I can see the relief on John's face - he probably spotted my panic as we'd no back up plan if they didn't go out!
In the afternoon the three J's go out for their first proper family outing. I'd planned a nice relaxing trip round the local shops while they were gone but end up clock watching, and worrying about things that could go wrong! The cottage is suddenly very quiet and I can't pop round to a friends for a quick cup of coffee and inane chat to take my mind off things as I usually would during this part of introductions.
I have tea on my own today
The three J's come back in time for bath time and I carry on pottering about downstairs feeling unreasonably jealous of the giggles coming from upstairs. Luckily (for me!) John has decided Janet should tackle bedtime alone today to see if Jane settles better without an audience. I have company for the first time since lunch. John admits he's exhausted and finding the whole thing much more tiring than he ever dreamed. We have a sneaky glass of wine while Janet reads bedtime stories...!
Jane settles much better tonight, but wakes up crying in the early hours. She takes a good while to settle, very confused about all the changes and worrying about me going home without her. We talk things through again but it's upsetting for both of us. She eventually falls asleep but it takes a long time for me to get back to sleep.
Sorry about that pause for dramatic effect... Got a phone call to go and meet my new placements.
Anyway, back to the diary.
Intros day 8
Another big day today - the first time Jane sees her new house! She's incredibly excited but also understandably nervous, and is unable to express this properly, instead becoming cheeky and silly - lots of potty mouth and back chat. Luckily I'm used to being referred to as "wee wee head" by now, I hope Janet and John are prepared for it too!
Once we arrive at her new house (after only two wrong turns!) her excitement has gone, and its just nerves. She clings to my hand as I get her out of the car and has totally lost the use of her tongue. Janet and John are watching for us from the window and come to meet us on the doorstep (Jane is scared of doorbells, as are a lot of the children I've cared for) and Jane gives them a huge smile.
As soon as we are inside she asks for her bedroom, and is amazed to see all her toys there - albeit a little confused. Lots of "you've got a Barbie horse like my Barbie horse/you've got a pram like my dolls pram"... She has a great time exploring and makes herself very much at home. Janet and John comment that their house will never be tidy again. I agree totally!
Mid morning is our review meeting. It's more like a party than a review meeting! Both Jane's social worker and her parent's social worker are experienced at this, both with good senses of humour, and the scheduled 30 minute meeting lasts almost 2 hours! We barely touch on the actual reason we are all here (Jane!) and have a good old gossip instead. Then it's time to leave Jane at her new house which I've been dreading, but which she's fine about - waving me off happily!
I force myself into visiting a local shopping centre once I leave, hoping retail therapy will distract me. Suddenly every shop seems full of Jane's favourite things! I find myself picking up things for her several times, before reminding myself I don't need to buy her shoes/clothes/toys now. Instead I spend an obscene amount of money I don't have on things I don't need for myself, and which I will not even want later.
The three J's come home in time for tea and Jane is full of tales of her new house. Apparently everything there is better than it was at my house! I know by now not to take this to heart and reassure Janet and John that its normal for Jane to push me away now - she's been doing it more and more since we've been in the cottage. Plus, their house actually IS better than my house!
Bath time and bedtime go smoothly tonight and Janet, John and I have a chat for half an hour before they leave. They confide that they're really nervous about "going it alone" once I go home, especially as Jane has been on her best behaviour this week. They know there's a huge fall out to come one day soon and I think just knowing this should help them deal with it.
Jane wakes in the night again and is even more upset than yesterday. Seeing her new house has made things sink in a bit more and she's scared. I have to bite my lip very hard to stay calm myself and when she finally falls asleep I admit its a good few minutes before I put her back in bed. This could be our last cuddle
Well, Jane spends all day at her new house today. It's pouring with rain, blowing a gale and I just want to be back in my own house with my own things and my own friends. I stupidly upset myself by thinking how Jane must be feeling knowing that my own change is only temporary but hers is forever.
Manage to kick myself up the bum by mid morning (actually, I quickly phone my mum who does the kicking for me!) and get out of the cottage for the rest of the day - this is the closest thing I've had to a break in 6 years and I'm stupidly wasting it moping about.
Jane comes home bathed and ready for bed. This is our last night together and I'd really wanted us to have one last meal and evening together, but backed down when everyone else at the planning meeting felt it would be best for Jane to continue with new parents carrying out all care duties. I know this was the right thing to do but it's tough now the day (night) has come.
Once Jane is in bed (bit more carry on than usual tonight - she knows its her last night before moving to her new home) Janet, John and I have a chat about tomorrow and exchange presents. I'm thrilled we've got on so well, and delighted that they promise to keep in touch.
Jane wakes in the early hours once again. Tonight she's absolutely terrified and I break my safe care plan by spending the night sleeping on her floor holding her hand as I did when she was first placed. I don't sleep a wink, and its not just because the floor is so uncomfortable (I have put a mattress down, it's not bare boards!) Intros day 10 - Handover
Always a strange day. I spend all morning tense and wishing the moment was over, yet also clinging on to each minute I still have left with Jane. She's also acting strangely - climbing on to my knee whenever I sit down, and kissing my cheek constantly.
We've set handover time for 9am and its very, very brief. Quick last hug for Jane, thank you's to Janet and John, then she's gone.
Her social worker is here for handover but leaves quickly - which we'd already agreed on. I let myself have 5 minutes wallowing then pack up my car and drive home.
The drive home is horrendous! I'm not the best driver anyway, but even worse when I can't concentrate. My head is pounding and I just wish I was home.
Finally arrive home in one piece but the house is so, so quiet and full of Jane's drawings which I'd overlooked taking down in the rush of introductions. My support worker rings in the late afternoon (the first time I've heard from her since intros began!) and it's quite therapeutic to talk things through. Decide I can't face changing Jane's bed yet (she took her blankets but her sheets remain on the bed) even though I know it'll be even harder tomorrow.
By 10.00 I'm falling asleep on the sofa so head up to bed, only to find myself wide awake!
So, that's that. Today I feel numb and empty, I miss Jane terribly and have found myself constantly wondering how she is. Janet and John promised to text this morning but haven't and even though I know how busy they must be I admit I'm a bit vexed by this.
Tomorrow I get my new placements so hopefully will be busy enough to take my mind off things while my heart fixes itself again.