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Scott C-R July 8, 2019 13:23

In the tradition of the online communities that are created all over the world, I thought that we should re-introduce ourselves for those who may not know us, you can also complete your profiles to include this information too. Please - share only what you feel comfortable with... and obviously only personal information you feel does not put you in a position of risk! I have been away from the forums for a few years, mainly due to life taking over, so here goes with me:

  • Relationship:

Myself and my husband T - together for 21 years, married on 10th May 2019 (I know, these damned laws we have!)

  • Family:

3 sons - all adopted. F - just turned 21, living partially independently, and working (at mo!), B, turns 20 next month, living with GF and parents and working (albeit only recently). Both placed together in 2007, and we have had our ups and downs, including potential ARND/FASD, Statements and EHCPs, NEET, brushes with the law/courts, BF contact via social media and no doubt more to come, and then onto our little angel J - 12, and placed 5 years ago. Wouldn't have life without him, however, it has been a very very intense and hard, tiring road. Just received an ARND/FASD diagnosis, doesn't sleep without meds, and needs specific medication for daytimes too. Intelligent and uses lots of big words that he understands, and will be amazing at whatever he decides to do, however, has massive issues with CPV etc which can often be difficult to deal with.

I was a huge online forum user in the early days, and went under the username of Dishy. I have searched the archives... oh my.... #cringe

  • Work

As you know, I work for Adoption UK, and have done for just near on 5 years. I was a stay at home Dad for the older boys before that, we swapped roles when J came along, and T was a career railway man and project manager.

  • Dream(s) for future

Nothing really interesting unless its adoption related... Seems to have taken over my life. I guess, all I want is for my sons to live as independently as they can, and to be successful as possible given their early years.

In an ideal world I would like to see system changes in during the childhood of J, but I think that it is unlikely it will be perfect by the time he reaches 18. I hoped that for my older sons too.

A really supportive adoption community, not just with adoptive parents, but also with adoptees and birth parents, and to be able to extend this to SGO/Kinship families.

I hope you will join me with a similar comment, albeit I know you may not have the time to post such a long winded intro!

Scott

Edited 09/07/19
Serrakunda27 July 8, 2019 14:38

Relationship

Ed the cat, we get along OK

Family

Simba, age nearly 15. I cat, two fish. Simba has ASD, a learning difficulty and is quite anxious. He was not quite 8 when he came to me in 2012. Ages 10 - 13 were quite hard for us, a lot of aggression, grief and confusion. We had life story work funded by ASF ( before the cap so we got a great package). It was very difficult for both of us but he emerged from it a very mature young man. I put on two stone.

We have been very fortutnate that his school understands autism and adoption and he is doing well. He is in mainstream secondary having spent most of primary in special school. He is school leader for sports. He is Scout and doing his Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award.

I am white, he is dual heritage. Its not caused us any great issues, although we are currently in dispute about him growing a 1970s Afro. We have compromised on a flat top.

Work

I work part time in the Department for Education in teacher regulation.

Dreams for the future

Personal - To see Simba through his GCSEs with enough to get him a place at college or an apprenticeship, He is very interested in working in the rail industry.

If he could pluck up the courage to ask a certain young lady from his school for a date it would make my life a lot easier.

To crack growing garlic and cauliflowers on my allotment

Adoption world - we have benefited enormously from receiving an adoption allowance. Access to allowances varies hugely across LAs. I would like to see a much fairer system in place, with all adopters being able to access financial support

Scott C-R July 8, 2019 16:23

I bet there is never a crossed word with Ed?! 😂

Donatella July 8, 2019 16:31

Okay. this is me.

Relationship: married for 20 odd years, taking life a day at a time as hubby has stage 4 cancer. Treatment working currently so living life as it comes

Family: 18 year old who’s finished his As and waiting to hear whether his grades will be enough to go on to University to do policing studies with forensics. Please god ... or he’ll have to get a job! He’s in a settled long term relationship with a lovely, smart girl. 15 year old - ASD and adhd. Settled and thriving in special Ed, making friends and generally a happy chap. Is far, far easier now than when he was little. A joy mostly. And a very talented artist. And too clever with the IT! Ambitions to be an architect and specifically chose gcse subjects with that in mind. Next battle - transition to 6th form with ? Support. 13 year old, also autistic, and a little easier now though we’re only just heading into the teenage years, In fab special ed and well supported. No other diagnosis yet but under genetics too. No real ambitions but loves animals - especially our two dogs.

Work: never managed to return to work. Or rather paid employment! Now have my occupational pension as I’m really old😂

Dreams for the future: firstly that big one gets into Uni. That’ll be amazing. Secondly that the other two succeed in whatever they want to do, that they’re happy and fulfilled and are able to eventually live independently. For me - to continue to grow my social life and to finally find some me time.

Adoption: greater understanding about early trauma and especially the risks associated with alcohol abuse during pregnancy. When I was adopting there was little knowledge - everything was assumed to be attachment and whilst that will be in the mix, there’s often a whole load of other stuff too. Greater understanding on the part of profs would be good as would a more informed education system. Some get it, others still don’t/won’t. Oh and for Camhs to learn about adoption, ASD, adhd etc. Because ime they’re fairly clueless! And yes, some financial support would have been good but none forthcoming what with those three easy to place babies 😩🙄

Scott C-R July 8, 2019 16:33

You - a pensioner?! Never!!! 😝

Donatella July 8, 2019 16:40

😘 I know! Making good use of the free bus pass before I need the zimmer😂😂

Safia July 9, 2019 11:39

This is me:

Relationship: married for over 40 years (can't remember exactly how many - we were very young when we got married)

Family: We have two adult birth daughters both married and living not too far away (under two hours travel) and four grandchildren between them ranging from 1-17 years) We have two adopted children - now adults (technically - as my AD always says) - both have learning difficulties but AD has far more significant difficulties due probably to her non accidental injury as a baby. Both really struggled at school and AD was in special education but no diagnoses till after that time (unfortunately as I'm sure it would have helped with understanding) AS is doing OK and coaches a sport he loves - he also trains and competes so the coaching is part time but he seems to be good at it and it is something he can develop and add to as time goes on. He has found his niche. AD has not been so lucky - she was the victim of a very serious crime six years ago now and is still suffering the effects. She has quite significant mental health difficulties and it was a struggle to get the right help for her - it is still a struggle as time goes on to get the funding each year but she is doing relatively well and it is not so urgent now.

Work - I used to be a teacher / head teacher in early years education but also never returned to work - I work for my husband part time so I don't really consider that returning. I have the flexibility so I can be involved as a carer for my daughter and also pursue my interests (see below)

Dreams for the future: That both ACs can live independently and have a satisfying and fulfilling life - for whatever that means for them individually. That we are fit enough to support them for as long as they need this. I am also studying counselling at the moment and would like to work myself with adults and children in the adoption field in some way - or in a service related to trauma.

Adoption: more understanding - within all services - and a willingness (and ability) to fund the necessary support. Wider public understanding and a hope that prospective adopters will be willing to listen with understanding to other people's experiences - to acknowledge that very many struggle and that sometimes this can be very daunting but forewarned is forearmed.

I also have a bus pass and it is a godsend! Donatella - very sorry to hear about your husband - hope he continues to do well. x

chestnuttree July 9, 2019 13:38

And this is me:

Relationship: my husband and I have just had our 10th anniversary 😊

Family: 2 daughters, aged 12 and 13. They are both doing really well, but of course have their little quirks. They have been with us for 7 years now. We have direct contact with their older siblings which we all enjoy very much. One of my daughters can get very angry, though this has massively improved with therapy. My other one sometimes takes things in stressful situations. Our issues are quite easy to manage though. They are both doing very well socially, emotionally and academically and are just lovely. My husband and I are White Europeans and our daughters are Roma. So far, my husband and I are more interested in that than our daughters, but, who knows, maybe that will change during puberty?

Work: I am a happy stay-at-home mum. I have plans for a few things, but clearly lack the motivation and self-discipline to follow through...

Dreams: All of us would love a third child...

Adoption: an adoption allowance that is independent of income. The financial implications are a major factor for us to possibly stick with two children. Giving people like us an adoption allowance would be better for everyone: the govt would save money, a child would have a stable family and people like us could make use of their experience and have another child. I also hope that foster carers will get proper salaries.

Scott C-R July 9, 2019 14:16

Safia - As with Donatella - no way have you a bus pass too!!!!

chestnuttree - a third?! Eek!!

AnnB July 9, 2019 16:37

And here is me!

Relationship - with partner for 35 years now - got a CP in 2006. She is American and I'm a Brit.

Family - one 12 year old son (we were originally his foster carers). ASD, severe anxiety, dyslexia and dyspraxia and SPD but an absolute genius on computers and currently not attending school but doing 8 or 9 hours work a day developing websites, minecraft servers and all the software which goes with it. Starting to talk about selling some of the software he is developing with online friends. In the past we saw a lot of violence and anger but these days he is a lot happier and much better able to regulate. He has learnt more in his year out of school than he did in the 6 years in school to be honest. However it is early days and puberty looms large!

Work - I am director for AUK Wales and absolutely love my job. I'm an adoptee myself so live and breathe adoption - also just discovered that at 88 years of age my mother in law has finally confessed to having to give up a birth child for adoption 70 years ago - so now we have each side of the adoption triangle in our immediate family!!

Dreams - to see my son grow up and be able to have healthy relationships which provide support for him and the partner whoever they are.

Adoption - to see every adoptive family in Wales and the birth parents as well - get early and good support on their adoption journeys.

Actually to see the need for adoptions to reduce a great deal by providing support for birth mothers and partners from the moment they get pregnant but I guess that will a long time coming.

I have a bus pass too!

Scott C-R July 10, 2019 09:06

I am loving all these bus passes!!!

Oh, Ann, I thought I was living and breathing it, but you take it to another level/dimension! Not enough emojis - but I will try: 😳🙈😒😁😏

Tiggy July 10, 2019 09:57

Well now I have finally got my password etc sorted! Here's me.

Relationship:- I am a single adopter

Family: - One utterly adorable AS aged 9 (nearly 10) who has been home for 4 years (where has that time gone!) Luckily doing well at present emotionally, academically and physically. That's not to say we haven't had issues around lack of contact with siblings (very much not our choice) and who's to say what the future may hold! This is one of the reasons I love the forums so much. I have learnt so much and feel more prepared to spot any potential issues early, so thank you to everyone sharing.

Work: - I work part time (well 30 hrs per week so not that part time) in a private healthcare setting.

Dreams: - In an ideal world to add to our little family. But mainly to help my son achieve all that he can out of life.

Adoption: - much as everyone else has said really. Especially about Adoption Allowance as this would allow me to extend the family.

As for Bus pass - I'm afraid not yet!

Scott C-R July 10, 2019 16:00

Welcome back Tiggy, great to see you.

Heavenly July 11, 2019 21:27

Me: Married for 10 years, but in our relationship for 30. Arty animal lover!

Family: One 12 and one 17 year old, came to us at 4 and 9. We have had our struggles but things are fairly calm at the moment. Our 17 y.o spends her time with teens two years younger than her - clearly the age she feels comfortable at. She has ARND and will never be academic - very behind with exams, not sure where work will lead her. I'm not even sure she will live 100% independently, but she wants to be with us and looked after and at the moment, That's okay. 12 year old has SPD and huge anxiety. SPD currently affecting his eating to the point at which I'm becoming concerned and beginning to wonder if there is help available. I'm amazed we are without more behavioural-based issues, but my 12 y.o. starts secondary after summer and I am worried about whether it will work out. In general they are fab and I am so proud of them.

Work: Art and Design freelancer. Almost non existent a the moment!

Dreams: To see my kids live their best lives. I'm currently half dreaming of some European travel without them in several years time! Peace - both in my ears and in my head!!!

Adoption: I'd like to see more research into the FASD family and more help available. Lots of what was put down to attachment seems very different and more understandable for us if viewed through an FASD lens. Adoption Allowance has been a Godsend for us and both our placing LA and our VA have been amazingly supportive to us.

Edited 11/07/19
Gilreth July 12, 2019 11:01

And me

Relationship: Married for 12 & a bit years - together just over 13 (yes we met and married with 11 months 4 days between the two events). Husband does well to cope with my issues (ASD) as well as our son.

family: Just the one 7 (8 in a week) year old son Sqk who has been with us 6 years in October. Been through a rough 10 months since we moved in early September but in the last month or so he is back to where we were before we decided to move. Full-on and complex - definite sensory issues, suspected ADHD & possible ASD - we suspect pre-natal alcohol in very early pregnancy). At end of year 2 he passed 3 SATs - his handwriting is an issue due to motor control problems - and was at expectations in 8 areas. suspect we will be backwards at the moment due to move but we are getting there. EHCP finally in place and he is learning again - incredibly fortunate that his year 3 teacher is moving to year 4 with the class so helping transition which is tough this year after last year moving him completely.

Work: university lecturer in electronic engineering - lucky to have remained full-time although at times I wander how work hasn't noticed my absence..... academic freedom is wonderful (and no where near my bus pass yet)

Dreams: to see Sqk reaching the potential he has and living an independent happy life.

Adoption: More training around the potential for all children to have issues. Support for schools to become trauma and attachment aware - we have bene blessed to find one that is but so many are not. Better support for families.

BeckyAUK July 12, 2019 11:17

Hi everyone!

Me: northern, verbose, opinionated, passionate, pretty nerdy, ex teacher, ex foster carer

Relationship: Got married this year after literally decades of singleness. I'm a big fan of married life so far, especially as it's allowed me to have lie-ins for the first time after years of single parenting!

Family: Two fabulous children - boy aged 8 and girl aged 4. Both of them were in foster care with me from very young. They are both super lively and, for different reasons, need a lot of my attention, but they are brilliant. I home educate both of them.

Work: I work part time for Adoption UK as Education Policy Advisor. They let me work entirely from home, which is awesome, or else I wouldn't be able to work at all.

Dreams: Becoming a parent was a dream - one I had given up on to be honest, before I unexpectedly adopted my children. Once you're a parent your other dreams change a lot! These days my hopes and dreams don't extend much beyond a peaceful night's sleep, and getting my children everything they need to thrive.

Adoption: Education. Education. Education.

Scott C-R July 12, 2019 11:21

I am in awe of all these stories, and hopes and dreams for the future. It never fails to hit me just how much love we all have for our children, and how we "keep on keeping on".

Scott

moo July 12, 2019 12:08

I feel left out.... where is the like button xx

Not able to share on open forum sadly... just profile 🐄

Scott C-R July 12, 2019 12:35

The like button is on it's way.... Promise!

aquilegia July 12, 2019 14:38

Hi everyone,

Relationship- married to my wonderful, long- suffering husband.

Family- adopted my wonderful and exceptional son 5 years ago. It is fair to say we have had some extremely challenging times but now we have a diagnosis on the FASD spectrum we are getting improved support, but it has been a fight to get this far.

Work- i was a nurse consultant, but could not return to work as my son could not cope with mainstream school so we ended up home educating. This has been going very well.

My hopes- that my son gets the support he is entitled to and so desperately needs. As the parent of a child with additional needs everything can feel like an uphill struggle to access the right support. The needs of children and adults with FASD needs to be widely recognised and there should to be more choice of alternative education settings for children who struggle to cope in busy school settings. Multi disciplinary assessments should be made available to all LAC/ previously LAC children to include screening for FASD as standard.

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