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Bad fairies gather here!

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Furcifer June 12, 2020 10:36

Just wanted to say a massive hi to the ‘oldies’ who have so selflessly, freely and consistently given of themselves on these forums over the years to impart the wisdom of their adoptive learning and experience to help others.

I’m officially in the dark ages in adoption terms (12 years in and counting) and I’ve been a long-time but very sporadic user of the boards. However, I’ve always known this was a safe space to come for a hand-hold if needed (and there’ve been more than a few occasions) and to seek help, advice or guidance. Sure, I could always read another 300-page text book from another expert to help me find a way to resolve my family’s issues, but I quickly worked out that it was always better to ask for answers from those who’d been chipping away at the coal face before me!

I do sincerely hope hope this wealth of expertise and experience is preserved for future adopters.

You guys (and I hope you know who you all are) are awesome!

windfalls June 12, 2020 16:28

Hi furcifer,

Love the subject name!! I am also 12 years in and I fully agree with everything you say. These boards have been an absolute life line to me over the years and still are, although they are not what they use to be. I have been amazed at how the experienced adopters so freely give of their time and expertise to help others on these boards and have continued to do so even when they have not been very nicely treated. You only have to look at how many views posts are getting to see that these boards are still very badly needed and I hope that Adoptionuk speed up the changes that they said they were going to make eg PM and LIKE features being re-instated.

xx

chestnuttree June 12, 2020 20:56

Hi furcifer and windfalls,

We are 8 years in and my daughters are in puberty now.

I agree with everything both of you have said. I have learned heaps from more experienced adopters and am very grateful for the time they put in. I think it doesn't matter if we agree on everything or handle things the same way, but it is always good to have another opinion and to hear what families experience who are further along.

I hope the forum will recover.

Safia June 18, 2020 15:45

I think I must be a bad fairy? I’m afraid I’ve given up on the boards recovering but maybe they’ll grow into something equally valuable but different. I miss all the “old” people - I learned so much from them over the years - I tried the potato group but can’t get to grips with it. Unfortunately AUK are not responding any more to questions / comments about the changes - it seems to be “like it or lump it” and unfortunately most people have left. I still feel a strong sense of loss because all this wonderful support and camaraderie was removed overnight without any warning at all. It lovely to see new adopters coming on and in time hopefully something like the old boards will develop again

Serrakunda27 June 19, 2020 14:13

👻 closest I could get to a bad fairy

Safia June 19, 2020 16:47

🧚‍♀️ - or is that a good fairy? Though I think even bad fairies have some good in them

Furcifer June 19, 2020 20:26

Yay, Serrakunda, you came back! You are excused that awfully lame emoji! @windfalls and @chestnuttree, great to have company on this thread. @safia, you have been a great support and source of information for the newbies in recent weeks. We were all so lucky to have benefited from the wealth of expertise and experience from the very selfless adopters who were so generous in helping us as we started out.

I have been surprised by the lack of appropriate AUK moderation on a certain recent thread. It is absolutely not acceptable for anyone here to be told they are not welcome on any thread.

E-mog June 19, 2020 21:12

We are 13 years in and I used to read and post on these forums in the early years. I thought I'd take a peek again a few months ago and was sad to see the demise of all the support and advice that had been previously offered. We have a rough few years with dd, now 15, and it has been quite a lonely experience at times. I hope the boards do recover and the community builds again, it's important to connect with those who have an understanding of just how tough adoption can be but you would still fight for your child!

Calypso July 9, 2020 09:06

10 years in and used to use these boards a lot - I like the anonymity of them compared to Facebook, although I met quite a few people on here at the adoption camp. I have found it a massive struggle to get registered back on here (and I seem to have changed my username unintentionally!). I'm very sad it has come to this, I have loved following people's stories and I feel like I've lost a lot of friends.

Serrakunda27 July 9, 2020 15:20

I never really went away to be honest but had very little to give at one point.

I took Simba to meet learning support at his new college yesterday. I'm very happy with his choice, the SENCO is lovely, he will do well there. But it was so sad visiting a deserted college when it should be full of students feels a bit like that here

Tokolshe August 8, 2020 01:54

Hi everyone, I am back after many years because it is hot and I can't sleep! Which is probably why I spelt my name wrong when I are registered - it should be Tokoloshe.

We're in a good way, over 10 years in. Oyster on good terms and in university via teen pregnancy and going back into care. Shrimp now a teenager (!) and mostly easy going. The first 5 years were the worst... Now back in the UK...

Edited 08/08/20
terraced house August 10, 2020 10:31

Hi we are 13 years in and having a really tough time .

windfalls August 10, 2020 12:14

Hi Tokoloshe and terraced house - good to hear from you both. terraced house sorry that things are tough please let us know if we can help in anyway. xxx

Bluemetro August 10, 2020 12:23

Good to see a few people still around. We have also benefited from other adopters on here, some of whom have now left. Not sure we would have got as far as we have with diagnoses without other people's experiences and advice. Miss some of the everyday old topics that brought a bit of lightheartedness. It has felt sometimes during lockdown and beyond that no one else had challenges. I also agree that this is preferable to facebook,

Donatella August 27, 2020 15:12

Hello! Just doing a quick catch up after fumigating middly’s room! We’re 19 years in with our eldest, 15 years with middly and 14 years with no so littly now!

And life’s good. Eldest about to start his second year in Uni, lovely steady girlfriend and maturing into a lovely young man.

Middly still utterly bonkers - but very bright with it. About to depart special Ed for mainstream 6th form to do his As. Did brilliantly in his GCSEs - passed them all with two A* in higher maths and art and an A in physics. Can now do his chosen subjects.

Not so littly now towers over me, has her struggles still but we’ve been on an even keel for the past couple of years.

Life with three teenagers isn’t always easy but it’s far easier now than when they were little.

Getting the right schools, the right diagnoses etc has been key. Too many lazy assumptions still being made ime - adoption = attachment = let’s not dig any deeper.

We came out if it with two ASD diagnoses and one ADHD. Knowledge is power!

My kids are amazing!

windfalls August 30, 2020 17:48

Good to see you back Donatella and many congratulations on your son's results!!! I have learned so much from you over the years - long may it continue!! xxx

Furcifer August 30, 2020 20:30

Hi Donatella, it’s so great to hear your updates; you sound like you’re absolutely bursting with pride - and deservedly so! I know, as a long-timer (it was on the tip of my fingers to write ‘lifer’ - that’s a Freudian slip-and-a-half!) that you have really been through the mill over the years with your three, well, mainly Middly and Littly.

I’ve hit teenage turbulence years and life is very bumpy so it’s inspiring and motivating to read that there truly is life on the other side. Thank you!

Also, I’d love for AUK to commission you to host your own webinar on surviving the teenage years with adopted young people, as, in my book, you are more expert than the experts.

In the meantime, would you share any of your top tips for surviving the maelstrom of emotions (DD’s and mine) that doesn’t involve resorting to mainlining gin or Prosecco morning, noon and night?

Well done to Middly on his stonkingly great results, good luck to Eldest for his second year at uni and I, personally, would love to hear more about where Not-So-Littly is up to in her life, as she’s in the same ballpark age-wise as my DD1.

Furcifer August 30, 2020 20:43

terracedhouse, how are things for you now. Anything our combined brain power and empathy can do to help lighten your load?

Tokoloshe, great to have you back.

Donatella August 31, 2020 10:21

Furcifer! Gosh, I got so much wrong with my eldest - the knowledge, the information wasn’t really there 19 years ago. When I look back I can see that I wasn’t really understanding some of his behaviour - misinterpreting it. I think it helped that he was neurotypical so he did manage friendships - he had some lovely friends right through from mother & toddler to now. Those 1 years old babies are now the 19 year old young men who were sitting in my garden drinking only the other evening! He’s now taken himself to his GP and has been dx with depression and anxiety and is on meds. I think doing psychology in uni has helped him (likes to lecture me on child development and attachment 😂) and having a long term, stable relationship has also helped.

Middly ... well 10 years in special ed has been a life saver. He just could not manage a mainstream education. He’s matured, not always easy for sure but is mostly delightful. He has friends now I so when he moves back into mainstream this week he’ll be with kids he knows. He’s a hugely talented artist and winning awards for his art has helped his self esteem. His bedroom ... as well as the usual teenage boy stuff it’s stuffed with easels, canvases, oils and all the other paraphernalia! His bedroom floor is splattered and as for his bedroom door 🙄!

Littly - key has been understanding that she is PDA - pathological demand avoidance - so everything is driven by anxiety. She is demand avoidant and even the smallest request will be interpreted as a demand to be avoided at all cost. Understanding that she’s not being oppositional, rather that she’s being avoidant due to underlying anxiety. Changing the way I ask her to do things helps, giving choices, lowering demands, doing an awful lot of walking away. Helping her to understand where she is on her anxiety scale which we wrote in conjunction with her unit so that she recognises at point 1 that she’s starting to struggle rather than at 5 when she’s dissociating or in meltdown. A few sessions of NLP helped with that as well. If anyone is interested in learning about PDA there’s quite a bit now on the web ... I follow Harry Thompson on Facebook. He has PDA so he writes from his perspective. Quite illuminating! And hormones .... girls on the spectrum can suffer quite badly with PMT. It definitely made her life much harder and seemed to ramp up the anxiety. So GP put her on the pill and that’s helped to even out her moods. No more attempts to stab teachers with broken pens 🤪.

It’s all still a learning curve. I’m waiting to do a Teen Life course, which basically is Earlybird for teenagers. Had to be postponed because of COVID. I’m hesitant to say ‘we got it’ because we’re still mid teens so plenty of time for it to go txts up ... but it is currently easier than it was a few years ago.

And for sure, gin helps!

Tokolshe August 31, 2020 10:59

Yes, I would have done a lot differently too! Especially with Oyster - I got things wrong with Shrimp but have had time to put them right, but had so little time with Oyster...

I learnt so much from this forum, before the first of all the carp changes that drove a lot of people away. And then in more recent years became quite involved in various trans-racial adoption groups in South Africa (where we were living) as that has become more of an issue to navigate than trauma for us.

But we moved back to the UK at the end of 2019, just in time to lockdown here 😄 so Shrimp has been out of school all year. Hopefully will have a place finalised this week. Then the hell of school starts 😢 hoping for a more aware and supportive approach here, in SA it is still very much about children having to conform - teachers consider having to differentiate their teaching as an unreasonable demand, for example. They arranged an assessment on the grounds Shrimp shouldn't be in mainstream school, and after a team of ed psych, specialist teacher and ed SW observed Shrimp in class they provided feedback to the teacher of how to improve her teaching :D as said that Shrimp is nowhere near needing specialist schooling. The school took the opportunity to make various allegations of neglect against me, forgetting that they had provided a routine report to Shrimp's SW a couple of months before, and not recorded any concerns...

So although she needs the interaction and education, I am slightly dreading it. Trying to be positive to her, of course. And some adoptive parent friends here have had great experiences. Others not so much...

I think it is true to say that the most stressful part of parenting both of the girls has been dealing with the supposed 'professionals', because they have been completely out of their depth - in Oyster's case she was wonderfully plausible about getting them on board against me, in Shrimp's case because they put her acting out down to poor parenting (reward chart anyone? parenting skills classes that are not trauma informed?).

I had to have stern words with myself when I saw an advert for foster carers in our LA and found myself thinking "Hmmm, I wonder...", so we are getting a dog instead 😂

Edited 31/08/20
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