The reason I started writing the blog is because when we were considering adoption I googled the crap out of it and found very few positive family life type blogs.
I now know that they are out there but at the time what I did find was very negative.
Now this post isn’t alarming but it also isn’t a cheery one about our every day family life.
It’s about the Celebration Day. Now I know there is a lot to celebrate we all adore each other we have grown together as a family and it was a lovely day. But before during and after Big Pig was the most troubled he has ever been.
He’s always testing the boundaries. But the last couple of weeks it has been endless. Every nighttime has been really testing for us and I’m sure him. We’ve tried to (and sometimes failed) to stick to our calm approach. We over praise the good and try to not give the bad much attention but sometimes this is impossible if he is in danger of harming himself or others.
He’s not only had the celebration day coming up but he’s had sports day, an end of year assembly and transition sessions to his new class. All that added to him still getting to grips with me returning to work has left him shaken.
And I tell you what; remaining consistent and setting boundaries is tough, really tough when you just see in his eyes that he is really struggling.
The other night it got to a point where something had to give. He had started to throw things all over the place. Piglet was looking really frightened. When he eventually calmed down. I held him close and this conversation happened:
Me “there’s a lot been going on recently hasn’t there”
Big Pig “yes”
Me “I bet that makes you feel funny”
Big Pig “yes in my tummy I feel sick”
Me “remember when you first lived with us and your social worker came to visit and you used to feel poorly?”
Big Pig “yes”
Me “well eventually you were able to tell me that you felt sick because she was coming”
Big Pig “yes I did, why do I feel like that now. Shall I go to a foster carer”
Me ” no poppet, you are mine and Daddy’s, we are all a family forever now, no more foster carers”
Big Pig “oh, but when will I see the big girls again”
Me “your sisters?”
Big Pig “yes, and my mu… my tummy mummy”
Me “well not for a long time but one day you might be able to. We can always talk about them. I bet you miss them very much. And that’s ok because they do love you”
Big Pig “but why can’t I see them”
Me “because although your tummy Mummy loves you very much she didn’t know how to keep you safe”
Big Pig “but you could show her how to”
Me “well I can’t do that, but we can talk about her, I know she loves you she just didn’t know how to take care of you, but we are so very lucky that she had such lovely children like you and Piglet and I will always talk to you about her if you want me to”
Big Pig “but she will miss me, she will be sad”
Me ” yes she will be, but she knows that you are safe”
He then sobbed like I have never seen him cry before, I only understood a few words which were “I don’t want her to be sad”.
I would be lying if I said my heart wasn’t a little crushed. But also I was so grateful that he trusts me enough to have a conversation like this with me.
I want him to express himself. He was with his birth family for most of his life. Whatever happened, it was love to him and I was of course aware that he might be feeling this way but in retrospect the celebration day wasn’t all celebration.
For Big Pig it signalled perhaps the end to the only life he had known for most of his little life.
After that night his behaviour has radically improved. It will of course happen again when his little mind can’t quite compute what is happening but we will be there to love him through it and hopefully each time he will realise that talking about it or crying about it is better than keeping it in.