They say introductions are hard going, emotionally draining, tiring…well that is the biggest understatement ever!!
If I was going to pick one bit about adoption that has really challenged me then this was it.
We understood the basics, we would be going to the Foster Carers house where we would be spending time with the children getting to know them. We would be fed and watered and we would be encouraged to take on more responsibility of the children. “Transferring the attachment from Foster Carers to us”
The children continue to behave beautifully. They sit at the table together and they eat their meal and drink their drink. They then wipe their hands before leaving the table.
“Oh what well behaved children they are!” We exclaim, “haven’t they responded well to to their placement”
But as a car salesman sells you a car, a Foster Carer is there to sell you the children.
The days went on and we got to the point where The Teenager and The Child were to meet The Children. The introductions between our children have been decided by The Children’s Social Workers. We found their plan ridiculous. The expectation was that we would leave our house on Saturday at 8am with a view to being at The Foster Carers by 9am. We would then spend the day at The Foster Carers before returning home to do the same thing the next day.
It was this part of the plan that totally infuriated me. The plan was made by Social Workers who had not considered The Child and The Teenager at all. The travel alone was going to be hard going, let alone being in the confines of a single room all day. After several long winded emails and phone calls it was agreed Social Services would pay for us to stay in a hotel near to The Children. This was a saving grace as it meant The Teenager and The Child were able to take a time out and to process meeting The Children.
We arrived on the Saturday morning, we headed out to the conservatory which had become our room during introductions. (It was clear from the minute we met The Children that the conservatory was their room. It even had a stair gate on it just to make sure they knew it too.) We had found this room claustrophobic when it was just us and The Children, now it was us, The Children and The Teenager.
They all met and got on really well straight away. It was lovely to see. It reaffirmed we had made the right decisions. After a couple of hours in the confines of or 6 by 3 room The Teenager and The Child had, had enough. They were promptly dropped off at the B&B with their evening meal and given time to relax whilst we put The Children in the bath and too bed.
I understood the thinking behind the introductions, I didn’t understand the ignorance of the people making the plan. My advice to anyone with children already, take time to look at the suggested plan and make sure it works for you. Otherwise your setting yourself up for a bumpy ride.