The theme for this week’s #WASO is ‘taking Care’ – given that yesterday was the first Open Nest conference in York which was entitled ‘Taking Care’. Given how close it was to home (just over an hour by train) I decided to attend some time ago. Unfortunately then I had to attend a work meeting down south on Friday which entailed my first night away from Sqk. Luckily DH & I had planned to go to something on Friday so had had the day booked off which meant at least Sqk had his Daddy then. Granny (my mother) looked after him Thursday afternoon till DH got home. Problem then was an ill husband on Friday – I kicked him when I got home for not phoning my Mum for help, but such is life.
Anyway after all that I was able to get to York as DH was better in the morning which was good. Picked up another adopter and then met a few more at train station. So we got to York and went into the hotel, where gradually everyone arrived. Over the course fo the day spent time chatting to many of the adopters I know via Twitter which was good to finally put faces to people I have chatted to. Overall I really enjoyed the day – the ‘Severance’ film was extremely powerful and had me in tears at points. Al Coates then had us all laughing as he described his and his wife’s experiences as they adopted 6 children. They were one of the couples filmed for the BBC documentary that first put adoption into my head . It was shown around the time I was being told the likelihood of my having children if I didn’t have them quickly was small. It was then i said if I reached 35 as a single person then I would adopter as a single mother – ok delayed a bit but DH is younger than me. It’s strange that I have vivid memories of the documentary but so little else sticks in my mind from that time(personal memory wise)
After lunch, Fran Proctor (an adoptee) spoke – well Sally Donavan sort of interviewed her. we learnt about her story and how too much information was given to her at once. She eventually worked through it although with little help from most professionals. I did learn from her story that for Sqk’s sake, we need to get his life-story work right. Then Sally Donovan spoke about being an effective advocate, particularly in schools, for our children. I picked up a lot of practical tips from her and really must practice saying ‘no’. Like many I am not good at refusing when someone asks me – but I need to take care of myself if I am to advocate for Sqk if/when he needs it.
I got a lot about how to take care of Sqk, but also how to take care of myself and indeed our relationship from the presentations. We are still in early days so who knows what the future will bring.
Suddenly Mummy and I went out for dinner at Pizza express before evening social (as rest of my local group had gone home) . We just had a great time chatting and sharing experiences – our sons are of a similar age which helps. Plus as a foster carer, she reminds me so much of Sqk’s who we are so grateful to. We had a much easier time bonding and getting attachment with Sqk then we expected given he was over 2 on placement.
I stayed for a bit of social event before coming home – spent time chatting to others and generally just enjoying being in like-minded company. Had to run for my train I was so enjoying myself.
Today has been a bit special – ended up back in York at Pizza express again to celebrate our year anniversary as a family. A year ago today Sqk moved in and our lives changed forever. We both say how little we can remember what our lives were like before he came – and that is just so true.
All in all, a weekend that has been special – and one I have learnt from. Now to persuade DH that we need to go to the Open Nest campsite……