Look how far we’ve come

Currently sat on my laptop in a  lodge at Center Parcs in Cumbria with a sleeping Sqk upstairs and a yawning DH behind me on sofa. Almost a year since we took Sqk on his first holiday – also to Center Parcs (Sherwood Forest that time). Not had any swans visiting us this time but still had a great 3 days.

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Reasons to be Cheerful

I know I know – other than Instagram posts I haven’t updated in ages (last post in November to be precise). Blame work then Christmas then work – second half of semester 1 is always busier and I came back on 5th January straight into exams – then a week in Tenerife then back to semester 2 and marking. However getting some semblance of normality back and Sqk is settled again after the aggro of changing childminder and Christmas. I am finding it interesting this semester balancing work and life – it is my 14 hours a week in the lab + 1 hr seminar semester so busy. Once you add in new PhD student (which a reason to be cheerful in itself – helps on promotion quest), research project kicking into high gear, 4 final year project students and two PGT students – well you can see why I wonder where my week goes – along with meetings galore (I do no have a Wednesday afternoon free to late March).

However, enough of work – on the other side of life Sqk is doing well although seemingly settled at nursery given he is pushing boundaries now – and apparently being defiant (getting ‘no’ lots end of this week). He is doing really well with new childminder who is working with us and hopefully helping us get there on toilet training. He did really well on our week away in Tenerife.

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This time of year…

Ok writing this very late but this is due to a busy day that included trying to fit new kitchen light for my Mum (failed due to some interesting wiring) and a party for Sqk’s foster brother that meant we went back to foster carer’s house for first time since 19th October 2013. He enjoyed himself lots and seems to have had no adverse reaction – was really pleased to see people but also really happy to come home with us. DH got the ‘I love you Daddy’ for first time today. Sqk’s doesn’t say it much but really seems to mean it when he does.
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First parent’s consultation

Well chance to have a discussion with his keyworker in the school nursery anyway. Sqk is apparently a very bright, outgoing little boy who knows his numbers, colours & shapes (working above expected age). He has settled in well (much better than we and they were anticipating – had adopted child 2 years ago so have some experience. Loves the ‘small world area’ which is basically cars & trains – has a favourite black taxi which he makes a beeline for everyday and pushes right round the nursery. Loves the water tray (wet jumpers every day) and loves going outside and playing.  He is making good friends with a couple of other little boys but is not good at interacting with the other children at times beyond those 2. Socially & emotionally he is behind but as we say we knew that – and it is regression in the main. He started at nursery only 10.5 months after he was placed with us and is at the young end of his year anyway, However, they are noticing improvements and he is slowly catching up, but as I said I was the same – ahead academically, but very immature for my age otherwise so it is something I can well understand.

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Secrets

An interesting topic this week for #waso. In our world the only thing that is really a secret is Sqk’s story and that is not so much with us as external to us. After all it is his story so we say very little about why he was removed from his birth family. We do talk about adoption and openly say he is adopted – helps he knows a lot of children who are adopted. Indeed until I went back to work a lot of the children he spent time with are also adopted.

I am hoping he will never remember being told he is adopted – it is something we discuss with him although at the moment it is in simple terms. Recently he has wanted to be a baby and we have talked about the fact he did not come from Mummy’s tummy but from his birth mother’s (although we use her name as I don’t want to call her mummy at all – that is who I am). He was removed at birth so yes he suffered a loss then (the primal wound) and another loss when he moved from his foster carer to us but other than what he experienced in-utero he has none of the experience many adopted children have had in birth families.

This week we had our first letterbox response from one of his siblings which was lovely to read and which I have talked to him a little about although at the moment he is not really understanding it. His foster siblings are more like his brother & sister than his birth siblings. We see them regularly – more so now I suspect as his foster-sister is in Brownies at our church.

I hope we never have secrets from Sqk although his full story will have to wait until he is old enough to fully appreciate the reasons. We have a wonderful later-life letter written by his social worker from pre-birth to January. This will help us a lot as we come over explore the reason he is adopted.

Taking Care

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. Continue reading “Taking Care”

Moving forward

Been over a month since I blogged – various reasons behind that. Felt need this week to write a bit however following on from our first Adoption Forum on Wednesday. It was an interesting evening which I sat and listened to as Sqk only just started at school nursery so a lot of the issues around education do not effect us yet.

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Moving on….

A last minute post for #waso – been on a staycation this week and started back at work last week. Been interesting this week being at home but on holiday – Sqk went to his childminder two days so DH & I had our first days without him since he was placed back in October. We spent first day driving round a lot of caravan places looking at ideas as we have been for last year or so. Second day we mainly pootled about a bit and also caught up on sleep as last week was disturbed with Sqk getting used to Mummy being back at work.

We’ve ended this weekend buying a caravan – Sprite Musketeer EB from 2012 which we saw for first time yesterday (following drive down Yorkshire coast in beautiful sunshine) and both felt was right. We had a lot we wanted from a caravan and also some tight restrictions imposed by towing capability of DH’s car – if he’d not been involved in accident back in March the restriction would have been our licenses (both passed test after 1997). When we saw this one it felt right – we can even not have to make up double bed at front as seats are long enough for us to sleep on.

Our caravan

We were not planning to buy till Spring but there are not many of these about (layout we want was one year of manufacture only) so after playing with budget DH decided we could afford it. Plan is to have it on a seasonal pitch (within a couple of hours from home) next year so we can get Sqk used to it as a secure base in one location before we do any serious touring with it. We both loved the flexibility the folding camper gave us and with being basically restricted to school holidays as of Sept 2015 the caravan will allow us to not have to pay the earth for holidays.

Sqk’s highlight of the week i suspect was the treat we’ve had planned for over 6 months. On Wednesday we took him to see ‘In the Night Garden Live’ over in Manchester. He was enthralled for the whole show and has mentioned it at random intervals ever since. Both feel it was a good thing to have paid out for given how much he enjoyed it. But he also loved our Friday meetup in the park with other local adopters – the freedom to run and play was great. He is going to miss it this coming week but there is a security risk for us plus Mummy is actually working so he is going to Granny’s.

I needed this week off even though I have only been back a week as on Thursday I hit the busiest point of my summer – A-level results day so Clearing starts. I have a little issue to sort tomorrow in that the person who I thought was dealing with hours I can’t goes away again next Saturday. However work has to accept that now Sqk is I cannot do the 12+ hour shifts I have done every year up to now.

Lets see where life goes now….