Sally Donovan, author of No Matter What, Billy Bramble and the Great Big Cook Off and The Unofficial Guide to Adoptive Parenting, reflects upon her decision to adopt all those years ago, and what National Adoption Week means to her.
Last weekend I went to a reunion at the historic garden I used to work in. I left fourteen years ago. Amongst the staff who had worked there some had lost partners, some had married and had children, several were suffering ill health and one had moved into a nursing home. We all had stories to tell over lunch. Mine was that I had adopted two children, now in their teenage years.
I went through all the highs and lows of the adoption process while I was working there. After the reunion lunch and the group photo on the steps I walked around the garden. Every familiar wall, doorway, tree and view took me back. It was a pivotal time for me. I was happy there in that pseudo-Edwardian world, amongst a warm and slightly dysfunctional family of gardeners, historians, teashop staff and office workers and yet I wanted so much to be a parent. I’d planned at some point to do both; to return to historic gardening as a working parent. It wasn’t to be. Adoptive parenting, or at least the kind that was demanded of me, was not going to share me with anything else. Continue reading
Sarah Naish describes the real children behind the characters in her new book series for ages 3 to 10, and explains why each story is such a helpful resource for parents whose adopted or fostered children are struggling to manage their emotions. Introducing Rosie Rudey, Charley Chatty, Sophie Spikey and William Wobbly, none of them had an easy start in life but luckily their mum is here to help them save the day.
All the time I was raising my 5 adopted children I was desperate to find a book which would cut through all the psycho- babble and help me to help my children – quickly and effectively. My daughter Rosie and I have now written the children’s books that I always tried to find to read to my children. They are Rosie Rudey and the Very Annoying Parent, Charley Chatty and the Wiggly Worry Worm, Sophie Spikey Has a Very Big Problem and William Wobbly and the Very Bad Day.
Rosie was adopted by me at the age of 8, along with her four younger siblings, aged 7 months, 2, 3 and 6. The children had reactive attachment disorder (disorganised attachment) and were therapeutically re-parented successfully to a secure adulthood. Rosie now works alongside me in Inspire Training Group, helping to train foster carers, adopters and social workers. Continue reading
Sophie Ashton, author of The Secrets of Successful Adoptive Parenting, describes the emotional struggle she went through soon after her daughter moved in. Admitting that she did not anticipate the emotional toll it would take on her and her husband, she nonetheless says that adoption can be a wholly rewarding experience that brings joy, hope and fulfillment.
Everyone’s adoption story is unique and special to them. Yet many include the similar frustrations associated with the adoption approval and matching process and/or the emotional anguish associated with the loneliness and heartache of infertility.
Our story is but one of many, and one with which many people will identify. Getting through the adoption approval process took my husband and I two years, followed by 13 months to find our daughter and a further 10 months of waiting for the matching panel to approve us as her parents. As you can imagine there were many frustrations along the way. On the plus side, by the time Lucy moved in we’d had many years to read adoption related books, attend courses and prepare for her arrival. We were super excited and felt more than ready to welcome Lucy as our new daughter into our home. Continue reading
In this chapter from The Parents’ Guide to Specific Learning Difficulties, Veronica Bidwell looks at the important role parents can play in supporting the learning of their child with dyslexia. Looking at the kind of difficulties typically experienced at different ages and stages of development, she provides some very reassuring and useful advice.
Click here to download the extract
Packed full of advice and practical strategies for parents and educators, her book is a one-stop-shop for supporting children with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs), ranging from poor working memory, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, through to ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), Specific Language Impairment and Visual Processing Difficulty. Veronica is an Educational Psychologist with expert knowledge of Specific Learning Difficulties. She has been involved in education for over 30 years working with mainstream and special schools. She has run a leading independent Educational Psychology Service and has assessed many hundreds of pupils and provided advice and support to pupils, parents and teachers. Click here to find out more about her book.
Cyril Squirrel asks lots of questions, but there’s one thing that really puzzles Cyril…
“What is love? Can I find it? Keep it? Do I need it?”
With a notebook and a map, Cyril embarks on a quest to find out about love.
“Gone away to find out what love is. Back soon.”
Helping children to learn about the ways that love can look, sound or feel, this heart-warming picture book shows some of the many different forms love, friendship and kindness take. Suitable for all children aged 2-6, especially those who may have confused ideas about love, Cyril’s adventure includes guidance for adults on how the book can be read with children.
>>Click here to download the extract<<
In this extract from The Secrets of Successful Adoptive Parenting, Sophie Ashton discusses how it is perfectly normal to feel emotionally overwhelmed soon after your child moves in, how the process of successfully integrating them into your family does not simply happen overnight, but that in the long term adopting can be a wholly rewarding experience that brings joy, hope and fulfillment. An honest and reassuring account of what it can really be like to be an adoptive parent, The Secrets of Successful Adoptive Parenting is a practical hands-on guide that will help you prepare for the highs and lows of being an adoptive parent. It discusses preparing for the journey ahead, parenting with empathy, facilitating your child’s attachment, helping your child feel listened to, and providing structure and consistency in order to successfully integrate your child into your family life.
>>Click here to download the extract<<
In this article Sophie Ashton, author of The Secrets of Successful Adoptive Parenting, talks reassuringly about the emotional challenges of adopting a child.
It is quite common for adopters to feel emotionally overwhelmed soon after their child moves in
In the early weeks post-placement many adopters feel a mix of emotions in response to their child. For some adoptive parents the challenging and negative emotions seem more prevalent than the positive ones, and can on occasion lead to them starting to question their reasons for wanting to adopt. Sometimes these challenging emotions can put the adoption placement at risk of breaking down. I know this – because it almost happened to us.
After four years in the adoption process we were very ready for the arrival of our daughter. Although emotionally exhausting, the eight-day introduction period went well. We warmed to her – she warmed to us; she and our birth son seemed to get on well. We were all beyond excited when she moved in – we adored her. Happy days! Our dream of a perfect family was coming true!
Our honeymoon period didn’t last long
Unbeknown to us, however, just the other side of a brief two-day honeymoon period were some pretty challenging and debilitating emotions lying in wait for us to experience in full. These emotions turned our excitement into panic, our hope into despair and our happiness into gloom. We felt heavy and weighed down by the mixed emotions we felt in response to the placement of this little girl in to our family.