I use this blog as a way of expressing how I'm feeling and making sense of what is going on in our lives. I share our lives and feelings now as a matter of course. I hope that at times it helps other people who are thinking of becoming adopters or who are maybe struggling with adopted life. Mostly I work my own stuff out. I write about everything, not to moan or complain but simply to share and try and make some sense of what is going on in our lives. It helps me enormously to just sit and write and I often find a sense of clarity by the time I have completed the blog piece. At the very least I'm usually breathing a little more calmly by the time I've finished writing. Over the past few years life has been very chaotic in the Life with Katie family for a variety of reasons, some of which I share here. For me chaos is very difficult. I like a more ordered life. My own childhood left me with a profound need for order. I can try and soar on the wind when I have to but mostly I prefer to know when the wind is going to blow.
Probably not the best personality type for having two crazy children and four cats and an often disorganised husband and a universe hell bent on throwing all it can at me.
I muddle through as best I can. I am a habitual over-analyser so I drive myself to the point of exhaustion questioning my reactions and feelings. Growing up in a house where chaos reigned and exaggerated emotions were shared daily left me nervous of big, out of control emotions.
Then we adopted Katie and Pip and our house and my life is now a plethora of big, out of control emotions. Many of them belong to the children and many of them belong to me.
I get on with it. I deal with it. I manage as best I can with it. I eat too much chocolate on the days when it's really difficult and I drink more wine in the evenings than I have ever have in my adult life. I shout more than I would like and this is one of my biggest issues I am desperate to sort out. I know I'm not alone. I know it's not ideal but really, you try living in our house and never get so frustrated you could literally drive away and book yourself into a hotel for a week! Arguments can literally break out before I've opened my eyes from a vaguely restful sleep some mornings and I feel adrenaline course through my veins before the dream of a cup of tea has even formed.
Is it must me or is that easier said than done?
I remember reading Bryan Post talking about the blueprint that we are given as children about parenting. Our parents parented us with the blueprint of a garden shed whilst being sold the ideal of living in a castle. I think about this often because of that ongoing irritation with myself of not being able to rewrite my blueprint sufficiently to enable my children to get the blueprint they need for their future lives. How much therapy does one adoptive parent need for heaven's sake?
I've been feeling a shift just lately though. A desire to say to hell with all these parenting books and
the fear of failure they instill. To hell with being able to solve all their problems in a month. It's unachievable. We have to be ready for the long haul flight, not the quick hop across the channel. As adopters we spend our lives trying to help our children overcome their own fears yet we seem to be doing it in a desperate swim against the tide of our own fear. What's that all about? Just as regular parents are bombarded with an onslaught of "this is how you do it" parenting books I fear adoption parenting is heading the same way. That's not to say some knowledge doesn't help and isn't desperately needed and I'm grateful for all the pioneering authors out there but sadly I feel the benchmark they set often isn't achievable either at all or without the right support from the right services. Therein lies the rub as they say. Mental Health services in the UK are very under-supported by the government. I almost laughed uncontrollably at the new Prime Minister's plans to add more money to community mental health support which amounted to effectively 97p per person! That won't even buy you a bar of chocolate let alone the ongoing support which we so desperately need.
One thing I do know though is that I will continue to write about it in this blog and probably continue to chase my tail for some considerable time to come. You're very welcome to join with me and continue to share your thoughts on my ramblings!
Thank you for all of those who do contact me and share your stories and thoughts and suggestions. It is wonderful to link in with you all and helps me as much as I know this blog can help others at times too. We are a wonderful community and supporting each other is something we do well. xx