I’m sure many of you have been watching 15000 Kids and Counting on Channel 4. If you’ve missed it you can catch up on it here. Last night’s programme followed the search for families for a 2 year old boy Tommy and for siblings Liam 3 and Lauren 7. It brought back many memories of being matched and then introductions with Kitten and Bunny. Before we were matched the placing authority were thinking of changing the plan for the girls to long term foster care as they were unable to find a family so Liam and Lauren’s story really resonated for me. I sat last night wondering what life would have been like for the girls if they hadn’t been matched with me. And I tweeted:
And I meant what I said. Things are hard and I often feel ground down by our daily lives, but it was a salient reminder that none of our lives would be better if we hadn’t become a family. I will try to remind myself of this on our hardest days – we are 3girlstogether for a reason!
I am hoping that this TV series is going to address some of the other issues to do with adoption. It was fantastic that Tommy, Liam and Lauren were adopted but of course that isn’t the end of the story. Many adopters will be faced with years of fighting to get the support their children need and deserve, I’m guessing this doesn’t such a palatable story for the televison audience but it is our reality.
I remember at prep group the SWs talking about the importance of our resilience as adopters. I thought at the time that I would need resilience to care for my children. And I do. But I never suspected how much my resilience would be called upon in dealing with the ‘system’. We fight for DLA, for adoption allowances when we aren’t able to work full time, we fight for therapeutic input – the right therapeutic input not just whatever our local Camhs specialises in, we fight for funding for therapy when Camhs falls short, we fight for respite, we fight for OT assessments, we fight for schools to understand our children’s complex needs and to support accordingly. The list goes on and on.
Sometimes as a single mum I feel like a tiny dot looking up at a huge mountain and knowing I have to climb it alone:
But then I turn for support to my parents and my dearest friends, to the adopters I have become friends with and to the people I have met on social media; on the FB groups for adopters, on Twitter and my blog. You all give me strength (and a kick up the backside when I need it) and I turn a Warrior Mum ready to take on the system and win.
And that’s how I’m feeling right now – ready for the next fight,