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In The Cut

So, been thinking for a while about sharing our story of adoption in the hope that it might help other families and because it is such an incredible journey, it feels somehow important to document. Maybe one day it will also be important for our daughter who shall remain anonymous as this is her story too and she may not want to share it. I’ll call her Angel as we called her our ‘angel child’ for the first six months of her time with us, knowing full well that as soon as she felt safe enough, a more fully rounded two-year old would emerge. She was also referred to as an ‘angel child’ by her birth mum and dad who had lost a previous pregnancy and so were very grateful when they fell pregnant with her.  Angel is 9 and will be 10 in July. Right now we are what I call ‘in the cut’. We have just come out of our longest spell of equilibrium (about 3 months) and I felt a new baseline of her self-worth had been reached. It probably has but when the wound opens up, it’s incredible how deep it g
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Transitions and Change

It’s the last weekend of half term and anxiety about going back to school is kicking in. Angel declares she’s not going in on Monday. I murmur, ‘I can hear you really don’t want to go in. I know it’s always hard going back after half term’. Come Monday morning, she is up and dressed at 6.30am. All is well at breakfast and I have agreed to take her to school instead of Daddy as a treat. Just before we are about to leave she throws herself face down on her bed.  I know what this means. It’s going to be a long drawn out protracted affair, after which I may or may not get her into school.  I don’t feel I have the patience or resources to do this today. I try a different approach.  Me - ‘Ok I can see you don’t want to go in and I’m not going to make you go in if you don’t want to but this is the only day that I have for me as the rest of the week I’m working or with you. So you can stay home but I am going for my run, I’m going to do some writing and sort out some things that I need to sort

Reflex Integration Therapy

Neurodevelopmental Reflex Integration Therapy. You’ve probably never heard of it?  Neither had I lol. We found out about it via a friend of a friend and long story short, Angel began a very gentle programme in September with remarkable results.  Before I tell our story I’d better explain, as best I can, what it is. In a nutshell, Neurodevelopmental Reflex Integration Therapy works to integrate primitive reflexes. These are the reflexes we are all born with which should have disappeared in the first two years of life as we progress through the ‘typical’ milestones like rolling, sitting, crawling, etc. If a foetus’ development is interrupted in utero or during childbirth by some kind of stress/trauma or a new-born’s development is interrupted by restricting movement or by some trauma, the next link in the chain cannot be completed, so neural connections are not as efficient as they would be without the interruption. If we do not integrate these primitive reflexes, they remain retained in


Hope - just writing the word makes me cry. I am emerging, somewhat still shell shocked, back into the world I had known.  As a facilitator for an adoption support group, I hear people's stories a lot and so many are much worse than ours. For some, there is little or no respite from the difficult times. We are lucky. For us it has always been cyclical. Longest good spell was six months but generally it’s only three and, as like this year, sometimes the hard times are much longer.  So where are we? Angel has been sleeping with me, hubby in the spare room, for the last eight weeks and understandably, hubby was getting fed up. It felt a bit like Oedipus backwards and Angel had ousted dad rather than mum. Dad had been sleeping in the double bed in the spare room so we said Angel could sleep there and me and hubby would take it in turns to sleep with her for a bit before she returns to sleeping on her own. We have also gone back to alternating bedtime rather than me doing it 90% of the t

Panic Attacks Part 2

  We are a month into bedtime and middle of the night anxiety episodes every night. Things are calming down though. I’m calming down. Hubby took over doing bedtime and middle of the night duty for a week so I could regain some equilibrium. Being able to sleep through the night again made a big difference.  Hubby said she had been crying at bedtime because she wanted me to do it. When I did it, she cried because she wanted daddy too.  Angel - I’ve got used to daddy holding my hand. Me - Well let's get daddy too! Once we are both there, me lying next to her, daddy squidged in at the end of her single bed, each of us with a hand, her breathing eases and she usually goes to sleep within 30 minutes (before it had only ever taken 15).  Of course the next night she wants me to do bedtime again. I tell her I will alternate with hubby but both of us will be there for the final hand holding. She nods, satisfied. She knows I can’t do it all now. She strings out getting ready for bed as long a

Panic Attacks

Angel - Rose’s Mum’s said if she had been a boy, they were going to call her Rex? Me - (laughing), I know quite a few dogs called Rex so lucky she was a girl! Angel - What was I going to be called if I was a boy? Me - I don’t know but we could ask your birth mum when we next write to her? We are sitting on a rock in the paddling pool swirling our feet in the water.  Angel - When am I going to meet my birth mum? I want to meet her. I want to know what she looks like?  Me - Can’t you remember what she looks like? We have lots of pictures but I know sometimes you can’t get a sense of someone from a picture. It’s not the same is it?  Angel - No. You said I could meet her when I was 13. Me - Is that what you want? Angel - Yes. Me - Well that’s what we will work towards then. That’s why we are getting some support; to prepare you for meeting her.   I quietly kick myself. Maybe I just should have said, ‘Well if I had had you and had a boy, I would have called you George.’ Maybe that’s all it