Saturday, 7 April 2012

Get Support, Make Friends

I can't tell you enough how important it has been to us to make friends with and talk to other adopters. I know some adopters are of the view that they want their children's lives to be as normal as possible and not centred around the fact that they are adopted but personally for us having friends to turn to who know what we have been through and what we are going through right now is invaluable.

As well as being support for us Girl has a wide group of friends who are adopted and I personally think this normalises adoption for her, she is not the odd one out or different, she is one of many.

You can find support from many different places, computer geek that I am (I was a web programmer before I was a mommy) I personally made friends with a number of people I got chatting to on the Adoption UK forums way back when we were starting out on our adoption journey and a small group of us went through our adoptions at roughly the same time. Strangely (or not) the same small group of friends have since gone through a second adoption within a few months of each other. It gives us a very unique and special bond. Some of those friends live fairly close, certainly within driving distance so we meet up as often as we can with the kids in tow for a coffee, a natter and sometimes to stop a mental breakdown! We keep in touch via Facebook all the time.

You can find other adopters on blogs, read what they are going through and subscribe to their posts, leave comments, you may find yourself leaving a few posts with one particular blogger.

Post Adoption Support
Your local authority/adoption agency probably offers meet-ups, toddler groups, seminars, a great opportunity to meet local adopters and of course if you are having difficulties you can request support from a Post Adoption Social Worker (PASW).

Ask Your Social Worker
My social worker has phoned up a few times to ask us to talk to and meet with both potential adopters and local adopters. You can ask your social worker if there are local adopters who would be willing to meet for coffee and a chat.

Prep Course
Potential adopters are invited onto a preparation group, swap e-mail addresses/phone numbers with the other adopters.

So what do I get from it? If I am having a meltdown (usually because Girl is having a meltdown) and feel I cannot cope I have a close group of friends I can text, phone or facebook for instant support and reassurance that I am not a terrible mother! The knowledge base, ideas and advice I get from my circle of friends is immense, far more information than I could get by reading books and trawling the Internet, most of all I get friendship, understanding, empathy and none of the stupid comments that non-adopters can be guilty of making!

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