a kind of normality
0 comment Monday, May 19, 2014 |
We spent two weeks getting to know the kids in their foster home before we brought them home to live with us. On both Saturday nights the foster carers invited us over for food and to watch the X Factor with them. With the X Factor starting up again last night I was doing some reflecting.
In the foster home, the kids watched the X Factor programme intently, sitting quietly on the sofas and chairs amongst all the adults and the foster carers' two children. When we brought them home, husband and I tried to continue the routine, however with us by that time in the evening the children WERE GOING BONKERS. Through gritted teeth we let them stay up to watch the X Factor beyond their usual bedtime routine, but they were exhausting, uninterested and uncontrollable. I was in tears by the time we got them to bed on many a Saturday night.
The next year, one year of placement not yet completed, husband and I were now in control. Both children were allowed to stay up an hour later to watch the programme, but the moment they started to seem disinterested, they were sent to bed. Many tears, but this time from the children, who clearly wanted to stay up late but couldn't control themselves.
This year, both children snuggled up to me on the sofa under blankets, in their pjs, and watched it with me properly. Although levels of chattering got dangerously high at points, I was able to keep regulating both children and they stayed to the end and went to bed with no trouble.
Today, I have been able to get on with various household tasks too and the children have played well together, with only minor scuffles, without needing my direct attention. This is incredible progress. For the first year at least they needed me to supervise them all the time.
We are settling down into a normal family life. During the adoption progress you're taught that it takes about two years for the trauma to your life and to the children's life to heal, and for normality to set in. I don't know that these kids will ever fully heal from what they have been through - they are forever changed from who they could have been because of how they were treated by their birth family - but if we could get a kind of normality, that will do us very well. Very well indeed.