When I first became an adoptive mama, I felt like I was in a pool of quick sand and I was desperately trying to stay head above. There are loads of blogs about that tell new mums how it’s ok to physically feel crap they have given birth, it’s ok to feel tired they have a newborn and they are doing awesome.
Adoption however, you hit that floor running suddenly a family, suddenly a whole new world and a whole new role with a little person/people who are trying to understand you as you are them and relying on you to reassure.
These are my top 5 achievements in those first few weeks, that made me feel like I was failing but in fact each one was an achievement.
1). You are out of bed, your munchkin/s are up & out of bed and you have had breakfast all before 7am.. Your beginning to learn to function on minimal sleep & being on the go from the minute your little person/ people open their eyes!! Although I’m pretty sure I learnt to sleep standing up rocking a wriggling teething 9mth old to sleep!! Remember as adoptive parents we hit the floor running, running after little munchkins straight away! We don’t get the newborn sleepy lull, we get full on fun machines & that is a shock to the system!
2) You are all washed, brushed & dressed, the house looks like a someone has completed a trolley dash in Toysrus but you manage to make the social worker who visits weekly a cup of tea and you have only cried once during the visit. I think every adoptive parents feels under the spotlight in those first few weeks but that’s not why the social workers are visiting its to support you and little munchkin/s but doesn’t take the anxiety away. Those first few weeks/ months are truly daunting but keep going!
3) Your out the house for the first time! Yes you did it! A trip to the local park, the corner shop, a walk it doesn’t matter that first time getting you, your munchkin/s out the house is huge. You will notice a million hazards that you never would of seen before! You will forget something usually vital like the favourite teddy, comforter, dummy but trust me you never will again. Remember your learning, learning to be parents your learning about your child/children.
4) Your worrying your not bonding that your munchkin/s is missing even grieving for their foster carer the truth is they probably are. We had one Sunday evening a week into being a family our little munchkin cried and cried it took about an hour to settle him down lots of cuddles and reassuring and the help of a few good story books and he finally fell asleep. I was devastated sat and cried felt like I was failing worried that he wasn’t bonding with us. But pulling on our support network, talking to your social worker, remembering all you have learnt in your preparation course. This is normal it’s part of your munchkin/s moving on and dealing with the huge change they have had let them work through it with lots of reassurance. Plus I found chocolate helped a lot to suppress the worry 😉
5) Your partner has returned to work, your social worker visits have reduced and your sliding into family life. As with all parents loneliness can be huge, when you have been up all night you feel like the only one, when you haven’t showered for 3 days and resemble the bird lady from home alone, when you can’t remember what a hot cuppa tastes like. Get out to mother & baby groups, whether your a birth or adoptive parent you will all crave adult conversations, talk to other parents, indulge in cooing over each other’s bundles of joy, sing the songs that make you feel silly it will make you feel better.
Remember you got this, your Ace!