Christmas is the time I consider the year gone and the year ahead. Right now the house looks like a blend of an explosion in a tinsel and a derelict children's play area after a brawl. Not good but that's Christmas. The worst of it's over now so as I languish in the netherland between Christmas and New Year my mind drifts to the year that's been.
It's been a mixed year with the children, I re-calibrated my expectations in that regard many years ago so there's no abiding sense of disappointment or loss. It is what it is and we do what we do.
There have been some interesting moments, a bit of police interaction which was very positive, an Initial Assessment by children's services which was interesting (the second in 12 months) and we instigated the assessment of needs out of curiosity. I feel sorry for my Post Adoption Social Worker she has to put up with me and my unauthorised use of her as a monitoring and logging tool. She'll no doubt rue the day I got her email address, bless her.
Otherwise I've been here there and everywhere. Met load of fascinating people. Mixed in all of the work stuff there have been some high powered meetings and speaking opportunities, all very la dee dah.
However, the most profound moment was the day I posted on living with violence. I uploaded the post teatime on a Thursday and by 7pm I was being told to tweet the link and pass on the details. My phone buzzed without ceasing for the next 48 hours with hundreds of notifications as people messaged me, emailed and spoke of their experiences, fears and circumstances. Many heartbreaking and distressing stories were passed to me. But it's stuck with me and re reading it I'm not sure what provoked the response in my post as the issue seems to have been touched on by many organisations and bloggers before and since but I seemed to hit a nerve on that day. It's lingered long in my mind and was a remarkable few days. The reality is that adopters care for children who can easily be categorised as 'at risk' but in doing so many of us put ourselves 'at risk'. Thought provoking stuff.
Lots of other stuff of course, the DfE, the ASF, moving house, Sarah came home, work and the long summer without internet access at home all made up a remarkable year.
As for the future, well, we keep on keeping on. There are plenty of opportunities and lots of work to do. I'm aware of the gaps in my knowledge and understanding and am hoping to develop that to inform all that I do in the home first then professionally. One of the key issues facing this community is the efficacy therapeutic interventions is close to our families heart and I am convinced it will become the issue that many will wrestle with increasingly in 2016. More importantly I see that the voices of adoptees are often the quietest and least heard. We've work to do.
Of course at home there will be hard days, good days and the odd and unexpected easy days. We'll see what comes our way here at Coates Acres.
I wish you all blessings for the coming year.
Albums of the Year:
The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream
Ozzy Osbourne - Tribute
Books of the Year:
Maya Angelou- I know why the caged bird sings (I've not finished it yet!)
The Cruel Sea - Nicholas Monserrat
Film of the year:
Blogpost of the Year
Suddenly Mummy - Seven Stages of Being dumped with a Stranger