Saturday, 30 December 2017

Adoption & Fostering Podcast - Episode 32 an interview with Blair Mortimer

This is the year end podcast so we reflect on some of the highs and the lows, ramble a little and ask each other some questions. We touch on the joys of Christmas prep and then slip into the challenges of parenting some young adults. As always we partake of a little light banter to oil the wheels. 





Jacob makes a micro appearance and Al's children make noise. 

Al caught up with Blair, friend of the show,  and he talks a little about fostering at Christmas and thoughts on times of celebration and challenges.
As always thanks for listening and have a great new year. 


You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here

Thursday, 28 December 2017

A New Year

In the back of my mind I've always wondered how to stop blogging. I don't want my blog to fade away, falling into disrepair and mediocrity or worse still evolving into this tired feature in the blogging landscape.

I blog for several reasons with the main one being that I enjoy it and it's a good place to park some of the more challenging experiences that we walk through. I've lots of opinions as well, some interesting and some less so, airing them seems fairly positive as well, at least for me. Blogging has opened doors that I never even imagined and led me to places I didn't even know existed. Now I worry that I'm becoming part of the white noise on the internet.  Blogging is great and has value but I fear that I'm starting to repeat myself and nobody likes a bore.


This has been another marvellous year with lots of great interactions and chats floating around generated from my blogs but I wonder how this all ends. I can't blog indefinitely and I'm conscious that my experience is limited and consequently limits my posts. I'd dare to suggest that that my blog doesn't reflect MrsC experience either, we all walk our own path.

When I started blogging I made some promises to myself, they're all now fulfilled and that's made me think about where to go from here.

I don't want to slide into 'clickbait' posts, you know the:

'Three things you wanted to know about adoption but never dared to ask' type of post. 

I don't want to use my children as currency, I don't want offer advice posts, I strongly believe advice is better taken than given and I've a healthy scepticism of those that offer it.  I don't want to slip into misery porn or become a model of a modern adoptive family or a hollow review vehicle for some products that are tediously linked to my family. That's not to be dismissive of other blogs at all, we all blog for our own reasons and we don't have to justify them to anyone. If your blog makes you happy or help you then it's a success. It's more about where I fit into that landscape, or at least where I think I want to fit in.

There's more to my thinking than that. Our family is changing and priorities are shifting so I need to move with that and be ahead of the game rather than react to that. I need to be cleverer and there are other places that I need to be focused on and I need to be more effective. Basically,  fewer words but more potent words. So, its the end of the weekly blog.

I'm keen to host guest posts and put up news and views as well as the odd update on relevant stuff. Of course I'm still going to post blogs, but the 7:27am Friday morning post is gone. I'm also aware I've set a well ingrained blogging habit so bear with me as I try to do less!

It's not goodbye but a shift in my mind as to where the blog sits and what the blog is for. Thank you for reading and please keep doing so.

Lastly,

Hold Fast.

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Real

Peanut: Why are you so bossy?

I'd asked her to clear her plate after lunch, she wasn't impressed.

Me: Because I'm your dad and that's what dads are, bossy.

Peanut, thought for a moment and with a little giggle of self congratulation suggested:

You're not my real dad are you though? You're my ADOPTED dad. 

I pause, impressed at her logic and humour in an attempt to shirk her task......................... she smiles, I smile and put that right back at her.

Oh.......in that case you're not my real daughter, you're my ADOPTED daughter.

Without pause she corrects my clear mistake.

Erm....... NO. Real daughter. 



We had a giggle and a cuddle, it's clear that I've no real understanding of the inner workings of a six year old girl's mind.

There are endless, or so it seems, memes and words written about adoption and what constitutes love and relationship. Most of them feel hollow or desperate to my eyes. I don't need to qualify or justify my love, it is what it is. Considering my relationship with the six children, adopted children, that are in my family I see that they each define and perceive it differently. That has transformed and shifted as they have grown and their understanding of their story and the world that they live in has developed.

Right now Peanut is clear on the issue, I'm the fake one and she's the real one. I think.

Anyhoo, have a smashing Christmas break, whatever that looks like.














Friday, 15 December 2017

Adoption & Fostering Podcast - Episode 31 The Christmas Special with Sally D + Guest

It’s the Christmas Podcast!



With a sense of festive fun and mirth we speak to Sally Donovan, we ask some listeners questions, add a little frivolity and have a good old chinwag. 

Of course, we discuss all manner of things, self regulation, writing books, an all kinds of other stuff. We play the infamous Adoption & Fostering Christmas Quiz, Scott and Al have a full on Podtiff and Sally D leads us onto the rocks of questionable taste.

To round it off we have what is now another tradition of our Christmas message from secret adoption blogging royalty. 

 
We hope you enjoy, thanks for listening and we wish you well as you navigate the festivities!

As always if you’re bored and feeling benevolent you could seek us out on iTunes here and give us a wee review!

Hold Fast! 

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here
or on the Podbean site here

#Podtiff



Thursday, 14 December 2017

Change

Last week my Construction Plant Certification expired.

So what.

Good question, it seemed like a big deal, the passing of something that can't be be captured again. I loved my job in construction and sat and cried on a park bench the day I left for the last time after resigning. That was nine years ago. We walked into an uncertain future, with unfamiliar landmarks and features, we hoped everything would be ok and we'd make it, whatever 'it' was. We were struggling to care for traumatised children and it was traumatising us.  I knew we had five children and they would need to be the sole focus for a while and I couldn't remain in work. So I left and it felt like a catastrophic mistake of my own invention.

Some of that uncertainty from nine years ago remains, in fact it's that uncertainty feels like the one certainty. We still live moment by moment, trying to not be drawn into the drama, fear, rage, terror and anxiety. It seems pretty normal now, not bad or good it just is. I suppose its a development of what I spoke of last week, my aspirations are moderated by my circumstance. The idea of a 'career' a little absurd when home life seems so random and abstract at times.

The expiring of my certificate seems to burn a bridge, even if I wanted to I don't think I could return to that 'normal' life.  I'm sure I could actually return to my old job, actually I know I could my benevolent ex employer contacted me a few weeks ago and asked if I had a little spare time to do some work. I didn't, though I was tempted.

For all the challenge and complications I like what we've got. Of course I could give you a list of things I'd alter but I still love my kids. I never anticipated the changes parenting would bring, more so the changes that adoptive parenting would bring.


It feels like the winds of change are upon us again. The needs of the children are developing and the needs of the parents are changing.  I'm talking to friends about how I divide my time and where I place my energies. As they say:

 'Constant change is here to stay'


Thursday, 7 December 2017

Expectations

I'd get sacked within minutes in a meme factory due to me constantly and insistently lowering my standards, aiming lower and setting low aspirations.  I can see the face on my imaginary line manager as I offer them a picture of a cute child with a tagline 'one day you might be average'.

What I've learnt is that high expectations is the enemy of a happy family life in Coates Towers.

I'd hoped that MrsC, the wee three and me could go out for a meal this weekend. We rarely do so, for a whole host of reasons it's always tricky. I'd set my heart on it, partly motivated by one of my children, who shall remain nameless, informing us that we never do anything as a whole family. I really thought we could be like one of those families that we see on the telly with the happy smiley faces and warm loving, mutually respecting, Volvo with Labrador kind of family that laughs as they 'do things together'.

I'd really hoped that we could just have a nice time, more than that in my head it was a marker I'd placed in my mind that we'd survived another tricky year, against the odds we'd done it and we were going to celebrate that together.

So, after appropriate signposting, psychological preparation and phased communication with the massive then identifying a suitable venue the day arrived and the 'I wish we could do things together' Child declares she's not coming.

'Why?' I ask putting on my best Dr Dan on valium tone.

'Just don't fancy it'

So, that's me unravelled right there! and she's rocking the just try and make me come nonchalance/sass.

Needless to say there was an open and honest exchange of opinions followed by a great unravelling with me front and centre to the whole lot of it. So the day went with my tetchy/hacked off/disappointed attitude colouring everything said and done. Everything was a bother and personal.

Expectations, what a killer.

Pre children I had ideals of this and that, high hopes and aspirations for precious moments, shared hobbies and the like. Now they all seem like a recipe for my own unhappiness. I've not lowered my expectations rather to try and take them out of the equation and roll with whatever happens good, bad or, most usually, a little bit of both.




Friday, 1 December 2017

The Adoption & Fostering Podcast: An interview with Stuart Guest

This week we speak to Head Teacher and adoptive parent Stuart Guest. He has taken an innovative approach to create a nurturing, supportive and safe learning environment for all the children in his primary school. This approach has been informed by an understanding of the impacts of early life adversity. 



Scott and Al have a brief intro then we get straight into the interview. Stuart shares his experience and thoughts on a range of issues including; pupil premium, pupil premium plus, partnership with schools, information packs, secondary schools, homework and of course the now legendary #CookieNookieNight 


Thank you for all the questions that were sent in and we hope you enjoy this episode and we aspire to get Stuart back to the podcast in the new year.
Stuart has sent a link to some resources and they can be found here

I appologise that there's a wee bit of 'clipping' in the audio quality for the first 4 minutes of the interview with Stuart. It does pass and so please bare with it. 

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here
or on the Podbean site here