It is a strange one. The day your child moves in, is a day of enormous consequence. Whatever daydreams have been occupying your mind over the last few months and years can finally turn to reality. As an adoptive family however, we had the paradox of the first few weeks kick in, and all of us seemed to develop cabin fever.
Adoptive families are like all other families, but with bolt-ons; rules and conditions that are laid down to ensure the child’s welfare is top of the list.
I understand it, and completely agree that measures have to be taken to ensure the child is looked after and that his attachment and bonding to you as adoptive parents is the highest priority – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t frustrating.
To us, a child moving in is the answer to our prayers, and the realisation of our dreams. To the child, it is just another move; another time for good byes, another change, and a different life. The last thing the child needs is to be exhibited like a circus act.
The adoptive family routine
Stability and routine are key factors in the child forming attachments. As much as the latent urge to venture outside consumes you, the first few weeks must be all about discipline.
I was personally in two minds about this. Firstly, all I wanted to do was to spend the time with my new son, and to shield him from the outside world. I didn’t want to share his time with anyone except my wife, let alone venture down to somewhere … erghhh public.
On the other hand, the time I have spent waiting for this magical period in my life to begin, was spent daydreaming and fantasising about what I could do. Ever since the phone call my wife and I have had fabulous ideas of how to share our time with him.
As frequent guests of Center Parcs, my imagination has been running wild about taking the boy there and unleashing him into the boundless fun. I can’t wait either, to go camping and find the fly sheet to be ever so slightly useless, as the boy and I cower in the last dry corner for the night.
Several weeks have gone by now, and whilst his attachment to us is evidently progressing, the itch to get ‘in amongst it’ is growing each day. Not just with ourselves, but with our son as well.
If we are not careful, his first two syllable word is likely to be a profanity if we don’t let him out of the buggy more often – mesmerised as he is with the beauty, if not simplicity, of our village.
With that sentiment, last week we took a gamble, and ferried the boy down to the local leisure centre for what quickly became our ‘day of firsts’ – his first swimming experience, followed by his first birthday party.
As our adoptive family grows in strength, so does the boys horizon of fun…
Surely he is ready for this?