So…. um… yeah, I made it happen!!!

I said we had problems with our agency. And that if they didn’t want to resolve the issues I’d be leaving. Well… a little update on that covered in a few points below:

  • I reported them to the Property Ombudsman, not sure how much I can disclose about it, but they have my records, and see that there is a case to work with. Now the agency have been given time to provide their evidence so that the Ombudsman can go through and decide what has been correctly followed and what has not.
  • I worked my butt off and found us a house to move into, secured the mortgage and got completion through (viewing to completion took 9 weeks… I was pushing it and I made it happen fast).
  • I have managed to get the bulk of our furniture in place/built/setup and a lot of our stuff is now in.
  • The old house is not clear yet, but I still have about a month to get it sorted
  • in the midst of this I have kept up with my learning (on track with my degree), the bills are all being paid (and all addresses are slowly starting to be transferred across)
  • got internet setup in the new house (gone from a rural 3mb/s top speed to up to 100mb/s… it’s phenomenal). AND I bought a new laptop… so I can actually write now.
  • after figuring I need to have a storage bed (despite the large room size of the master bedroom, it’s an attic room so oddly shaped, and the walls aren’t all “wardrobe friendly”). I decided to plan an Ikea hack (I can link the details here at once it’s 100% finished) to make a superking sized, tall storage bed – by no means a high sleeper, but tall enough for me to have to actually climb into bed). Thinking if I go superking sized, when Caitlin refuses to sleep in her own bed, and Logan gets jealous and wants to sleep in there too… I may have some hope of at least an extra 3cm (don’t ruin my thunder, I do realistically understand that I will have one in my back, the other in my face, cramp and no sleep).

But, the cherry on top absolutely has to be… for a whole week now we’ve been sleeping at the new house. And they have slept (maybe not most people’s definition of slept, but remained in their own beds until “get up” time none the less) in their own rooms and not wanted to sleep in my bed. I actually have a bed with lot of space (unfortunately I also have a head with lots of thoughts that keeps waking me up in panics, but once we have everything here and the old house is mostly cleared down… I’m sure that’ll pass.

For the first time in a while, I am seeing a slither of hope that we might be able to gather some semblance of NORMAL… Still have two highy wired and anxious children but spring-summer marks them being ripped out of their family/family home every year for the last few years so why wouldn’t they be??? But with that slither of hope comes a burst of energy that’s keeping me focused on plodding forward.



That doesn’t feel right…

A very unusual thing happened this week… and I felt I needed to write about it. To have it documented in history.

I got to actually relax, not for 5 minutes. Not with a child attached to me. Not trying to do my own thing whilst a child is getting hugged for over an hour… but actually chill out WHILST still parenting.

I ran myself a bath, put in a couple of bath bombs, and told the children they were to play together in each other’s rooms. And they did… for 90 mins. No fighting, no rivalry, none of that whiny crap that you often hear when siblings are doing something remotely competetive; at one point they were definitely playing Frustration, but still all I heard were giggles and “sillys” (it’s what I call the giggly, non-sensical ramblings of children when they are having fun).

And then, when I got out of the bath, I ran them a bath, and got a load of their bath stuff: fizzers, bombs, foam, shower gel, flannels and got them to put swimming kits on and said “do what you want with that but use nothing else”. After 50 minutes of nice, giggly, happy, non-destructive play, it was me that had to end their bath time. Not them, not their behaviour. I was across the landing, again still listening to them, but gave them the space to feel independent. And I just lay on the bed, staring into nothingness.

So although I was still parenting, as in actually listening in, to supervise and intervene where I needed, I was actually relaxing too. I had no idea this could happen, to remain in parenting mode and actually just “chill” for quite an extended period.

It certainly helped make up for some of the sleep deprivation, but it also had the added benefit of increasing my tolerance, patience and self-awareness. I’m not all topped up by any means, but it’s a toe in the water as to what life could become; my children having independence and following some kind of boundaries without intervention, without negative consequences and with purpose, laughter and social skills.

Feeling proud. Feeling accomplished. Feeling hopeful.

2018: Looking forward part 2

As a family, on New Year’s Day, we like to reflect on the year that has passed and also “wonder” about what the next year may bring. So we answred the following questions (as individuals, so the children couldn’t be swayed by one another). We don’t really set resolutions as such (although I kind of have made one this year – I will post about that later), instead desires of “what’d be nice” rather than set goals that we are aiming to achieve.

So here are our ponderings…

Q: What was the best thing about the past year?
Ariella: Being able to see the children enjoy Christmas for the first time ever.
Bruce: Our Santorini holiday
Logan: Horseriding
Caitlin: Being on the black beach

Q: What are you most excited about this year?
Ariella: Going on holiday again for Christmas, hopefully setting the tradition will make for a less anxious future
Bruce: Having a night out with my wife
Logan: Going to Bluestone
Caitlin: Going to Bluestone

Q: What new experience would you like to have this year?
Ariella: Paintballing. Despite always having been drawn to it, I have never been
Bruce: Rock Climbing – I did try it when I was a child, but I barely remember it.
Logan: To see what it is like to be a miner
Caitlin: I want to go on a cruise

Q: What 3 things would you like to work on, or achieve, this year?
1. Making more “interference-free” family time
2. Allowing myself more time to refuel (and treating my body more kindly)
3. Trying to make a regular slot to work on my degree and my blog
1. Supporting my wife more
2. Cliche but, getting healthier
3. Getting back to art in some form
1. Learning to swim safely
2. Pleasing people less, just being myself
3. Learning to be happy being me
1. To swim without being scared
2. Go to singing and dancing lessons
3. Learn to play music




2018: Looking forward part 1

So… looking forward to the coming year, I feel more hopeful than I have in a while… yes I know “it’s the New Year feeling”… no it isn’t. This is the first in several that has felt hopeful: illness with unknown cause and chronic pain, redundancy, adoption agency drama, knowing the fate of my motherhood lay in the hands of other people, waiting for news on if I was officially my children’s parents and then of course the “I’m a parent of an adopted child, struggling to remove the post-Christmas shrapnel and glue us back together in whatever ragged, wonky and fragile form I can”.

I am not sure I can use words to clearly show how helpless I have felt to begin each year for the last several years. But this year… this year is different.

  • Being away for Christmas means that the explosion didn’t happen, so there’s no shrapnel to clear
  • having had no explosion, or shrapnel, means we only have our normal levels of shame and unworthiness (which are still pretty high, but not “crisis” high)
  • co-sleeping (well, them sleeping in bunks in our room) means we are all having at least double the amount of sleep we were having in the few years prior to this New Year
  • Home educating, and me being with the kids almost literally 24/7, means separation anxiety, shame, self-deprecation, emotionally-triggered situations and so forth are much lower in frequency or severity
  • less anxiety (and shame) means less meltdowns, means more energy for me
  • professionals have finally put the words I have been screaming about sensory, coordination and attachment in black and white (it’s not supported yet – but it’s on paper…)
  • Caitlin finally has a wheelchair, my back, shoulders, neck and legs have been partying for about 3 weeks (from when the wheelchair was collected). The big days can be more often, and it doesn’t matter if I feel like death cause she can wheel herself
  • I finally have an appointment with a surgeon to fix myself… really, it’s more about the fact “I can fix myself” (the children are mentally stable enough for it to not completely spiral now) than I am seeing a surgeon but who’s being picky?

We are starting the New Year with not with just the vim and vigour that, for some, New Year can bring, but with knowledge that life is changing.  Life might actually be “lived” this year. This year may be more than just survived. Hope has been restored!