Just updating…

So, another busy week in the Chaos household.

Still getting sorted from the house purchase, been cleaning the old house and getting that emptied. And somehow trying to keep the children occupied, and mostly succeeding.

Next week, if all goes to plan, we will be giving the keys to our old house back and saying “goodbye” to having to communicate to the complete waste of space agency. HOORAY!!! Then life can really begin to pick up, there’ll be nothing anchoring me down any longer (well, financials always play some kind of part in anchoring, but meh, there are ways and means…).

We successfully managed a late night family party too. I cheated, I let them take their Kindle Fire, they don’t get much screen time, so when they do get it, it is amazing, and they don’t waste it – they are wholly consumed. Around 10 they started to get restless, and grumpy (they are normally in bed at 7) so we started to get ready to leave, but then nanny gave them a helium balloon each to take home… so naturally, we stayed for another hour as they ran around the room being complete loons.

Just to add to the madness though, I decided it would be fun to sprain my ankle and create some kind of knee impact injury, you know, just because why the hell not? I like a challenge.

Anyhow, old house almost handed back, Uni work almost complete for the academic year (final assignments over the next 2 weeks), new house almost in order inside (don’t even talk to me about the garden – 2 words “bindweed” and “brambles”), some semblance of normal chaos should resume shortly! WOOOOOOO

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.

 

night

To move? To stay put?

Adoption: To move, or to stay put?
There’s always a dilemma created by any decision that will involve big changes for children who’ve been adopted. And for that reason, for months I had the professionals (who only had a small window into our life) saying that they thought the only way to achieve stability for our children was to stay put. Slowly, but surely, events and behaviours transpired to the point that one professional quite literally said “you need to get the hell out of there and fast”.

You see, a tension had built up where we were living. A tension made up of the fact that our neighbours were being intimidating to the children. A tension created by our son because it was “Mumma’s and Daddy’s house, Logan and Caitlin are just living there”. A tension from all the social workers, other key workers, therapists and miscellaneous professionals involved in their early placement making the children feel that this was a temporary situation.

The tension had grown so big it was impossible to banish. And it fed into the children’s inability to relax and settle, increased their anxieties to the point that, even when “fully relaxed” at home, they were still hypervigilant. So big that, at no point in the day could there not be full “eyes on” supervision. Even if I needed the toilet, the door had to be open, and the children in sight unless someone was there to keep a watchful eye on them.

For us, it was beyond the point of choice, it was an inevitable “only option”. The choice was less about “if/when?” and more about “where?” Bruce was working about 45 minutes away from where we lived, and was in the opposite direction to the largest part of our support network. Then saying that, the support our network could offer us at the time was either virtual, involved me taking a long journey or was support that (at the time) would not have been helpful (it would have been different if they weren’t children who’d experienced early childhood trauma, but as it stands, they had so certain things people offer to do, whilst appreciated, can’t be accepted as the consequences would by far outweigh any potential face value benefits).

Naturally, it was decided; moving closer to Bruce’s job would mean more availability of him being home; more support to me, more presence with the children, later starts to the day, more family time. But it would also create an opportunity to teach the children that change can be a positive thing, how to healthily get closure on a closing opportunity and receive the new opportunities they then face with gladness and positivity (and not tinged or tainted by the sadness of the reason for change). It would create the opportunity to expand our capabilities in a home education light – we could now ensure we had sufficient outdoor space, better access to educational activities, outings and networks. And ample space within our home to dedicate one area to the storage of anything related to their education.

So how did it pan out?

Well, moving to a new house was very stressful, due to the home education thing meaning the kids were always around, and their anxieties meaning they needed to see me the whole time. But, they were involved in viewings, packing, decluttering, moving boxes, unpacking, rehoming and all the other things you do as you move. This meant they had a long drawn out “goodbye” to the old house and a slow phased “hello” to the new house. Seeing it transform from a home to a shell and then from a shell to a home. Though very wired through this transition, it was obvious to anyone who knows both of our children well, it was very healing for them.

And now, as a result, both children are much more content. They miss our old house, but only really a few of the conveniences it offered (being so close to my little brother being the main one).

So I say, when you are faced with this dilemma (or something similar). Only you, living through it, can feel what it’s like to experience it. Only you know how your children are doing. A primary caregiver’s gut knows (by this I mean the parent/carer who’s there the most) the truth, and if that truth goes against professional opinion, fight the opinion – you have the true knowledge, an opinion is significantly inferior to that. It may need to be approached with caution, and it’s natural to second guess yourself, it may need to be planned to the nth degree. But that won’t make it wrong, that will just make it more work.

Trust yourself.