I’ve been recently thinking about how lucky I am to have been able to adopt my incredible daughter, and how this would not have been possible until fairly recently. A few things have come up recently that got me reflecting on this, which I’ll go into later on, but first I thought a little brief history of Adoption policy in the UK might be helpful.
There is a great page that gives a potted history of Adoption policies in the UK which I have copied some bits from below: Continue reading
I am having some MAJOR swings up and down about moving house.
The estate agents told me if I want to get this Stamp Duty holiday which ends next March, I need to have found a buyer and a house I want to buy and exchange contracts by Xmas, as it’ll take at least 3 months to process everything. And that all the solicitors and banks are already getting backlogged with so many people desperate to move house right now, so a bank mortgage valuation that used to take 1-2 weeks now takes 4-5 weeks to get done and so on. So if I want to move I have to move fast.
One minute I think fuck it, I really love it there, and I really want to live there, and the kid’ll be fine and it’s SO lovely and there’s a great school and we’ll have so much more space and there are lots of other factors that will decide our future besides race and so on.
The next minute I think no, I can’t, it’s too much pressure to move and find the perfect house instantly and it needs to be somewhere we’ll be happy living for the next 20 years, and I can’t find that so fast, I need more time.
And I just can’t shake off the niggling feeling that I’m wrong about it all. Continue reading
Spoiler alert – the title of this post was deliberately provocative, extreme and a little bit silly, so there is no need to panic about political correctness gone mad and storm the gates in outrage or anything.
So, like many of you, I love to spend my evenings in front of the telly, with a glass of wine, browsing Rightmove and Zoopla for the dream house I’ll buy after I win the lottery.
We’ve all been there.
I love my little casa and after 9 years I have finally got it just how I like it. I’ve converted my loft into the penthouse of my dreams, I LOVE my ensuite shower, I’ve done up my lovely little kitchen, and put my amazing jungle lemur wallpaper in my bathroom and generally decorated every room to my liking. However now that I have a toddler I also feel a little overwhelmed with all the toys and stuff and it feels a little cramped suddenly, especially my tiny garden. And also because I’ve just bought a massive tent and camping gear and basically don’t have anywhere to put it!
So you know, I dream about winning my millions and building my own Grand Designs mansion (I LOVE that show). Or buying a 5-bedroom converted barn in the Cotswolds with all the amazing features. But mostly it’s all in my dreams. Continue reading
“Came home from a full day’s playing at nursery SO TIRED I CAN’T REMEMBER ANY WORDS, and ALL I asked for was ice cream and chocolate and sweeties and my stupid mummy said no, so I was forced to lay on the floor and scream, and THEN she said I couldn’t grab the handle of the pan of boiling water on the stove so I screamed right in her face and punched her with my tiny fists so she would feel my wrath.
Then she said I could have an orange and I quite like oranges so I relented and agreed to stop screaming, but only for about 2 mins because the stupid woman peeled it wrong and I became INCANDESCENT WITH RAGE!!!!
Then I needed the potty and in spite of my terrible roars she insisted I wasn’t to put my hands into the poo, which is like totally oppressing my human rights, I mean I’m a strong independent woman and I can touch my own poo whenever I damn well please!!
Then I screamed some more so she would know how cross and oppressed I was, and threw a toy, which backfired and broke, so I cried about that for a while.
Then mummy said it was probably bathtime (the woman is OBSESSED with cleanliness) so I staged a protest on the stairs and decided hair-pulling would count as non-violent defiance.
I finally conceded to having a bath after my attempts to knock her over by head-butting her in the groin didn’t work. I pulled out the plug immediately because that’ll teach her to try and wash me! But then I got really sad because all the water was disappearing and I wasn’t actually finished playing in the bath. So I screamed some more, just in case mummy hadn’t noticed my displeasure.
She’s developed a slightly manic far-off stare and I can never be sure if she’s really listening to my concerns, even when I scream them directly into her face.
Mummy just DOES NOT understand what’s it’s like to be nearly three. Honestly it’s exhausting.”
On Saturday, the 4th of July, it was our one-year anniversary of becoming a family.
And what a year it has been!
In adoption, there are many milestones that could be celebrated – the day I was approved as a match for her, the day I met her, the day she moved in with me (the day I brought her home forever), the day the adoption order was approved, and the celebration hearing date. I’d never keep track and can only cope with one big milestone a year, so I chose for us to celebrate our “Gotcha day” as the Americans call it, on the 4th July, which is the day I met my daughter for the very first time.
I was so filled with excitement and emotions, it was such a vivid day for me, and she was shy at first, but as the day went on I got a little smile, and she played peekaboo with me behind a chair, and in the afternoon she put her tiny little hand in my hand, and my heart exploded with joy.
That day was the greatest day of my life, and even just remembering it brings tears to my eyes, it was so special and amazing. And for her of course, it was the day she met her mama for the first time, even if she didn’t really know it or understand at the time. Continue reading
Well, we’ve decided to attempt potty training….
This is something I had not realised everyone and his dog has an opinion on. It’s really hard to navigate when you are a first-time parent and you hear these type of comments ALL THE TIME…
- “Oh god it was horrendous, one of the worst things we’ve ever had to do”
- “Isn’t she potty trained already? Shouldn’t you be doing it now?”
- “Just wait til they are ready, then they just do it by themselves, and it’s easy”
- “Most of the other kids her age are already potty-trained…”
- “With boys it’s so much easier”
- “Oh you don’t need to read any books about it, they don’t need to be “TRAINED” – when they are ready they’ll just know how to do it and you won’t have to do anything”
- “Good luck – that was the hardest 6 months of my bloody life”
- “No but really, when are you potty-training her?”
- “Don’t rush it, I see so many parents trying to do it before their kids are ready, and it takes ages”
- “Don’t bother about all that – just let them run around naked for a while and accept that there will be piss and shit all over everything”
- “Seriously though, when ARE you going to potty-train her?”
- “My kids were potty-trained at 18 months….”
- “My kids weren’t potty-trained til they were 3 or 4”
- “My kid learned in 2 days and it was easy”
- “My kid took 7 months to learn and it was hell”
- “If you’re having to read a book about it, or ask for advice then she’s probably not ready yet, and you should wait”
and so on…. Continue reading
Ok, so recently I’ve decided to play around with my hair and see if I can follow the “Curly Girl” method, and see how curly I can get my hair to go naturally.
Now this is mainly due to the fact that I am still, after 11 months, trying to learn the best way to manage my mixed-race daughter’s amazing luscious curly hair. It has grown an awful lot in that time, and gotten so much thicker and longer. I didn’t want to just experiment on a two-year old with all these new methods and thought I would experiment on myself as well just to see what happens.
Given the current events worldwise in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, I wanted to explain a bit more about why and how my curly hair journey is so interlinked with discussions on race happening around the globe. It sounds ludicrous to put those two things together, but hear me out. Continue reading
Both myself and my daughter have had a fairly seismic shift this week, as we go from 10 weeks locked down together and not really seeing anyone or doing much of anything, to suddenly the kid being at nursery, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and me going back to work. Continue reading
In amongst all the grim lockdown drama, here are a few more little snippets of things that have happened over the last few months, odd little anecdotes from our lives. Spoiler alert – these are mostly boring stories about some adorable thing my precious baby girl did – I’m aware that when most parents get in the zone droning on about their little darlings, most people reach for the sick bag or nod politely while fantasising about pulling the fire alarm to make it stop. In other words, these anecdotes will be mediocre at best, and you have been warned – read on at your own risk.
Here they are, in no particular order:
Even though the Adoption Order was granted on the 7th January, when everything was formally made legal and official, there have still been quite a few minor admin things to do.
We needed to wait for the court bureaucratic wheels to slowly turn and issue various bits of paperwork so that she can be entered officially into the Register of Adopted Children, which once completed means that you can apply for an Adoption Certificate (which is very similar but slightly different from a birth certificate). This document has her new legally changed name on it, which you need to supply in order to do other official things, like apply for a passport, or change her name on other official things like the NHS/Dr’s surgery records, and her child benefits account, etc.
i have now received this, she now legally and officially has my last name/family name, and I have already applied for a passport so that we can hopefully go to Australia soon and visit my brother and dad and the rest of our family can meet my daughter! Continue reading