A non-story

Recently we had a really bad day. I started writing it all down in excruciating detail before remembering that I’m an incredibly boring mum now and have nothing interesting to say nowadays apart from the minutiae of our tiny little lives and not many people actually care. So I decided (for once) to edit myself.

In a nutshell, I made the wrong choice as a parent, I did something which I thought would be ok and things went wrong, and it was upsetting for both of us and led to an extreme amount of mum-guilt and tears all round.

Suffice to say I have now made more work for myself and also learned a valuable lesson.

Basically that’s all you need to know – I felt really crappy and beat myself up about it but it’s all fine now and I suppose parenting is all one massive learning curve so occasionally you will get things wrong. It’s inevitable, and it’s hard not to feel crushed by guilt when it does, but all you can do is have a good cry, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try to do better next time.

Forever

Today, on the 7th January, 2020, a judge heard our case, and as there were no final objections or appeals to be lodged, she granted my daughter’s adoption order.

A mere 6 months after I met my gorgeous baby girl for the very first time, I am now officially, legally, her mama.

Forever.

And ever.

It was such a monumental moment in both of our lives. and yet also slightly weird and mundane. I got the call while we were at toddler group, her social worker called me as soon as the hearing was over to tell me the good news, then we had a snack and went home for a nap. We celebrated by going to a soft play centre in the afternoon with some friends, and in the evening I did my best to explain to my baby girl that a wise judge said I could be her mama forever and ever, though I don’t think she has really understood any of it!

It’s such a huge, mega thing, and yet we carried on going about our day in a very normal way, mostly I guess because I already am her mama, but it’s been unofficial for the last 6 months.

In some ways this was really just a formality, as nothing about our daily lives will change in the slightest. And yet, she’s going to get an adoption certificate that says I’M her mummy, and she’s going to have MY family name, and I can apply for a passport for her, and all sorts of things. I was able to give her a new middle name (she already had two so I changed the 2nd middle name to a name that I chose for her). In giving her a new name, and a new family name, today she became a little bit more MINE in a way that she wasn’t before. (The books tell me this is called “claiming behaviour” and an important part of attachment, though we hardly need it!).

I still find it so hard to believe it has only been 6 months since she came into my life – it feels like she has been in my life for so much longer than that.

There is still a slew of paperwork to be done in finalising everything, but it’s all over, it’s official, no more waiting, no more bumps (other than the usual mother-daughter bumps) – we are now, and forever, a real, proper family.

It feels amazing, and weird, and lovely, and strange. I’m the happiest mama in the world.

The Year in Review

Well, as 2019 draws to a close, it’s worth a little reflection. This has been such a momentous year for me – the year that I became a mother, the year I met my gorgeous daughter, and went on a steep learning curve on how to live with a toddler!

Looking back on the year chronologically, January and February were a little tough – I had had several failed adoption matches at that point, and I felt forced out of my job after the restructure so had to change jobs to fit with my childcare needs. So the beginning of the year certainly felt a little bumpy.

However looking back there were also lots of positives mixed in there – a successful and interesting trip to Afghanistan for work, and a lovely mini-break to Leicester with two of my best friends. Not to mention my amazing kitchen renovation which I still love! Continue reading

Separation Anxiety

Last week I had my first full day away from my daughter after spending 5 months together pretty much every minute of every day.

It was HARD.

The organisation I work for has an annual big conference that brings together the movers and shakers working in my specialised sector and it’s a very popular and interesting event. It goes all week, but I had discussed with my boss the idea of using one of my “Keeping in touch” days to attend, as a way to check in and see people and get back in touch with what’s going on in my line of work while on maternity/adoption leave. Continue reading

Toddler Life

Well here are a few more snippets into the minutiae of our daily lives at the moment – a few little things that make me laugh or just reflect life with a toddler!

As she has a birthday quite near to Christmas, there has recently been a flurry of packages arriving in the post of things that I don’t necessarily want her to see… So I have been handing her the giant bubble packets of air to pop while I squirrel away whatever was in the box, and then show her the empty box. This seems to be working, but she now thinks we are just ordering tons of empty boxes full of bubble wrap for her to pop! Continue reading

Birthday Fun

Well my gorgeous little girl turned 2 recently and it was such a wonderful celebration!

It was our first birthday together as a family, and I felt really quite emotional about it all. I’m so glad that I only missed one birthday (and frankly first birthdays are always a bit weird as the kid has no idea what’s going on anyway). She’s such a gorgeous, lovely, sweet child and I’m so so happy I get to be her mama.

The birthday weekend itself was rather busy and hectic – we had so many people come and visit us, but we both loved every minute of it. Continue reading

The Adoption Conversation

I’m now 4 months into my maternity leave, and although I love so much about bonding and cuddling and spending time with my kid, it’s also boring and lonely a lot of the time.

You’re in the house alone with a tiny person you can’t really talk to all day, so you go to the park and you’re alone there too, pushing your kid on the swings, nodding and smiling at the other random parents, prattling away to a kid who isn’t really listening. One of our toddler groups is really lovely as two of my friends go there so I really look forward to that one, but most of the other toddler groups are a bit cliquey. Most of the other mums on maternity leave already have friends from their NCT groups or similar, and those with toddlers tend to be stay at home mums or childminders who already know each other and have been going to these groups for ages so they’re less interested in making new friends. Continue reading

Our first trip away

We had our first trip away from home a couple of weeks ago, up to Yorkshire to visit my mum for a couple of days. I drove up at night, so she slept most of the way. She woke once or twice and went “Where the hell am I?” but then went back to sleep again. We arrived at 10pm, and she was initially very frightened and freaked out but then calmed down and settled.

The whole time we were there she seemed absolutely fine – I was worried she would be anxious but actually I was more anxious than she was (ironically I was mostly anxious about whether or not she was anxious!). She had a lovely time meeting some extended family members and lots and lots of cuddles with Grandma – she has bonded really quickly and well with my mum, which is lovely, although occasionally hard not to feel slightly rejected when she preferred Grandma’s hand/cuddles to mine! I suppose Grandparents do have novelty value! All in all she was happy, smiley, quiet and well behaved, and we both had a lovely time. Continue reading