Our First Family Day Anniversary

Yesterday we have celebrated our First Family Day! It means exactly 365 days ago we have become a family of four through adoption (hence the four turtles). The round number is raising the expectation of me coming up with something smart, something deep, maybe I should come up with some profound truths, give you a few points of why it was worth it despite the incredible lows we went through, how rewarding it is to know that the boys’ first adoption breakdown was not the end of their already sad story, that we are turning their life around…

Yes, these are all true and in fact, each point should deserve separate long posts. But right now all I feel is numbness. I am so incredibly tired and emotionally exhausted that I can’t think straight. So many things happened that the factual summary alone would fill several books. All the cliches that you hear from fellow adopters are all true. When I organise some thoughts I might come up with a skeleton structure onto which I can hang all the things that have changed…

A year ago we were getting ready to meet our future children face to face for the first time at Introduction Day. I wrote about that extensively, please click the link if you want to read the beginning… except, that wasn’t even the beginning, but for the sake of grammar let’s call it that.

Feelingmumyet Family Cake Ninja Turtles Adoption Forever

Our First Finally Forever Family Cake

Right now I am sitting
outside                                     – I have never really been an outdoorsy person before the children came…
in our garden                        – we were renting a fab house, but were told to buy one with a garden before the children came…
enjoying the sunshine     – well, this part hasn’t changed, I have always loved the sunshine…
as a stay-at-home              – I used to work in a job I loved, which I had to give up before the children came…
mum.                                        – this one never gets old! As much as I love them and would do anything for them I don’t think I will ever stop not feeling like an Impostor… Especially when the Other Mother writes to me

Family Cake

So, Familyversary, which demands a cake. A Family Cake. Last week 6 was telling everybody that he is so excited to have our first Family Cake. Naturally people were confused and asked what is a family cake. Duh… For Goofs it was a puzzling question because ‘don’t every family celebrate when the family grows by the arrival of a new child? Oh, that you call it birthday… Fine, but what’s the difference? Just because in your family the birthday and the family expansion happens to be on the same day it doesn’t have to be the same for us too, right? Poor you! You only have 1 cake! In our house we celebrate both dates so, obviously, one extra occasion to have a massive cake!’ There, that’s my son! (*saying it* with all the smugness and pride in my voice that you can imagine – and a little more!)

Adoption Review

We had a slice of cake for breakfast, maybe I should say instead of breakfast, but I am fairly certain both boys had some more food in breakfast club. It just so happened to be the day of our 4th Adoption Review so we brought the cake to school as well. During the meeting we met our fourth IRO (Independent Review Officer), but to my surprise she was totally prepared and was doing a wonderful job of actually looking out for the children’s best interest! We were so pleased with her attitude and dedication to children she hasn’t even heard of until 2 days ago!

It was a very efficient meeting. The Play Therapist gave a report in which they concluded that blablablablabla – lots of long words and specialised lingo. In simple English, and here I am paraphrasing a LOT, she said ‘the boys are fine’ and ‘they do not need such therapy any more so it has come to its natural end’. More pleasantries were shared like ‘nobody expected the boys to heal this fast or this much‘ and the usual ‘it wasn’t much of what we did in those weekly 20 min sessions, but what these superamazingwonderfulincredible parents do on a daily basis‘, there was a nod to Therapeutic Parenting, but ‘stability, consistency and unconditional love‘ were also mentioned. I apologise if I sound cynical, I know these experts meant it. Probably the problem is in my device…

School gave a fab report too. Both boys are super smart and now it’s starting to show. Snoops (7) still has lots of issues and he continues to be a challenging little boy who will continue to struggle, but it was a consensus around the table that eventually his struggles will lessen as we all learn to support him better and he learns to cope with this big evil world better, after all, it’s ONLY been a year…

Adoption Order Application Signed

We didn’t plan it as such, but I think with all our ups and downs we got to the point where submitting the AO application was the right thing to do. We knew from day one that the children will stay (that’s not to say we weren’t ready to throw in the towels on several occasions!) so during the meeting we signed the official paperwork to get the ball rolling. If everything goes fast we might find new Birth Certificates under the Christmas Tree this year…

But I digress again. After the review we had our Final Play Therapy Session. The Play ladies brought cake to celebrate. Ummm, more sugar, yay! Snoops was very happy to see them because he knows it means lots of attention on him. Goofs, bless him, just came out of his second SATS exam and while his classmates could go to the ICT room to play on the computers he had to endure a boring meeting and there weren’t even toys this time! Naturally, he behaved very poorly… We asked the boys what was their favourite memory and Snoops said ‘that one time when the session was in our house‘. All the adults looked around confused, but he went on, described the exact day (in was in last October) and all the details! We all forgot about it. But his little heart treasured it as the dearest memory! We were all taken aback…

After school the boys wanted to play outside with their new toys. In front of our house there is a set of council garages and children often play in that area. We have never let the boys play there unsupervised before. It wasn’t a conscious decision, it just kind of happened. But yesterday I went back to the house and they played happily there for a while. Yeah, things are changing…

Family dinner out

The ultimate test. We have been out with them before, but it was either a buffet or a carvery where you get food right away so there wasn’t much room to be bored and start to be silly. We went to a Lebanese restaurant and these wonderful Arabs loved our 2 little blond boys so much they even let them go into the kitchen, touch things, they answered all their questions and we even got some free pudding at the end. The food was fabulous and all in all we almost had a pleasant time there.

We got home by 8pm. 6 was grumpy because he was tired so we looked past his attitude and tucked him to bed as quickly as possible. 7 also had a meltdown, but for him it was different. Poor little thing was working so hard to keep it all together that by the end of the day his tiny little tummy was so full of emotions that he exploded. He was calling me names and he refused to do anything. I had to do all his bedtime routine (teeth, change of clothes, tidy the room a bit so we can enter) for him. Once in bed he still struggled with big feelings so I just cuddled him as you do with a baby. Our usual mantra (you are safe, I love you, you are not going anywhere, you are my son forever) calmed him down enough to start crying. His tears were the tears of shame for his poor behaviour. I kept on whispering the mantra and eventually he calmed down again and fell asleep. He woke up with another dry night: 8 in a row now! His new record!

Conclusion

Yeah, we are a finally forever family of four (FFFF). No more,  no less! Good night!

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51 thoughts on “Our First Family Day Anniversary

  1. Barry & Cheryl Wells says:

    Wow !
    What a year you guys have had!
    Big congratulations on your 1st year!!!
    We are full of admiration for you both, for your honesty in both the challenging times and the amazing breakthroughs, be they the big or the small (which actually are still big!)
    It’s been a privilege to share your journey & pray for you as a couple & as a family.
    Keep the info coming it helps to feel your hearts when we pray. Lots of love X

    Like

  2. Lucy At Home says:

    Congratulations! This certainly is a cake-worthy occasion! I love the mantra you have. I do this with my own girls – I think it’s so important. The repetition helps it to sink in. #brillblogposts

    Like

  3. Imperfect mum says:

    What a beautiful post. Honest, loving and such a special and wonderful year for you all. You are quite s obviously doing an amazing job! Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime 🎉

    Like

  4. ethannevelyn.com says:

    Wonderful! I am so glad to hear that things are working out. I love Goofs explanation of the Family Cake. He is the master of words. 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful stories with us on #FabFridayPost xx

    Like

  5. Mom Of Two Little Girls says:

    Wow. Congratulations. I love that idea of a family day cake. It’s those little things you are doing that are making a difference to your boys. Love it.
    You’re a good mom.
    #thatfridaylinky

    Like

  6. Gorgeousgsmama says:

    Such a beautiful post. Really made me feel emotional. I’ve only ever spoken briefly to a lady that fosters and was planning to adopt, had adopted. It was a brief insight. Your post is honest and tells you the good with the bad and I always appreciate people that do that.

    You sound like an incredible person. Love your mantra as it’s one we ourselves use.
    Happy Familiversary. Lovely idea and I’m glad your boys enjoyed the day. That restaurant sounds so friendly and welcoming. Love places that go above and beyond.

    Thanks for linking up.
    #KCACOLS

    Like

  7. The Breastest Bews says:

    Wow what a story, so glad things are working out for you all and what a fab idea to have the turtles cake 🙂 I’ve never had any experience of adoption myself but you sound like you’re doing everything within your power to give the boys the best forever home. You’re awesome x
    #SpectrumSunday

    Like

  8. Mummy Times Two says:

    Congratulations, what an important milestone. I loved this post so much that now I want to read the who,evstory of your year. Thanks so much for linking this post up to #PostsFromTheHeart and giving me a chance to discover your wonderful blog.

    Like

  9. Susie Weaver says:

    What an amazing post to celebrate your first full year as a family of 4. It sounds like it’s been a real rollercoaster of highs and lows and I can only imagine how hard it must be to adopt, for everyone to adapt. Your post is so honest and here’s to another year of love on your journey. #postsfromtheheart

    Like

  10. littlemammasaid says:

    Found you on #PostsFromTheHeart. THis is beautiful. I can’t imagine how challenging things have been. I intend to go back and catch up with your previous posts and look forward to reading more in the future. Xx

    Like

    • feelingmumyet says:

      Hello and welcome! Thanks for reading and commenting! Yes, it’s been a very crazy rollercoaster year with lots of downs and some small victories -I hope I can write of more ups in the future 🙂

      Like

  11. Bread says:

    No wonder you’re all exhausted. I can’t imagine what this year has been like, but here’s to many more years together. 7818114734

    Like

  12. Someone's Mum says:

    Congratulations on your family day. What a huge achievement and milestone for you all – and that cake looks awesome! Thanks so much for linking with #SpectrumSunday. We hope you join us again.

    Like

  13. Mrs Mummy Harris says:

    I frikkin love the idea of a familyversary cake… (any excuse for some!) and TMNT is just right up my street! I am so glad the meetings went well and even more pleased that little man expressed a good memory to the powers that be and for you to witness it too!
    This shows just how good you and your husband are doing giving these boys not only their forever home, but a home, a family, a “normal” life. I take my hat off to you!
    Thank you so much for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week

    Like

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