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So we have got through another year of highs and lows with our 4 (5including the overseas student who livedl with us for 9 years )

A fourth grandchild . Holidays with both families of the grandchildden. One child has played international sport and worked in a refugee camp in one war torn country and been to SE AsIa to see a friend. Another who has had a lot of mental health difficulties managed to go with a girl friend to Spain and is coping with having to move flats because his universal credit has been cut.(now early 30s .even 4 years ago would have not coped with the stress) many of you follwed the thread about our eldest being in ICU for 3 weeks and hospital for 8 . He is now beginning to learn to walk again. And another is trying hard to find a job more than the minimum wage .

Not many families will have had to deal with police investigation .ICU a child finding their birth parent dead . Social service complaints . Etc

But we end the year feeling positive about 3 of them with lots of happy memories we have shared. Deep concern for the one who changes jobs almost monthly and struggles with budgeting. And thankfulness that one is very slowly recovering

We did not expect that we would need to do such active parenting in our sons 20s and 30s. But the early years (they all joined us after the age of 5) left them with shakey foundations that need underpinning at times .

At tnes we feel very different to our friends whose adult children seem to make few demands !

But we end the year with thankfulness that we are still in touch with all of them . That we have managed to keep our careers going and that we are a very different shaped family (16 of us now) who are connected and have various degrees of attachment and love for and to each other !

Thanks to those on These boards who encourage us and challenge us .

May the new year bring you deeper family relationships and the energy to enjoy them .

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Happy New Year to the Steps family.

Reflecting on last year, we have had highs and lows too and have also had to follow a Complaint procedure. Fortunately we have not had anything that completely overwhelmed us.

Glad your son is making progress and wishing him strength to make good choices in 2018.

Johanna x

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Happy and healthy new year to you and your family. You sound like you have found some sense of stability and perspective under uncertain and extreme circumstances. That is a glorious achievement that will help others around you and on these boards. Thank you for posting in good times and bad. Love to all x

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