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Linking Anxiety

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Hi everyone


I've been a long time lurker on this site.

I've been approved for almost 2 years, had a few profiles shown to me in that time, but they didn't feel right (no particular reasons)

Anyway I was given the details of a little girl about 2 months ago she is described as defiant, obstinate, wilful Etc. on the flip side she is meeting all milestones.

Something about her just clicked with me, so it has progressed and we are going to matching panel at the start of October. Her SW was initially worried that she was too much for a single adopter but feels after meeting me I can cope.

After the initial excitement has come the panic!!! Not helped by the meeting with the FC who didn't have many good things to say about her - in fact, called her a nightmare.

What if I actually can't cope? What if she needs 2 parents? Etc etc


Has anyone else felt like this before matching panel?


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hi, yes it is quite normal to have doubts before panel, its a scary time !


How old is she? Did FC have anything constructive to say, saying she is a nightmare isnt that helpful. Meeting milestones dosesnt mean much really.


She does sound a bit of a handful, are the SWs offering a support package, adoption allowance. Be prepared for your return to work plans to go out of the window.


Doing this alone is tough, but lots of us manage


Good luck !


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Even as a two parent family, I can still say you will have doubts before a panel - and maybe even the morning after your wee one comes home! If she is described as obstinate and wilful etc on paper, then she might well be a wee bit more than that (but you will be prepared). On the other hand, my son is defiant, obstinate and wilful (he wasn't described like that - 'active', I think they said!). I love him to bits! Parenting has partly been about learning how to 'manipulate' him! PACE and other therapeutic techniques have all been very important. How old is your potential wee one?


Ask lots of questions before panel - has she been medically assessed (i.e. is there a medical reason for being like this) and knowing as much as you can about her background will also provide some clues as to why her behaviour is the way it is.


If you go ahead - you will need support (we all do), and while being a single parent is not a barrier, do be sure you have more than one person you can go and chat/vent to. Have the means to find respite for yourself - self care is so important. Make sure that some kind of support package is in place as part of the match - which maybe adoption allowance, or therapy - whatever is appropriate. Also look into DLA - behaviour issues can make you eligible for it, I think it's not means tested (anyone?).


I would use your judgement about the foster carer to decide whether the description of the wee one as a 'nightmare' is accurate, or about their relationship. Our boy's FC were very stern, with an old-fashioned/traditional parenting style - not at all appropriate for my boy who has needed therapeutic parenting in spades (part of his obstinacy is about his sensory issues - he can't cope with lots of smells, textures, sounds etc.). The FCs loved my boy, but their parenting methods made him believe he was 'bad'. He still has all of the traits you describe, but does not fundamentally believe he is a bad person any more and we have learned that sometimes he has to make his own mistakes. He's ten and a half, so can be quite challenging, but he has times of being clever, insightful, empathetic and very helpful. I wouldn't be without him for anything!


Good luck - let us know how it goes! Hx


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Hi


Thanks for the reply.

She's 3. Thankfully there is already a therapy package in place for us.


Eventually her FC did say she sleeps through the night (she has all the toys removed from her room at bedtime) has good manners and is funny, she is also loving and caring and shows empathy for others.

The main issues seem to be shopping (scrams and hits out whilst being put in a trolley) and going out for food she gets annoyed and has meltdowns.

The Doc said she is a very loveable girl and will give cuddles but knows her own mind and is going to be a challenge.

From what I've heard I don't think it's too dissimilar to a lot of 3 year olds, but we know that for our children it's never that simple.


I'm taking 6 months off but there was talk of adoption allowance to allow an additional 4 months so that I can be off with her until she goes to school full time. I'm not going to bank on that as I know having read on these forums that it's hard to get.


I think it's the fear of the unknown and the waiting. Glad to know I'm not unusual in feeling nervous xx


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She sounds adorable. It's interesting what you say about her triggers - they are similar to my son's - he finds noisy crowds difficult - and eating out and supermarkets are very much included in that. But as you'll have probably thought already - there are ways around both of those activities! I barely ate out with my kids at first - they preferred picnics, which is nice, and cheap too Smile Best of luck - and welcome to the boards! x


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Re the supermarket I found the solution was to have online delivery which are now cheaper or free. You can pick up offers when on there and plan how much you spend.


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I would insist on the adoption allowance and think very carefully about school. 4 is very young even for the average child.


Good there is a therapy package in place


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I think you are wise to be cautious...parenting a child with complex issues is tough and even tougher as a single parent.


You seem to know a lot about her but am wondering what you know about her other risk factors? Birth parents MH, drug and alcohol usage (especially in pregnancy), early life experiences....the most damaged kids and hence the hardest to parent have been affected by all the above....


Maybe take a look at the Selwyn report on adoption disruption to get a better understanding of the risks. Disruption is horrendous for all involved.... https://www.adoptionuk.org/beyond-adoption-order-summary


Am sure you will make the right decision for you.


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I am a single adopter who took on a 2.5 yr old girl with very similar traits to those you describe and a not very complimentary report from the FCs. I think SS were concerned about matching her with a single adopter. So 3 yrs on and my AD still drives me mad, is very controlling, defiant, exhausting,, oppositional, gorgeous, funny, heartbreakingly adorable and amazes me every day. She found foster care very stressful - a busy household where she was dragged around to fit in with the family's schedule. It sounds a bit like the LO you describe may not be the focus of the FC so I would think about how I would do the trigger things differently (as others have said, something as simple as online shopping is great). You and she will just have each other to focus on. No dividing 2 parents and no ambiguity in terms of rules as it will be just you in charge. I suppose my only word of caution relates to how long you have been waiting for a match - I am sure you're not progressing because you feel 'desperate' but if you do have real concerns perhaps try and separate the ones that relate to this child and general concerns about moving into this new phase of this crazy process. Good luck


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I am a single adopter and that could have been written about my daughter who was 5 when she moved in - except she had no empathy, happily waved goodbye to her FC when we left and was cruel to animals. The empathy kicked in within 6 months (besotted by babies and animals now). Still has massive control issues! SS wanted to place her with a couple but there were none. I think being placed with a singly was the best thing for her - it is very intense and very hard work but she has thrived and made so much progress. The aspect that first drew me to her profile was the single word "affectionate". She could have 2 hour violent meltdowns but being able to accept cuddles when she had calmed down made it so much easier. Perhaps go back through her details and remind yourself what drew you to her?


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Thanks all. I'm having problems posting replies


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Thank you all for taking the time to reply. Great to get advice from people who've been there.

I have been given extensive info on Birth parents and yes FAS is a concern. She's not showing any physical or developmental signs at the moment, but as we well know this can present in years to come. FAS was always something I was willing to accept (I hate the accept term as it makes it sound like I've shopped for a child)

In relation to FC it has been raised already that she doesn't get therapeutic parenting and whilst she has made significant progress with little one there is room for improvement with a more therapeutic approach. The medical advisor feels that a single adopter is not necessarily a bad thing as she will have undivided attention, as soo many of you say.

The eating out issue is not a problems as I'm not a great fan anyway, so I love the idea of picnics

And I already have my online shopping planned (plus neighbours who can pop and get me last minute things) We will tackle the shops eventually, but in very small steps.

Believe it or not, what drew me to her was the descriptions of stubborn and wilful and also funny! How I was described as a child (and adult)

I never went into this wanting or expecting the perfect child, what I wanted was a child who was perfect for me and who I was perfect for in return -( I'm thinking more Simpsons , realistic 'perfect' than Waltons family sickeningly perfect)

I don't know how the futures going to pan out but I want to start with a yes at panel next month and then face the future with my Daughter by my side (or) on the ceiling/ climbing walls/ on the floor. Lol


Thanks again for making me feel welcome and for the words of wisdom xx


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Hi Loopylas123


Your description of this little girl could have described my son, who was 5 when he was placed with us Last year. His FCs clearly loved him very much but very much handled him in a way that avoided meltdowns rather than addressing his emotional and behavioural issues. He had violent meltdowns on an almost daily basis and was extremely stubborn.


I too had a lot of doubts going into matching panel and introductions were tricky for all of us, including my partner's birth daughter. In fact, the night before he was due to move in with us we very seriously considered pulling out of the whole thing as we weren't sure we could cope with the behaviours.


We did have a tricky few months with violence and meltdowns, especially over Christmas. However, we worked very hard at establishing a routine and boundaries as well as lots of cuddles and promoting attachment with him. We also introduced consequences for poor behaviour which he has responded to amazingly well. Starting school was also a huge bonus for him as he enjoys the routine and seeing his friends.


Fast forward nearly a year and he is well settled, loving, caring and happy. We have very few outbursts and I wouldn't describe any of them to be difficult to manage - he calms down quickly and is able to ask for a cuddle to help him feel better. He's getting better at saying sorry too!


In short, I feel a lot of his behaviour was due to the instability he felt in FC. They were always very clear that he was there temporarily and he himself was desperate to find his forever family. We couldn't imagine life without him now and I am very proud of the young man he is becoming.


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In relation to FC it has been raised already that she doesn't get therapeutic parenting and whilst she has made significant progress with little one there is room for improvement with a more therapeutic approach.


This means she needs a parent who is experienced parenting special needs children, therapeutic can mean very different things for many people, for some it's parenting very strict, for others lovey dovey. That fc probably has experience parenting children, ask questions, what do you do when she says no, when ahe tantrums, when she does not follow instructions, when she hurtothers, etc, etc. Do not assume because she improved in fc this will continue with you, it might, it might not. The next move to you is basically another trauma, another loss, this can trigger all sort of behaviours, or maybe not (the famous honeymoon), just be aware of that. Meeting developmental milestones at 5 means very little. My child was 6 when I adopted him, he was totally mainstream in every developmental test, only one thing he did not know left from right. He was described as bright and intelligent, there were no concerns about his behaviour. Now 6 years later he's in special education, he's well below avarage and in my opinion he'll never live independent. Ofcourse how older he gets how more obvious the differences, you would not know it when you talk to him, he's interesting, will give you the feeling he's bright and knows a lot about everything, he'll give you the feeling you are very important to him, untilyou start working with him, have deeper conversations, you'll notice. Ofcourse very serious behavioural problems including cruel to animals, incendiarism, stealing lying etc the full list. He has damage of the central nervous system, and attachment disorder and some other diagnosis. My advise would be go ahead if you feel you can parent her, but do not see her as a mainstream child and start parenting her as you would a fas child, or an autistic child, with short clear instructions, clear bounderies, structured programme etc. If she does not have fas or asd than it's fine and you can become more flexable, giving her more freedom etc, if she has a disorder you give her the best start. So I advise you to read up on fas and asd and use what you can, than also read about attachment and put a bit of that parenting style in the mix. Do not find an attachment guru and follow their message to the dot. So that's why I say again talk to the foster carer a lot, do not pressume what she's doing can be better, it might but it does not have to be.

If you during introductions or early placement feel that there might be more than what's descibed than my advise would be do not sign those papers before you have a diagnosis! and than not 'maybe this maybe that'. Those things can be asessed by the right expert, I insisted in a diagnosis despite an asd assessment and a second report of an Lomdon expert that my son did not have autisme. As I refused to adopt and had good arguments why he did have autisme, the judge ordered a third assessment. This was private, expensive and within weeks. Ones he got the diagnosis I adopted him.


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The eating out issue is not a problems as I'm not a great fan anyway, so I love the idea of picnics


oke, that's fine but realise that you might feel different if she is not the nice company you imagened during the picnic, if she eats everything in one minute than want to move on or just walks away. If she starts at home screaming at you that she hates picknics and hates walks etc, etc Ofcourse she does not really hate it but you will have to invest a lot of ebnergy to get her to come and manage the situation. Not going than is an option but than she has all the controle and soon you can not leave the house anymore. Not saying it will go this way, just put aside your fantasies and accept that it is a problem when you can nott take a child out. for a meal, that the neighbours might get fed up, that you need to go to the shop with her as you're a single adopter and she had to learn. Otherwhise one day the internet will be down and you have an huge problem.


I am a single parent with two special needs children, now 11 and 17, both adopted at 6.


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She 3 sorry I thought 5. About back to work, you really can not know at this point, realise 4 year olds go very short to school as well! Again do not sign those papers until you can survive if you need to stay home the next decade. They can pay an allowens but will try not to. Adoption is the cheap option do not forget that! And she's still very young and cute, but wait a few years and the situation can be very different. Maybe she develops fine and only improves, maybe she is a special needs child what needs life long support. Go into this with your eyes wide open, not pressuming anything.


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