A Year Ago Today…..

Well a year ago today we met our wonderful gorgeous Munch for the very 1st time.

2 years and a couple of weeks from filling in a form online requesting information from our Agency Childlink on a night-shift at work our dreams were finally coming true.

Oh what a day that was, and what a rollercoaster of a year we have had.

There have been incredible high’s, and extremely bad low points, but the one thing for sure it is the best thing we have ever done, and we would not change our son for the world.

Looking back on the year, the 1st few months were the most surreal time ever. We played at being a family for a long time, Munch spent the 1st 12 weeks, doing and saying what he thought we wanted him to do, he tried to be very controlling, and it was like living with a stranger. He did thing’s that drove me potty, and even little things annoyed me that ordinarily would not.

I don’t think however much you prepare yourself, the reality of living with a child who has lived with severe trauma in their lives, especially when they do not see it as that as that has been the norm for them for so long is bloody hard work. Also, as much as you read and re-read their CPR’s, listen to everything all the professionals tell you, what their FC’s who know them best at the time they are moving on to you tell you, and you read forum’s on adoption by people who have been and are parenting traumatized children, there is always that small part of you that thinks it’s not going to be like that for you and your family.

12 weeks in we met with the FC’s, we were not able to do it sooner because of personal reason’s on the FC’s part, it was like a light when on in Munch’s head that this was it he was not going back, and things changed for the worst, we had terrible meltdowns that got longer and longer and more frequent, till they were lasting for hours and on a daily basis. I have been hit and kicked, had cloths ripped, been spat at, the language was very blue.

Afterwards he would be so ashamed of himself and would claw at his face, hit himself and call himself all sorts of names, it was horrible to see, and all this time we could not touch him, he would scream if we did, so we had non of the hugs and kisses that you dream of giving your children.

Munch and hubby clashed dreadfully and I felt like I could not leave them alone together, 3 times hubby walked out and said he was not coming back.

In July when Munch’s LA were expecting us to put in for our Adoption Order at our 3 review, we refused to do it, what we said was that we were 110% behind Munch, so were there fore sore it as our duty to him to fight to get him the help he needed.

In September, we started Play Therapy with a lady who worked for our local LA and has she been a godsend to us, she has changed our lives around, yes we have still had our problem’s, and when I child has had such a difficult start in life as our son had, we know we can never ever take away his past and that we can expect to have times which will be hard we are so thankful for what she has done for our family.

So into our 2nd year as a family we go and we could not be happier, I now love listening to Munch and daddy together, it has been a long hard slog, but I am so looking forward to our future together.

16/12 – Christmas Concert

Before I start this blog, I have forgotten to post about the fact that Munch’s SW phoned on Tuesday with the good news that his LA have agreed to a further 10 sessions of Play Therapy, we are very pleased and hope now that it will resume again after Christmas.

Munch got up ok this morning and all went well, as has become the norm over the last couple of weeks he didn’t want to go to school, but was absolutely fine once we got there.

I came home and got daddy up as it was the day of Munch’s Christmas Concert, we were so excited our very 1st Christmas Concert, we got to school in plenty of time and I made sure we had front row seats and the camera at the ready. The theme was about how children celebrate Christmas in different countries and Munch was in the USA group, he had to take in party cloths, the trousers he took needed a belt as the popper keeps coming undone, he had taken the belt of the trousers and spent the whole time redoing them up, or sitting with his head on his hand, every time he looked at us he had a great big grin on his face but tried to no look as if he was bother. Then it was his turn to do their USA bit, he was fab, and to me he was the best singer, the best dancer and the best talker, and I managed not to cry!!!!!!!

Me and daddy then went off to finish getting Munch’s Christmas presents, it was so exciting to be walking around Smyths Toystore filling up our trolley for our son.

Daddy picked Munch up from school today and bought him an ice-cream for being so good in his Christmas concert, I had dinner ready for them practically as soon as they walked in needless to say Munch did not eat much of his. I had booked an appointment for Munch to see the doctor as his cough has persisted for well over a week now, he wanted daddy to take him and I think that daddy was pleased as normally it’s always me Munch wants, so daddy took him and they were back quite quickly.

Munch went to use the computer which is a Laptop, I had put it on the floor earlier on in the day, he started screaming and kicking the stairs, he was in a right state and we did not know what had happened, needless to say he was reprimanded about his reaction, and told here was no need for it, kicking things was not allowed – step.

Time done and he had a little while on the computer, before TV time and another early night as the cough is still causing him a lot of interepted sleep. He had 1 more session on the step as he has this horrible habit of, it hard to describe in words, but he p’s, almost like spitting without spitting, at us and the dog all the time, it’s like as if he thinks he’s getting away with spitting at us by doing this, he has been warned about it on many occasions, so I sat him on he step for 7 minutes, and next time he does it he will get another 7 minutes, he will soon learn.

Snowy Day

So much for telling Munch that he would have no TV in the morning if he came knocking, he came in 1st at 4am, then 7am, then 7.30 am and then again just after very excited because he had looked out of the window and seen all the snow!!! I  am coming to the conclusion that 7.30 is to early for him to go to bed as he is awake well before us every morning so may after christmas extend his bedtime to 8pm and see how we go.

At that I gave up and got up, was looking forward to an extra 15 minutes as it was play therapy day, but it was not to be. Came downstairs and have to say was very naughty and did let Munch have TV as I had a lot that I wanted to do before the PT arrived. Munch watched TV for a very short while whilst eating his breakfast, then got dress up so he could go out in the garden with the dog, he had a great time throwing snowball’s and the dog put on a great show of running round and round the garden  like a mad thing.

PT arrived and went out in the garden for 5 minutes, before they came in and had their session. PT said afterwards that  it had gone very well. We had our usual session afterwards, we talked about all we had done over 10 sessions and just told her about our week. Today was her last of the 10 sessions that Munch’s LA have funded, tomorrow we have a review, hopefully it will not be cancelled due to he snow and Munch’s SW and Reviewing Officer having to travel an extremely long way. The big thing will be getting more funding for PT to continue, but we don’t think it will be in place by next week, so it looks like we are going to have a gap.

Picked Munch up from school, came home, again no reading book, or work diary, will have to have words with his teacher. We did his Mr Men challenge where he had to find something that begins with each letter of the alphabet and write a sentence about them. Munch got on with it, I had 2 phone calls whilst he was doing it and Munch, being Munch did his usual and really rushed, his writing left a lot to desire, he did it in pen rather than pencil so if he made a mistake he could rub it out, I did not make a fuse though as it knocks his self esteem, but tried to get him to slow down a bit and tell me what he wanted to write and I then was able to help him with his spelling’s. It did improve towards the end, but I am not going to push him with home work, as he is as the PT say’s a very strong-willed child, I have found by just giving him encouragement and not pushing, his work diary that they have each week with a topic in has gotten better and better, he spend’s more time doing it, put’s a lot more thought into it, and will often now want to do it, and will ask to.

After that we went out and did some snowballing in the back garden until mummy became to cold, I think Munch would have gone on for ever, we then came in and play Wii Mario Karts until it was time for me to get dinner done. Munch played on the computer.

Once we’d had dinner it was time to go to Beaver’s, I had not realised how much the snow was falling and if I had I proberbly would have kept him at home, but we were all dressed up ready and outside before I did so we ventured down the road. There was only 3 Beavers there so they joined the Cubs, when I picked him up I got my 1st Christmas card from my son. Very big proud mummy moment.

Back home, supper and ready for bed, we don’t do story after Beaver’s because it is a late night and one gorgeous boy, tucked up in bed.

 

First Ever Proper Hug!

We had a bit of a lay in this morning as we did not have such an early start, morning went well, Munch even went upstairs, did teeth and dressed himself on his own, and was very pleased with himself to.

He had a very good session with the play therapist, he chose to make bead necklaces, all of which represented his time here. The PT said that he was like a different child today, he worked well with her, he was able to accept things like praise, we then had our session, which was just a general catch up really. So all in all very good, we did the questionnaire we did before we started play therapy which showed the improvement we have made.

Daddy picked Munch up from school today and I nipped to the shop at the same time, they were back before me and as I walked through the door Munch shouted mummy’s home and threw himself at me and gave me the biggest cuddle, what a break through, things that other families so take for grant, something I have never had in the 10 months Munch has been home, a proper heart-felt hug, I could have cried right then, but I managed not to which is good for me.

Daddy took charge of our home from school routine, and boy could you tell it was a rare thing for daddy to do, Munch decided he wasn’t getting changed, so daddy let him stay in his school cloths, I did not interfere because Munch would have jumped on that immediately, then reading, Munch was like he used to be with me and still does occasionally, mumbling, missing lines out, not knowing easy words, daddy just said finish that page, much to Munch’s puzzlement, daddy then wrote in Munch’s reading diary that he had been uncooperative and not read well, Munch really does not like this, so I am sure next time he is reading with daddy he will remember and read properly.

Daddy took the dog for his evening walk, Munch was going to go on his bike, but at the last-minute decided not to, I was busy doing dinner so Munch sat drawing at the kitchen table, we were talking and Munch decided to speak rudely to me, usual speech and step, MUnch pushed me on the way to the step, so I told him firmly that I would not be pushed and for him to go to his room, he said he would not, I said fine, which I think confused him because he immediately said ok then and off he went. He called down to ask how long he had to stay there, until dinner time said I, could he go in our room asked him, no said I and he stayed up till dinner time.

After dinner Munch and daddy went to the shop’s to get Munch’s crisp’s for film club tomorrow, once back Munch went on the computer until it was time for Beaver’s. Afterwards it was supper and bed yet another lovely hug and goodnight kisses, and a very happy mummy.

Tonight I have been colouring the grey roots!! Munch was talking to me as I was doing it, he asked to sleep in our bed, no was my answer, but mummy said Munch, it would be much better for the environment, he does make me laugh sometimes.

Here’s Monday

Well considering Munch had such a late night last night, when I got up this morning with a struggle I might add, he was already awake watching his TV in bed. He was in a very jolly mood, and by the time he went to school we all had nicknames,he was sleepy moo moo as that is what I had called him when calling him downstairs, daddy was hedgehog the frog and mine was clumsy the monkey, the dog was eat all the food, he though this was very amusing and we go called by those names all morning and if I didn’t call him sleepy moo moo, I was reminded to.

This morning I received a phone call from the reviewing officer to say that the review we were having on Wednesday had to be cancelled as Munch’s SW has to go to court, it is now re-booked for the following Wednesday, I phoned our SW to let her know and she can’t do that date as she is on A/L and out of the country, she did phone the reviewing officer but they could no do it any earlier than mid December, which the reviewing officer felt that with our issues with therapy was too late, someones on our side!!! So it will go ahead next Wednesday with out our SW, she will do a report, what we did decide today was though to still do our court paper’s ready for the review, but to say that we will hold sending them off until more funding is available for Munch’s Play Therapy, we can’t wait to send them of but it’s not about us it’s about getting the best help we can for our son, and in the grand scheme of thing’s what is a few weeks.

We had a quiet evening tonight been as he had such a late night last night, only one incident where he was rude to me and got sent to the step, he was not happy about this and kicked and hit out at me, so I sent him to his bedroom and told him I will not be hit or kicked and that he could stay in his bedroom until tea, which he did and behaved like an angel for the rest of the night.

SW’s Visit – 17/11

We had a good morning today, I had told Munch the previous evening that his SW was visiting today as it ment that he was unable to stay to film club after school. We had stopped telling him before his SW visited and we normally only tell him now when we pick him up from school when his SW is already here as the first couple of times he visited Munch was awake all night before with pains in his legs. Munch had slept all night so that was good.

We were not only having a visit from Munch’s SW but our SW was coming to as we have our 4th review next week, our SW was coming a bit before so that we could discuss anything we needed to before Munch’s SW arrived. In the mean time we received a phone call from Munch’s school to say that he had really bad nose bleed and what should they do!!!! I explained to them that his was one of Munch’s big trick’s when he is stress about anything, when he was 1st here we used to get up to his bedroom wall looking like a massacure had taken part in his bedroom, he would plaster his walls by his bed in blood, I was a bit annoyed, the fact that we had no leg pains last night, it was his way of showing his stress, person who I was talking to went and spoke to person dealing with Munch and came back and said, no he had not made I bleed himself, to which I said that he is very clever in how he does it,  I have seen him make it pour in front of me on more han one occasions when he has not been able to deal with a situation. They asked me what I wanted to do, he is at school with you what do you want me to do!!!!! Person said that they would speak to the head teacher and phone back, by now Munch’s SW had phoned early to say that he was at the station, so off when daddy to pick him up, our SW then turned up, so not much time to talk to her about anything before the other one turned up, and then the head teacher phoned to say that Munch was looking very pale  so it would be best if we picked him up, this I was not pleased with as giving Munch’s track record I have visions of a nose bleed every time something is happening he is not keen on at school. I told her that I was just waiting for the SW to turn up and we would be there when we could. We took the opportunity to have 10 minutes all together when daddy and SW got back then daddy went and fetched Munch.

Before fetching Munch we managed to talk about his SW applying for more funding for he play therapy and us having our papers ready so that everyone in agreement we can put our papers in to court he very next day, yipee!!!!

Munch and daddy turned up, Munch looked far from pale and put on a great show with his pool table, wanted to wash his nose asap, which they had not been willing to do a school. One very happy to be home child, able to listen to everything that was being said. The good thing that came out of it was that, Munch having been seen by his SW,  off when said SW nice and early, he had booked into a hotel for the night as he always does, so was having a nice early finish.

Sw’s gone, Munch wanted to play with his Lego with daddy, he was very obviously on a Knife edge though after the visit and some of our biggest meltdowns have been post SW visits, he was in one of his contrary moods, and it was obvious that it did not mater what anybody did it was going to be wrong, in the end I just said you are being very rude all the time, it is not allowed, step. He was not happy, banged on the door, made lots of noise for he 1st couple of minutes then just sat on the step. This seemed to regulate him though and he and daddy had a great time with the Lego up until dinner.

After his bath Munch was allowed to have his supper and drink in the living room whilst watching TV for a one-off. Upstairs straight after for story, but Munch, kept interupting and messing around so story book got put away, we then did snuggle time, but when time was up he would not move hen was very hyper and I had to leave the room with hug or kiss, just I good night, I waited for it and a few minutes later got he call fo a hug and a kiss, which I went up and we had. Quiet at last.

Switching on The Christmas Lights

The day started of well, the play therapist came and her thing, I could hear them in the living room and thing’s seemed a lot calmer than they had been the week before, when finished daddy took Munch to school and we had our usual catch up, this week we talked a lot about helping him to manage things.

I picked Munch up from school and we went straight to our local shopping centre where they were having the grand switching on of the christmas lights. This was something out of the norm for Munch and when we arrived he found it very difficult to cope with, he did his usual thing when he feels out of control, he wanted to go home, then he didn’t, we were going to eat he didn’t want to then he did, he moaned about the restaurants, so I took control and told him that if he was unable to cope we would go home we would not spend all evening with him being as awkward as he could, so I just said to the car now, and marched him back to the car, all the way protested that he didn’t want to go home, I did not respond, I just kep going until we got to the car, opened the door and told him to get in, once he was in, I spoke to him and said that his behaviour that he had been displaying was not allowed and he could decide now whether he wanted to carry on or if he could stop we would go and see the lights, if he decided to stay, if I had to speak to him once more we would go straight home no second chance, he chose to stay, and I think this help him to regulate himself as we had a couple of little moans, but nothing major.

We went to Frankie and Benny’s to eat Munch’s choice, read him the kids menu, don’t know why really as he chose the Spag bol, he always does. Once we had eaten we went to the market square where the events were happening, we had a look around the few stalls, Munch wanted a Santa Claus hat which he wore with pride all night, I said that he could choose something of the toy stall and he chose a mini pool table. We then went to watch what was happening on the stage, we watched some dancer’s, then Hagrid, Dumbldore and Harry Potter made an appearance, Munch was enjoying this until the sound went and he got bored so another walk around the stalls, he had a ride on one of the little ride’s, but I think after riding of the rides he went on a Chessington that Ithink he found them a bit tame. We bought some sweets to eat on the way back to the stage, there was a couple of singer’s, so we had a bit of a dance and sing along, hen Santa, Rudolf and Jack Frost came along and did a bit on stage, towards the end of their bit I think MUnch was getting a bit bored and asked if we could go, but as thee was only about 5 or 10 minutes until the switch on I said we should stay, we joined in the big count down and on came the few light bulbs, there was a lovely firework display which Munch enjoyed, then it was back with the crowds to the car, As we were walking back and we were looking at the lights Munch said “see mummy, I told you they were going o be rubbish” and he wasn’t far of the mark.

Once home Munch wanted to play a game of pool whilst having his supper which we did, the pool game was absolute market rubbish, but Munch really enjoyed it so that was the main thing. Game went on till after bedtime, so straight up, teeth and bed, we had a hug and kiss good-night, when kissing  Munch, I smothered his face all over and kept going, he was really giggling, when we said good nigh he said “that was great fun”. Later on when I looked in on him, Munch was fast asleep wearing his Claus hat, looking even cuter, if that’s possible, than ever.

 

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