My second post for National Adoption Week 2016 probably seems like a bit of a cop out because really, it’s not one moment in time. Instead, it’s more of a synthesis (ooh, get me and my big words at ten to eleven on a school night!) of memories of those first few weeks when Acorn came home and the realisation of things longed for.
I distinctly remember, in those heady first days, taking great pride and enjoyment in hanging out washing. What a mundane and uninspiring moment to choose as one of my top five, you might think. But there was something truly wonderful and fulfilling about hanging up little pairs of trousers, vests, tops, for the first time. I have to say, my enthusiasm was stretched at sock pegging, you may be relieved to hear. Even so, the whole process, so prosaic and humdrum, as it is, was so lovely to do.
You see, in the busyness, ongoing involvement of social workers and visits, and other massive adjustments that characterise the first weeks of an adoptive placement, there are precious few moments to step back and reflect. Pegging out the washing, our Acorn’s included, gave me chance to do just that. To realise that I was now a mum, with all it brings of the daily grind, but equally, all its small joys and happy, or funny, or hard, or sad moments. I’m not saying there was one particular moment I recall pegging out the laundry, but a series of snapshots, glimpses into our new reality, that of being mum and dad.
Another from those early days springs to mind; our first trip into town. We’d been home together a few days, and felt brave enough to venture out where people might actually know us and speak to us. We put Acorn in the new pushchair, figured out the challenges of the straps (I’m sure they are purposely difficult!), and went off down the road together, a family of three. It felt so strange, to have this little person, who was ours. As we walked past people and smiled or said hi, in the way you do when you live in a small, Northern town, we said to each other giddily, as they passed, ‘do you think they realised?’
It was as if we felt that somehow, the fact that we’d adopted and were complete rookies at this parenting thing must have somehow been obvious to the passer by. Like it was emblazoned on our heads ‘first timers, totally clueless!’
It’s the small things about being an adoptive mum that are the most special, the small steps Acorn makes that seem the most significant. Hopefully these two ‘moments’ show this.