Gut Feelings

This is a guest post from Misbah AKA @foodymama blogging at foodymama.blogspot.co.uk   about food surprisingly enough. She also happens to be an adoptive mum who really wanted to have her say about something none food related so I said she could say it here….

It’s a well known figure of speech “to go with your gut feeling” and after speaking with Sarah, about certain experiences this past year with my son, that my husband & I are in the process of adopting, and having that gut feeling that something wasn’t / isn’t quite right with my boy, I thought I would blog about it to share my experience.

My son R & his sister A were placed with us on the 21st March 2011. R was described as a lively, happy, energetic & talkative boy. Our introductions with them both lasted for 2 weeks, in the whirlwind of excitement, nerves and forming a bond with them, he seemed just as he was described.When they were placed with us again the first few weeks seemed to be all fun and busy, it probably wasn’t until we were about 8 months in that things just weren’t getting any better at all in regards to R’s attention, concentration & his ability to just carry out basic things as getting dressed, and poor memory. There was and still is the issue of the constant need for attention and to talk, and by that I mean literally on the go, some days even now I loose my voice as he just does nothing but talk. These issues are just the tip of the iceberg so to speak, there is so much going on with my boy and it does worry me.

So with that gut feeling of ‘this is not right’ I raised my concerns with the children’s SW, and I’d end up getting responses such as “yeah you just need to keep being consistent & repeating it” or “well you don’t really have experience of boys” – to which I asked how much and how long could I keep repeating the same things, and how could she say I’ve no experience with boys when I have 3 younger brothers , 7 nephews, one of which has Aspergers. I just felt that our concerns weren’t being taken seriously, and to put it blunt the children’s’ SW was doing nothing but undermining my worries and we where getting nowhere fast.

After 3 months of the SW doing next to nothing to see what help we could get I went down the route of speaking with our GP, family members & friends I then raised the issue in our LAC review and thankfully our SW & the IRO saw how stressed we were getting so measures were drawn up for theraplay, assessment of ASD, assistance from MAPS and communication with School etc and even then its took from November 2011 to Oct 2012 for us to get some form of help and support. We finally started Theraplay in Oct last year and our theraplay worker seems to be fully on board and sees what we are up against when it comes to R.

It just disappoints me that the one professional we should be able to rely on is the same professional that hasn’t been on board to get the help that R needs, and has contradicted herself on countless occasions. It seems as if my husband and I have done all the chasing for support and if we were listened to rather than being dismissed and told that we weren’t used to him or that it was our first full on experience of parenting a boy, we could have got the support a lot quicker.

It’s also been a massive help to be able to talk to a brilliant community of adoptive mums that I’ve met on twitter who have been / are going through the same situation. Drawing on their experiences have shown me that I’m not alone, and that I’m not going crazy and making all these concerns up in my head.

So for all the adoptive parents out there, whatever stage you are at in your journey, if you feel in your gut that something isn’t right then voice it and voice it and voice it till you are heard because it’s taken me over a year and I’m finally being listened to and I’m going to keep on at them till my boy gets all the help he rightly deserves.

I’m sure Misbah would be very grateful to hear from  you so if you have any words of advice or support please comment.

16 Comments

  1. mumdrah March 6, 2013 / 8:51 am

    It can feel like shouting into the wind when we ask for help, and i share your frustration about the ‘time wasted’ while yor fears are ignored or dismissed. I am so gad you shared this, because your story will help others, and also because realising we are not alone helps.
    You are a fabulous mum and advocate for these two wonderful children. CHT also blocks out the world with a constant state of movement and noise – it is exhausting.
    Keep feeling the Lioness within! Mx

    • Misbah March 6, 2013 / 9:26 am

      Thank you .. Isn’t it ironic how although we may not be the birth parents of our children, more often than not our gut instincts are right ?! I just didn’t & still don’t get how SW could actually say that I had no real experiences of boys? That was what really infuriated me and made me snap. Hopefully now we’re moving in the right direction with theraplay and helping our boy develop in the best way possible

  2. thefamilyof5 March 6, 2013 / 11:04 am

    I’m a firm beleiver of gut instints! Love this, so glad you shared. Fighting for support is something I’m also very familiar with. Great post :)

    • Misbah March 6, 2013 / 12:05 pm

      Thank you . Glad I’m not the only one out there… I’m not going crazy after all !

  3. Jazzygal March 6, 2013 / 4:08 pm

    And you must continue to follow your gut instinct as mum’s know best, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re an adoptive mum, a mum of girls/boys only or (as in my case) a mum-of-one. I hope you don’t mind me saying but ASD sprung to my mind as I read this. It was my gut instinct that drove me on for 2 years to finally get a professional to listen to me, see what I was seeing and diagnose my boy with ASD at age 4. Best thing that ever happened as then we could get interventions that helped him become the wonderful boy of 13 he is today. Not that he wasn’t wonderful before, but you know what I mean!

    I wish you luck with your continued search for answers.

    xx Jazzy

    • Misbah March 6, 2013 / 6:09 pm

      Thank you so much .. After 2 years he is finally being assessed for ASD / ADHD. I totally agree with doctors etc that he has attatcment issues & is hyper sensitive to fear but this seems to have overshadowed what we are trying to make them understand how much of a struggle just basic things are even though we’ve had sane strict routine in place with him since day 1. Here’s hoping we are now making progress

  4. Lindsay March 6, 2013 / 4:39 pm

    You are a wonderful advocate for your kids! I absolutely believe in following gut feelings – there is actually a lot of research being done about the receptors in your gut and how they are like a 6th sense which is why so many of us have those gut feelings and why they are often correct. Know that you are not alone and surrounded by a fantastic community of people who get it, even when others don’t seem to understand or listen:)

    • Misbah March 6, 2013 / 6:12 pm

      Thanks ! It’s crazy how many times we’ve come across people wether it’s family or friends that just don’t get it. Thank god for the mums I’ve met on twitter that have assured me that hubby & I are not loosing the plot !

  5. Stix March 6, 2013 / 7:07 pm

    Oh Misbah you are so not loosing the plot. SS have asked an awful lot of you and hubby, and have not provided the support that you need…
    I’ve been in a similar situation but with health services not believing me, calling me paranoid, blaming my lack of experience so I feel for you. I know how it made me feel :-(
    But you are right and you’re doing the best for R now xx

    • Misbah March 6, 2013 / 8:47 pm

      Thank you my lovely ! It’s actually from speaking to you and coming across your blog I just thought to myself ‘ this is what we are going through’ you are the first adoptive mum I found on twitter thanks to BAAF and that’s led me to meet all the other mums too … To be able to speak with those that just ‘get it’ has been an unbelievable god send

      • Stix March 9, 2013 / 7:39 pm

        Aw, I’m so glad you found us. It’s great having the support of twitter and facebook isn’t it?! xx

  6. Amanda Boorman March 6, 2013 / 10:25 pm

    This is so good. I still have a copy of the letter I sent to SW saying something was not right after a few weeks of placement. ( 13 years ago) I was right too just like you. So frustrating! Going with your gut is definitely a good way I think. Because you do you will be right and the right mum for your boy xxx

    • Misbah March 8, 2013 / 10:19 am

      Thank you Amanda ..I’ve been on SW case for months. Had theraplay review yesterday & worker seems to be more understanding of the situation, she can clearly see how much R is struggling and the impact it’s having on all of us

  7. new mummy March 8, 2013 / 8:43 pm

    I am so pleased you are getting somewhere despite the frustrations and battles you have had to get this far – gut instinct is amazing – and my health visitor told me I wouldnt have any as an adoptive mum when she first met me – assumptions and put downs can so easily pull us down – there are likely to be several layers of complexities – and dealing with each one in turn will help unravel and bring freedom to your little one xx keep speaking out for thise who have no voice as they need us depserately. It is fabulous when professionals do draw alongside and support, so hoep it will be soon for you.

    • Misbah March 8, 2013 / 9:49 pm

      Thank you. I do feel since theraplay things are moving in the right direction. Finally some one that seems to actually listening rather than having blinkers on and making us feel like we don’t have a clue what we are talking about

  8. liz wood March 9, 2013 / 10:58 pm

    What a familiar story, and well done for your persistence, I reckon you’ve done better than us in 8 years…

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