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OUTER SPACE – Time to celebrate

I’m back from outer space.

After what seems like an eternity I am now back from outer space.  It feels like outer space as so much has happened since my last post it’s like time and space have travelled in a vortex and we have been caught up in it, without any choice but to ride it out.  Some solar systems have been great to visit others have felt like a looming black hole. It also feels like I’ve personally been in outer space, or I wish I had been, as what has been thrown at me has felt surreal.

Thank you to those of you who have contacted me asking if everything was alright and what was up as there had been no posts for quite some time. It meant a lot to hear from you.

Over the coming few posts I will share with you what’s happened – not for sympathy, not for sorrow but mainly to demonstrate just how resilient you can be, how resilient your family can be in times of need.  Life is ticking along well and then BANG it throws an almighty humungous curve ball at you.  In fact we have had a few thrown at us and all at once. It is only now, now that things are settling down somewhat that I can truly reflect on what has happened and it is only now that I have felt the ability or positivity to write my blog.

It is only now that the emotional toll and ability to process what has happened has also come to the forefront and crikey it’s tough to discuss it all.

The last time I posted was back at the beginning of February – we were just celebrating the final adoption order going through and were busy planning the Celebration Day.  This day went ahead mid-February and was a very special event.  Whilst not having any impact on the actual adoption as this had already been passed a few months prior,  it was a day for us, our boys and those people involved in their search for a new family and our search for a new family to come together and to celebrate.  And boy did we celebrate !

I am going to pick up where I left off. As we go through the next few posts I will bring you up to speed with all that has happened and those lovely curve balls mentioned earlier in this post.

Celebration day came. We had so many special friends and people there who are very close to our hearts – including the boys’ social worker, support worker, foster carers and our own social worker.  We were so happy that they could all make it.

The day came and the boys wanted to dress up smartly so we all donned our smart clothes, our eldest wanted to wear his bow tie and he looked adorable. With some nerves and trepidation we headed into town for the big day.  My husband and I couldn’t wait for this day, couldn’t wait to have this moment with our boys, but we also had to play down the day somewhat as we didn’t want the boys to feel overwhelmed. Equally, whilst the day was a positive one, it could flare up all kinds of thoughts, questions, feelings and sadness over families and birth parents as well as reactions to professionals previously involved in their care. After all, in their past each time they had been involved with a professional it had meant change, it had meant upheaval, it had meant loss and most of all uncertainty.  Fortunately, we had prepared the boys for this day as much a possible so they knew right from the start who would be there from their past, from this process and how they were only there to celebrate us becoming a family.  The preparation really paid off.

As it transpired the day was amazing and boys were AMAZING.  They lapped up the attention, meeting close friends and were not even phased with enjoying  and seeing those professionals who had been part of their journey until this point.  The ceremony at the Family Court was perfect, just perfect. The judge was so welcoming, so family-friendly and he himself commented on how nice it was to finally put faces to these names that he had been making decisions on as well as those involved in the process.  The courtroom was pretty full as we had invited about 40 people and the boys loved coming into the judges area, sitting on his chair and wearing his wig. Some lovely words were said and lots of tears held back – well mainly held back !  I might have had a few leak.

We then moved on to a celebration brunch and had booked the most wonderful venue, with a balcony overlooking the city.  A great chance to catch up with everyone, share some food and drinks and to celebrate this truly magical family that we had developed into.  Remember by this time we had been living together for over a year so for some of the professionals it was lovely for them to see what we had developed into during this short time. Just how much the boys had grown emotionally and how much more settled they were.

The boys were great, they loved catching up with their friends and their kids and enjoyed the venue. I had ordered lots of balloons and had provided several colouring and sticker books for the children which helped to keep them occupied as the adults caught up. Stepping back and becoming an observer on several occasions I had this smile on my face and in my heart.

I delivered a small speech off the top of my head as I wanted to thank each and every person in that room who had been part of our journey and part of our becoming a family. In my usual style I got a bit emotional near the end and my lovely husband stepped in to save the day.

Emotions were flowing stronger than normal as some key people were missing on that day.  Both sets of our parents were unable to come – my parents because my Mum, who had been battling with cancer for 3 years, was very sick and could not face the journey from Cornwall and my in-laws as they were away and had booked this  trip way before our celebration date was confirmed.  It felt sad and wrong going ahead without them, and boy do I wish we could have changed it so that they were all able to attend but it also was something we needed to do.  I love them dearly and missed them so much on that day.

Emotions were also flowing a lot deeper than normal as we had to face some tough news the previous December and this will be discussed in future posts. It made the day even more meaningful and doubly emotional. To think how far we had all come in the 12 months of living together, how much the boys had developed and matured and just how much happier they were in their own skin.

The day went on long into the late afternoon.  The boys were happy playing with their mates, we were happy seeing them happy and catching up with our closest friends – so why end it early?  A great sense of pride hit me.  Proud of the boys and how they had handled the day, which let’s face it is destabilising for anyone let alone children with their past.  Proud of just what we had achieved as a family unit and proud to be able to stand up and shout from the rooftops, ( ok maybe not that publicly), that this is us, our family!

Would I have changed anything about the day?  Yes – the ability to do it all again with both sets of parents present.  Desperately wishing that my mother had not been so sick with cancer.

So for anyone planning their Celebration Day, don’t be nervous, don’t panic.  It is YOUR day, your chance to just be, just be the family you are meant to be and to share this wonderful event with those you love.

Would I do it all again?  Hell yeah!

So here I am back, back from what feels like outer space and ready to carry on writing and sharing our adoption roller-coaster ride.  Hold tight again, as it’s gonna be tough in places but amazing fun in others.

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