Duncan Elliot is a life coach working out of Basingstoke in England. He particularly works with people who feel that there must be more to life and are willing to work at it, so that they can feel happier and more in control of their life. He offers life coaching in person, on the phone or via audio or video across the Internet. Click here to contact him.
What areas can we work on?
It can be tempting to be defensive during the home study, or to give the answers that you think the social workers want you to give. That’s not always fair to yourselves or your future adopted children. As someone independent I can guide you in thinking through the real issues. As an adopter myself, I know what many of the issues are and why particular areas are important. I can guide you into preparing yourself for the reality of adoption.
Are these the right children for you? Are you the right parent(s) for them? What questions do you need to ask? What do their profiles mean in reality? What should you do next? I can support you as you work through this massive decision.
Whilst some adoptions go swimmingly, other adoptions struggle to various extents. Traumatised children can be very complex and can bring huge difficulties into the family. There may not be sufficient support, and adoptive parents can be overwhelmed or not know what support they need. Due to the needs of the child, there can be conflicts between parents, within families, with schools, with the adoption agencies and with health providers. As someone who has been through many of these issues, I can offer you compassion and empathy. I can listen whilst you offload, which can be incredibly powerful, or I can guide you if you need to make difficult decisions.
As one poster to an online forum put it, in adoption "husbands can sometimes feel like the +1". I have experienced many of the issues that affect husbands throughout the adoption process. I understand the stresses that these can cause and have had to work through them in my own life.
Friends and relatives
If you have someone that you know who's taking the momentous decision to adopt, they can probably use your support. I can work through that with you. What's going to happen in the process? What might that feel like to them? Why might they keep you away at the start of the adoption? What things are helpful to say and do, and what aren't? Why might they be parenting these children in a way that seems strange to you?
I would like to thank you for all your support over the past couple of months. Being able to speak with someone who understands adoption makes such a refreshing change. I didn't have to explain processes, jargon or the world of adoption to you. You listened and allowed me time to talk and think through situations guiding me gently with your experiences.
Thank you very much for taking the time to help me move forward with many adoption and non-adoption issues I had.
Catch the wind in your sails!
Would it help to have someone to encourage you? I really like to help work with people to find their strengths and to see the many things that they do well. Martin Narey described adopters as “heroes”. I would love to see the hero within you and reflect that to you.
Do you need someone to support you? Sometimes decisions within adoption can be really tough. I love to be one of those who stand alongside you as walk through difficult times.
How would it be to discuss things with someone independent? Many peope find it easier to talk to someone who isn’t emotionally involved and where you don’t have to worry whether your words will affect your relationship with social services or other agencies.
Do you need to explore your options? I want to encourage you to think deeply about who you are, what you can do, what you want to do and the impact on you and your family.