Duck Race Winners!

The Scottish Adoption Duck Race 2018 has been our biggest race so far!

The Scottish Adoption Duck Race took place on place on Friday 25th May on the Water of Leith starting in Stockbridge and we have our list of winners! 268 Ducks were sold which raised £1340 for our Young Person’s group.

The winning duck numbers and prizes allocated are:

Duck Number 46Fee Dickson Painting  – www.feedickson.co.uk

Duck Number 43 –  Two Tickets (one adult and one child) to an English Premier League Fixture for season 18/19. Tickets will likely be to Manchester United, Manchester City or Newcastle United. Donated by Alan Dey from PE5 Sports Tours  www.pe5sportstours.com

Duck Number 217 – A gorgeous wee Highland Cow from Between the Woods and Sea – www.betweenthewoodsandsea.com

Duck Number 82 – Lorena Peressini has donated a voucher for 1 night bed & breakfast at Seaholm Bed and Breakfast in North Berwick! You will enjoy a lovely seaview room with a bottle of Prosecco on arrival – www.seaholm.co.uk

Duck Number 228 – Helen Bonnar from the Gullane After School Club has donated one week, yes that is correct, one week of free childcare at their Summer Holiday Club which runs from 16th July to the 9th August for a family of up to 2 children aged between 4 and 12. www.gullaneafterschoolclub.com

Duck Number 180 – £50 voucher donated by Claudia Wellwood which can be used for one of her lovely unique illustration from www.facebook.com/ByClaudiaw 

Duck Number 96 – £40 voucher for Carse Makes, visit Fiona’s facebook page for details of her lovely work.

DuckNumber 255 – Family Pass on the Lothian Buses City Sightseeing Tours.

Duck Number 2 – 2 Day passes to M&D’s Scotland’s Theme Park near Motherwell.

Duck Number 121 – A Personal Training Session by Ryan Ramsay plus 5 day passes to the Pure Gym in Ocean Terminal

Duck Number 171 – 5 day passes to the Pure Gym in Ocean Terminal

Duck Number 150 – A face painting Session from Karen Ballingham. Perfect for Birthday Parties!

Duck Number 64 – Bottle of Eden Mill Gin donated by Karen Cameron from the band Obsession www.obsessionband.co.uk

Duck Number 201 – Bottle of Glenturret Higland Single Malt Whisky donated by Maurice Gallagher.

Duck Number 35 – Bottle of red wine donated by Maurice Gallagher

Duck Number 12 – Bottle of red wne donated by Maurice Gallagher

Duck Number 177 – Bottle of red wine donated by Jane McLardie.

Duck Number 85 – Bottle of white wine donated by Jane McLardie.

A huge thank you to everyone who donated a prize and to those who bought a duck, your generosity has helped the Scottish Adoption Duck Race 2018 be our biggest duck race yet, raising more this year than all the previous years! Thank you!

Scottish Adoption Experience

It is hard to summarise the support given to us by Scottish Adoption into a few paragraphs, given that they have offered us such varied and tailored support over the years.

It is hard to summarise the support given to us by Scottish Adoption into a few paragraphs, given that they have offered us such varied and tailored support over the years, but here goes:

Scottish Adoption, and particularly our social worker, have taken the time to get to know us and our needs, both as a couple and laterally as a family. The support they offer is always thoughtful and tailored towards our needs. We have attended Theraplay sessions, which helped us to focus on using fun to help us meet our son’s attachment needs. These sessions provided us with new ideas and games to engage with our child at a time when things were proving difficult for him. They also offered us the opportunity to engage with other parents and develop further support networks.

Approachable

We have always felt it possible to approach Scottish Adoption when in times of difficulty. Post adoption, we’ve always felt that our social worker knew us well, and we’ve felt trust in her. As a result, whenever in times of crisis we have felt no qualms about lifting the telephone and asking for support. Knowing us well she has always been able to spot when we need to see her and has managed to take the time to come out and talk with us. She’s always had insight and great ideas to circumvent the most varied of behaviours from our son and has also been able to help us explore why certain behaviours may be challenging for us as parents. Above all, she’s listened non-judgementally and offered us support.

With the support of Scottish Adoption we have been able to parent our child therapeutically, to help him develop from an anxious, frightened child, to a loving, caring, funny and charming young man. He is still only very young, but thanks to the support we have received, we now realise that we, as parents, have what it takes to support him on his journey to greatness.

Adoption has been far more challenging than we ever could have realised when sitting in the room at that first information meeting, but by far, the best thing that we have ever done in our lives.

Pre Placement Preparation Group

We recently held a Pre-Placement Preparation Group and asked if someone would be able to write about their experience of the group so we could share their experiences online with everyone.

We recently held a Pre-Placement Preparation Group and asked if someone would be able to write about their experience of the group so we could share their experiences online with everyone.

Why we have a Pre-Placement Day:

The Pre-placement Day arose out of recognition that the early days and weeks of a child coming home to its adoptive parents are both

(a)    really important in helping children start to build attachments, safe and security to their parents

(b)   can feel totally overwhelming for adoptive parents.

Up to the point of panel whilst there will have been talk about the needs of the children being placed for adoption and the type of parenting they might require.  The focus is naturally on completing the home study and getting approved.  However, after approval there is the opportunity to breathe and relax as the waiting period begins.  This felt like an ideal opportunity for us to meet with adopters and revisit the needs of the child and the different parenting that they might require. Both Introductions and the early days of a child coming home can be very stressful and difficult.  The purpose of the day is to help approved adopters really think about the task ahead and to hopefully equip them with a bag of useful tools. Below is one persons account of the group.

Our First Experience of the Pre-Placement Preparation Group

The invite to the session arrived a few weeks before we went to the approval panel. A tingle of excitement – this was real, something was going happen after all those months of home study. Having attended the evening prep classes over 8 weeks, we wondered how a full day, 9.30am to 4.30pm, would be filled, who would be there, what else could we learn?

There were 10 of us in the group that day – a reunion with one person we’d attended prep classes with – and a real mix of couples and single adopters. Everyone was at slightly different stages in the post-panel approval process. One woman was about to go to a matching panel, one second-time adopter was taking enquiries further with a couple of children, and reassuringly for us just 3 weeks post-approval, a few couples who hadn’t had any profiles sent to them yet.

After an icebreaker exercise to discuss in pairs how we thought a child we each already knew would feel being moved to live with complete strangers, we were fired up and the day flew by.

With plenty opportunity for questions and discussion (which there was a lot of!) Giles and Julie expertly took us through an agenda that included a reflection on how we cope with change and stress ourselves, so we can recognise the impact of placement on us as well as the child, and what our key worries are around placement overall.

We also looked in detail at the next steps of the process including introductions, what to expect and how best to cope, working with foster carers, plus a discussion around the legal process and the varying levels of uncertainty this stage can bring.

There was a group exercise on matching child behaviours with different types of attachment (secure, insecure, ambivalent, avoidant and disorganised), with instruction on achieving the first steps of security for your child, so that they can relax with you and go on to thrive. I thought Giles was particularly helpful in giving verbal examples of what you might actually say to your child in certain situations.

For example, we learned that quite natural and widely accepted forms of discipline that are effective with securely attached children, like the naughty step, where you’re saying to the child “I’m going to withdraw my contact or attention until you behave”, are not constructive with newly adopted children, whatever their age. To sever your newly formed connection or bond in this way sends out the wrong signal, making the child feel completely rejected when they might not yet have the resources to know that this is just a passing behaviour from you.

What we learned to do is say “no” firmly but then immediately reinforce this with warmth and encouragement by saying something like “but we’re fine, me and you, come on – let’s go and do something else”. In this way, we keep the child safe, keep them within our boundaries, but also go a long way to strengthen the bonding between us.

The session on funnelling was also very valuable in how you can get your family and friends to really help this work towards successful and early attachment. We feel much more confident about this aspect now, where before our family thought they may not meet the child for a long time. It’s also reassuring to know that social workers are happy to go out and meet family and friends to help explain the funnelling process and how they can be a part of it.

After the session on legalities, we broke for lunch and went to a nearby café as a group, giving us further opportunity to catch up on each other’s stories. And there were plenty breaks for tea, coffee and too many chocolate biscuits.

The day finished with Julie demonstrating different games that we can play to help with attachment in the early days, but to also help children catch up on developmental stages they may have missed from inconsistent or negligent care. For example, playing peek-a-boo helps children learn permanence: that their parents still exist even when they can’t see them, which is crucial for children to settle in nursery or school, and be relaxed and open to learning.

Again, Julie was great at getting down on the floor and actually showing us the games and talking through their function, so that you could really imagine doing this with your own child.

We found the day really helpful as preparation for placement. It was the usual roller-coaster of emotions, just like the prep classes, but it was reassuring to learn more about the extent of future support that we’ll have access to, like Theraplay, toddler groups, starting school workshops, right up to when our children are teenagers and need to check in again for security around their bigger life decisions.

All we can say is thank you – and bring it on!