So Poppet has been with us for about 10 days now. And of course the house feels different. And somehow at times it feels like it's always been like this and at other times I wonder how it all happened.
Bringing her home permanently was strange. We arrived at the designated time and of course the SW was late. Poppet seemed aware something was up - and was studiously avoiding everyone. But we went outside and played with her and then suddenly we were saying good bye to the fostercarers and feeling terribly emotional and then we were on the way home. We went to the shops, came home and had lunch and put her down for her nap and of course we didn't have to get her ready to go back and so just did our thing really.
And that's how it's been. Continuing with her routine, trying to work out what food to give her - her FCs are plain food people and that's what she's been used to. So we've had a few standby ready meals and jars at the the ready. Lunch and breakfast are quite straight forward but dinners not so much and I've been finding it quite stressful, but we're getting there.
And this week it was just the two of us as Matt went back to work and on the whole it's been good. She is a mini hurricane and it's obvious that she needs to go out of a morning so we are going to try out Tumbletots and explore what's on locally. Playgrounds are scary as she is fearless and will climb and want to do what the older children do! After lunch she naps and we have the Wiggles on and play and it's much more low key until dinner and then Matt comes home and they play and he puts her to bed. So we're finding our rhythm and we're all adapting to this new way of life including the cats who are getting more resigned to this noisy new thing and are finding their ways of coping.
I've been feeling very anxious - I think this is totally normal for any new mum - and not sleeping well, so went to the doctor's and have a high dose antihistamine to help me sleep and hopefully I'll get back into a decent sleep pattern. I'm not physically tired (I think my job has been very useful in that sense) but more mentally exhausted. Once I'm sleeping again I'm hoping that nap time will be more productive and I can start doing a bit of exercise.
It's hard to know when dealing with a small person how they are coping - she generally sleeps well and is a happy outgoing little thing - but she also may have attachment issues and as she can't express her feelings through words, and indeed probably couldn't anyway it's an unknown quantity.
We have a lot of laughs together and she loves to hug and kiss the cats and toys and even the weather girl on TV, as well as us. So one wonders if she's bonding. But there are moments that are lovely, like when she gives Matt a food covered kiss when he comes home from work, or when she comes and leans into my legs. And she takes turns in favouring one of us.
She also seems to want to test us with her behaviour - lots of tantrums when she can't have her own way and if one of us leaves the room. Of course a lot of this is age appropriate, but also we have to be mindful that it's also typical of adopted children - especially one where she's been moved around and removed from the people who cared for her - be it birth mum or various FC and even SWs. Of course she's going to feel insecure. And honestly? It's a good sign that she does feel insecure - I'd be more worried if she didn't.