Well the craziness has well and truly descended on our home and the run up to Christmas seems to be busier that ever with school discos, school Christmas dinners, sleepovers, Christmas shopping, adoption training and life in general.
I’ve recently been supporting some families with children newly placed with them and they are looking ahead to their first Christmas as a family. This brought me to a short time of reflection where I allowed myself to remember back to our first Christmas with Sproglet and Gremlin and some of the things that we learned from that first year as a family.
As I began to think about our first family Christmas, I decided that putting together my own top ten tips might be useful for any family with adopted children. I realise that there are many other lists online for adoptive families but my list was the key things we learned from the good, the bad and the ugly of that first year.
I hope you enjoy some of the painful lessons we learned through being new, inexperienced adopters. We still laugh now at how much of a disaster our first Christmas dinner experience was, and why we seriously thought that a child who didn’t eat vegetables would manage with the biggest roast dinner with all the trimmings being put infront of him without becoming overwhelmed.
We didn’t actually get to eat our dinner without wrecking it with a microwave reheat, by which time any magic that was in Christmas had long since disappeared. We were frazzled, the child in question was exhausted from all the crying and the youngest one was tired due to age and her attempts to match the many different emotions she was watching from the rest of the family. If only, we knew at the time that if we had just put some chicken nuggets or a pizza in the oven we would be guaranteed that he would have coped better and was likely to have eaten something.
I want to say that our subsequent Christmases have been a significant improvement since then and although we still choose to retain some of the simplicity we now have much more fun. It would be fair to say that Sproglet still doesn’t eat any vegetables but he does love the meat, yorkshire pudding, potatoes and stuffing so we no longer need to add chicken nuggets to the Christmas dinner menu.
I’d love to hear what else you would add to the top tips or some of your Christmas stories when you either got it really right or REALLY wrong.
In the meantime, I wish you and your families a peaceful and blessed Christmas. Remember to take those photo memories of all the highlights, not the tantrums!