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SengaMcp

Fragments

I've been cleaning out my lappy and found these fragments from Davy's early days with us. These are episodes 2 and 3, I can't find the rest. I've had a good cry over them though, I'd forgotten how hard it was, those early weeks. I look at him now, aged nine and he's a different child altogether.

For those of you who don't know Davy is our adopted son, he was three when Social Services brought him to me for fostering as his home life with his old family was utterly horrendous. He'd been routinely bullied and his siblings stole his food from him, so that he would hardly eat when we first got him. He was malnourished and too small for his age. Not any more though, he's healthy, happy, hoolie now.

Get out the kleenex.
SengaMcp

Wee Davyís MacPincher Christmas

Those of you whoíve been haunting the forum will know that our little visitor has his share of problems, both mental and physical. It seems the privations heís suffered in his short life may have left lasting traces, one of which is a possible heart problem. The poor little thing has a whole array of tests to face in the New Year. The best outcome would be that the trouble can be corrected over time with a proper diet, fresh air and plenty of rest. Iím not going to think about the worst outcome unless I have to.

Then there are the nightmares, weíve moved him into the little room that opens into ours because he was keeping the twins awake. It used to be our dressing room, itís really just a large closet with a window. The room is just big enough for his bed, a cupboard for his clothes and his new toys. On the plus side, his two constant companions help a lot, they follow him wherever he goes and cuddle up beside him whenever he stops in one place for more than a few seconds.

We have difficulty getting him to eat enough, even though heís hungry. Weíve learned to keep a selection of little snacks dotted round the place and, we produce them for him at regular intervals. Itís like everything else in his life so far, heís been used to having things taken away, not given. Whenever we hand him a snack he looks at us very carefully to be sure itís OK for him to eat it.

Davy rarely speaks, and if he could, heís too young to tell us about all heís been through. Weíre getting a clearer picture with every day that passes and there have been times when Iíd love to have that damned woman standing in front of me. Iíd knock her into the middle of next week. Itís obvious now that, while he hasnít been hit, heís suffered the most awful mental torture, humiliation and degradation, his mother and siblings have gone out of their way to tell him what a waste of space he is.

Well, weíre doing our utmost to combat that. Iím so proud of my family, theyíve all taken him to their hearts. Every one of them has tried to spend a little time with him, just cuddling and telling him how special he is and how glad they all are that heís here. On the whole, the twins have behaved very well, like most of my family theyíre nothing if not opinionated and I expected more trouble from them. Thereís only been one incident so far, over a toy car and that was soon dealt with.

The PTBs managed to catch up with Davyís aunt (his fatherís sister), she has some kind of high flying job and doesnít want to give it up to look after him. Also, it seems his father is dead and has been for some time. Iím hoping this means theyíll let me keep him, if not actually adopt him. Iíve got my solicitor looking into ways of persuading his mother to give me guardianship rights.

In the meantime, we set about giving Davy a really special Christmas. He got presents of clothes and toys from everyone. You should have seen his little face. His eyes getting rounder and rounder as each gift was opened. All he had when he came to us was the clothes he stood up in and a highly disreputable looking bear. Now, he has a whole wardrobe full of clothes, weíve barely been able to prize the trainers off his wee feet since they were bought, and we have to put them where he can see them or he cries. They seem to be the only things he truly accepts are his.

On Christmas morning we set the three little ones down on the floor and built a wall of presents round each of them. The twins tore into theirs immediately, but Davy had to be persuaded. In the end we had to open them for him. He loves the wooden lorry with itís bricks and the furry movie beastie (Iím told itís the big one from Monsters Inc). He thinks the trike is great, I almost got run over this morning. As with the food, he looks at us for permission before he plays with anything. I canít wait for the day when he throws a tantrum over something, or just picks up a toy without checking to see if itís OK. The dogs made a blizzard out of the wrapping paper that was almost an inch deep by the time theyíd done and even Davy smiled at the mess.

Had I realised beforehand what I was getting us all into, I might not have been so quick to jump in. As the days pass, I realise that this is going to be a long road and could lead to heartbreak if we have to let Davy go. I worry about that, more for the effect on him than for us. The child welfare system would be the worst possible place for a such a fragile child. I have nightmares of my own about what would happen to him if the Ďmachineí gets itís claws in. Davy is such a quiet little thing, heíd be lost entirely in a system that struggles to meet the needs of itís charges, where those who get are generally those who make the most noise.

Even if we are permitted to keep Davy, itís not going to be easy undoing all the damage. Weíre taking things one day at a time and spending as much time with Davy as we can, trying to make him feel that he belongs. As for the rest, Iíll think about that tomorrow.
SengaMcp

Davyís Story Ė Part 3

Iíve been thinking how events can derail your life when you least expect it. Here I was, settling into middle age, thinking myself quite content that my child rearing days were done. Enjoying the sight of my firstborn bringing up his own babies and being Ďgraní. The advent of one tiny boy has changed all that, itís resurrected all my mothering instincts at full force. I had, possibly still have in a different guise, a job I adore and donít much want to give up. The trouble is, it involves travelling all over the world, a lot of travelling and wee Davy needs someone to act as an anchor in his life. He needs a point of stability, someone whoís always there, and thatís got to be me, because Iím the one heís bonded with.

So here I am re-evaluating everything, moving all the goalposts and rewriting the script. Iím sure you can come up with any number of similar clichťs. Luckily I have a partner, in life and in business, who can be counted on to take up the slack. Weíve talked about it and heíll handle the front line stuff from now on, while I take the engine room. We used to share the W*** 50-50, but that wonít W*** if Davy is to have a decent chance.

As a result of all this, the last few weeks have been a wild rollercoaster ride. No, itís worse than that. Have you ever seen those frames they strap you into and you spin in all directions trying to find your balance? What are they called? Thatís how it feels to me now. Iím spinning all over the place and trying to find my balance. My foremost emotions are currently; anger against Davyís mother for her treatment of him, joy at having him in our lives, worry that we wonít be able to save him and fear that the PTBs might change their minds and take him away from us.

Iíve been spending my nights going over and over in my head, all the things that might happen, for good or ill until Iím dizzy with it. If he goes, my heart will break. Because when all is said and done, I fell in love with him months ago, when I used to slip him a wee snack or a sweetie at the babies nursery. Having him here has filled a need I never knew I had, after all Iíve four grown boys, why on earth should I want another? But I do, and whatís more, I want this one!

Children like Davy tend to get lost in the system once it gets hold of them. Shunted from pillar to post, never able to settle. They can end up lost forever, haunted by a fragmented past and the knowledge of never having been wanted by anyone. If I could, Iíd rescue all of them, but Iíll settle for trying to rescue just this one.

Iíve said before, Davy is not likely to be adopted if he does go back into the system. Heís too quiet, too easy to miss in the crowd. He may have health problems. Heíll certainly have psychological difficulties, though the last couple of days have given me reason to believe they will not be as bad as we had feared. If, and itís a big if, we are given the chance to show him what a true family is like.

This is a big if, partly because I donít think our family is at all traditional in this day and age (weíre a bit hippy I guess). Thereís a lot of us an weíve always had a slightly casual, communal attitude to kids. Whatever adult is handy at the time, does whatever parenting is required. My four grew up surrounded by uncles and older cousins, grannies, grandpas and great aunts and uncles. All of whom they could rely on to supply whatever they needed, from a thick ear to a fiver for the flicks. As a result, they were never the least bit shy, always had the confidence to deal with anyone or anything around them and theyíve always been thoroughly independent. Theyíve grown up knowing that it wasnít just their parents who loved them, but everyone around them. My grandsons are growing up in exactly the same way, with the same results.

Back to Davy, Iím not sure that our traditional way will W*** with him. Heís overawed by all these huge people making such a fuss of him. He doesnít quite know what to do about it and sometimes it scares him. Davy needs a one-on-one carer, at least for the time being. Thatís why Iím going to go ahead and reorganise my working life around him. I canít think about what might happen, only what is happening, I have to think about what Davy needs right now. So, Iím going to go ahead with this as if Davy will be staying forever, as if heís going to be mine forever. How selfish is that? Mine indeed, as if I were doing any of this alone!

Davyís only said two words since he got here. He says ďtaĒ sometimes when you hand him something, and ďmineĒ, usually referring to his trainers. When I kissed him goodnight tonight, he said ďtaĒ and smiled at me. That smile is a real rarity from him, heís such a serious little soul, but when he does smile, he lights up the whole room. Iím determined to see a good many more of those smiles, maybe one day I can get him to laugh. If I do Iíll know Iíve won.

As for me, Iíll take a leaf out of Davyís book and tell the PTBs, his mother and the whole damned world if I have to, heís MINE!
notanimby

Wunnerful stuff Senga, huv yoo any merr?
SengaMcp

Thur wis wance a pless creyd ra writer's site, sadly noo lost tae us. The rest o ra story wis on thur. As fur me ahmur three laptops awa fae thon writins and ah've lost a load ay stuff. That's aw ah cuid find.

If ye compare the child ah writ aboot wira wan wit currently wrestlin oan ra flerr at ma feet wi his daddy, his brithers, his nephews an ra dugs ye'd think it wis twa diffrint bairns.
notanimby

SengaMcp wrote:
Thur wis wance a pless creyd ra writer's site, sadly noo lost tae us. The rest o ra story wis on thur. As fur me ahmur three laptops awa fae thon writins and ah've lost a load ay stuff. That's aw ah cuid find.

If ye compare the child ah writ aboot wira wan wit currently wrestlin oan ra flerr at ma feet wi his daddy, his brithers, his nephews an ra dugs ye'd think it wis twa diffrint bairns.


Awe.....................
Yoov obviously done that wean proud Senga, good on ye.
Celyn

She did, though, didn't she?  Three big loud cheers there, for Senga and familia Senga!    So good to know that wee Davy now has a better life and a better future. Smile
AG

Ah dae remember readin them back then Senga and as ah recall thur wis sumthin in ma eyes at the time as weel whit caused thum tae wattur a ferr bit.

Senga wrote:
... sadly noo lost tae us. The rest o ra story wis on thur.


Aye and a plethora uv responses aw vanished intae a cybur blackhole at the same time as weel.
Fey Hag

Oh Senga, going back to those days makes me realize how much can change in a few short years.

I often think of Davy & the great guid luck that brought you all together.

Good things do still happen; & we are all the richer from your sharing that good with us.
SengaMcp

Will youse stop it, yer makin me blush.

Ah ony postit ese cos a wis shocked at how much things hae changed an ah'd furgot ra heartache anra angst we felt then cos it got owerlaid wi awra wee-er aches an pleesures o daily life. That an ah barely recognise thon wee scrap as the wee hoolie ah huv noo. No fur pats oanra back.
notanimby

Ah know its no fur pats onra back Senga, but credit wur credit's due
Maist, like me probably huv enjoyed yer artikyoolashun ovra time yoov hud.
Ah wish a could dae ra same aboot ma maws dementia, but it still jist gets me to angry wae ra atitude of certin people involved, wan dae maybe
SengaMcp

Aye but see. Writin thon ackshully helped me get it ooty ma system. Writin stuff down lets me see more clearly. Lances ra boil inna way. Cathartic soitis. Gaun back an readin it again minds me how far wuv come since, it shocked me tae see sic powerfu stuff come pourin ooty me.
notanimby

Ah kin unnerstaun whit yoo mean by cathartic Senga, ah wish ah hud kept a diary atra time, but hindsight is  wuunerful thing
I'll gie it a bit of thought, 'n ah huvnae done any "serious" writin since ma Higher Engerlish days

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