I know we at ‘The Trauma Train’ are not always known as blogging about the happier sides of adoption, but we always try to let the love and truth of our family life shine through. The truth is not always easy or pretty but it’s our truth and we feel it has beauty in its imperfections.
I suppose adopting and fostering has made us very passionate about the rights of adoptees and adoption support, as it has other adoption bloggers who share their stories warts and all.
I want this post to be one that shows the solutions we have found during our own personal experiences over the past fifteen years. This is in the hope of offering positive and creative support to other who are dealing with issues of anxiety, attachment, trauma and developmental delay. 2014 is the year we begin to deliver our support services through the charity http://www.theopennest.co.uk
We are working with adoptees, adopters, foster carers, psychologists and social workers to develop the services we offer so please share your thoughts and ideas with us.
PROBLEM: I know my child cannot help their current struggles but I am exhausted and just need a break. Standard respite services would not suit my family as my child would be very anxious if sent away from me at this stage.
OPEN NEST SOLUTION: We will be offering short breaks in beautiful Whitby, North Yorkshire. There will be a choice of a comfortable rural camping barn with room for four or a three bedroomed apartment in a town centre hotel. Parent/parents will come with children but get whole days or evenings off whilst children are cared for and entertained by expert carers who understand the specific issues.
PROBLEM: I have been assessed as needing support but there is nothing suitable forthcoming and I feel it is down to funding and availability.
OPEN NEST SOLUTION: Short breaks and other services will be free and funded by our charity. Those who feel able to contribute to the costs of their respite or support can support us with a donation ( We will trust people to assess this themselves).
PROBLEM: My child has contact with birth family members but I wish it could be in a more neutral, private and safe space.
OPEN NEST SOLUTION: We can offer 20 acres of beautiful National Park as well as beautiful indoor spaces to families who wish to have contact with siblings or birth parents.
PROBLEM: My child finds a lot of situations difficult but professionals do not always believe me or fully understand and this triggers my child. I feel am not listened to as I’m “just the parent” and I don’t have the time or energy to battle the system.
OPEN NEST SOLUTION: We offer a free advocacy service for families. We will contact agencies, schools etc for you with positive information and literature that will help your individual child. We can also send you literature to give to teachers, social workers, family members etc. We can also advise on potential benefits and legislation. We can be assertive on your behalf and can contact local MP’s.
PROBLEM: Sometimes I just need someone to talk to who has “been there”
OPEN NEST SOLUTION: We will have a confidential telephone helpline for those who need to chat through an issue, moan, cry, laugh or be directed to other appropriate support agencies or individuals.
PROBLEM: I would love to meet with other adoptive families in a safe space.
OPEN NEST SOLUTION: We will organise small short break social gatherings (up to 22 people) for adoptive families. These will be free of charge including accommodation and food. There will be activities for children facilitated by expert sessional workers. There will be options to do “grown up” activities for parents/carers.
PROBLEM: I would like to attend a conference specifically for information, support and learning around adoption but cannot afford the cost of a ticket.
OPEN NEST SOLUTION: We will be hosting an annual conference for adoptees and adopters. The conference delivery will be dynamic and original and will be strictly delivered by adoptees and adopters. Attendance will be free (as in all our service provision a donation can be given if appropriate). There will be child care if it is needed for accessibility.
PROBLEM: My child’s violence has reached a level that makes me scared that I may not be able to cope anymore and our adoption may break down.
OPEN NEST SOLUTION: We can fund and facilitate specific in house training for individual families in crisis. This training will address issues of behaviour management for your individual child and safety strategies. The training will be delivered by a recognised National provider who is expert at conflict management.
PROBLEM: It upsets me that me and/or my family is not reflected or represented truthfully in cultural arenas.
OPEN NEST SOLUTION: We will be facilitating and hosting cultural events, with National coverage, where the “voice” of the adoptee and adopter are represented over and above the agenda of any other group. We also aim to support other projects and individuals with this aim.
The Open Nest currently raises the largest part of its funds by selling holidays to the general public at http://www.larosa.co.uk @LaRosaHotel
Our family set up this vintage hotel and campsite business ten years ago to address the issue that due to our difficulties in dealing with trauma it was hard for any of us to fit into mainstream employment or educational settings. We are now able to use this business which has a loyal customer base to support others.
A proportion of our sales go directly to fund post adoption services. This independent fund raising allows us to be creative and means service users are not at the mercy of assessments or funding shortages before accessing support.
We also organise smaller fundraising events and very much appreciate others who do the same for us. We are a registered charity and this year will become a registered adoption support agency.
Anybody who wishes to fund raise for us, share advice or ideas, or would like to be on our mailing list please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org