Some stories from our members’ journeys with adoption, along the joys and struggles that it entails.
Why do we go to the IAFQ Mapleton camp?
Miss (very nearly) 7 started the week not being able to get seconds at meal time without Mum or Dad in tow, to ending the week heading off for a pre-breakfast walk with the “big girls” all by herself. Seeing our girls’ confidence grow with every day is amazing and something of enormous value to us!
My daughters now 17 & 18 are still good friends with their camp friends. As adults they get together and support each other in a very, special way. This year my 10 year old gave up a spot in an elite Brisbane futsal team because he just couldn’t miss camp. This year I needed some love and support because 2016 was very rough and I got all I needed and more. I’m not alone, I have more strategies, I feel supported. Thanks to everyone at camp. We love camp and we will be there no matter the format.
Flight home from Taiwan, transfer in Hong Kong and our very recently allocated girls erupt into inconsolable despair. We go to the most remote part of the airport we can find to ride it out and I start making contingency plans in my head of what it looks like not to board our connecting flight.
We decide to push on and I made it to the gate with 4 peoples luggage (including every worldly possession for 2 of us!) while the girls’ brand-new Mum struggles with a 4yo in arm and a terrified 5yo inseparably latched to her hand. I unload on the first flight attendant I find, explaining our situation and pleading for assistance. At that moment she went into super-support mode. She left her post at the door and escorted us to our seats; got us water and snacks and helped us get the girls settled and reassured us that we would be fine. We arrived in Brisbane after the best part of 2 days travelling with no sleep to be met at the plane door with a stroller, trolley and escort. We were guided through the crew’s express Customs line and assisted out of the airport.
I cannot speak highly enough of the amazing QANTAS crew that helped us through what was, without question, one of the most stressful experiences of our lives!
This afternoon I took my boy to Xiǎo bǎo bèi (Little Treasures), the Taiwanese language / culture classes run by a wonderful adoptive mummy. As usual, my boy was very tentative when we arrived, he sat on my lap, wouldn’t sit with the other kids at afternoon tea, sat at a separate table with me close by while they did calligraphy etc. but then the most wonderful thing happened…
When the other kids (all adopted from Taiwan / China, ranging from 3-12 years old) went outside to run around and play after class, he went with them. Without me!!! He kept coming back to the hall entrance to check I was there, but he went without me and played with kids he didn’t know, in an unfamiliar environment!! The other mums were witness to my astonishment (and my nervousness as I kept trying to spy on him to check he was ok!).
It’s such a small thing to most people but such a huge step for my boy to trust that he could be safe without me, and trust that I’d still be there.