Introductions whizzed by in a flash and Little Man has been with us for over a week now - Wow that time has flown. It feels like so much has happened in that short space of time but it also feels like the last few weeks have been a giant blur. The last few days have seen us settle into a routine and new structure of daily life - we’ve been making sure we get out with Little Man once a day to ensure we’re all suitably tired come the end of the day.
In a nutshell, Introductions were very tough. We knew what to expect to a point but there was only so much we could actually prepare for. There are only so many books, blogs, videos and websites that can be read and watched to prepare you for the massive change that parenthood brings. There is and was nothing quite like actually getting involved. It was incredibly intense and full on.
The first few days were perfect for us to see Little Man again and to continue where we left off back in March. There was lots of fun and play being had and it was important that we saw his daily routine too. During the middle part of the transitions we were more or less with the Foster Carers all day, but also had several days where we took Little Man out so we could build upon the bond with us both, and lots more play too! We were both having moments during these early days where we would both look at each other not quite believing we were well into the swing of introductions and about to be launched into the new world of being a parent!
Towards the end of our time with his Foster Carers we would assist more with his daily routine including bedtime. These days were full on and both emotionally and mentally draining. These days were so insightful as we saw a 'normal' day for Little Man. We would go often back to our accommodation totally exhausted, but following a daily ‘check in’ with our social worker, we knew this was normal!
During the latter part of introductions Little Man travelled to us with his Foster Carer with him seeing home for the very first time. He met Ralph and despite some reservations about a sausage dog jumping up and trying to greet him with a lick and a frantic wagging tail, he was happy to let Ralph wander round but not come too close for now. Little Man walked all over the house, going into each room and seeing what his new home was all about. We were surprised how soon he appeared to settle.
Over the course of the next four days his Foster Carer spent time with us each day in order that he felt safe and comfortable in his new surroundings. As I write this blog we are through the first week of Little Man living in his new home and every day has been different. We take each day as it comes and we are learning as new parents about our new way of life.
It has been tough, but as we know parenting is not easy and we ensure that we both take time out of our day for that all important self-care as it’s very easy to forget to look after ourselves whilst focussing on Little Man. Tag-team parenting has been effective too, so that’ll continue for as long as possible. It has also been great to have a set routine and structure to each day and we’re making sure that is stuck to, wherever we are.
It feels weird to think this time several weeks ago we were gearing ourselves up for what was to come, and just in the blink of an eye we are at the beginning of a very new journey. What we adore the most is the precious moments that take you by surprise - such as Little Man coming up to you to plant a huge kiss on your face, or telling you to stop tickling him (when you know he loves it) and screaming at you "again, again"!
We have so much to learn and we’re excited for all the memories that are out there waiting to be made - it’s going to be great!