There’s been a lot of talk about post adoption depression in the media recently. Give than post-natal depression has only recently become a subject that’s taken seriously. We thought we’d talk to some of our professional nannies who’ve deal with this subject. We discovered such a great story that we thought we’d let mum share it with you in her own words. Names have been changed, of course.
“When I knew that George was going to come and live with us, I was very excited and so was my husband. We’d done all the necessary work and we, and our social worker, were confident that we were being realistic. George was 14 months old when he arrived and he and I had the classic honeymoon period. Then it all slowly slipped away.”
How post-adoption depression shows up
“It began with our friends inviting us out less. I really noticed that our social life dropped off and I knew that George did have some behavioural issues. He could flip out if he felt insecure. Then I began to police our invitations, turning down events I thought George might handle badly. It all escalated until I was pretty well never leaving the house. Everything began to feel difficult. I loved my little boy but I started to wonder whether we should be adopting him.”
Admitting to post-adoption blues is difficult
“I couldn’t tell my husband at first. I certainly didn’t want to tell our social worker in case they took George away! Eventually I told my husband how I was feeling and his response was completely unexpected. He said we should get a nanny.”
Professional help with post adoption depression
“We did two things at once. We admitted to our social worker that I was struggling and she was great. And we spoke to a nanny agency and asked them to find us a nanny who was experienced with adopted children. Evelyn was the first candidate we interviewed, we clicked immediately. She joined us a month later and it changed my life and George’s.
- First, she gave me the space to get back to my own life. My own hobbies and even pick up my career which I’d planned to put down for a year but actually I started work again two half days a week and it transformed my mood.
- Second, Evelyn had such a wide experience of children that she could help me understand when George was just being normal and when his reactions were related to his early experiences. I’d been pathologising everything he did and he turned out to be just a lively little boy, not a disturbed one.
- Third, having a nanny was a chance to get back to my marriage and I realised that part of the problem had been that I was neglecting an important relationship.”
Support is essential when adopting a child
“Five years later and George is doing well at school. Evelyn is still with us and we’re talking to our social worker about adopting a second child! We couldn’t have done this without a truly professional nanny. But today we’re able to consider giving another child a home and a good start in life. I’d whole-heartedly recommend adoption to anyone who’s considering it. But I’d also say that being certain you’ve got rock-solid support – a nanny was my lifeline to being a great mum!”