We are a UK based group of parents who have adopted our children from the looked after system in the past 20+ years. All of our teenagers are incredible survivors who need specialist parenting which can be very hard going. Despite dealing with some heavy subjects, we like to meet socially and have a bit of relaxation with other parents who understand what we are facing. These pages are by way of an introduction to our group, our aims and an overview of what we do. We accept families with adopted children, teens and young people but our focus is supporting parents through the teenage years. Our group is a not for profit organisation committed to this community. We promote (and try) to follow therapeutic principles (in depth document HERE.)
Here is a brief (not exclusive) list of things POTATO group do.
On Monday morning The Wright Stuff on Channel 5 ran a phone in about the contraversial topic of whether a 2 year old should be told that her father killed her mother and then took his own life in prison.
Here is the news link.
Here at the POTATO group we understand that many of our members had their children due to reasons of extreme violence, and it is important to give their children a narrative.
This is based on the work in Greg Keck’s 2002 book “Parenting the hurt child” and sits alongside the respected work by Bessell Van De Kolk “The body keeps the score“. The approaches to life story work such as Rose and Philpot “The Childs Own Story” and “Story Re-Visions” by Parry & Doan are related to this therapeutic understanding. Other experts such as Dr Bruce Perry and the respected Dan Hughes and Family Futures with a multitude of current trauma specialists follow the “full disclosure” school of thought.
“Janie” is one of our founder members and continues to contribute on the committee and our private facebook group. Janie says re disclosure of life story to adoptees: “After all if we cannot give our children the truth, what can we give them?”
We would like local and national government to give full disclosure about their childrens past when they are adopted. This rarely happens and a censored version of events is given to families so they are in effect, parenting blind. We think this needs to change. Here are some quotes from Greg Keck explaining why.
“In therapy, Rita [approx. age 7] was capable of expressing what she thought she might have felt when she was two years old”. — Parenting the Hurt Child (2002), p. 82
“We need to validate their truth, document their truth, and where possible show them the truth. Sometimes in therapy we have used police or hospital photos to show the child exactly what “bad touch” means. These photos do more to affirm the child’s reality than the nice smiling photos taken at a supervised visit.” — Parenting the Hurt Child (2002), p. 249
“I don’t think we should keep any information about a child from that child. And I don’t think we have to wait until he is old enough to understand what happened to him. After all, most atrocities committed by parents are done before their children can truly understand them. We talk to babies”. — Parenting the Hurt Child (2002), p. 250
Greg Keck passed away in 2015 and is missed by the adoption community worldwide. You can access his powerpoint explaining his approach in detail here.
Good Afternoon everyone. Yes its Tuesday, blogday.
This week we bring you the last bit of the adventure and trip home which is not without some eyewatering bits!
Over the next few weeks we will be bringing pieces on when your adopted young person is trying to get a mental health bed, moving out well along with several other pieces written by our members.
Enjoy the final part of BAMBOO….
Are they heading for a Thai jail?
Find out how they get on in BAMBOO part 3.
Would you believe all this stuff was possible with a traumatised young person? Here at POTATO we are amazed at the tenacity, intelligence and ‘sheer bloody minded hanging on in there’ ism in our adoptive parents.
Sometimes just about hanging on with your eyes shut praying, hoping and getting through by the skin of your teeth might be more like the day to day.
Bamboo adventures maybe for another day but sometimes achievement looks like being able to drink a hot cuppa and not be sworn at, or have an hour when you realise you haven’t worried about your adopted teen is really nailing it.
Just got in from taking one of our much loved POTATO dogs for a walk in the sunshine. It’s icy and bitterly cold.
But thankfully bright and I feel so much happier and exercised afterwards. You end up day dreaming wondering about summer, the warm sun without icy wind. Holidays sound a good plan… France? Devon? Turkey? Dubai or perhaps… Phuket?
For those who don’t know, holidays for traumatised young people can be really tough. For many it’s the first time they really notice how different kids with ‘normal range’ starts are to traumatised ones. They struggle enormously with change. All their controlling, stress driven behaviours reappear and there’s very little relaxing on the side of parent or child.
Doing a big thing like Thailand is such a huge leap for any family, let alone one with a traumatised young person.
This weeks blog is following our friends are off on their Thailand Adventures and here is part two.
Oh yes our dear friends, it is nearly time for our annual weekend of socialising, fun, meeting and learning. This year we are heading to Birmingham on the weekend beginning Friday 10th November 2017 until Sunday 12th November 2017.
There are plans in place for meeting up socially, an AGM and conference with space for you to attend the AdoptionUK conference if you wish, or going shopping, having some R&R in between.
Our AGM and conference is from 10am-1pm on Sunday the 12th.
We have nominations for the committee (including new roles) forms to complete by noon on Saturday 11th November, together with details of roles and responsibilities and the current holders of these positions within the committee.
If you would like to come to any of our social events and/or AGM & conference and you are a Member of our group you would be most welcome.
Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org to request further details or clarification.
Founder member and chair of POTATO is to appear on the Victoria Derbyshire BBC2 programme.
Together with fellow experienced adoptive parents we explain that;
Also, radio 5 are revisiting their file on 4 survey with one of our members speaking as a guest.
If you are an adoptive parents and would like to join our group:
You can donate using PayPal
(We comply fully with Data Protection and any information will remain confidential unless there is a serious risk of harm)
Or it is easier and cheaper to donate directly to the POTATO account.
Here’s a message from our treasurer;
I would like to take the opportunity to remind there is an annual membership donation of £10 which could now be sorted by standing order or if you wish to be generous by a £1 a month direct debit.
The account details are :-
Sort code 09-01-28
Account number 90254012
Account name: The Potato Group