The POTATO group

Festive Flounderings…

potato nativity

POTATO nativity with Potato-y sheep!

 

 

As Christmas approaches us in the POTATO group we have mixed feelings about surviving the season with young people who often struggle with change, overwhelming pressure to do “family” and supporting young people who have odd levels of present expectation. As parents the responsibilities mount up and its hard to balance the expectations of the wider family and the capacity of our young people to manage without massive fall out and destructive behaviours repeating.

We all started out in adoption with some dreams and hopes of what a family life could look like:christmas_family460

But, the reality for many POTATO families is trying to settle for the lowest possible impacting Christmas which makes it more manageable.

It means that several members have not received any gifts for YEARS from their young people as giving to parents of any description is too big an ask for many traumatised adopted young people. Or the gifts they have received are ones they have had to engineer themselves or are wholly inappropriate. Tales of being given perfume that was originally given to a girlfriend and one gift of a roll-on deodorant with attached PUBE occurred on the facebook group! In all seriousness Christmas can be a particularly upsetting and hard time for members.

So, POTATO group decided to change things to make a Happy Christmas.

We have run a Secret Santa project.

How it works.

Members have confidentially given their name, address, likes and dislikes and in return have been given a fellow POTATO members details.With a maximum spend of £5 it was hoped many would feel able to join in and we have had 46 members join this years scheme via our private Facebook.

Planning ahead.

On Christmas Day, at 8pm we are going to take POTATO selfies of us opening our gifts… and thank one another on line….(toes wiggling excitedly as I type!)

The gift of Christmas JOY !

Hannah from Yorks– “it’s about us as real people caring for each other as we truly understand. Making us feel good when most of the time we feel s***!”

Pauline from London– ” I didn’t want anyone to get me a present but I really wanted to get one for someone. I would like my Spud to know that I’m thinking of them; that I care; that I want to put just a tiny spark of light into their life and that, even though they’ve probably never met me, I’m their friend.”

Laxme from Oxon “I was so excited to send out my little effort which I designed and kept adding too – all for under £5!”

Mary from Boston It felt genuinely good to buy a present, knowing that this small gift would brighten up someone’s day.
Receiving mine made me feel as though someone else ‘gets it’. They know that Christmas can be tough, and sending/receiving presents isn’t always easy when you’ve got a traumatised teen.”

John from Winchester “When mine arrived I was so excited I tried to open a bit to peak at what it could be. Someone who actually cares about me and sent me a gift- POTATO is such a wonderful thing for Dads like me.”

Theresa from Kent “It’s reassuring us that we’re not alone in Potato Land. Others understand and care cos they hold the same passport!”

Jasmine from Sussex “I did a little happy dance a present sent to me that I didn’t have to sort out.. To enjoy with no guilt”

*We have changed the names and some locations for privacy reasons, but comments are genuine*

See you all at 8pm on Christmas night with your selfies!

 

If you would like to be a part of this wonderful supportive group, please contact us using the form on this site or simply email parentingadoptedteens@gmail.com Paypal a donation and we can: meet face to face,collect your membership information and you can join our private secure facebook group.

Welcome to the world of LEGGIT & SCARPER…

When life in with your teen isn’t tough enough they start a whole new range of activities! One that comes up a lot within our community is the young runners and leavers. These expert terrified toddlers are inexpert young adolescents and therefore attract a whole heap of troubles due to many factors.

Vulnerable, excited and with a very limited grasp on cause & effect our young people represent a high level of risk to themselves and others that often the professionals and authorities fail to grasp. As parents it can be incredibly hard to get the Police, Social Care and other services to recognise the level of risk posed and act quickly.

Often, our young people just have not developed enough genuine empathy and appear completely indifferent showing ingratitude for the good life choices their adoptive families have demonstrated to them. Their inner world (developed from their backgrounds in their birth families) means they read life as full of fear, guilt, shame, horror and negativity and cannot accept the loving care from their adoptive families and struggle with secondary attachments (teachers, foster carers, mentors, social workers, medics, support workers e.t.c) to a degree too.

Again, with all things adoption, there are teens who run away from home but the intensity, frequency, level and frankly the reasons why they are doing this are at a completely different level from your “average teen”. We would argue in POTATO group that there should be a specific protocol for professionals to follow. Primarily we are into encouraging and supporting adoptive parents and going through the night, wondering if your wayward teen has hooked up with the local druggies at the park or offered sexual services for a packet of fags to the peadophile is something many of us have not only lived through but struggled through repeatedly. That constant bombardment of threat is a serious thing for the strongest parent and so we have put together some tips for surviving it. Don’t become a MASHED POTATO!

In comfort to most, the running off seems to arrive and then go as quickly as it came. Something, somewhere clicks. Maybe its the young person simply maturing. It does not seem event driven so a really serious event like being hit by a car or assaulted may not stop the running. But eventually, it stops in most.

So IF your young person is running then what do you do? Can you get prepared before it even starts? Read More

Welcome to all parents of teens (and post teens) adopted in the UK

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. We are looking forward to the easing of restrictions which will enable this to happen again. 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 the POTATO group do.

  1. Demonstrate kindness to fellow adoptive parents, and their children, primarily via our secret Facebook group but also, when circumstances allow, face to face.
  2. Actively encourage “self care” by members, to help protect both their physical and mental wellbeing.
  3. Share our considerable expertise in areas such as housing, specialist schools/ colleges, mental health problems, therapy, addictions, the criminal justice system and other difficulties traumatised young people often bring into our lives.
  4. Signpost national events of interest to our members.
  5. Promote good practice and present to local and national authorities.

Please visit our membership section for details of how to join us.