11th December 2014 Living the reality by Ruth Adams

Don’t get me wrong. I loved my kids. I enjoyed every stage but I wasn’t one of those parents who longed to keep them by my side all the time. When they started school I smiled as I waved them into the next phase of their lives. Off to Uni? – that wasn’t a cause for tears either, just interest and curiosity as I heard about their new friendships and some of the wild experiences they enjoyed.
When one by one my three birth children chose to live abroad – in Barcelona, New York and Berlin (what’s not to like about those places?) – I saw the chance for regular holidays and weekends away rather than bemoaning the fact they wouldn’t be living locally.

As empty nest beckoned when my youngest was 16, I was ready to embrace new opportunities and adventures. I had my plans. Freedom is one of my core values so a whole new world was about to open up to me, so I thought.

So when two damaged little girls became our ‘forever daughters’ (it’s a long story) on our 27th wedding anniversary it was about as far from the reality I had imagined and dreamt for myself as it was possible to get. It was just as well that I had no idea what the next 15 years would hold.

I heard, saw and experienced things that previously I had no idea about and I was forced to rethink lots of my firmly held opinions on so many issues.

It’s been a roller coaster ride. My sense of humour has changed – I’ve had to search for humour in some of life’s darkest moments and my idea of crisis and ‘nightmare’ is completely different now as I’ve come to appreciate that so many things are just not that important – relationships are everything.

When our forever daughters joined the family I was confident that as an experienced parent of three birth children, our new daughters would be a doddle to cope with. I knew nothing of trauma and attachment issues, I was armed only with a traditional model of parenting that had already worked well for me. So how could I fail?

Fail? What does that word mean ? What is success? My definitions of words like these have changed completely too.

It’s just four weeks now since our youngest moved into independence and after 38 years of constant parenting, empty nest has now arrived. I could not have imagined 15 years ago how different my plans and dreams for the future now are.

I’m excited, passionate and inspired to share the things I’ve learnt with other parents and professionals. I now know that there IS hope even in the most challenging and desperate of situations. I know for a fact that some healing is definitely possible from even the most dreadful trauma, with help and support from people who love you and believe in you.

So, as the last of my five children moved on and empty nest finally arrived, T+afa was born. A new venture with so many possibilities. Through it, i long to see damaged, traumatised and abused children and adults understand more about how the things that’ve experienced have affected them and begin to find hope and healing, within themselves.

So, if you think we can help,advise or support you, do get in touch. We don’t just have a load of theoretical answers. We’ve lived it, slept with all the knives in the house under our pillows ……. just in case that angry outburst wasn’t an empty threat and we’ll use our experiences along with our professional training to come along side you.

Leave a comment: