I’ve been meaning to update the blog with further stories about how the kids have been developing over the last 2 months since living with us.
We have tried to make swimming an important part of our weekly routine as a family – and almost without fail have all been together once a week to one of the local swimming pools. We are blessed with 3 public pools to choose from in the area, so this has been great for keeping them motivated.
I have once again been overwhelmed by the improvements that both little ones have made in such a short space of time.
The first time we took them swimming was a little bit daunting for us as very new parents, because both little ones didn’t really behave in the most appropriate manner. But we were very keen to persevere, as we had been told in our adoption training that swimming with your adopted child could help build strong physical attachment. This is particularly important in the early days of placement and especially when adopting children, as we have, that are slightly older.
When adopting school age children there are not many opportunities to have close physical contact, skin on skin with your child – which is ultimately one of the best ways to replicate the baby/mother (or baby/father contact time in our case) that has been missed out on in the infant stages of the child’s life. This became very true during the first few times we took our little ones swimming.
Littler little one has gone from literally clinging on to one of our necks for dear life, screaming, physically shaking and shivering in the first couple of visits – to now swimming widths of the pool (and lengths if we would allow) and challenging bigger little one to how deep they can both dive under water and how high they can be thrown by Pappy or Daddy in to the air – before splashing down in the water!
Bigger little one has also leaped forward in confidence and ability – from the first few visits only wanting to play and splash around in the water, but reluctant to actually swim from a to b; to the contrast of during our last visit at the weekend actually swimming (albeit with arm bands and doing doggy paddle) more than 150 metres with only a few short rests during this mammoth accomplishment!
We couldn’t be prouder of how they have taken to swimming with our support and care. We know that they had been taken swimming before, but we don’t know how frequently or whether they were pushed to really try and swim properly, or just splash about in the water.
We’ve now laid some very strong foundations and helped to build their confidence and most importantly their enjoyment of the pool… the next challenge begins later this week when they start proper swimming lessons. Watch this space!