Several years ago, when we were first considering adoption, we were told that, under no circumstance, should we move house in the first few years. It was made very clear to use that adoption and moving house did not go hand in hand. We completely understood this! Some children, ours included, have moved house so many times that they need time to be settled in one place. However, several years later, we are finding that we are having to move house. We found that our current house just wasn’t great for a young family and it was making life much harder than it needed to be! So when a job came up in Lincolnshire for Mr N, we knew we had to go for it!
However, even though the children have been home now for about 16 months, that is pretty short in the grand scheme of things. We know that the children moved house at least 10 times in their very short lives, so we were worried that another move would be really distressing for them. So, we have planned our move very carefully to try to minimise any upset.
- We made sure that we started talking to the children about moving as soon as we knew we would. They were involved from day one with looking at different houses and making suggestions about what they would like in the house. This made a huge difference for them as they didn’t feel as though it was just happening to them!
- They came with us when we looked around the house, and when we went back for second look, we asked them to show us around. They had the chance to pick the rooms they wanted, and to take ownership of parts of the house. This has definitely meant that they feel as though the house is already theirs!
- In the build up to the move, we talked about us all moving together, not leaving anyone or anything behind. This really helped Little Sir who spent most of the time listing the items he wanted to check would be coming with us.
- The day before the move, we gave them each a small rucksack to pack the toys they wanted to take in the car with us. It meant they were able to join in with the packing and feel part of the whole move.
- When we moved into the house, we gave the children control of where things went in their rooms. They helped the removal people take their toys and clothes upstairs and decided where they were going to put them in their room. Not only did this give them a sense of immediate belonging but also helped them feel as though they were an important part of the removal team!
- Prior to moving we also spent some time in the area. Walking from the house to their new school, finding local parks and collecting leaflets for local places we want to visit. We were also able to find the local soft plays and great walking places – all of which have helped the children feel more excited about the move.
We were so very aware that adoption and moving house don’t go easily hand in hand! So with our very careful planning we were able to reassure the children that we were all moving together and really that was the most important thing for them. They weren’t being sent to yet another house, or yet another family, but were an integral part of our little family!