Meet our newest addition to our family, she is 12 years old, shares the same birthday as my 8 year old daughter and is my niece. For those of you who have been reading my blog for some time you will know that just before I started blogging back in January my younger sister died. She was a single parent to this gorgeous now 12 year old. For the last 6 months she has been living with my mum and dad who lived very close to where she had lived with her mum. This enabled her to carry on at her school. However, this has not worked, my sister had written a will back in 2002 shortly after her husband left her asking that my mum and dad would be her guardian unless unable to and then it was to be us. This did mean that although disappointing for my mum and dad we know that my sister would have been happy with the decision we have now all made.
We are under no illusions, we know that we are not taking on an easy job. We have had her with us for 6 weeks now, she has settled into her new school here relatively easily and is starting to make new friends. She gets on fabulously with my 9 year old son, not so well with our 8 year old daughter - but I expected that - sharing mummy when you are 8 is very, very difficult.
We are now trying to make sure we can get all the support that is available to us. Social services have finally taken us seriously and come on board, which I hope is going to be a good thing. We are also fortunate to have a Child Bereavement charity close by who run groups to support both our 12 year old and our two younger ones.
I have now made the decision to take the six weeks off work that I have been signed off to have and concentrate my energies on providing as much as I am able, to our three lovely children, my husband and myself.
So now we are in the process of letting as many people as possible know the news, including my sisters friends, by sending out 'New Addition' cards. We have a big job ahead of us but we are as ready as we will ever be for it, my husband came up with a very good way of describing how we feel about it all a few weeks ago:
"It's a bit like when you are expecting your first child, you read all the books, you talk to people about it, but actually until that child is in your arms, in your home, you really don't have a clue how it is all going to work out, and even years down the line you are still learning."