I have had 5 children. My eldest son has just turned 40 and my youngest daughter is 14. My children big and small have without a doubt been the single most wonderful thing to happen in my life. When my first husband and I gazed at our newborn son just seconds after he was born, we could not stop repeating: “it’s unbelievable, its incredible” like two broken records. This feeling of astonished awe has never left me. It is still there today when I look at the tall handsome kind gentle man he has grown into. I always feel like pinching myself!
After having 4 biological children, (I lost a little girl at birth) by an extraordinary set of circumstances I was fortunate enough to be able to adopt not one but two more little girls when they were babies.
HAVING CHILDREN DID NOT COME EASILY TO ME
I know how hard one has to hang in there when one has to have fertility treatment. I ALSO know how hard one has to hang in there to adopt – In both cases, It takes enormous amounts of courage, perseverance, and resilience to keep on trying, rather than lose HOPE and give up.
Today I feel the same sense of wonder and gratitude when I look at each and every one of my children, as I did when they were babies. I still cannot believe how lucky I am to be their mother.
We live in the French-speaking part of Switzerland and spend many summers in the South of France where I grew up. This has resulted in all my kids being completely bilingual. The Swiss have 4 national languages so being multilingual is no big deal. But I still feel moved to tears at each end of year school play, when I watch my two young daughters up on the stage, laughing and chatting and singing their heads off in French.
Because they speak French all day at school, slowly but surely they now speak French to each other. They are so fluent nobody would guess they are not French.
Happily, their father only speaks English, and my daughters are addicted to all the latest US TV series (thank you Netflix). This ensures their English remains perfect and they can switch from one language to the other without giving it a thought.
Being at home in 2 different cultures broadens the mind and is an immense advantage and a precious gift.
I cannot help reflecting how very different their lives might have been had an incredible set of circumstances not led to me becoming their mother. It is a blessing and a miracle I am grateful for each day.
TAKING MY COUNSELLING BUSINESS VIRTUAL
Because my young daughters are so much younger than my adult children I knew I did not want to miss a moment of them growing up, or of their teenage years. This is why I decided to take my counselling practice online and work from home.
If truth be told however, I ALSO had another extremely important reason for wishing to be more present in their lives. Children are conformists and I know how easily teenagers can be influenced by their friends.
I SPECIALIZE IN FAMILY THERAPY. TEENAGERS, EATING DISORDERS, ADDICTION, AND ADHD. Because of my work as a counsellor, I know the first signs of trouble when I see them. I also know how easy it is to miss them. One thing I know for sure is that teenagers are always 5 steps ahead of us. It does not matter how many children you have had, it is always wise not to get complacent and to be vigilant. Without wishing to sound full of doom and gloom, the minute you relax and start thinking all is well is usually the moment you need to have eyes behind your head and open them!
I have found it immensely helpful to know all I do professionally because once I shut the office door I am of a trusting nature. Even with all I know, had I not had 24 + years of experience as a counsellor there have still been times which could have ended in disaster…
I am a strong believer in education and PREVENTION – When parents know how to spot a potential problem such as addiction or an eating disorder or self-cutting, right at the very beginning it can be life-saving.
I have a fridge magnet which portrays a 1950’s housewife laughing her head off which says: “ She is laughing because she does not have a clue what is really going on”
This sure does sum it up. As parents we all want our children to be happy popular and have lots of friends. BUT we should never underestimate or forget the potential dangers of peer pressure and of wishing to be part of a group. This desire to “belong”, be cool, and emulate is an incredibly powerful influencer.
I ALSO THINK THE SPEED AT WHICH OUR CHILDREN GROW UP IS INCREASING BECAUSE OF THE INTERNET AND THE VIRTUAL WORLD WE LIVE IN.
Snapchat and Instagram keep them constantly connected to their friends. Their FRIENDS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THEIR LIVES. As parents, we should take this very seriously because the INFLUENCE these friends have on our children can often lead to trouble.
We might think we have warned them of all the potential dangers of drugs, smoking, and sex, but it is astounding and scary how fast they can “delete” this when they wish to be cool and part of the gang.
Again, this is why no matter how much experience we think we have, our children will always surprise us. One day out of the blue we can suddenly find they have been doing something, or are on the point of doing something, we NEVER would have imagined!
HOW TAKING MY BUSINESS VIRTUAL CHANGED OUR LIFESTYLE
All I originally intended doing was to put up a simple website to inform my clients I was now available for counselling and coaching over the Internet. What actually happened is vastly different.
In order to learn how to set up a website and get the word out about my practice, I enrolled in a three day Internet marketing seminar in London and my life took a whole new direction.
THE COURSE WAS A REVELATION!
– I realized on day one, that my original plan to continue exchanging hours for money, was old-fashioned and born from lack of knowledge.
– I learned that by counselling over the internet, via Skype, and by creating digital products (E-books and Courses) the world really was my oyster.
– The BEST news was that not only could I help and reach far more people that I could ever have imagined, I could do it from home and be there to look after my daughters at the same time.
MY CHILDREN ARE THE No1 REASON I HAVE EMBARKED ON THIS NEW ADVENTURE. They are my WHY and the reason I created Blogissima. The Blog is the “HOW” and the platform. It is the tool with which to strategically, and patiently build multiple streams of income to provide my family with Financial and Emotional security.
To say Adoption has changed my life is an understatement because wanting the very best for my 2 precious daughters has forced me to think outside the box and decide to radically change our Lifestyle as a family.
What started as a practical solution for staying at home with my children has turned into an adventure I never would have imagined.