It’s been lucky 13 for me as this year has been stuffed with highlights like no other. Personally it has been a relief to see some particularly testing trauma behaviours fading into the background proving that all that therapeutic parenting really was worth it. Professionally, it’s been the year of my life. These were the some of the best bits:
1. Celebrating my rather surreal winning of the British Society of Magazine Editors Columnist of the Year Award with Camilla Pemberton. Gin never tasted so good.
2. Signing a publishing contract with Jessica Kingsley Publishers and finally seeing my book No Matter What published. The feedback has been incredible and has demonstrated there is still more work to do to get the support for traumatised adopted children and their families right.
3. Meeting many wonderful tweeps in real life. Twitter really can change your life.
4. Giving trauma a good kick in the ass. It needs a few more but to strike a blow has been satisfying.
5. Spending a lovely few days at the home of The Open Nest charity in Whitby with J and R.
7. The Swedish three-parter ‘Don’t Ever Wipe Tears Without Gloves‘. Best television I watched this year.
8. Hearing ‘a year or two ago we couldn’t have called it, but now he’s turned a corner and is doing really well’. Saying that was a relief doesn’t really cover it.
9. Finishing a cross-channel swim in aid of CLIC. We did it in the swimming pool. It took us three months. It’s a long old way.
10. Seeing one of my best friends happy and wed.
11. Standing in the pouring rain watching seals swimming in the shallows at St Ives. We got so close we could see the smiles on their faces. As is the way in our family a child was mid-strop at the time, but it didn’t matter.
12. Seeing Dan Hughes speak (again) at the Adoption UK conference in Birmingham. I’m honestly not stalking him, much.
As this year closes and makes way for another, I must say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone I’ve worked with and made contact with this year. There is a lot of kindness and warm-heartedness out there and plenty of generosity too. I know that 2013 hasn’t been easy for some but I wish you all the very best for 2014.