Hey guys, I'm Claire. Mother, Carer and Home Educator to our Daughter, Ella and Wife to my biggest supporter, A. Just to get it out there quickly, we keep my Wife's name confidential, it later will become apparent why, so let's call her A.
You'll usually find me in the woods, or with my nose in a book or research paper on child development, parenting and psychology. Until 3 years ago, my career was in Mental Health, managing services for those with complex mental health needs, trauma, drug and alcohol addictions, autism and learning disabilities. I also worked as a Behavioural Specialist for some of this time, working with individuals with behaviours that challenge. You won't be surprised to hear that all of the above conditions and challenges are a part of my background in some way or another. It's usually the way for those of us working in the Care Sector.
If you really want to engage me in conversation then let's talk about human rights, home education, disability awareness, well, pretty much anything social justice.
In 2011, I met A. A works in education, specifically within the SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) department. Together, we spent our 20s at festivals, nights out, nights in, camping and city breaks. In 2015 we got married, a little different to most. We hired a campsite in the middle of Snowdonia, in Wales and pretty much had a big garden party. Think paper plates and street food, bunting and hessian, family, friends and bring your own beer. It was perfect.
The following year, A and I decided to start the adoption process to become parents, and offer a little person a second chance at life. 9 months later we brought home our baby girl, Ella. I'll talk more about adoption further down the line but when we went into the adoption process we knew we were likely to be matched with a child who had experienced at least some degree of childhood trauma, possibly some of the worst things that no child should have to endure. This also meant that they were a lot more likely to have further needs on top of trauma such as development delays, autism, learning disabilities, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, etc. Needless to say, given our backgrounds we knew we had the skills required for the challenges ahead. And thank goodness we did. Ella has some of the additional needs that are mentioned above, again for a separate post. But, she is the most incredible little being in the world. She has such a kind soul with a thirst and passion for the world. She is bright (extremely bright, and if you're visiting here from our Instagram page you will know this), she has a deep connection with nature and is completely and utterly in love with books and reading. Ella is funny, she's charming and in many ways it feels as though she's been here on Earth before. We are the luckiest parents of all time. 6 months after she came home, I swapped my career to be Ella's full time Carer.
We have a very close relationship, the three of us. With Ella's needs we don't have much of a village, people tend to get a bit fed up of you talking about how challenging your days can be when you're raising a child with complex needs. But we are blessed to both have a handful of family and friends who are here to help us emotionally through the challenging days. Our time is spent slowly, in nature, or with our noses in books. We love cooking and enjoying a plant based diet, growing our own vegetables (mostly unsuccessfully - thus far). We love growing plants, talking philosophy, wooden toys and natural resources, pulling the sofas together and enjoying a cosy evening. And my obsession with stationery. Who can forget stationery?
Thanks so much for stopping by. You'll find a lot of my ramblings here about motherhood, home education, disability and SEND, conscious and peaceful parenting and other musings. Mostly because Instagram just doesn't have the space for the amount of talking I do. If you want to check out my Instagram page it's www.instagram.com/educatingella