Resilience seems to be the new management buzz word. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, whether you’re in the business world or family life, resilience must be practiced. First, we need to understand it.
Resilience in every day life
Every day, I see two little people who demonstrate and embody resilience, my two adopted children. Before we adopted them from the U.K. care system, they were taken into foster-care because of trauma and neglect.
To me, they are the two most resilient people I know. They have triumphed over adversity, grown in stature, welcomed and learned to love two, almost virtual strangers, and from the day they met us, called us Mummy and Daddy.
When I think about what we all went through to find each other, I have to pinch myself. This was a big leap of faith, for two little children, broken and hurt, to welcome us into their hearts and to allow us to be their parents.
For me, this is true resilience.
How do we acquire resilience?
We had many supporters give us a helping hand, while making resilient moves on our behalf. Our parents, a teacher, someone from a youth club … all of them believed in us, put our lives on a positive trajectory, helped us to make our own resilient moves positive life choices.
How do we define resilience?
Boing Boing, led by Professor Angie Hart, are the pioneers of resilience therapy for children and they define resilience as: “Beating the odds whilst also changing the odds.”
As Professor Angie Hart says: “Believe in the impossible”.
Professor Angie Hart is a parent to three adoptive children, also from the UK care system, all of whom have complex needs. She grew up in tricky circumstances, but still managed to study social sciences at Oxford and Cambridge Universities.
That’s pretty darn resilient!
Our roll call of resilience
I often think about the people who have made resilient moves for my children. Their kindness and positive actions helped change the course of my children’s lives.
- The school that noticed our children’s neglect, and helped to take them out of an unsafe home situation
- Social workers, who tracked us down, saw our potential as the right family for our adopted children
- The psychologists who helped my daughter understand that forever parents mean forever, and that our love is unconditional
- The teachers at our children’s school who saw beyond our children’s trauma, fear and anxiety, worked with them to bring out their very best
- The art therapy provided by my children’s school, that gave my children a creative outlet for their troubled emotions. They still have this skill and use it to express how they feel through art
- My adoption agency who provided 24 weeks of play therapy to help give back years of lost nurture
We eventually moved to France (due to the demands of my husband’s job), which was a monumental move for two children who came from a very insecure background. They put their resilience skills to use and made moves that helped them cope with moving from a British school to a French school, make new French friends, and now speak French a lot better than me!
As Professor Angie Hart says, “Believe in the impossible” and you know what, anything becomes possible!