The story of Daniela and Peter – the path to understanding

February 26 2021

Today we will tell you the story of Daniela and Peter.

Daniela is 50 years old and works in two places – in emergency departments. Since the epidemic, she has been one of the first-line nurses on duty in the COVID-19 ward. She sought our support in the summer of 2020 because she was very worried about her adopted child, 7-year-old Peter, who was about to enter 1st grade in just a month.

Danny has always wanted to have a child, but has never found a suitable partner to start a family with. That’s why five years ago he decided to adopt as a single parent. Thus, after almost two years of waiting, fate meets her with Peter – a boy with severe hearing loss who can hardly speak.

Soon after the adoption, the child undergoes the necessary treatment and begins to hear well again, learn and speak. However, the difficulties in mastering his behavior are beginning to escalate – he opposes the adults, leaves home secretly, shows aggression, does not follow rules, and does not respect authorities.

Daniela’s parents fail to provide her with the necessary support – her grandmother is in serious health, and her grandfather is extremely strict with Peter. Shortly before the start of the school year, his grandfather’s health deteriorated sharply and he suddenly rested.

Thus, the role of our experts Margarita Halachliyska and Petya Yanachkova became even more crucial for dealing with the difficulties of the family. Danny needed more emotional support, and Pepi needed space to express her anger at the loss. His grandfather’s death had an effect on him, he began to treat his grandmother much better.

After he left for school, however, the difficulties became even greater, and the mother’s involvement in work, daily thoughts about home, fatigue and worries about the child’s behavior did not have a good effect on family relationships. Often in working with adoptive parents and prospective adoptive parents, we talk about the psychological age of the child – he may have emotional needs, characteristic of an earlier age, which needs to be understood and satisfied.

Thus, we supported Daniela in recognizing the child’s emotional reactions and adapting to them. Peter needed confirmation that she loved him and that he would remain his mother, so he “checked” if he would be rejected by doing various mischief and behaving provocatively.

Gradually, the mother’s attempts to control the child’s behavioral difficulties through remarks became an effort to understand him. This strengthened the bond between the two. Daniela, on the other hand, defended her son more in front of teachers, explained his behavior, and gave the child more support in a way that was appropriate for him.

The work of our specialist continued in the direction of activating the resources in the family and the community. With the additional help of relatives and acquaintances, the child began to progress with the material in school, the grandmother had the opportunity to cope with the loss of her husband, and the mother felt that she could count on the people around her.

Daniela’s main concern was how her son would fit into the education system. We supported the mother to move the boy to school, where he has the opportunity to become part of a smaller class and receive individual attention. For the first day of school, we gave Pepi a backpack, which he is very happy about.

The family continues to receive support from our specialists in need of advice.

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