Dougal is a soft white washable dog with big brown come hither eyes, and he was my first gift to J.
I’d had him lounging on J’s new bed, the absolute star of the first picture J saw of his new bedroom, or so I thought. It turned out in fact that J was initially more captivated by the sight of the Knex helicopter on the chest of drawers, but I didn’t learn that until later. You see, I wasn’t there when he first saw that book of photographs, but his social worker was, and his foster carers too, and they were the ones who introduced J to me and his new family while I sat at home and waited.
The social workers who’d helped me prepare for adoptive motherhood had some great tips. Dougal played an important part in the master plan. When J visited our home a few days into ‘introductions’, Dougal was waiting for him, a familiar and friendly face from the photo. J and I then started to get to know each other at his foster carers’ and on his last night there, I gave him Dougal to look after for the night. Dougal wanted to stay with him and he also wanted to come back home to Northwest London, so J needed to take good care of him and bring him home safely. Giving J this responsibility and this comforter helped ease the difficult transition. I love Dougal for that.
Catty was the next handsome addition to the menagerie. While Dougal is a bit of a stay-at-home, not much given to packing a suitcase, Catty is quite the opposite, a go-getting girl who always feels at home in an international airport. Catty accompanied us on all our travels for many years.
These days J is a bit too big to admit to loving his soft toys, but perhaps you get a little sense of the affection he still has for his dog Dougal in this photograph which I took of them together this evening.
I’m linking this up to the Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO week 70.