They say introductions are hard going, emotionally draining, tiring…well that is the biggest understatement ever!!
If I was going to pick one bit about adoption that has really challenged me then this was it.
We understood the basics, we would be going to the Foster Carers house where we would be spending time with the children getting to know them. We would be fed and watered and we would be encouraged to take on more responsibility of the children. “Transferring the attachment from Foster Carers to us”
The children continue to behave beautifully. They sit at the table together and they eat their meal and drink their drink. They then wipe their hands before leaving the table.
“Oh what well behaved children they are!” We exclaim, “haven’t they responded well to to their placement”
But as a car salesman sells you a car, a Foster Carer is there to sell you the children.
The days went on and we got to the point where The Teenager and The Child were to meet The Children. The introductions between our children have been decided by The Children’s Social Workers. We found their plan ridiculous. The expectation was that we would leave our house on Saturday at 8am with a view to being at The Foster Carers by 9am. We would then spend the day at The Foster Carers before returning home to do the same thing the next day.
It was this part of the plan that totally infuriated me. The plan was made by Social Workers who had not considered The Child and The Teenager at all. The travel alone was going to be hard going, let alone being in the confines of a single room all day. After several long winded emails and phone calls it was agreed Social Services would pay for us to stay in a hotel near to The Children. This was a saving grace as it meant The Teenager and The Child were able to take a time out and to process meeting The Children.
We arrived on the Saturday morning, we headed out to the conservatory which had become our room during introductions. (It was clear from the minute we met The Children that the conservatory was their room. It even had a stair gate on it just to make sure they knew it too.) We had found this room claustrophobic when it was just us and The Children, now it was us, The Children and The Teenager.
They all met and got on really well straight away. It was lovely to see. It reaffirmed we had made the right decisions. After a couple of hours in the confines of or 6 by 3 room The Teenager and The Child had, had enough. They were promptly dropped off at the B&B with their evening meal and given time to relax whilst we put The Children in the bath and too bed.
I understood the thinking behind the introductions, I didn’t understand the ignorance of the people making the plan. My advice to anyone with children already, take time to look at the suggested plan and make sure it works for you. Otherwise your setting yourself up for a bumpy ride.
It’s the first day…today we meet the children who will be joining our family forever!
We can’t wait! The Husband has ironed his shirt and polished his shoes. I’ve put on a mumsy top and sensible shoes, and we are off. It’s a three hour drive with some awful traffic but it will be worth it. Little did we know at this point how difficult this journey would be.
Well we are making good time so decide to stop for a coffee, a take away coffee in a stupid cup which I end up spilling down my single coloured top. Bloody marvellous! We now need to stop off at the next services so I can pick up a motorway services scarf. I find one in green so it matches my top, and the static isn’t to bad once you get used to it.
Before we meet the children we are having our placement meeting. Present will be our Social Worker, The Children’s Social Worker, her Team Leader, The Foster Carer and her Social Worker. It seems crazy to have this meeting just minutes before we meet The Children but what do I know?
The meeting due to start at 11 and we are to meet The Children an hour later. This timing worked as it meant we would be back in time for after school club.
The meeting didn’t last an hour it lasted two. A fair bit of that time was spent putting together a workable plan that should have been done and agreed days ago. We now have to try and jungle each day to accommodate their plan. Which of course we will do but why leave it so late to discuss it?
Meeting over we are itching to meet The Children.
We are at The Foster Carers, we can see two heads bobbing about at the window, The Children’s Social Worker is also there.
We walk in and boom! Two of the most amazing children coming running at us to say hi!
They are great, they are so well prepared for us. We are Mummy and Daddy straight away which is the oddest thing to hear. We spend 2 hours with them, reading, playing and just staring at them.
They are perfect in every way, they are so special. Again I feel blessed, I found this children or they found me, whatever way it happened it was meant to be. I was told many a time this is how it would happen, how sceptical I was! But it’s true, the child/children will come. You just have to wait for the match. Easy to say I hear, but it’s true! I think back to that one moment when we were so close to calling it a day. Had we not had the holiday, had we not stayed in the resort we did we might not have met these children. Everything does happen for a reason.
Today we met our children, we leave the house and I call my mum.
Adoption forces you to say very little. I can’t put pictures on Facebook and call all my friends. I can’t because I need to keep them safe and I can’t because despite all we have been through already, they are not mine until we adopt them which is a long time away.
Ok, so I’ve told you we’ve been matched. Which is amazing! We are very very lucky, excited and nervous all at the same time. I’ve never been told how kind and generous we must be to adopt.
I couldn’t disagree more! I’m very lucky, our family is blessed, we have two beautiful children joining our family in a matter of days. I’ve decided to be brutally honest, I’m not sugar coating anything…. Adoption is tough, and that’s before you meet the kids.
Meeting The Children has been the most challenging and frustrating experience. Not because of The Children but because of the system that facilitates it.
I believe my Children will bring me joy and pride and will only be of essence to my family.
My experience of Social Services has not been a good one, and if I can offer one piece of advice to anyone thinking of Adoption, Research! Research, Research!
I personally would never go through my local council again, and they were ok. But…you adopt out of area, well that’s a whole new ball game. You best be incredibly tolerant, flexible and be able to switch off your emotions at the drop of a hat. Oh and a pot of money, because what they don’t tell you that out of area also means out of pocket.
My journey as it begins….
Tomorrow is the first visit…….
I am not pregnant, however I have been given the gift of being a mother again. In a few days time my children will join me and my family. I am blessed, I am lucky and I am fortunate. I did not choose my children, through fate and hope they found me.
I will have children I never thought possible and I will love them and care for them.
They arrived in my heart, the minute we were told we were a match. I may not be buying a pram and fitting out the nursery but I am preparing. I’ve bought clothes to fit a toddler rather than a baby, I’m buying school uniform and not baby grows. I’m nesting for my children and for that I am blessed. Adoption is the opportunity life holds in a special place, sometimes it’s your destiny, I’m very pleased it’s mine…
We took time to recover from the phone call. I decided to take the practical approach and went for “oh well, our time will come” what I didn’t expect was that our time was 7 days away!!
We have a match! We had enquired about 2 children weeks ago and having heard nothing back and had assumed we were not being considered.
Well how wrong we were. I can only liken it to being in the queue for The Big One at Blackpool. One minute your at the back of the queue with loads of people in front of you and then suddenly it’s your turn to get on. All you can do now is to move forward…..and brace yourself!
So we are having the first meeting with the children’s Social Worker and our own at our house. I cleaned like I’ve never cleaned before…The Husband is in charge of tea so is currently staring at the teapot, to pot or not to pot? Oh well whatever works for him.
Our Social Worker arrives first, we run through a bit more about the children and the the bell goes. I can honestly say I’m petrified!
What is were not what they are looking for? What if they don’t like us? What if the children don’t like dogs?
It’s gone well, all questions have been asked and answered and The Husband and I are knackered!
They all leave and it’s time for him and I to reflect.We both feel it went well, we’ve heard nothing that would change our mind. There is a silly grin on our faces, we are so excited!
We are now officially on the roller coaster!
After the longest 3 hours the phone rings…..”it’s not good news” says the Social Worker.
It’s funny you try very hard not believe that it could happen for fear of it not happening and yet your still floored.
I waited for a while before phoning The Husband. I feel awful that he’s in work to hear the news. I let him know and hear the disappointment in his voice. He’s been much more reserved this time. I sometimes wonder if he believes we will ever be matched at all.
We sit down that evening to talk about what happens now. The child we had been considered for had 7 potential matches to shortlist from. That’s a lot of potentials. However that does now make me wonder if being matched is something that is going to take forever.
I understand that you shouldn’t go into adoption with a time frame in mind but what happens to your life whilst your waiting?
Having played the waiting game whilst trying naturally you have to get to a point where you say enough is enough or it takes over your life and you stop living.
I remember the day we decided to stop trying naturally as clear as day. I was due for my pre, pre ovulation reflexology session the next day and for the first time as I drove down the sea front and past the boats on the lake to my appointment I was able to see.
For weeks I had driven the same route but had never seen the view. My mind was always full of what if? What if it happens this month? What colour will I paint the nursery?..
At some point to be sane you have to stop or you stop seeing and you stop living. Is that what waiting to adopt is becoming??
Omg! We have had tough days on this Adoption journey but my goodness today’s it the toughest!
We were asked to look at the profile of a child at the beginning of the month. We fell in love!
We tick all the boxes and The Wee one ticks ours. Now all we have to do is wait patiently for the Child’s Social Worker and Family finder Social Worker to agree so we can take it to the next stage.
Today is that day, I’ve taken the day off for fear of missing the phonecall and The Husband is at work waiting for my phonecall with a decision.
My tummy is in knots! I’ve managed to make a coffee which is an achievement given the involentery shaking that started at about 10am!
I’ve tried cleaning the house, however that’s come to a standstill for fear of not hearing the phone ringing over the noise of the vacume cleaner!
So TV it is, however the rerun of Corrie does seem to be providing a slight distraction. Not enough to stop the shaking or the phone being checked every 2 minutes…. I know the meeting must be coming to an end and we should hear within the next hour….