The hardest decision I will ever make

This is a hard one to write, and I almost didn’t post this, but decided that if I’m going to document my adoption journey, then it’s helpful to others if I include as much of it as I can.

After exploring my potential match a bit more, I decided not to pursue it any further. It was an impossibly hard decision, and I had to call up friends, family and colleagues to talk it over again and again. I am someone who needs to talk through things out loud to sort things out in my head – I do my thinking out loud, and I need to bounce ideas off other people to help me form opinions and consolidate my feelings.

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Matching

So, it’s all a little scary, and exciting, and daunting, and exhilirating, and terrifying. In a nutshell.

There is a little boy they suggested putting my name forward for, but the social worker wasn’t terribly enthused about whether or not it was a match – she seemed a bit vague, like she wasn’t really sure. She also said there will be quite a few other adopters so I might not get picked, and seemed to clearly want to manage my expectations that it may not come to anything.

So, on her recommendation, they put my name forward, and after waiting for a few weeks and hearing nothing, I had resigned myself to the idea that I probably won’t be matched until after Christmas.

But then they contacted me, and said that they were going to send me his full report to read and think about. I had a look through it, and then set up a meeting with my social worker, who told me that both his social worker and the family finder thought it was a good match, and they have picked me over all the other potential adopters!

So I’m now waiting to meet with the other social worker and family finder, and explore if this is the right match for me! Not too clear on the timeframe yet, but my lodger has just moved out, and I have got the bedroom all ready, and started buying a few toys and books and things. I have even started an amazon wish list, and am planning to ask my family this year to get me something for my kid this year for Christmas instead of something for me.

So it’s exciting! Watch this space….

Avoiding it doesn’t make it go away….

So, while I was in Yemen, the final restructure paper was released and people started having their impact meetings. I read the paper, and sure enough my role was cut as I had expected, and as predicted the new adviser roles were a grade above mine in terms of pay. However, my counter-proposal was accepted and in my impact meeting, they explained that I could be included inside the ring-fence for the role, alongside the other advisers at risk of redundancy. So I was able to interview for the new role, and based on the outcome of that, would either be offered a permanent job with a pay rise, or be made redundant.

I was feeling very hopeful that I have a strong skill-set and would be a good candidate for the role, and felt reasonably confident it was going to be ok. My bigger concern previously was that I wouldn’t be allowed to apply for the role at all due to my pay grade, so once that hurdle was overcome I was feeling calmer and more reassured that it will all work out. Continue reading

Finding a family

Well, after a brief break to go to Yemen for my work trip, and for my social worker to go on holiday, I have now been given a login to the database called “Link Maker” which is where prospective adopters and prospective children can be matched.

I have filled in a profile, which includes photos, information about myself, my hobbies and interests, what type of things I like to do, and what type of child I am interested in being matched with (age preferences, gender preferences, disabilities etc). That profile has now gone live, and the professional social workers or “Family Finders” will start trying to match me with the right child.

It’s hard to know how long this might take. I know one couple who were approved last September and were only matched in June this year (9 or 10 months waiting), but I also know of 2 different couples who were approved in the same week as me in late July, and both have already been matched barely a month later! They won’t confirm their matches for another month, but their child has been identified and they are ready to move forward. Continue reading

Yemen

WARNING! This post is LOOOOOOONG. So much to say!

I finally had a work trip to Yemen to run a training course, which was rather arduous to organise – first the visa didn’t come through, so we had to cancel the planned trip and reschedule. Then the visa came but it wasn’t printed in time to get a flight. So we rescheduled it again. Then I got a flight, but it was cancelled. Then I got another flight and that was also cancelled (both were issues with the plane, which is never reassuring…).

Eventually I managed to get on a flight, and we re-scheduled the training for the 3rd time (each time the participants had to get Government permits to travel to the training). Continue reading

Podcast: The Adoption

For those of you following my adoption journey, or for friends and family who want to know a little more about how it all works, there is an EXCELLENT podcast which I highly recommend.

I have had several podcasts recommended to me since starting this journey, some I found too trite, some too religious, and some were based on the American adoption system which is very different from the UK and therefore not all that helpful for me.

However, there is a podcast series by BBC Radio 4 called “The Adoption” from their World at One series. It has 17 episodes, each about 8-10 minutes long, and it is a documentary, following the story of two real children in the UK on their road to adoption.

The names have been changed, and certain elements of their stories have been redacted, to protect them, but it gives a fascinating and real insight into the process, and the experience from the point of view of the children, their social worker, their birth parents and birth grandparents, and the adoptive family. Obviously they have had to remove certain parts, such as the real reasons the children were taken away from their birth family, so some parts are a little confusing or vague, but it’s clear they had good reasons and you won’t hear anything harrowing in terms of abuse or neglect.

I have found it extremely gripping, useful, and informative, and it has given me a lot of insight into the process from the child’s perspective, and from the birth family, and I think it’s really worth a listen for anyone who is interested in adoption in the UK, or who wants to know more about what it might have been like for my child, once they come along.

You can listen online here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p05k3wsq

or you can find it on your usual podcast place, but I highly recommend giving it a go.

2018 Book Challenge

I enjoyed last year’s book challenge so much, and it really re-invigorated my love of reading, so I have decided to do it all again this year!

Last year I managed a total of 45 books (including some non-challenge entries) and I’m not sure whether or not I’ll achieve the same this year, but who knows?

The official list my dad and I are using is here, and I’ll be adding to this list as I go along. Continue reading

HENGE!!!!!

As many of you know, April 2016 was my very first Henge experience.

Naturally, back then, we went to the Big Daddy of all Henges, The Original Henge, Stonehenge. It’s the most famous, most well-known, and has it’s own (recently renovated) massive visitor centre. It had an EXCELLENT gift shop, but the Henge itself was behind ropes so there was no Henge-touching. However we learnt a lot about Stonehenge, and also about Woodhenge! (I LOVE that there was also a Woodhenge).

So this time, as my friend CeeCee was visiting from Australia, we decided to go on an adventure to find THE OTHER HENGE….. Continue reading