Well goodness we HAVE been busy lately!
Feels like the last 3 months straight have been nothing but jam-packed and hectic but we are slowly getting there…
My mum and my sister came down to stay for a weekend and helped me get my bedroom painted, so it’s looking really lovely now, and they also got a chance to meet S, my daughter-to-be, though everyone was a little shy and nervous!
While they were here, my washing machine and oven both died, (quel surprise) so we spent a lot of time on the phone with various companies, and my mum managed to change the fuse in the plug to get the washing machine working again.
Then a few days later I forgot that Carlos the amazing builder had disconnected the washing machine drainage hose while he was fixing the pipes under the sink so I popped a wash on and flooded the kitchen again (that one was on me!).
Ordered a shiny new oven (which is so high tech I can barely work out how to use it), and we now have a functioning stop-cock inside the house. Then the washing machine got re-plumbed in and then it died again (I swear it’s actually haunted). Carlos changed the fuse again and checked all the sockets but said if it dies again it’s a faulty machine (even though it’s brand new) so I’ll need to get them to send me a replacement.
So my kitchen rather unexpectedly now has a new (but clearly haunted) washing machine, new oven and new countertops, new sink and taps and new pipes, none of which was planned or budgeted for when I moved in!
On Friday afternoon we suddenly had no hot water, as the pressure in the boiler had plummeted for unspecified reasons, though Carlos helped me to top it up before he left, and then he pointed to a dark spot in the corner of the kitchen ceiling and said “You know you have a leak, right?”
I did not, obviously.
Over the weekend I searched under the bath and the boiler up in the bathroom, but couldn’t find the source of the leak, and watched as damp patches quietly and steadily bloomed over the ceiling in algae-like formations…
I gave up on panicking about everything that is wrong with this house about 6 disasters ago, so I wrote a poem about it instead to give myself a constructive creative outlet…
“She blooms slowly,
Like an angry rash spreading gently over soft skin.
Fungi surging forth into the jungle of the Amazon, reaching further and further, always softly, never rushing.
She grasps at fresh clean white and with one touch it shifts to golden orange, tinged with green.
Like the irises of a loved one each perfect circle contains a million sparkling intricate hues.
Drip by drip she painstakingly completes her task, covers more ground.
She is algae blooming in the oceans, she is a copper-coloured pipe under the bath.
She is a slow leak.”
Thankfully the amazing Carlos sorted it out on Monday and it’s all fine again now (though in his classic deadpan manner of speaking he also commented while he was under the bath that we need to plug up the large hole in the side of the wall around the pipes. I said “Oh sure, because of cold air/draughts?” and he said “No, because of rats.”)
So you know, we’re going to pretend he didn’t say that and there are no rats in my walls or under the bath etc.
They have finished painting the bedroom for my newest daughter, and she has picked out some lovely curtains and a lampshade, so we’re just waiting for her carpets to arrive and then I can get her bed in there, and now they are busy insulating and cladding the conservatory, before we move on to installing new radiators in the living room.
While all this was going on in the background, S came to stay with us for her first overnight visit. It was amazing and wonderful and we got to spend proper time with her as a family. I took 3 days off work and took A out of nursery and we did lots of things together like shopping in town and swimming and playing at the park etc. She was nervous and anxious and worried, but also fun and giggly and such a sweetheart. We had some really good chats and I got to know her much better.
She wrote us some lovely letters and made us some beautiful presents, and we did some crafting together as well.
It was amazing and emotional, and we talked a lot about some really tough things, but it was so lovely that she was willing and able to open up to me and talk to me, and I am so excited about being her mum. She has gone back to the foster carer’s now and leaving her there was so much harder than I thought it would be. A was distraught and screamed the whole way home because she missed her big sister and I miss her terribly already too, and just want her to be here now. She is such an astonishing and brave kid, and she has been through so much already in such a short life. I’m shocked how hard it has been to say goodbye to her, even though we will see her again in a week for a weekend visit.
We are still ploughing through the paperwork for the approval process, and the social workers (mine and S’s) both came for a coffee on Wed morning to see the girls hanging out together. They warned me that the panel this time is likely to be tough and we will have our work cut out to convince them to approve all this. The panel that we booked is somewhere else in the county, so the panel supervisor and panel members are not familiar/known to either of our social workers, and on paper this is such a bizarre adoption (again because we are breaking all of the rules on this one) that it may be hard to explain it and justify it to the panel who don’t know any of us. So they are gearing up for a bit of an internal battle I suspect, though we are still hoping this can all get done.
Having spent some time with my newest daughter, I know in my heart that this is all going to work, it is all going to be fine. I feel it in my bones. It won’t always be easy and we will have some tough times for sure, but I just know this is all going to work. And if I can convince the panel of that, that’s the first step, but convincing a girl who has had so much trauma and so many adults fail her over and over again is going to be a much more difficult undertaking.
So we are cracking on with the paperwork and the red tape as best we can, and making some amazing memories together in the meantime.
And somewhere in amongst all this chaos and busyness I still have a full-time job, though frankly it has moved so far down my priority list it’s harder and harder to care much about it at the moment! Can’t wait to start my adoption leave so I can focus on the girls and the house and not worry about work too!