Bicycles, Doorbells, and Washing Machines

So, after my week or two of running around after the kids feeling hot, tired and sweaty, things actually did get significantly worse.

  • On Sunday the washing machine died again, for the billionth time.
  • On Monday we woke up and discovered that we had been robbed.
  • On Tuesday the insurance company told me they wouldn’t pay out so I bawled and swore and cried at them in a very unsightly way.
  • On Wednesday I was so tired I thought I might die, but things cheered up and my bestie Betty came to visit which helped a lot.
  • On Thursday the washing machine company finally caved and conceeded I needed a full refund and a new machine.
  • On Friday my elderly neighbour rang my doorbell at 6am over and over again, waking us all up, as she couldn’t find her handbag and clearly had no idea what time it was.

In other words we are having a bit of a time of it!

On Monday morning I came outside to discover that our gate was open (usually closed and padlocked) and that the window to the shed was open and the expensive electric bike my mum had recently given me was gone. It’s the first time I have ever called 999 and it was very unsettling realising that someone has broken into your property while you slept. Thankfully on investigation they did not attempt to gain entry to the house and in fact barely touched anything else in the shed – they clearly knew the bike was there and only went for that.

What is worrying about that is that I’ve only taken the bike out approximately 3 times and the thieves clearly knew exactly where the bike was, so it’s very likely that someone has followed me home on one of the occasions I went out on it. A very frightening thought indeed.

The kids were very shaken up (as was I) and I had to try hard to be calm and collected and pragmatic and keep everyone calm while on the inside I was pretty panicked and freaked out too.

I made a claim on my insurance (as I had specifically insured the bike knowing how valuable it is) and set about looking at security gates and cameras and alerting the neighbours about the break-in etc. Weirdly the police didn’t bother to show up, as they said there wasn’t much they could do so once it was reported they gave me a crime reference number and that was about it. Not terribly reassuring and there has been zero victim support so far….

I spent almost all of Monday on the phone with the police, on hold to the washing machine company, on hold with the insurance company, and on hold with British Airways as they have moved our flight for next year and removed all our seat reservations which we can’t seem to re-book (still can’t seem to book them but got a refund in the end).

The general stress and tension of all this has left me exhausted and tense and upset, (and frankly I was already pretty tired before this week started!) so although I have been trying to hold it together for the girls’ sake, on the inside I’ve been weepy and worried and a complete mess. When they called to say they won’t pay out for the bike I cried and cried and cried as I just couldn’t hold any of it in anymore. I tried to appeal the decision but they said I can’t prove forced and violent entry so it’s not their problem. Gutted. I also haven’t slept well this week as there has been so much stress I keep waking up at 4am worrying about things and making lists of things to do, and not being able to get back to sleep.

I am however relieved that the washing machine company have given in, and although I am still currently unable to wash anything, as soon as the refund drops into my bank account I can order a new (different!) machine and start again.

It was unbelievably restorative to see my friend on Wednesday – I was feeling terribly wrung out and it’s amazing what chicken soup for the soul it is to see good friends and just hang out. We didn’t really do anything at all except drink tea and chat, but I felt a lot better after that and it filled my cup up a bit ready for the next drama, (although frankly I was not ready for a batty old lady at 6am as it turns out – poor woman it’s not her fault but I was not very sympathetic to her at all!).

However, in the spirit of looking on the bright side and silver linings and generally attempting to be postive in the face of an absolute shitshow, several good things did actually happen this week. (Aside from the fact that I am finally going to get a new washing machine!).

The family court finally called me to take payment for my adoption application, which means over a month after I originally submitted it they have officially accepted the paperwork and it is now in the system being processed. I have no idea how long it will be before we get a hearing date but it’s now officially out of my hands and hopefully daughter number 2 will be officially mine before the end of the year.

In other adoption-related news, A and S’s social worker retired this week so we had our final visit with her – always a joy, she’s one of my favourite people in Social Services and we plan to continue seeing her socially once in a while because we like her! She’s been involved in both of my daughter’s lives one way or another and she means a lot to all three of us!

I also achieved something I’m very proud of – I finally tracked down S’s brother after months of trying and managed to arrange a face to face visit. Direct contact between siblings is always encouraged with adoption, but can be complicated to manage, especially if some siblings are adopted by other people, or if some siblings are still in touch with their birth family. In some cases it may be advised against if it is deemed unsafe for the child or too traumatising. However in our case, this is something that S really needs, and she has been missing them all so very much, I am thrilled that I was able to find him and arrange for us to meet. It is so, SO important for kids in care – they have lost so much, and lost contact with so many beloved people in their lives that any form of contact (where it is safe to do so) should be encouraged and cultivated.

We are also now getting ready for some proper holidays, which I am looking forward to, starting with a trip up to Yorkshire to see Grandma and Grandad, and then later a trip to the seaside with a large family group and camping at the end of the holidays with some friends. I’m REALLY looking forward to seeing my own brother who is coming over to the UK for the first time in ages (haven’t seen him for about 3.5 years) and spending time with him, and have been busy booking some fun excursions and day trips for when he is here.

I have also got some nice plans with my friends coming up soon, a dinner out here, and a weekend with my besties there, which I am looking forward to – I have invested so much time and energy in planning playdates for the girls over the last few months that I forget that I also need playdates for myself sometimes with MY friends as part of my self-care! So it’s nice to have some fun things to look forward to!

Ultimately, the girls are fine, and I am tired and a bit fraught but fine, we are safe and healthy and happy and shouldn’t really complain much. We lost a very expensive electric bike, but otherwise our lives are amazing and we are a lucky little family (though I do love a good moan once in a while!).

Ciao for now.

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