Polly the Polo

As part of my preparation for a family, I decided it was time to get rid of Tina the tiny clown car, which I inherited from my mum, and upgrade to something slightly bigger, with you know, back doors and such, in case I need to grapple with child seats and things.

Here’s Tina, being all tiny like the hilarious clown car that she is….

And here’s Polly, my shiny new VW Polo (not so new, she’s about 13 years old, but she’s lovely and very pretty!)

I picked up Polly a couple of weeks ago, and on our maiden voyage home around the M25 I was amazed at how lovely and roomy she is! My head didn’t even touch the ceiling or ANYTHING!

Basically she’s fab and I love her. Looking forward to all the adventures we’ll have together!

How much does it cost to adopt in the UK?

In theory, nothing.

Except that of course that’s not really the case.

There are no official fees to pay, but there are some other related costs, which I thought I would keep track of here, more for my own curiosity than anything else, and in case anyone out there thinking of adopting is curious. Obviously if you were adopting overseas there are often lots of costs and fees (I don’t know what they are, I have merely heard this on the grapevine). Therefore this summary is merely based on my experience of an adoption process in the UK, and I should stress that these costs so far are very low and relatively minor. Continue reading

Reality Check…

Well, I have had my official Stage 1 meeting (in December), and I have been given a long list of homework to do in the next 2 months, including:

  • Read at least 3 books from the reading list
  • Complete a family tree
  • Create a chronology of my life (including every address I have ever lived at….)
  • Fill in the DBS forms for a criminal records/background check
  • Complete some e-learning courses
  • Create an Ecomap of my support network
  • Complete a household safety checklist
  • Obtain criminal records checks from any country I have lived in for over 6 months (THAT could take a while…)
  • Get 3 references
  • Have a full medical

The more reading and e-learning I am doing, the more I am starting to more deeply reflect on the process, what is involved, and the impact of adoption is starting to sink in.

It’s almost like they’ve done this before. (No seriously, I must say well done to the Local Authority for such a well-planned process so far, and it really feels like it is all very logical and well-thought out etc).

What is interesting is that starting out on this adventure, it was really, frankly, all about me. I want a family, I want a child/children, I want to adopt siblings, I’m busy fantasising about how lovely it will be, and whether or not they will be white, black, Asian or mixed race etc. Continue reading

2017 Book Challenge

This year, one of my new year’s resolutions was to read more books, so my Dad and I have decided to do this reading challenge together to get some new reading inspiration!

The list itself is fun, and we’ve both put together a list of books we plan to read in 2017. I’m going to post here all the books I have read (which I’ll update as I go along) with a short review of each book.

My first stop was a trip to Waterstones to buy some new books, as frankly, any New Year’s Resolution that involves shopping is a great idea! Continue reading

An Ode to my MacPac…

As I was recently rooting around in my loft for something, I found my big macpac, and realised I’ve had it for 10 years this year. It’s the best rucksack I’ve ever bought, it has a lifetime guarantee, and it’s EXTREMELY well-made, so I thought it was worthy of a little shout-out.

I bought my matching big and little macpacs in 2007, before going to Nepal for a year.

My big macpac has gone with me to Nepal, India, Malaysia, Singapore, France, Liverpool, South Sudan, India again, Nepal again, Kashmir, Oxford, the USA, The Philippines, Thailand, Australia, Iraq, Jordan, Canada, USA again, Australia again, Senegal, Kenya, Iraq again, and Senegal again.

Other than an unfortunate incident once where my Big Mac got ripped in an airport and needed to be patched (I sent it off to macpac and they fixed it up and shipped it back to me), it has held up remarkably well! In Nepal I used to keep it empty under my bed, but padlocked as my passport was in there, and when I lost the key, I had to beg the locksmith to cut through the padlock carefully not to damage the zip!

It’s incredibly comfortable, exactly the right size, and I love that it unzips like a proper suitcase instead of rooting around in a normal rucksack. I also love that you can fold in and zip up the straps when checking it in at airports so they don’t get damaged en-route.

My little macpac has gone with me EVERYWHERE in the last 10 years. It’s literally my everyday bag, it carries my laptop into work everyday, it goes with me on mini-breaks and weekends, and in addition to all of the countries my big mac has been to it has ALSO been with me to Qatar, Madrid, Italy and Switzerland!

Obviously daily use for 10 years has left my little mac a bit grubby, but considering what it’s been through, it’s holding up INCREDIBLY well! It’s even still mostly waterproof, as I learned after a can of tonic water exploded inside it once in the Philippines…

This little bag goes with me pretty much everywhere, is still sturdy and comfy after 10 years, and it zips onto the front of Big Mac (although I hardly ever do that).

So, all in all, as a fairly frequent traveller, I give these bags 10 out of 10 and highly recommend them for your travelling adventures.

🙂

The stage before the stage before the 1st Stage…

So, as many of you will have read about in my first adoption post (Day 1….), I have officially started my journey to becoming a parent, and yes, I plan to document it all here for you, my lovely readers.

I have initially thought that there was a 3-step process, based on my research. The first stage takes about 2 months, and involves some initial interviews, a bit of basic training, and criminal records checks etc. Then the second stage, the home study, takes around 6-8 months and involves extensively poking around into every conceivable part of my life to look for holes or skeletons, talking to my friends, neighbours, employers, bank, mortgage lenders, etc. Then if you make it past that stage, you are “approved for matching” – and matching is the 3rd stage, where you and social workers try to match up approved adopters with children needing families.

So having spoken to the adoption team on the phone, attending an information day, and doing lots of reading, I assumed that my initial interview was the official start of Stage 1.

Turns out, it wasn’t. Continue reading

“Look at my bad knee” – A story by Maya

Chapter 1 – The Crunchy Sound

Once upon a time, Maya’s knees started to make a funny noise.

It was a crackly, crunchy sort of a noise, like the sound of scrunching up paper or tin foil, or crushing cornflakes up in your hand, and it happened every time she went up stairs.

Maya was worried about the strange noises, so she went to see The Physio, who told her she had under-developed glute and thigh muscles which were causing the problems in her knees, and that her knees had started to twist inwards in a way that could be described as “not good”.

Maya “So you’re saying I have a lazy bum?”

Physio “Well, yes, basically. Here are some exercises you need to do to strengthen your bum.” Continue reading

Day 1…

This week I took my first official step to becoming a parent.

First, a little background for those of you not in the know…..

I’ve always known that I wanted to have kids. Having a family and being a mum is something I’ve always known that I wanted – even when I was 16. As a teenager planning my potential/future career I even looked for jobs that related to working with kids, such as social worker, teacher, etc, and did a lot of summer jobs working with kids in summer camps, or with my mum’s research with children. I always took it for granted that by the time I was in my late twenties, I’d be married with kids.

By the time I was 29, I realised that wasn’t likely to happen – I’ve been pretty much single for my whole life, and I realised that waiting around for Mr Right might mean I miss out on being a mum, and having a family, and for me, that’s too important. I realised that if I wake up one day and I’m 50, and I never had kids, it would be my single biggest regret. So I started thinking about doing it alone instead. Continue reading