Emotional Armour

I’m getting bored of using the “emotional rollercoaster” metaphor, even if it is by far the most apt…

So, where were we? It’s been 7 months since I was approved, and after 2 failed potential matches, I went to an activity day, met some children, felt mildly traumatised, and then decided to express interest in a child with a slightly unusual name. Then I did some reflecting on prejudice, and then I just waited.

And waited.

And twiddled my thumbs. Continue reading

Prejudice

When I started writing this, I wasn’t intending to post it, just to write down my thoughts as a way of untangling them, but as I’ve gone along I decided it was worth sharing, so here we are.

I recently bumped up against my own prejudice, which is something we are rarely aware of or conscious of – no-one likes to think of themselves as being prejudiced do they? We all like to think that’s something that happens to other people, because we are far too woke and liberal and enlightened to have any prejudices. And yet we do. We all have them. Continue reading

Adoption Activity Day

So, after my social worker suggested that it might be time for me to move on and start looking at some other children again, she suggested I attend an activity day, and see if anything clicked.

Activity days are organised by a local authority and are an opportunity for potential adopters to engage with the children that are up for adoption, to meet their foster carers and talk about them, and see if any connection is there. From the children’s perspective, it is a really fun day out, usually at a special activity centre with an adventure playground, soft play, lots of toys, face-painting and an entertainer who does balloon animals or magic tricks and that sort of thing. The kids are there with their foster carers and also their social workers, so there are lots of adults that they know and feel safe with. The babies generally don’t really understand much about the day, and just play with the toys, while the older children have had some explanation, so they know that potential adopters are coming to the day, but that none of them are specifically linked to any child. The kid’s expectations are managed so they know it’s not about “picking children” and no one will go home feeling rejected.  Continue reading

Afghanistan

Last week I went to Afghanistan for a short work trip. It’s a beautiful country, although I was only in Kabul and didn’t get very much chance to travel or to see much of it, I enjoyed it a lot and would love to go back.

The people were friendly and kind, the food was good, and a lot of my pre-conceptions about Afghanistan were disproved. For example, I had no idea they shared so much culturally with Pakistan, it was very similar in terms of clothing, language and culture in general.

I was also surprised to see that it was a lot less conservative than I had expected, so on my first day of the training I was facilitating, I was wearing my abaya and headscarf and was surprised to learn that the Afghan women at the hotel were mostly wearing skinny jeans and loose tops!

Here’s the view of the mountains from the plane on the way in…

Continue reading

The Waiting Game

A bit more of an update on the adoption news… I have been a little cautious in considering what to post here from now on, as one day my child might want to read about my adoption journey, and there is a fine line between wanting to share my experiences as openly and honestly as possible, and wanting to ensure I don’t post anything that might have an impact on my future child.

After turning down my first potential match, I expressed interest in another little boy, the one that I had first seen that I felt a bit of a connection with. I sent them a message, briefly outlining why I think I would be a good parent for him, and waited.

And waited. Continue reading

Medical Science….

One of the best things about living in Oxford is our incredible research hospitals. I’ve been part of the Oxford Biobank for nearly 8 years, and every 2 or 3 years they ask me if I’d be interested in participating in a research study to help doctors understand certain diseases.

I’ve always been extremely grateful to have such good health, and am so conscious it can be taken away at any moment, so I’m happy to donate a little time and a few bodily fluids in the name of science every once in a while.

This particular study was looking at how brown fat burns when activated (the fat used to store energy for hibernation) in healthy bodies vs people with a genetic disorder, which involved measuring my carbon dioxide output while they cooled my core temperature down (hence the bubble) and checking my temperature, blood pressure and taking a few vials of blood here and there.

The nurses as always were wonderful, and I like being able to give something back every once in a while.
#MedicalResearch #OxfordBiobank

Christmas 2018

So, after a lot of uncertainty, waiting around with the job and with the adoption, I decided to go off to Australia for a nice long relaxing holiday, and it was completely awesome. I got to hang out with my dad and my brother and his family, my fast-growing nephews and we had a lovely time all round.

Here are the highlights:

I didn’t sleep as much as I’d hoped on the way over, so here I am on the plane looking somewhat crazed…

Continue reading