Things are moving – glacially slowly, but they are moving.
There were a flurry of emails about the medical adviser appointment (apparently the main medical adviser is off sick so there was a lot of back and forth about phone appointments and alternative options).
However I now have several appointments booked in – I’m meeting my Social Worker this Friday to talk through all the preparation and things that are required.
In early June, the child will go for her pre-placement medical review, and on the 6th I’ll meet with the children’s services medical adviser to talk through any concerns that they have. They won’t have written up the full medical report by then but that will come later. There’s been a few mixed messages coming from the social worker and foster carer and family finder so far regarding various health issues so it will be good to get everything all straight and make sure I understand everything properly. (Things like the Family Finder thought she had chicken pox a few weeks ago, foster carer says no she didn’t in the end etc). All very minor but a tad confusing nonetheless.
I’ll be meeting with the foster carer for the first time the week after, in a random neutral location halfway between my house and her house (I think it’s a garden centre cafe or a motorway rest stop or something really odd!).
Then I will go to the panel – the date STILL hasn’t been confirmed yet, though they have pencilled it in for later in June, but this date has already changed at least once so I am not holding my breath just yet…
And if all that goes well, we’ll be starting to plan the introductions, I’ll be giving my notice to go on adoption leave, and setting dates for me to meet her for the first time!
There are still so many hoops to jump through, so many things to do, like buy a buggy and get stairgates installed, and have all these meetings, but it’s getting closer now, I can feel it.
After all three social workers (mine, hers, and the family finder) met with me, the family finder sent me some lovely feedback about how they thought I was wonderful and they are all in strong agreement it’s a really excellent match, and they picked me!!! This means they are not looking at anyone else to be this little girl’s parents, and they are going to book in a linking/matching panel date for me sometime in June or July.
It’s been about 18 months since I started my adoption journey, and about 8 months since I was approved. Child 3 and Child 4’s social workers both said no to me in the end (I just found out today about both).
Child 3 they are moving ahead with another, better match, and Child 4’s Social Workers decided that they wanted 2 parents for him so won’t consider my profile (so in their case it is specifically because I am single).
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.
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 →
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 →
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.
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.