September 19th 2016

Sorry for not blogging for a while I’ve recently taken on my NVQ 3 in the Early Years so juggling this, back to school with the start of GCSEs for one ALevels for another and Year 1 and me back to lots of gorgeous 2 year olds at preschool my heads spinning !  But we have managed to do our first camping trip this weekend so i will include some piccies.

img_0055Back to the Girls

I had forgotten to mention on my last blog post how the girls had been involved and the assessments we had to go through with them.

After we had done our life story our social worker J asked to speak to the girls together without us being present, quite unnerving for us but understandable, and as J was so lovely we felt we had nothing to worry about.  The girls were happy to do this as they had got to know her during our visits. This only took about 20 minutes and all three of them came out laughing so next it was on to the observation.   We were asked to choose an activity we all enjoyed and could be observed doing together, we chose baking as its something the girls love.

It was a Saturday morning and we had everything set up J came and she just sat and watched us interact as a family, for some reason i felt really nervous it felt as though i was being investigated on whether i was a good mum ! it all went well just got a bit messy while mixing multicoloured icing but the cakes all rose so it was all good ! We then had a cuppa and of course a cup cake, we were told it was all good and she liked the way the girls had such a good, open and fun relationship with their step dad.  She left and maybe the pressure maybe my insecurities coming out i had a little cry, in all the years of being mum i had never been observed being one and not being the most confident person in this world it caused me to have a little wobble.

img_0008Family Visits

After panel we then looked into finding some couples that had adopted with birth children to go and visit, one really lovely couple i had met through the school i worked in and had kept updated on our process invited us to go and spend the afternoon with them.  They were foster carers themselves and had recently adopted a little girl.  We went to visit them on a Sunday afternoon and i brought cake, we chatted about how there adoption had gone and what it had been like for the other family members, they had both been foster carers for years had and looked after many vulnerable children.  They were brilliant, such a lovely couple and a true inspiration.

We were then given another family to visit that had adopted two boys and had two birth daughters, they were lovely and had the most gorgeous dog, we went on an evening when the boys were in bed and got to speak the girls who were both lovely, they explained that at first they had been quite nervous about having new little brothers, when they arrived they were quite unsettled and times had been quite difficult.  Even though things had not been easy you could just see that years down the line the love the girls and mum and dad had for their boys and how the whole process had been a positive experience and they were now a very happy family.

Finally we went to visit a gay couple that had adopted two brothers, before being adopted they had been in separate foster homes so when they moved in it was the first time they had met.  For them the settling in period had been quite stressful and demanding also it was a huge adjustment as neither of them had had children.  They had been given extra support from social services and things had now settled down.

What was so lovely about all of these families was that even though they had all faced big challenges you could just see the unconditional love they had for all of there adopted children.img_0051

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Going to Panel

While we were going through the adoption process it was perfectly timed as a programme was also being shown at the same time of families going through adoption, this meant that a lot of our friends watched it so knew each stage we were going through. They all commented on how stressful the panel stage looked and it was.

We received our panel date and although we were excited we were extremely nervous, it was at 10.30 in the morning and we were due to meet our social worker first for a coffee to have a chat and calm our nerves. Unfortunately, we both woke up with a stomach bug which was a bit of a nightmare but we had no choice but to take Imodium and go!

We met the very lovely J at a cute coffee shop opposite the Shire Hall sat making general chit chat and going through what was going to happen I just felt sick but we went in and met the lovey T the Social Services Manager who like J was very lovely and shared my taste in clothes so that helped break the ice.

We were put in the waiting room and were told we would be called when they were ready. A very friendly gentleman came in explained the how the panel process would work and said that they were ready for us. We went into a large room with a large oval table, seated around it were 8 panellists……. some looked quite friendly and some not so! We were given a seat each and our social workers sat either side and the questions begun. It was a cross between a job interview and what I imagine a court appearance to be like!

I actually can’t remember all of the questions as we were both so nervous but we both seemed to do a lot of talking! One of the panellists we had met at the adoption course so we thought he would be nice but his questioning was quite negative and it was suggested that with birth children our lives would have been to hectic for an adopted child. A couple of the others were very lovely and very supportive. The only negative that came about was us having a dog, and we were asked what we would do if the adopted child didn’t get on with the dog or vice versa, of course we said that we would consider getting rid of him but knowing full well how good he was with children and adults. In fact one of the adoption team said that if there was a problem she’d happily have Stanley (the dog) as she’d met him and he was lovely!

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This took about 20 minutes and we were them taken back into the waiting room to await their decision, this was awful and seemed like forever even though our social workers were so happy as they both said we had done so well and done so much talking which was great.

The head panellist came in 15 minutes later to say we had passed we were ecstatic! we were just told that they would like us to visit some couples that had adopted with birth children and maybe narrow down the age range we were prepared to adopt, as they thought 2-5 was too bigger difference.

 

We went home and went to the pub to celebrate.

Now it was all about matching!

The Waiting Game

When you are unable to have biological children of your own, you seem to have no control on the decisions of whether or not you are going to be able or allowed to adopt. I totally understand that the process has to be intrusive and every part of your life needs to be investigated, it’s just when the decision is controlled by bitter ex-wives and controlling bitter family members it just doesn’t seem fair.

 

However, the interviews were done and our social worker made an appointment to come back and discuss the outcome. Luckily social services are used to situations like ours and knew exactly what questions to ask. After the interviews they explained that they didn’t believe their negative comments and there was no evidence to back any of them up so we were still allowed to carry on with the process, we were so happy.

4th October

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Well it’s been a busy couple of weeks, GCSE results done, phew that was stressful! Even though I will have to do it all again in two years’ time! We have also started Year 1! I can’t believe he has already done his reception year, times flown by.

I also managed to book tickets to see Emma Bridgewater at the literature festival which I’m very excited about.