Welcome to Tumbleweed Town.

9 Aug

We’re still here!!

Wow! I can’t believe how much I’ve been slacking on my blog posts. For someone who is at home all day, I’ve been finding it hard to take time out to write.

So updates!

We’ve finished our home study now. No more in depth questioning from the social worker! Or writing homework to add to the PAR. Our social worker has been doing our reference visits over the last couple of weeks. It’s a strange thing when your parents are interviewed to find out if you could become a parent. But that is the beast that is adoption.

Unfortunately we’re not going to Panel in September as was originally planned. It’s been postponed until October due to some delays with paperwork, holidays and reference meetings being rearranged. It was a blow but we do understand why it’s happened.

The major frustration is that face it means we won’t have a little one home by Christmas. We were pushing it with a September Panel date but now there’s another four weeks added it’s highly unlikely. Plus my little sister is getting married in January so we won’t be able to start a placement then as I don’t live near my family so we’re going to have to spend the weekend in my home town. Not ideal when just starting a placement with an adoptive child!

I currently feel as if I’m in some kind of never ending limbo. We’re trying to keep busy, the garden is actually usable now, the jobs in the house are getting done and we’ve been reading lots of books about attachment and child development. But the reality is we’re just waiting for the day our little one comes home.

I keep thinking about what our child might be like, and what they may have already been through. It breaks my heart that they could be living with a foster carer right now, waiting for a forever family to come and take them home. And here we are with open hearts and arms, just waiting for paperwork. I understand why so much has to go into our PAR, and why we have to the approved etc. It doesn’t stop me wishing away the days!

 

55 days until panel.

I’m still alive!

21 Jun

It’s been a while huh?

The darling husband and I are now coming to the end of our Home Study. It’s amazing how much time and energy it seems to take. Don’t under estimate how much the process will take out of you! Just to catch you all up before I start posting regularly again.

As previously mentioned, we’re at the end of our Home Study. We’ve had about seven meetings with our Social Worker. I wasn’t quite as prepared as I thought I was for the delving that would occur. Going back to our childhoods was interesting, and then making plans for death/separation was kind of stressful. But we’re on the home stretch now!

I’m still unemployed! I was made redundant in March and have still no found another job. I’m looking into becoming self-employed as I’m very aware that any job I do take would be temporary due to the adoption.

The major DIY projects that we had left are slowly getting finished. The back garden actually looks like a back garden now rather than an overflow from a scrap yard! When it’s all done I’ll post up some before and after shots.

I think that is pretty much everything. I’m planning to write more about what we’ve covered for our PAR in the next few days but I need to go back through all our homework to work it all out.

Roll on September!

Everybody’s talking at me…

6 May

To anyone thinking of going through, or thinking of going through the adoption process, I have some advice for you.

Start cultivating some thick skin, because you are going to need it!

Everyone is going to have an opinion about your journey and the child who comes to be yours. Some are good and recognising them is important. Some are based on misinformation and old biases. I’m sure when a women in pregnant the advice is given freely and it is useful. After all a lot of parenting is learnt from our own parents and the people around us. What doesn’t happen when a women in pregnant is people talking about the possible issues that child could have.

When you adopt a child you, the parents, have to discuss things that the average parent wouldn’t hopefully never have to.  I’ve touched on this briefly before but the closer we get to panel and our child, the more this seems to come up.

My wonderful husband and I have had to grieve the fact we are never going to have a little person who is a part of both of us genetically. And while I’ve known for so long that I wouldn’t have children, falling in love and getting married brings that to the forefront again. I love my husband and would give anything for having a child the natural way to be an easy and simple thing. But it’s not and so we have to push forward.

So then comes the acceptance that having a child through adoption means not only taking on any potential medical/developmental needs the child may have, but potentially a whole other family.

Imagine you adopt a 2 year old child who up until being taken into care had lived in a neglectful family environment but who lived with an older sibling. Now for whatever reason it’s been decided the two children aren’t going to placed together, but they should still see each other.

Could you deal with that?

How about grandparents? The child is 2, they may have had a close relationship with the Nan but she can’t look after them due to poor health. Is it fair she shouldn’t see her grand children due to their parents inability to care for them?

What about the birth mother? Whilst she was unable to look after the children, she most likely still loves them and always will. The 2 year old will be fully aware that you may be her new mummy but she has another mummy who she doesn’t live with any more.

 

It’s easy to say you only want to adopt a child who will have no contact with their birth family in the future, but is that what’s best for the child. If you know anyone who is or had adopted, trust me when I say whatever the contact arrangements that are in place a lot of thought and planning was put into them.

And what about medical or developmental issues?

This is one of my big problems at the moment, and the reason for the need for thick skin. The husband and I, along with our social team have gone through the kind of the child we could take on… In depth! Someone saying a comment a long the lines of don’t let them bully you into taking a problem child really isn’t helpful.

Whatever the needs of the child we adopt, they will be ours. We won’t adopt a child unless everything is 100% right for us and them. But the key thing is, it’s between my husband, myself and social team what is right.

Every child deserves a loving and caring home where they can be the best they can be. Some children grow up and become the biggest stars, the smartest scientists or fastest runners.

Some children grow up and live independent and happy lives….

Be prepared… Not just for Scouts!

22 Apr

Think back to all the parents to be you’ve ever known and the months of preparation they undertake for their new arrival. I’ve known a few pregnant women whose home becomes a baby showroom over the course of 9 months. Prams, cots, bouncers, clothes, nappies, wet wipes, toys, more clothes, bottles and all manner of gadgets. Take a picture of the bedroom of an expectant parent and it’s likely to look like a clearance sale at Babies R Us.

What do adoptive parents do to prepare? We who have no idea of how old our child will be, let alone the gender.

We’re planning to adopt a child aged between 0-42months. And within that age they are a few things that will be needed regardless of their age. Wet wipes, bath things, cutlery, toys etc. The bits I’ve been buying can be kept for a long time, nothing that will go out of dates. But slowly I have some tangible prove that sometime soon a small person will be here and in our family.

I’ve also been buying photo albums and all the bits for the introduction books. Taking lots of pictures of our home, family, cats and surrounding area too. And safety equipment. So far I’ve only got safety things for the plugs, but as we get closer to out panel date we will start looking at stair gates and door latches!

Some things for adoptive parents (and their family) not to buy!

A pushchair/pram/buggy.

Even though you may know the age group you are looking to adopt, do not buy a pushchair. If for no other reason than there’s a good chance that your little one’s foster care may have one to give you!

A cot/cotbed.

Same as above really. Also even if the foster caring isn’t providing a cot, it would be a good idea to try and buy something similar to make little one feel more at home.

Clothes and toys.

There are some toys you can buy, things that could be used for a long time. But for most of them, they have a life span. The same with clothes. Most little ones come with enough clothes to be going on with.

 

So far our nursery has been completely re-decorated but the only furniture we’ve put in there is a wardrobes and small chest of drawers. We also have some stacking boxes to keep all the random bits in.

My plan in the next few weeks is to make a series of lists of things we would need for each age group that we can’t buy until we’re matched. Bottles, nappies etc.

 

What ever their past story, no one can ever say our little one wasn’t wanted….

Full Steam Ahead

18 Apr

I don’t quite know where the last three weeks have disappeared to. After being made redundant from my job I thought I’d have loads of spare time. Apparently not! Every day recently has been full of job interviews, seeing family, DIY etc. But it’s served a good purpose.

Today we met our very own social worker. She came over to get to know us and what kind of child we were looking for, to see the house etc. We also booked in all our home study appointments for the next few months. And most importantly, our Adoption Panel Date…

Thursday 5th September 2013.

 

139 days.

 

3336 hours!!!

It’s not that long.

After waiting so long to get to this point, it seems as the end is only around the corner!

In the meanwhile we have homework to do. Family trees, an eco-map of our support network, a complete chronology of every major event/person in our lives plus finishing off the DIY projects around the house. I have a feeling that even if I don’t find a job this summer, it will be gone in a blink of eye.

One more blink closer to our little one being home….

Feathering the Nest

25 Mar

So much has changed since my last blog, it’s amazing. We finally have our own social worker and we’ll be starting our Home Study in three weeks! At the point she comes over it will be almost exactly a year since we put out enquiry paperwork in the post. A year of waiting and wondering, of trying to prepare but not doing too much and moments of extreme doubt.

So much of the adoption process is out of the potential parents hands it’s been difficult making it seem real. At some point a little person will be joining our family, running around our home, scary the cats and getting sticky fingers everywhere. How do you prepare for that?

I’ve been nesting.

Not in the usual way an expectant mother will as I don’t know enough about our child to buy clothes and toys. Instead it’s been more about DIY, especially the nursery. My wonderful husband and father in law have spent the last few months spending their weekends re-decorating the room. This is another area to issue of not knowing has caused problems. How do you decorating a room for child who could be a boy or girl, and anything up to 3 years old? You certainly can’t make it to gender specific, or use traditional colours for a little baby. We’ve gone for a sea side theme, especially as we live on the coast. Beach huts and little sailing boats. Every time I go shopping I seem to find a little something. It is getting to a point where I’m not sure where it will all go!

I also have an Amazon Wish List. When I’m really feeling the urge to buy things, I go on Amazon and shop to my hearts content, I just to order any of them. I have things like a cot-bed, stair gates and cute baby clothes on there. A majority of it I will never need, but it makes me feel better.

In the last week I’ve been made redundant from my job. It’s not a major concern and I knew it was coming. The main issue is that I’m going to be at home on my own a lot more. I’m envisioning my Amazon wish list becoming alarming large!

Here’s hoping the Home Study is swift and straightforward.

 

Eyes to the Horizon….

We have to do what?

18 Mar

Recently the husband and I had to go through what may be the strangest stage of the whole adoption process.

The medical….

 When you start thinking about adoption you know somewhere along the line you will have to submit yourself for a medical evaluation. It’s a sensible ting to do as the last thing the social services want is to place a child in a new home, only for something medical to come up that could have been spotted before.

 However it is still very strange. As well as the usual pee in a pot exercise and listening to your heart, there are some very odd examinations. Your tummy is poked, feet ticked, back checked for curvature, hand eye coordination check and lost of boxes to be filled in on a form.

Talking to the doctor she found the whole process rather odd. As she pointed out a majority of the more serious illness wouldn’t be detectable by a simple medical check, and even more of them would develop rather quickly. That being said, we did get a clean bill of health.

The one thing we did learn after meeting up with the rest of our prep group later the same day, was that the price for medicals can be so varied. I’m talking anything from £40 to £150!! Every one has to have the same form filled in so I don’t understand why the big difference! Apparently there used to be a standard price but now Gps can charge whatever they like! Now I’m not saying they shouldn’t charge at all, we were with the doctor for about an hour. But there shouldn’t be such a big variance in the charge. 

The government are talking a lot at the moment about reforming the entire adoption process to make it more efficient but nothing has been mentioned about the cost of medical etc.

My advice, shop around and don’t be afraid to change doctors.

Oh and get a pee pot before your appointment so you can pee at home and not at the doctors surgery….

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