Our Adoption Journey Part 2
Hey guys so last time I checked in with you all about the adoption we were just coming to the end of stage 1. We had all our paper work in, references checked and were on our way to the adoption preparation course.
So much has changed since then and I honestly can’t get my head around how quickly this is moving. Before starting the process both Sam & I had this impression that adoption would take an incredibly long time - but touch things are moving along pretty smoothly.
A couple weeks back we took part in a 3 day adoption preparation course. It’s a mandatory course and will eventually form part of your final assessment. Believe me it sounds far more scary than it actually is. We turned up on our first day not really know what to expect. Excited yet nervous. Our local authority holds the course at a garden centre nearby - which helped the nerved because we adore that space and they serve an excellent cream tea. We were second to arrive and sat on the same table as the couple that were already there. Luckily we bonded right away because I saw she had a harry potter tattoo and you know me, I’m a wizard. In total there were 5 couples - most ages between 30 - 40 with us being the exception. There was one lady running the course whilst another social worker sat in the corner making observations of us. The worst part about the lady making observations was that she was sat right next to us and the temptation to have a look at what she was getting down about us was unreal.
Each day of the course focussed on a different subject;
Day one: Introduction - The first day focused mainly on what is adoption, why adopt and is it right for you. It explained about the types of children that are in the care system. There were a couple of activities which I found really useful throughout the day. One of the activities involved a series of photos being places around the tables with information about the children on the back. The idea was to have a look around as a couple and make a decision as to whether you think you would be able to adopt this child or sibling group, whether you wouldn’t be able to and why or that you might be able but there needs to be more of a discussion. For us this opened our eyes to not only the types of children and their needs that are out there but also just how much we would be willing to take one. Honestly we would love to be able to take on a sibling group, but due to the size out house we just don’t have the right now. Something to think about for the future definitely.
Day two: The children - This was by far the heaviest day. As it focused on the children that are in care and gave you case studies about real life children and the circumstances that have led to them being taken into care. For us it also built an understanding about the biological parents of these children as the majority of them do love their kids, they just don’t have the means to care for them or they don’t quite have the right priorities. The second half of the day focused on therapeutic parenting and how this type of parenting can be useful to parent children with additional needs
Day three: assessment and beyond - The final day set the ground work about what will happen next. They took you through the process from the end of stage one all the way up until the time when we are placed with a child. They also explained aftercare and what facilities are there to help adoptive parents.
Overall the course was incredibly helpful. The information given about the process and the types of children was something we were already aware of, having discussed and research adoption for over a year. For us the biggest benefit of the course was meeting other couple who are going through the same thing. It was invaluable to make connections with couple who can help support us on our journey and that we can support too. The lady with the harry potter tattoo & I have spoken most days and the rest of the group have all formed a whatsapp group to share our experiences, tips and good adoption related books.
At the end of the course the social worker explained where we are so far. Thankfully we were the only couple to have completed all the necessary paper work and have everything come back ok. Which meant we were officially in stage 2 and awaiting being assigned our social worker.
The day after the course we had an email letting us know our social worker was the lady we wanted and we couldn’t be happier. We met her at the very beginning at the adoption information evening and really connected with her and cant wait to have her support us throughout our journey.
As I said at the start this was a couple of weeks - now we’re even further along the process. We’ve been sent a pack to work through with our social worker which covers everything about us. Our family tree, our support network, finances, relationships, education, work and major trauma throughout our lives. Us being keen completed everything before our first one to one meeting with our social worker. Safe to say she was please with our eagerness.
Our first meeting was just as nerve wracking as our first home visit. Again the house is looking like a show home, not that she really cares because I’m sure she understands as soon as we have a child of our own our house will look like it’s been hit by a tornado. The first meeting set the groundwork for whats to come. We planned out each meeting all the way up until our panel date - which is late November if you were wondering!
I was freaking out about this, November really isn’t that long away. She also covered our family tree, who provides with support and what type of support and she mentioned which references she would be meeting in person and which she would be speaking to on the phone. We were also given homework for our next session. It felt like being back at school. The homework was to write about our childhood. What was it like, were we happy, who were the key figures in our lives, any childhood trauma. I actually found this process really therapeutic I had a lovely childhood despite being quite ill and it made me incredibly nostalgic. During the second social worker visit we covered in more detail our childhoods and how they have shaped who we are today. There was a long discussion about the relationships we had with people when were children to what our relationships are like with them today.
This is extremely in depth, she wanted to know everything and she has to. In order for her to make a clear picture of what you’re like as a person and what you will be like as a parent. Like it said for us - it was actually quite nice speaking about our childhoods but I can certainly see for others that wouldn't be the case.
Our next visit in in a week and is focused around our education and employment. Again we’ve been set similar homework to write about it before hand and send it to her to have a read. Thats where we are now. To think it’s already August and we’re due to finish all of our assessments in three months is mind blowing. I know it takes time after panel to be matched with a child and have our introduction but I can’t help but get excited about meeting the little one.
Love always, bopo.boy