Monday, 4 October 2010

The end

My adoption journey is over. The reasons are personal. I thank you for your interest and support over the last 18 months. I won't visit the blog after today other than to delete it in a few weeks time, but wish all those still on the journey good luck and best wishes for the future.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

The view from our villa's terrace.

We have had a great holiday, very relaxed and recuperated, which is a good job as at 9.05am on our first working day back home, we had a phone call from Bonnie as she wanted to send us 2 full CPRs and 2 profiles. She has been very busy while we have been away. Of the 4, we discounted one straight away with 2 favourites and another a close 3rd. Having had a meeting with Bonnie, for various reasons which, due to confidentiality I cannot elaborate on here, number 3 is now favourite and we are going to wait and see if the childs SW wants to meet us. At the same meeting with Bonnie, she outlined another child whose report she had received via adoption register contacts. The SW for this child has not yet had our PAR but we are interested enough to want to read further, and if the SW wants/likes our PAR to see how it goes. We have had loads of interest from the adoption register,which means Bonnie has been filtering lots of information for us, but I think we are finally beginning to realise exactly what sort of child we want. That sentence sounds really harsh, but by seeing more CPRs and talking them through we are beginning to see which children will 'fit' us and our lifestyle and wider family - not as easy as we thought it might be when we began the process!

Saturday, 24 July 2010

not to be.

Had a visit from child's sw and family finder this week. A long 4 hours in total preceded by manic cleaning tidying and finishing off some decorating. Tempers got a little frayed but on the day all was fine. The visit went well but at the end we decided that even if offered, we would say no to the link. I won't detail too much here, but there were several issues that for us were not clarified and contact in particular had us worried. We felt it was being pushed less for the child and more for the birth family but that was only one thing. We must have been giving some ambiguous or slightly negative body language as the next day we were told that they had decided to go with another family visited a couple of weeks earlier, so in the end our decision was the right one. On reflection it is hard to say what the problem was other than our instincts were telling us that this was a lovely child, just not our child. So the search continues, but with no sense of disappointment and some learning of the process under our belts.

Friday, 9 July 2010

but actually........

We may not have lost out after all. Bonnie rang at the end of last week to say that although the child's sw had visited the other family, they still wanted to meet us as well so a date has been set for when Bonnie gets back from holiday. Still a 50:50 chance we won't be chosen, but looking at things positively, there must be enough about us to like if ,having met another family, they still want to meet us. So now we have a definitive deadline for finishing the kitchen and dining room. BIL is working like a trojan and doing a fantastic job, it just makes you want to continue with the whole house. Unfortunately Mr Bank Manager would object to that and with uni fees looming for Flip it really is a case of having to save up before doing stuff, rather than relying on the little plastic friend!

Sending lots of hugs and good vibes to Minnie and Micky who should hear the outcome of their family finder visit very soon. And huge congratulations to Donald and Daisy who have had a successful matching panel and will be meeting their new little duckling in a few very short weeks.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

probably lost out...

Having talked it through we decided to say yes, we are interested in the child whose details we received last week. Their sw was also happy with our PAR so we arranged a provisional date for week beg. 20th July after Bonnie's holiday. Bonnie got a call back at the end of last week to say they wanted to meet us one day this week. All well and good, except for the fact that Flash could not make the days that Bonnie could due to work commitments that could not change at short notice. But more importantly, the work in the bedroom which had spread to the kitchen has now spread to the dining room due to some unexpected structural issues. Namely that the floor to the bathroom (above the dining room) was balanced on beams that were not properly tied in to the frame, and could have fallen in at any time. So the job we thought could be finished by last weekend is now carrying on for another couple of weeks and what with the dust/tools/rubble everywhere there is no way we could get the house any where near ready for a visit this week. Here it is partially restored, but still propped.

This means that we may not get a visit as they have another family to visit and may not want this family to have to wait another 2 weeks for our visit before they get an answer. One part of me is gutted as I am really smitten with this littleun, but the other, more fatalistic part of me is saying, what happens does so for a reason and if it is not meant to be it is because this was not the right child. I suppose there is always the chance that they don't choose the other family after the visit, but I am not counting on that.

Bonnie says we should keep looking while she is away - the mags come out next week and if we see any potential children we will be contacting their sw direct to start the information ball rolling.

Monday, 21 June 2010

beginning to feel real

Been v busy at work over the last few weeks what with it being exam time and lots of marking to do, then a visit to a conference with Flash. Came back and caught up with Bonnie to find she had been very busy in our absence. Bonnie had seen a child in the mags that she thought would be of interest so had decided to contat the child's SW for further info. To cut a long story short, we have read the CPR and there is nothing in there to scare us off and the more we look at it and the pictures, the more drawn we are to this child. Our PAR has been passed on and was well received at the first quick read by the SW so we are just waiting for more feedback following the thorough read. Bonnie doesn't know how many other families are being considered, but to use the fishing analogy, this is our first nibble at the hook, so child could still get away! Also had a SW contact Bonnie having seen our profile and really liking us so some info on another littleun is in the post to us too. Don't know anything about this one other than the name at the moment. So exciting times!! And at just the right time the bedroom should be finished and ready to decorate in the next couple of days (BIL has had to prioritise the day job for the last few weeks and has needed his weekends to recover lol!)

Had another great evening on Saturday with Mickey and Minnie, catching up at a 'microfestival' aka bbq and twinkly lights in a back garden with some good music - back garden of a house in the middle of nowhere, hence the festival analogy!! Thye have also had great news and are actively chasing a link for a sibling group. They are a bit further along than us as they are at the stage where they are trying to reorganise work patterns to fit in visits from SW and family finder. So our thoughts, love & prayers are with them for a successful outcome.

Saturday, 29 May 2010


A quiet week adoption-wise but a week of hell work-wise. So much marking and the 28th was the deadline to get it all done. Not helped by the colleague who double marks my stuff not sticking to the deadlines we had agreed 6 weeks ago and so Thursday and Friday were manic days sorting out admin till late. Ah well. I have finished my blanket. I decided to make it child-sized on purpose so here it is:

And this is a close up of the edging I designed for it:
All we need is a finished bedroom to put it in. The bedroom is nearly finished; it is at the stage of nearly being ready to decorate and carpet, just being held up as my BIL builder is off to a family wedding in Ireland over half term and has had a big contract to work on during the week that has kept him away for several weekends. But he's getting there.

Had a wonderful evening last weekend with Minnie and Micky, catching up on all things adoption. The weather was great, the BBQ was great, and even if it did resemble an inferno at times, it meant that the cooking temp kept going till very late!!

Friday, 21 May 2010

a few profiles

This week we have received three profiles from Bonnie that she picked up at a consortium meeting and we asked for information on one child we saw in BMP. She has requested the full report of the child we found. The other one we are waiting for info on she has not mentioned. Of the other three sent through, 2 look ok but don't 'tug' at me like the BMP child does.

We did have some positive news though. Of all the children we have looked at, we have missed out because they have been placed within their local consortia, and actually, bonnie has been getting some favourable feedback regarding our profile. We did get another profile of a child sent through on the basis of ours, but Bonnie had misgivings and so did we when we saw it. Nothing absolute, just an undefinable feeling that the child was not right for us.

This weekend we are meeting up with Mickey and Minnie for a meal and a catch up, hopefully with Donald and Daisy, another couple from prep group who were approved about 6 weeks before we were and who are already linked. It will be great to catch up on their experience of the post approval/pre-matching process.

Am loving the sun but not the fact that I am not seeing any of it due to my marking workload. Most of it is online so I can't take the computer outside as I can't see the screen. Would be made a more pleasant process had the quality of the work been better, but hey ho - some years you get good students and other years you don't.

Monday, 10 May 2010

a little update on our enquiries

Bear with me as I try to get this right. A - still no news. B is matched and C is linked with someone locally, all as we were expecting. D we have heard nothing back about yet but our profile has been sent to the SW. We have asked for details of E and our profile has been sent. We also today asked for details on F and G. Because the limits we have set ourselves and our family finding I think this is pretty good for the first month post approval. Enough to keep us busy but not too much to be overwhelming. Of course the narcissistic/neurotic/paranoid side of me wants to know whether the SWs like our profile or if it is being binned with nary a thought. I am sure we will get some info back on that soon though and it will be one of the questions that we will ask Bonnie in due course.

Had a lovely day out with my sister on Saturday. At first it was just going to be a visit to Costco, but she had an appointment with the fashion advisor at a large store to try to find an outfit for a family wedding. Well, having sat in on the experience of someone else running around the shop finding outfits for you rather than trawling through yourself I think I might have to give it a try. I am beginning to think that a lot of my work clothes are looking tatty so do need to go get some more, but as I hate loath and detest trawling round shops i think i might have found the solution!

Friday, 7 May 2010

dum de dum de dum

Lots of people told me that the first couple of weeks post approval might be a bit anticlimactic and they were right. We are now approved, we have the decision maker's letter confirming the panel recommendation and have put out feelers to a few social workers as per previous post. And nothing else. Is happening. Don't get me wrong, we are in no hurry to take in the first child we are offered, but it is a very strange feeling. No visits with Bonnie on a regular basis. No having to get the house clean and tidy on a regular basis (not that I can get it clean with all the building dust at the mo). And the feeling that all this learning we have done about child development and attachment and trauma etc will slip such that when a child is matched we will have forgotten it all! And the questions have changed from - 'when are you approved' to 'have they found you a child yet'. I am quite glad it is assessment season as the piles of marking are keeping me very busy. talking of which, 24 x 3000word essays await my critical and objective attention!

Friday, 23 April 2010


We were recommended for approval to adopt at panel yesterday. Leading up to the event I had thought I wasn't nervous. But a bad night's sleep and not being able to manage breakfast for probably the first time EVER have made me think otherwise. Flash was Mr Laidback and went to work in the morning. Me on the otherhand had to indulge in a bit of retail therapy to keep busy. Came away with some nice clothes for work, but will have to reflect on whether my choices were informed and conscious as I bought stuff that I wouldn't normally!

The panel itself was not an ordeal. The whole process from arrival lasted 30 minutes. Bonnie went in first for 15 minutes to answer questions and them came out with the panel chair who introduced herself and told us the areas they wanted to discuss. These were pretty much as expected - how would we manage Flip's transition to uni and his bonding with a new child, how did Flash manage his sight issues and how would he keep track of a young child. What had we learned from the home study and prep group process. We were easily able to answer these, with a bit of humour that had the panel giggling politely and we came away feeling that we had presented ourselves well. Which was obviously the case as we had the good news within 10 minutes and the comment that the panel thought we were a lovely couple. We fooled them!! Only joking lol! We are also ecstatic that Micky and Minnie, our friends from prep group (sorry about the names guys if you are reading!!!) were also recommended for approval so a lovely couple of hours was spent at the pub celebrating with some beer, wine and chips!

So what now? Well, we will get a letter in the next week from the agency decision maker confirming the panel's recommendation and then it is all systems go in finding our new family member. Bonnie has enquired about 4 children already. We are looking for a little girl of school age. Of the 4, SW for A likes our details but a birth family member has cropped up wanting to be considered, so an assessment will have to be done on them meanin it could take several months before we know whether A will be in or out of the birth family. SW for B said they are still family finding in the local area but will keep in touch. SW for C and D have not yet answered so potentially have been on holiday over Easter. We are not in any hurry anyway - we would rather take our time to get the right match than rush into anything.

Have finally taken some crochet pics. Here they are. 2 panels waiting to be joined together, currently about 2/3 of what I hope the finished size will be. The blanket reflects the colour scheme (shades of lavender and cream) that we will be using in the bedroom when done. The single square is actually a lovely dark purple and not the brown colour that the camera on my phone has turned it into!

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

2 sleeps till.....

....approval panel. So nearly at the end of the first part of our journey. I can't work out if I am nervous or not. I am having very vivid dreams but sleeping OK, but my appetite is not as healthy as usual ( 2lb off at fat club this week) and I seem to be getting way more work done than usual - subconscious distraction technique maybe? The bedroom is nearly finished, but a side effect of the renovations up there is that we are going to replace the kitchen ceiling, as 2 floor joists had to be replaced as they were rotten. In replacing them parts of the old tongue and groove ceiling (which was falling apart anyway) had to be taken down and so, in for a penny.... here comes a new ceiling. This house really is like the forth bridge!!

It is exciting to see some positive news, and some anxious news from my fellow bloggers - I have been reading but not posting as this time of year is manic with marking and exam arrangements so most of my computer time has been spent on that. So m&m and Ali - best wishes, my thoughts are with you.

Flash seems to have got over his spell of the collywobbles but is still adamant that he will not be rushed into choosing the first child suggested and that we will take our time - which is what I thought we were doing anyway.

Still haven't managed to take any photos of my crochet efforts, but I have about half a granny square blanket completed. I will show it off eventually, I promise.

Good luck and best wishes to everyone else going to approval panel this week.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

The PAR.....

......has arrived. Came in the post yesterday morning. On the whole it is a good reflection of our family, although as it is effectively a document which sells you to childrens' social workers, having so much praise and positivity in there felt a little weird. But I think that is down to the 'British', trait of not being comfortable accepting praise or compliments. It is much easier to be self deprecating!! There are a couple of minor inaccuracies but nothing that we feel strongly enough about to have to change, other than to point out where a couple of dates don't match up (same event but different dates given in different sections of the report).

I think the nerves are well and truly settling in. Flash in particular is having difficulty facing up to the change that is coming to our lives. He likes our life, he likes our lifestyle, he likes our freedom to do whatever he wants whenever he wants, he was ambivalent about he process and is doing it for me...... I could say the same thing, but at the same time, there is something missing and it feels as if we are in a 'comfort rut'. I can't explain how I feel, only that if our life remains as it is I will be bored forever. I guess I need a challenge and part of life's challenge to me is having a family, and I am ready to add to mine. But I also know I cannot do this unless Flash is fully on board. So (rhetorical question) do I put this down as pre-approval jitters or Flash admitting his true feelings? It is only with me he is like this. With our friends from prep group (we met up at the weekend) he was positive and bubbly and fully engaged in talking about all things adoption. I need to talk to him about it but he is away for work this week so it will be a weekend chat.

Thanks to Ali, my fellow blogger, I have taken up crochet. With reasonable success. So when I get a chance I will load up my efforts thus far. I am sure they will get better!! Off to buy some more wool now!!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

4 weeks and counting.........

........until approval panel!
The time really has flown since we first met Bonnie and started home study. And it has been very strange not having our regular appointment. The profile we have do do for sending out to other agencies/LAs is nearly done. I find it very hard to 'sell' our family and what we can offer a child.

The bedroom is coming on well:

from this............................and currently.........

Just a little decorating job we thought!!

Meeting up with friends from prep group on Saturday so really looking forward to that. If my car is fixed. I have been smelling a strange rubbery smell, so took it in yesterday to get it looked at and they wouldn't let me take it home. The cambelt casing has cracked, and the cambelt is rubbing against it, hence the smell. So new cambelt needed as a precaution against any damage that might have been done to it even though It was done only 18 months ago. Oh well. No Easter eggs for the boys this year then!!

Friday, 5 March 2010

busy busy

Just a short post. So busy at work with marking and so on, extra time at the computer is not my favourite pastime at the moment.

We have finished home study yay! Bonnie has gone off to write the prospective adopters report and left us with a list of things to get done before approval panel including getting a fireguard, batteries for the smoke alarms (they were working a month ago-honest!), cupboard and drawer locks, medicine cabinet etc... And we have to do a one page flyer to start sending out to social workers. This consists of a photo of the three of us followed by 3-500 words telling the world all about us! What to say.....

Oh, and the carpenter started on the bedroom today so I am feeling hopeful that we might actually get it done before panel!

Saturday, 20 February 2010

last homestudy next week

Where has the time gone? Tuesday will be our last homestudy visit before Bonnie goes off to write up the PAR. I have been so busy at work that I have forgotted to update the blog so I haven't commented properly on the last visit. We again talked about parenting and really started talking in detail about what issues we would think we could cope with in a child. This is hard because your first instinct is to say 'I could cope with anything' as you cannot bear to think that these gorgeous kids should stay looked after. Then reality and practicality set in and you have to be realistic. I thought about the things I couldn't cope with when flip was younger and the biggy for me is sleep. In that I need it. Lots of it. Well, at least a regular 8 hours worth. I can cope with less occasionally so long as I get chance to catch up but I get really short tempered, stressy and unpleasant if sleep is lacking and would not want to be like this with our new child. Which brings us back to profiles. How do you decide whether one child who is 'full of energy' is not ADHD when other profiles actually state ADHD? etc. etc. So I started looking at the 'sleeps well' children thinking that even if they are energetic, at least we can all crash out together.

We are very open to considering children with disabilities so long as they are not so severe as to need one of us to be at home full time - no point in adopting if we can't pay the mortgage and provide a home! Which brings me onto the curveball. At the end of the session Bonnie handed us a pile of extended profiles sent to the agency by other SWs around the country. These were for us to look at and discuss in detail as to whether we thought we could consider any of them. Came away not knowing if this was an exercise or not (Bonnie said it was) but some friends who were on our prep course had the same only their SW indicated it wasn't an exercise..... and of course we have seen a profile for a little dumpling who has taken our breath away.

What to do?

Wednesday, 3 February 2010


At our last meeting with Bonnie we started to talk about parenting skills & styles and how we thought parenting an adopted child might be. I suppose you could say I have an advantage as I aleady have Flip, but I must admit I feel like I have had an easy ride with him. We had the usual teenage moods and sulks, but no drink/drugs or other worrying behaviours and on the whole he didn't do anything that caused us any great stress or worry. We know that this is not likely to be the case with an adopted child due to the trauma in the background of any child who has been taken into the care system. So we talked through a few different approaches to parenting but on the whole we know that we are likely to have to adapt our parenting style as and when a child is placed and once we know from the foster carers what is likely to work and what definitely doesn't!

To aid us in this we have been looking at back issues of BMP and CWW to look at childrens' profiles and discuss how we might approach parenting or what we feel the isssues are likely to be. Not easy. But on the whole I think we are beginning to get an idea of the issues we can and can't deal with. And by looking at the profiles separately and then coming together to discuss we have been able to see where we are in agreement and where we differ in what we think we could cope with.

We have also started redecorating the bedroom which currently looks as pictured above. Yes that is daylight coming through the walls and yes it is a bigger job than expected, but at least it will all be done by the end of March. Some remedial work to be done to beams by our carpenter and then it should be a fairly quick job to finish. Tell me, does anywhere sell childproof plasterboard......?

Monday, 25 January 2010

we're all going on a...summer holdiay!

Well the holiday saga is over. Had a chat with Bonnie about it last week and it seems that, as a result of when our approval panel is and the processes that happen between that and matching panel, and then most SW not wanting to place a child just before the summer holiday period (a combination of SW holidays and needing to have good availability when child is first placed and not wanting to disrupt the routine of a school aged child with a move AND the holiday period) we will be able to go away in early August. A delighted Flash has already booked up so we're off for sun, sea and sangria for a couple of weeks! This probably sounds as though we are not considering the impact of having a child placed with us. Far from it. We both have very busy careers and need the relaxation of a summer holiday and usually we would have booked up last October, but delayed because of the adoption process. When you begin you really have no idea of how long it will take to be approved, let alone matched, and as has been pointed out by followers of this blog, there is only so much of your life you can put on hold. This is the type of holiday we always take, and over the years we have gone as a couple when Flip has been away with his dad, as a family with Flip, with my sister and her family and with Flash's brother and his family. And in the future we anticipate doing the same with the newest member of our family, whenever that may be.

I had another individual session with Bonnie this week which concentrated on my previous relationships and my school days. Although I now get on fine with my ex, it really grates that I had to spend an hour talking about him and what he did to our relationship. And it grates even more that they have to send him a questionnaire asking him about my parenting skills/relationship with our son. That means that he will know about our plans before we are even approved - sounds petty, but he was very controlling in our relationship and I don't like feeling like he has control over even a part of this process. Rationally I know that the approval will not be based on his opinion, but the fact that we cannot be approved until Bonnie has his opinion means that I am not in control of this part of the process, ergo he has control. Does that make sense? I suppose he has to know sometime, would just have preferred it to be after we know we are approved. Shame I didn't get the same courtesy of advanced warning 14 years ago when Flip's half brother was born - I was told after the event - no chance for me to prepare Flip for the new arrival - I was livid and it did explain a lot about Flip's behaviour for a few weeks. Rant over!

This week our joint session will, I believe, be where we start looking in a bit more detail at the issues surrounding children in care and what we are/are not willing to consider in a child. I think we have a good idea already but it will be interesting to talk about as it will be more about 'the child' and less about us for a change!

Will post again later in the week with my thoughts.


Friday, 8 January 2010

Happy New Year

I love looking at snow. I just do not like being out in it. Flash has been in heaven as the snow in December set him up for the perfect traditional Christmas. I, on the other hand turn into a hamster in this weather and hardly put a foot out of the door! Which is a bit of a problem with lots of relatives to visit, shopping to do etc. Worse for me as Flash does not drive so I have to chauffer everyone. I am fine with that so long as they don't expect me to drive above walking pace!!

Christmas was the usual chaotic riot - lots of family over Christmas day, then driving to see the in laws for Boxing Day in the midlands. And the discovery that guitar hero world tour is just the best PS3 game ever and I can drum away to 'eye of the tiger' with hardly a missed beat (on easy level of course!!) And once all the chaos is finished, and the decorations are packed away, you sit and reflect that next Christmas could be very different indeed.

Suddenly the April panel date is looking scarily close. And I don't even know when the date is! This in itself is causing a minor headache. We have been invited to go away for a week with some friends in early April, but cannot commit as we don't know when panel will be. Due to 2 cancelled home study visits (snow!) I haven't had a chance to discuss with Bonnie, so have emailed to see where the land lies. Flash in particular is not finding it easy to put on hold our normal plans. He is itching to book a summer holiday, but again, this is something that we need to discuss with Bonnie, and I don't think an email conversation is the best way to do it. ANd of course, Flash's brother had to rub it in that they have booked their holiday, near to where we went last year.......

Happy new year everyone. Here's hoping some wishes really do come true this year!