Sunday, 20 March 2011

Breaking the news

So, since our big decision to apply, we have made a bit of progress. It’s not going to be a quick process, we know that. It’s probably going to take about 2 years and there are lots of hurdles to jump in the meantime. First of all we had to phone social services, they sent us out an information pack and then called us for a telephone interview two weeks later. That chat went really well, and the social worker was very encouraging - she said she thought we had a lot to offer, and she would like to send us a detailed questionnaire to complete. The form took us a couple of days to fill out - there were 75 pages of questions, many of which were really very searching. We had to reflect on our own childhoods, our family then and now, our support network, our views on things like discipline, our thoughts on dealing with children who have survived abuse, bullying etc.

Filling in the form was actually quite an affirming experience. The first thing it made us realise, was just how great an upbringing we both had. We’re lucky that we both hail from very loving families, and when talking about our own hopes for our child rearing skills, we realised that there was nothing we would really change from our own upbringings (after all, our parents clearly got it, right, just look at us!!).

Our answers also demonstrated what a fantastic support network we have. The application process puts a lot of importance on support networks, the journey both pre and post placement is not going to smooth, and we’re going to need friends and family to be there for us and for our potential future family, if we’re to survive! Filling in the form we were both able to say that our respective families would be there and would be a huge influence, and also that we have some amazing friends, many of whom live very close by (and others not so close, but there for us nonetheless!).

Finally, we had to reflect on our own relationship, answering questions such as what we value most in one another. There were questions in there that we hadn’t really thought about before, but it was a really positive experience talking through our answers with one another. For example, we realised we’ve never shouted at each other - which isn’t bad in 11 years!

That form was then submitted to the Adoption Manager at our local authority for her to decide if we were likely to progress quickly enough to be accepted on to the next preparation course. We passed that hurdle and now we’re waiting for a home visit for the final decision to be made about whether we get a place on the next prep course intake, likely to be June.

During this time, we’ve slowly started to tell people our news. It’s been really hard, because we’re now both fairly consumed with this, so we’re desperate to tell people as we need to talk about it, but at the same time it’s the kind of news we want to break face to face, and with D’s parents being 180 miles away, we haven’t had a chance to get home yet, so we’ve ended up telling some people before others. We do feel very guilty about this, but it can’t really be helped. We’re heading north next weekend so we’ll soon be able to be out in the open again.

The reaction thus far has been so reaffirming. There have been tears and hugs and lots of excitement. Nanny now has something really positive to start preparing for, we have uncles, aunts and honorary uncles and aunts all equally excited, and the overall message we’ve been given has been, ‘We’ve always thought you would make amazing parents and we’ve been so sad that we thought that wouldn’t ever happen for you’ so that’s been really wonderful. I’ve cried with just about every person we’ve told so far!

No comments:

Post a Comment