Friday, 4 November 2011

Home study number 6

We had our sixth home visit today. It was a great visit, started off with some positive feedback from our social worker, who really seems very committed to getting us to panel as quickly as the system will allow.

We read a lot of adoption forums these days, and so many people have such awful experiences at this stage, with delay after delay. I may be speaking too soon, but so far, we really can't complain, our worker thinks that we will have finished home study visits by Christmas, so should be well on track for panel by March.

We weren't expecting a visit next week, but she's fitted another one in, and then she's away for a couple of weeks, but the news that we'll be done by Christmas is great.

We also discussed arranging a witnessed visit of us looking after children. She has to watch us for an hour or so looking after children. We've made a sheepish phone call to one of our friends, who seemed more than happy at the idea of a chance to go out shopping on her own for a few hours during the day, so we'll hopefully get that arranged for the end of November too.

She has now read all of our references, and is really pleased with them all. In fact, she said she couldn't believe how lovely they all were, so we've clearly chosen some great friends!

Today's visit started by looking at our motivations, what brought us to this point, why we want children and why we've chosen adoption. We discussed the fact that having talked about it on and off for the last three years, we finally went away for the weekend in January to really thrash out our thoughts, which she thought was very organised, and quite male of us! In discussing it, it made me realise, that really this is something I've wanted for a very long time, but because I'm gay, I never thought it would be an option, so I think I sort of suppressed my feelings on the matter.

After motivation, we then looked at a really good exercise to test our expectations of our future child. We had two pages of statements about a child, and we had to decide whether we would be pleased, or disappointed or somewhere in the middle, for each statement. Statements included things like "Child age 12, caught shop lifting" "Child aged 9 requires remedial reading support" "Child age 16 scouted by a model agency" " Child aged 6 described as being a loner" It was a really interesting exercise to discuss, and we actually had pretty much the same score as one another.

Our social worker said that she really enjoyed watching us complete the exercise, saying that she likes the way we work together and discuss and listen to each other's opinions, and the fact that we were surprisingly open and tolerant to some of the statements made, which she seemed to be pleased with. I think in truth we are both quite moderate, and we don't have strong expectations (at this stage at least) about what we want our child to achieve - we both appreciate difference, and understand that academic achievement for example, isn't the only thing that's important in a child's life.

We also discussed whether or not we would consider a sibling placement. G and I have discussed our child hopes at some length, and we've come to the conclusion that we want to set 3 as our upper age limit, we really do want a year of a child at home, before school starts. So that's going to be our focus, rather than definitely wanting siblings. So if they have a 3 and a 1 year old, we'll consider it, but otherwise, we'll just take the one!! We can always go back and do all this again in a couple of years time if we want a second. We are fairly clear though, that we do see our family as having 2 children, we've both come from close sibling groups, and understand the importance of the support that this provides, especially in adulthood.

Finally, she's also asked us if we would be open to starting to look at profiles, with a view to them getting an idea of a potential match before our panel date. This got us both very excited! It's started to make the possibility of having a family by next summer sound more and more likely!

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