Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Observed assessment & home study 10

A busy adoption day today.

I woke up in the wrong frame of mind today, sometimes everything hits you at once and you realise how overwhelming life is at the moment. Don't get me wrong, I remain 100% focussed and convinced that we are doing the right thing, but there is so much going on at the moment, with our approval, the matching approval, all the work going on at home to get everything ready, as well as life continuing with all its normal day to day pressure, and most of the time that's just great, but every now and then everything feels quite overwhelming, and this morning, I was in one of those moods!

One of our wonderful friends had agreed that we could borrow her children for an hour or so, for our social worker to observe us playing and interacting with them. The boys were an absolute delight to look after, and we spent ages doing arts and crafts, making crowns, playing with balloons and generally having fun. I hadn't been too worried about this bit as I have done lots of child care and feel very comfortable with children, and G was in his element getting messy with paint and stickers.

After playtime was over, we went back to the office for some feedback and then home study 10.

Our playtime feedback was generally very positive, although I did get a bit of constructive feedback which I took unnecessarily personally due to my general fragile mind set today. I was told that I didn't seem to engage as well with the youngest of the two as I did the eldest, and that I didn't show affection when they bumped in to one another. In truth, it's very hard to demonstrate everything in an hour, and actually the question about bumping in to each other, I didn't entirely agree with, as I don't think the boys hurt themselves at all, and I was trying not to make a fuss as they didn't seem too bothered by it. But I do understand that the feedback was intended to be constructive. I did find it hard to be told that I didn't show affection though, as I consider myself to be a very affectionate person, and I love the two little boys we were playing with. In any case, the boys seemed to have a lovely time (although one did say 'Uncle Dan, you're so funny' just after the social worker had left, which I thought was bad timing!!).

The home study session was largely around catching up on a few bits and pieces that were missing from our PAR (prospective adopters report - the dossier on me and G that gets sent to the approval panel). There are some very odd questions that you get asked, things that you just can't answer without knowing the boys. For example we had to say how we would protect the boys from too much disruption in the event of G and I splitting up! Very hard question to answer theoretically! We also looked at questions around promoting and understanding identity, dealing with bullying, promoting a tolerant family environments etc.

For the first time, I got really overcome with emotion in the session today. We were talking about how we would try and promote a successful adoption, to avoid a 'disruption' (social work speak for the placement not working out). Our social worker said that we already seemed to be quite attached to the idea of the boys and that this was a positive thing. I said that I really thought we were, and that we're both finding it quite hard to think that they are out there already and that we can't meet them yet. I talked about how strange it was that they will be celebrating Christmas without any knowledge of us in two weeks time, and it really got me quite emotional. In fact, it's having the same effect typing the blog now. I really do need to man up!!

The strange thing was, today was our last full home study session! We have another mop up session booked for January to go through our PAR, but we've just about done the home study, which seems really strange. We've both actually really enjoyed the sessions. We've had a lovely social worker and I think we've been very lucky, as other blogs that I have read have really described the home study sessions quite negatively, but G and I are actually going to miss ours!

We got home to find great progress on the building work today - really starting to take form. G's brother in law is doing it for us, and he's doing an amazing job.

We also got an email from the boy's social worker this afternoon, which was a relief as we hadn't heard anything and we really need to get moving with researching their medical records ahead of our meeting with the medical officer next week.

Finally, our social worker also gave us good news on  the schools application today. Apparently the school has to take child if social services say so - and our social services team agree with our reasons for why we want the school that we do, so hopefully we can get that sorted early in the new year.

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