Wednesday, 22 February 2012

We've done it!!!!!!

We were surprisingly calm this morning - the last couple of days we've both been really nervous, but when the day arrived we actually felt quite okay. We met our social worker in a coffee shop near the town hall and sat and had a calming coffee and a nice chat. We set off for the town hall together, signed in and found our way to the waiting area - which oddly was the main council chamber - a huge and imposing room not conducive to relaxing!

We were joined by our social worker, the matching manager and the boys worker's manager. Nerves started to take hold and then the panel advisor came to tell us that panel were just discussing how to conduct our hearing, they don't do many concurrent approvals and matches and they were deciding whether to do it in two parts or one.

10 minutes later the chair came to introduce herself, and she said that panel had decided that the report that our worker had submitted was so thorough they didn't feel that they needed to ask us too much as far as approving us was concerned, so they were going to focus on the match with a few questions relating specifically to us as prospective parents. She ran through a summary of the topics they would be covering and then took us into the panel room.

Nerves kicked in for real at this point, the room is fairly intimidating - 10 people sat around one side of a table with us sat facing them. They all introduced themselves and then took it turns to ask us questions. We were asked for our views on the process, and then how we felt we would adapt to parenthood and how we would deal with the change in our lifestyle. We were asked why we felt the boys were the right match for us, and why we had decided to apply for siblings rather than one child. We were asked about our views on contact with their many half-siblings, how we would deal with the situation if we were to bump into birth mother in Brighton, we were asked about our plans for their education and also how we would cope if they were allergic to our cats.

In all we answered questions for about 45 minutes, our social workers were also asked questions and then G & I were sent to wait outside whilst the panel deliberated, for what felt like hours but in reality was about 10 minutes.

We were then called back in, to hear the words "I'm pleased to inform you that the panel have unanimously agreed that you should be approved as adopters and that you will make wonderful parents for these two boys." Quite unexpectedly, as I wasn't aware that I was feeling emotional, G & I both sponanteously blubbed at this point! I guess the sense of relief and the realisation that the panel felt we were good enough to parent our two amazing little lads, was just overwhelming.

As we pulled ourselves together, she read out a list of reasons as to why panel felt we were suitable, before congratulating us and explaining what happens next.

We left, hugged our social worker who has been truly amazing throughout this journey so far, and then had another good cry - before heading off to Early Learning Centre to buy some toys!

We phoned Grandma, Granddad, Nanny and uncles and aunties and did a bit more crying!

Today has been an amazing day and we are both buzzing - it marks the end of chapter one of adoption, and the start of the rest of our lives - we have two weeks to finish of the preparations before meeting the boys on the 9th March.

We have been so incredibly touched by the emotion and support that so many people have shown so far. We've had some lovely cards this week and countless messages on Facebook and text messages too - we certainly went into panel clearly knowing that we have a lot of love and support behind us - and you can't imagine how much that has meant to us both. Support has come from far and wide, and has even included messages from people that we don't even know that well - friends and family of friends and family that have been following the journey on the blog. It's really amazed us how emotional other people have found the news, we've moved lots of people to tears today - and it's touched G & I so much. Thank you guys - we love you all - and I just know our kids are going to love you all too!!!!!


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