Monday, 26 November 2012

Week 36 and 37, and the eve of another big day

I try hard to keep the blog updated every week, mainly because in truth, these days I can't remember much about what happened today, let along 14 days ago, but I confess that sometimes, after the kids bedtime on a Sunday, I just collapse and can't face the laptop. So, a bit delayed but here are the last couple of weeks' highlights!

Generally speaking, all has been good. We get a weekly report emailed to us for Joe from his key worker at school, and each week just gets more positive, this week she said he's really talking much more freely about life at home, which is a great indicator that he's believing this is for ever.

And since I last wrote, we've had two really lovely weekends too. Weekend one, we had a really special Saturday, we met up with some of the other couples from our prep group, for the first time since we've all had our children. We met up in the soft play centre for the kids to have a run around, and then we headed out for a long lunch. It was so nice to see everyone again, and to see how life has changed for us all. It's only just over a year since we first all met, childless and nervous at the adoption prep course, and now we are all living new lives with our kids, and by and large, it seemed to be going well for everyone.

One of the couple from our group have adopted a little boy who has the same birth mum as our two, and it was amazing meeting him for the first time. I had to apologise to Karen for staring at him for the first hour, as I was really analysing his face to look out for similarities, which to me are obviously there. We haven't said anything to the boys yet, but we're going to get together another couple of times first and then we'll tell the boys next year some time.

On Sunday we had a lazy family morning, something that is becoming a bit of a ritual, and then we headed of for lunch at one of Joe's school friends. The brave lady had invited six boys to play, and she fed the kids and packed them off to the play room, when she then fed the adults. It was great, the boys had a really lovely time playing and we had a lovely time drinking wine and chatting to the grown ups.

I have really started to see a change in the boys ability to play, it's like they are finally believing that we are always here, and so they no longer have to have us as the centre of their games. So on the Sunday morning the two of them played for a couple of hours in each others bedrooms, with us only going in to break up the occasional argument, and then at our friends house, they were happy playing for quite some time. Joe in particular is getting those social skills that he was lacking and I think that's making him a more popular little boy.

And this weekend too, it's been fun family times. On Saturday I took Joe off to football where bless him, he got absolutely soaked to the skin and on the way back to the car he started to cry because he was so cold. He was too wet and muddy for me to pick him up (harsh?!) but I got him back to the car, stood him up in the boot and stripped off his outer layers, before wrapping him in my coat. He looked and me and said, 'Daddy, now you'll be cold' to which I replied that it was fine, I wanted him to warm. To which he just gave me the biggest squeeze and told me that he loved me. We came home and G was out with Charlie, so I ran Joe a hot bath. He loved having a midday bath and enjoyed having it on his own. We had lunch and hot chocolate before heading out for a father son afternoon. We went bowling and to the cinema. I don't know who enjoyed it more, me or him, but it was lovely time together. Meantime, G was left to cope with a 5th birthday party, 30 kids at a soft play centre. His afternoon was fun, but perhaps not quite as rosy as mine!

Sunday we again had a lazy morning and then headed off to New Family Social's Brighton meet up. NFS is a charity which support same sex adopters and foster carers, and since the first Brighton meeting we attended 18 months ago, the group has grown and grown, and there are more and more people appearing each month with their new family members, and it's quite incredible to witness.

The kids all have a great time, eating party food and running around and playing for three hours, and we get so much out of it too. It's so lovely to talk to people that have been in the same situations as we have and that really understand what we mean when we talk about social workers, court orders, birth parent woes and attachment. We all share advise freely, both with other parent and also prospective adopters. At one point I even found myself stood with three other guys who are also the halves of the couples that have had to go back to work, and that was nice too, to chat about the different challenges of juggling work life and home life. It was a really lovely afternoon and the boys had a ball, and I think in time, they will notice that everyone there has two dads or two mums and that will be great for them.

So, tomorrow is the first court hearing for the adoption order. We're not in court tomorrow but it's the hearing that we've been told the birth mother is planning to attend. I'll do an update tomorrow night if time allows. Fingers crossed everyone!

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