Thursday, 1 January 2009

Pre-approval snippets from an old blog - part 1 of 2

17 February 2008
Mungo and I have not been blessed with our own children, so we are adopting. The process is very long and drawn out; we started in April 2007 and haven't yet been approved. We can see why it should be like that, so we just keep reminding ourselves of the outcome, if things get too tortuous. We had a planned visit from our Social Worker on Thursday, who discussed our ability to parent children. The things we have to discuss and reveal about ourselves are sometimes very intrusive and upsetting. Our social worker is very pleased with us and can see no reason why we shouldn't be approved. Our panel date is in June, so we still have a long way to go before we can even start to think about the children we might have. Or so we thought! Our social worker said we can start looking for a family! Woooo hoooo! We are sooooo excited :) Now, if you don't know about the process, what we do now is start looking in specialist listings for children who are currently waiting to be adopted. We already have one delivered on a monthly basis, so we have an idea of those who are out there and their family requirements. We are looking for a sibling group of two or three, with at least one child pre-school age, e.g. toddler or baby, so we need to be matched with children who are waiting for parents that have our strengths, experience and skills. Poor kids, eh? It's starting to get exciting, we are already saying things like, "When the kids are here we get to go to a holiday camp in the summer!" "When the kids arrive we can go to the pictures and watch kids films!" "When we get out Midges we'll have to have a better routine!"

22 February 2008
We received an email from our social worker asking if we wanted to attend a family finding info day in April, so we responded yes. I'm not sure of the process, I think it's where they show prospective adopters details of the children waiting to be adopted and you can put yourselves forward as potential parents. Most definitely, things are moving in the right direction :)

28 February 2008
Today, I told my boss about our adoption plans. She was very supportive and told me about the Adoption policy they have there. I was worried that they might hold it against me, like my previous employers did when I told them about my IVF requirements. But let's not go down that road because I am still extremely angry about that even after 2 years! I know it's not healthy to bear a grudge that long but I've got to have some miniscule chink in my otherwise uber-perfect character ;)

02 March 2008
I went to get a spanking new haircut :) Oh how happy I am and how different I feel. Very grown up with my new body, clothes and hair. We have a sports car and I drove home with the roof down and it was fab. Sadly, the car's days are numbered, as we can't squeeze a ready-made family of four or five into two seats! Talking of family, being Mothering Sunday and all, we have seen some families that we might like to be linked with, so have emailed our social worker to ask for more information.

22 March 2008
Some great news! We have finished our home study and are now waiting for our reference visits to be completed. We will have one final official visit - called the second opinion - and a medical, then we will be ready for panel in June. The social workers now need to get everything pulled together and typed up, which will take a month or more. Such a slooooooooooooooooooooow process! We have also seen some kiddies that we might be interested in and our social worker said we could contact their social workers. Because we don't have the information in draft yet we are unlikely to get any response, so it is worth a punt to see what reaction we get.

04 April 2008
I have been very busy at work doing some overtime in the after-school club and I am hoping to get some extra hours in next term. It all helps to increase my childcare knowledge. We had the latest publication of children waiting to be adopted today and we have seen some sibling groups we could potentially take on, so I shall send out some emails later.

04 May 2008
I have been poorly again, 5 colds since I started work at the school, 4 this year! By the time we have our kiddies I shall be immune to just about everything! Talking of which, it's 39 days to panel! I went on a 'Family Finding Information Day' a couple of weeks ago to see if we could find some kiddies and I saw two sibling groups. Our Social Worker has been off ill for 3 weeks so they have not progressed and it will be unlikely now that they will still be looking for a family. We have decided to mark it off as an information-gathering exercise and try again.

10 May 2008
I am starting to get impatient about the adoption process again. We have had nothing from our social worker in ages and are wondering if the paperwork is going to be ready in time. We haven't been given the go ahead to have our medicals done and we haven't seen the draft paperwork to approve it. Mungo is going to give them a call on Monday to find out what is happening.

15 May 2008
Soooooo, Mungo rang our social worker on Monday and she had been off sick for weeks and just got back - but no-one at the agency bothered to tell us! We have been sitting around waiting for them to contact us like they said we should. This now means our panel date has been put back by at least a month. Are we happy?

25 May 2008
We have had all the reference visits carried out by our social worker so another task completed. Apparently, she was very pleased and they all went really well. We have our medicals and the Second Opinion visit to go, then panel is now booked for the 10th July. But that is not set in stone as we have now found out, so we shall have to wait and see. We have transferred the goldfish into the big tank and rearranged the front room, ready to bring the TV down from upstairs. Mungo needs to get the cable man in to extend the cable into the front room. All this is preparation for our little ones.

27 May 2008
I had a wobbler last night. We were snuggled up watching Heroes Season 1 and there was an adoption issue on it and I just started sobbing. I feel like we arre never going to get there, it seems further away than ever. Mungo did and said all the right things and that made me feel better. I was still a little wobbly when we went to bed and I said to Mungo that I didn't want to go to sleep because I knew I would dream about my sister again. And i did. This time it wasn't a nightmare, or upsetting. She was there and we were getting along ok - but stilted. I don't remember what was happening but it wasn't as bad as it has been in the past. I am always going to be upset that she will never be part of the adoption process. When we had IVF I remember emailing her the embryo pictures and saything these were her possible nieces and nephews. But I will never be able to do that again, with pictures of our potential littlies.

28 May 2008
It's just getting worse. I telephoned the doctors this morning to get us booked in for the medicals. Apparently, they have special appointments for them, you don't just book a normal appointment. When the woman who looks after these appointments rang me back (because I couldn't ring her directly!) the next one available is the 17th June and then the one after that is 20th June! Emailed our social worker who said if the doctors surgery doesn't hang about we should be okay for 10th July panel. Soooo we've been waiting for the medicals to happen since early February and we have it all to do in the last couple of weeks. Flaming typical. On the bright side, as it's adoption not fostering they have given us a reduced fee of £50 each not £76 each, so that helps.

29 May 2008 - AM
Mungo is unable to make either of those dates in June due to being the newbie at work! So I am taking the last date in June as it fits in with my working hours. However, the surgery won't get July's calendar until 3rd week in June!! The NHS at it's finest!!! Therefore - which will,
I'm sure, be confirmed by our social worker when she comes this afternoon for a 'catch-up' visit, - we won't be going to panel in July. I am really, really, really peed off. To put it mildly. Very mildly. Very, very mildly. Get the point? I just wish... well there's no point wishing is there? Just gotta get on and deal with whatever comes your way as cheerfully as possible.

29 May 2008 - PM
We have now had our social worker vist and the outcome of discusssions around our panel date is... ...September panel. September... SEPTEMBER....

30 May 2008
I have just received a lovely email from N who found this blog through my Flickr profile. He's a member of one of the groups I belong to and a foster carer. He said this: "I just read your blog and can empathise with you entirely around the whole process of dealing with social services and approval. Although we have not adopted we have been foster carers for quite a few years now and for us it's an ongoing process of approval and certification. So much red tape these days due to all of those nasty incidents not so long ago in the press but it's all in a good cause. It's just the going thru the process stuff that seems to take forever but eventually it will all come together. We must be doing something right as they just asked if we would like to sit on the approval board hehe. Very best of luck with your 'process'." How lovely is that? Thank you, N. Made me feel a bit happier about it all.

31 May 2008
Had another lovely email from N about adoption with some really valuable info, especially for The Hubster - N is male so can give advice from a 'father's' perspective.

07 June 2008
We have had a long hard look at our finances and realised that we cannot continue for very long the way we have been going, without my full time salary, after I was made redundant last year. We are tightening our belts again and I will have to work full time, maybe even permanent until the kiddies come along. We spoke with our mortgage company and have changed the term of our mortgage to help. We will be selling my car and Mungo's bike and calling back a loan to ensure we don't sink when we get the kids. A very different scenario to when we bought the house 4 years ago!

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