We have been officially linked with a sibling group of three. Over the past few days we have been coming to terms with the possibility of having a family after nearly six years of trying. We are still mindful that there are two decisions that might not go our way, but for now we are a happy Mary and Mungo :) We are awaiting dates for meeting with their foster carer and their agency's Medical Adviser. In August there is a court hearing to decide whether the children are to be formally adopted as a sibling group or split up and raised separately within the wider birth family network. If the outcome is adoption then there is a matching panel date for 4th September to decide if we are to be their parents. Introduction Planning Meetings are scheduled for week commencing 21st September with introductions later that week. Introductions are likely to take about two weeks so they could be moving in with us in early October! Of course, all these dates are fluid, but it gives us something to aim for and something to advise Mungo's work of. As requested by the children's social workers, we have stopped family-finding elsewhere. This means we have dropped our potential links with all other sibling groups and are concentrating on these three little midges! The children's social workers have also stopped family finding.
16-Jul. Mary had a phone call from our social worker today asking us to attend a pre-matching panel meeting on 6th August with her and two other social workers from our agency. [To clarify: we are adopting children from a local authority some 30 or so miles from where we live whereas our social worker works at a private agency.] We will go through all the paperwork to identify any issues to be resolved or worked on. The meeting will also identify areas where we might need support from either the agency or local authority. This reduces the possibilty of any surprises or show-stoppers at matching panel. We are guessing it will make matching panel go more smoothly and give us a much better chance of approval. Sounds good to us!
17-Jul. We had another flurry of phone calls and emails from our social worker to book dates for meetings. Medical Adviser 27th July. Foster carer 4th or 7th August. Pre-matching Panel 6th August. We have also been asked not to start buying anything yet, which we were pleased to say we had already thought about and decided against anyway. Our social worker is happy that we are planning to wait until after the court case to start thinking about it and then after matching panel to start buying.
Home and cars:
We now have a cleaner, who is settling in nicely. There are cupboard safety catches to be attached to cupboards and drawers in the kitchen as soon as we are matched. We will be selling Mary's car and purchasing a nearly new car when we are matched. Mungo's car is to stay with us, as we can put car seats in the back of it when we take the children out separately. We need to start thinking about what we need for when the children arrive. It is too early to start buying anything so we can produce a generic list and then identify with the foster carer what we would need. They will probably just come with some clothes and toys - no furniture or anything else. We will start buying after matching panel; currently this gives us two weeks, which should be plenty.
Mary finishes working part time / casually at her local primary school on Thursday. She is no longer looking for a permanent role in September. The course that Mary is studying will help increase her salary and give her more flexibility and choice in the future. Studying must be finished by the end of August. Mungo is working full time in a IT role at a local company. His company, and indeed the MD, are very supportive of our plans for him to take time off during introductions and settling in. The course that Mungo is studying will provide him with more opportunities for roles inside and out of the company and provide a secure furture for him, Mary and our long awaited Midges!
Mary: Childcare, Learning and Development, NVQ Level 3 - Received a B in her 4th assignment, has nearly completed her 5th (of 10). Nutrition and Health of School Aged Children, NVQ Level 2 - Awaiting exam date in September. Mungo: T175 (Networked Living) - Waiting for the result of the End of Course Assessment (ECA) that was submitted on the 21st May. M255 (Java Programming) - Second assignment score was 91% and third assignment is due for submission on 23rd July.