Friday, 30 April 2010

30-Apr 2010

An early start, we had to be there by 8.30.  They were just finishing breakfast and so we helped feed Squidge.  After more play (a tough job!) we bundled them into the car - they seemed to enjoy being in their seats.  We drove them to a park and played on the swings and slides for over two hours.  It was lovely to be with them and without the foster carer.  This is no disrespect to the foster carer who is excellent, but it meant that we were able to see what it's like on our own.  There were no stinging insects or spilt bodily fluids this time!  AND I had my brand new changing bag with me :D Felt like a proper Mumma!  We went back to the FC for lunch and fed them, then we played until 3pm.

All the children are (after a fashion!) following our instructions and accepting that there are consequences if they don't, so we are really pleased.  They are very trusting of all adults as they just go with us without any fuss at all, which, sadly, makes our job easier - bitter-sweet stuff.  Midge seems okay to let us go because he knows we are coming back the next day.  Tidge really didn't want us to go today, but she doesn't have a concept of tomorrow so we can't explain that we will come back, so bonds are definitely forming there :)  Squidge says "Bu-bye" lots and really loudly when we leave lol

I am starting to really fall for all of them, especially Tidge, she is just gorgeous and she has my eye and hair colouring.  We had our first comment from other people today: a lady in the park commented to Daddy on Tidge and said how gorgeous she is - of course she is!  She also asked if Tidge and Squidge were twins, to which Daddy said no, they are a year apart in age.  She looked us both up and down with that look on her face of OMG!  Inside I was beaming lol

I am getting the measure of Squidge and his screaming tantrums, which only seem to appear when he is tired, so I am pleased I can work that out.  Otherwise, he is a typical 18 month old boy!  We think Midge might calm down when he is here, partly because the house where FC lives is a tiny 2-bed house.  During the day there’s the FC, the three children, the FC’s adult daughter and her baby there!

We have our first full day with them tomorrow, again without the FC during the day. We are still loving it all, in spite of nappies!!!

Thursday, 29 April 2010

29-Apr 2010

Day three in the Big Bro.... I mean Mungo household lol  Today started early for Mungo as he had to travel an hour's drive away to pick up a wardrobe for Tidge, as our local store hasn't had any in stock for a while.  Mary had a lie-in, one of the last probably ever!  I hadn't slept very well last night because I was worrying about being on my own with the children.  We had lunch then went over to the foster carer's house.  Three bouncy children greeted us!  Tidge and Squidge were a bit shy at first and didn't engage very much.  I found that very hard, especially with the FC being stronger-voiced than me.  I felt out of my depth still.  After a short while, they felt more comfortable with us and I was taking charge more.  Squidge is now coming to us for cuddles, so we are very relieved.  It is still going to be hard for him to leave FC.  Midge is calling us Mumma and Daddy pretty much without exception and is even saying "my Daddy"!  Tidge is also calling us Muu and Daa lol

We decided to split our time so that Midge and Mungo played together for an hour or two and Mary, Tidge and Squidge played together with the FC watching on.  Then we swapped roles for a while.  Mungo took Tidge and Squidge out in the car to the local shops to get some batteries (or baaaarees as Midge calls them!) for his Ben 10 pinball game.

Midge showed us his special project that he has been working on with a social worker - it's his life story work.  He has cut-outs of the FC's house and our house, him, Tidge, Squidge, FC, us and my parents.  Then a roadmap from FC's house to our house, but he doesn't know the way as he hasn't been there yet.

Then we had the biggest roast chicken dinner you have ever set eyes on!  It was delicious and filled us all up.  The children eat really well and pretty much will eat what you give them.  Midge did stop in his tracks when he saw cauliflower on his plate and ate some of it with encouragement from FC, Mumma and Daddy.  We then played some more, Mungo played space ships with Midge and Mary played building blocks with Tidge and Squidge.  At one point we heard one of them 'trumping' so we did a nappy change.  Mummy bravely volunteered to change Squidge as we thought it was just wet and Tidge's was 'fuller'.  Well didn't I just get the shock of my life???  So after the FC had picked herself up off the floor from laughing so much, she took pity on me and I watched and took notes lol

It was then time for bed and so we did the top / tail routine, changed them into PJ's and then to bed, kissing them goodnight - bleeeeeeeessssssss!  We then had a quick chat with FC about tomorrow's activities - out on our own without the FC - oooooh!  On our way home we picked up our ironing from a very good friend who has been wonderfully supportive and deserves a special mention!  Now it's time for Mumma and Daddy to go to bed too, nite nite!

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

28-Apr 2010

Mummy and Daddy arrived at 11.30 and the children were excited to see us, especially Midge who was bouncing off the walls again!  We played with the cars and their toys that we gave to them as presents yesterday.  The foster carer told us that she had to tell off Midge and Tidge last night because they took the toys to bed and kept themselves awake playing with them!  Both of them are attached to them and won’t let them go – so we are very happy!  Squidge has a little interest in his, but being 18 months old his attention span isn’t the same as the other two!

We had lunch and saw the children eating sandwiches and crisps very, very nicely.  Midge had Marmite and ham sandwiches!  Then we went to the park with the FC.  On the way, Squidge face-planted the pavement, luckily for Mummy and Daddy it was whilst he was holding onto the FC's hand!  Poor little lamb, his teeth went through his top lip and it bled for ages :((  Because we were only going to be out for a while none of us had brought bags / handbags and so none of us had any tissues.  The FC wiped up the blood with her cardigan!  Today’s Lesson Learned: ALWAYS have a tissue or seven handy!

We went to two parks and found wasps at the second one, which Midge didn’t like at all – neither did Mummy, and she was very brave batting them away from Midge.  We played and played for ages, climbing up the big steps and sliding down the big slide!  Climbing up the big steps and sliding down the big slide!    Climbing up the... well, you get the picture!  Daddy did a brilliant job making sure they walked up the steps safely and slid down carefully!  We were out for probably about two hours and were pooped by the time we got back to the house.

We got to see Tidge and Midge sulking today, so it is good to know how they all deal with disappointment.  Mummy asked for her camera back from Tidge, who didn't want to let it go and then sulked for 15 minutes.  Midge sulked for a few minutes when he got told off by Mummy for both running off and running out of the playground without asking.  Baaaaad Mummy!

Tidge was reluctant to be near Daddy yesterday but after a short while this morning she was going to him for cuddles and things, so that has worked out brilliantly.  Midge just bounces all over us, which needs to be monitored, so we shall see how he settles in when he comes home.  He seems happy to call us mummy and daddy and he responds well when the FC calls us that too.  Squidge is attached to the hip of the FC and always goes to her, he strops when he can’t see her.  We see this as our biggest issue to deal with over the next few days – and to be fair we knew it would happen, it’s just brought it home to us actually seeing it.  It is going to be very confusing for him and he shall have to have a bit of tough love until we get him home.

We ran out of time and had to rush away at 3.30, which we felt terrible about.  We had to meet with our social worker to give her an update and get Daddy’s car from the garage.  So we felt like we had done a runner!  Midge knew we were coming back tomorrow, so he was fine.  Tidge didn’t want us to go and Squidge just waved at us lol

Overall we had a much more relaxed day and we are very happy! xx

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

27-Apr 2010

How LONG I have waited to type this post?!!

The Inter-agency meeting took from 10 to 12.30.  The very small room was packed full of people and was very hot!  We talked through and agreed the Adoption Placement Plan and all the support we would need from social workers, who to contact when and so on.  That took two hours!  Then Mungo had to feed the parking meter and it was onto introduction planning for the last half an hour.  We will have 10 days of intros, including today and then they move in on the 6th May :D wooo hooo!!

We were able to meet the social worker who removed the children and she told us a little about what it was like and how everyone reacted.  It was lovely (well, not really, but you know what I mean) to hear her memories and help us to piece together a little more of their history.  At 12.30 we said goodbye to everyone and went to the car for lunch.  We had an hour to wait so we went to a local country park where one of the intro days is going to be, so that we could get an idea of what it’s like.  We went for a walk in the sunshine – it was very hot – and nice to relax and chew over the meeting.

Then it was time, we couldn’t put it off any longer lol  We met with the children’s social worker outside the house and rang the doorbell....

Wow what a whirlwind of children!  Midge hugged each of us as we walked in the door and held my hand!  Tidge was shy at first and didn’t want to engage.  Squidge was asleep and then woke up a few minutes later. Then we played with their cars and Ben 10 Etch-a-sketch-type drawing board.  Midge was VERY chatty, bouncy and in your face.  Tidge slowly got used to us and after about ¾ of an hour she was sitting in my lap with the drawing board.  Squidge was determined to get into the cupboards where the toys were and Daddy had to help intervene.  We got to see what he was like having a tantrum, so that was really useful – but we didn’t run away!

We gave them the toys we had put in the pictures of our introductions books and Midge and Tidge wouldn't let go of them all the time we were there - yayy!

Midge and Daddy spent ages taking pictures with my camera.  We talked to Midge about when we were going to come back and the foster carer said “One sleep!”  So he got very excited again!  He asked me about my necklace and I asked him what he thought it was made of, he didn’t know so I said they were called diamonds.  He said “No, they are squares!”   So in the end we compromised with 'square diamonds' lol

At first Midge called us Mummy and Daddy, then he said ‘they’ and then he said ‘my other Mummy and Daddy.’  Every time, the social worker and foster carer corrected him into saying ‘forever Mummy and Daddy’, so it will take him some time to get used to it.  We will drop the ‘forever’ in time.  He is having ongoing ‘Life Story Work’ with a social worker to work through this with him, so he will come around.  Tidge didn’t really say much, she was very quiet but still bubbly when she got tickles.  Mummy is official tickler!  By the time we left (we had been there 1.5 hours) she didn’t want Mummy to go!  We didn’t want to leave either!

It was surreal, like it was happening to someone else.  I kept trying to be involved with their playing but I just wanted to watch them - it was simply amazing and goosebumpy.  We are really looking forward to spending lunch with them tomorrow!

Monday, 26 April 2010

26-Apr 2010

One more sleep!!!  Have we finished doing everything?  Pretty much everything that we can do has been done.  Stair gates, cupboard catches, beds, wardrobes, clothes, fire guard, bathmats, pram, changing equipment, car seats, car, curtains, bed linen, socket covers, coat hooks, blankets, muslins, medical kits, step-up stools, storage boxes, toy boxes, etc, etc, etc!  And this is just the stuff we CAN do.  There is lots still to buy that we don't know about until we start introductions, such as high-chairs - we don't know whether Tidge is in a high chair or not.

Not sure how well I am going to be able to sleep tonight!  Will try to keep you all updated with our progress as we go through introductions!  Yippee!!!

Thursday, 22 April 2010

22-Apr 2010

Only five more sleeps!  Eek!

DVD.  In response to a thread on the AUK web site I posted a script of our DVD that we made for our little ones and thought it might be useful to share on here.  This is the DVD that the social worker and poster carers use to help the children get used to us before our first meeting.  We didn't film the bedrooms because we had to shoot this before matching panel.  As we weren't allowed to buy anything before MP the rooms were empty, so we made it a guessing game for them.

Location Paper and photo with "Hello Midge, Tidge and Squidge, from your forever Mummy and Daddy."
Camera Film for 5 seconds

Location Mary and Mungo standing outside the front door of the house, wearing shoes and jackets.  DO NOT FILM THE HOUSE NUMBER
Mungo Hello Midge, hello Tidge, hello Squidge. I am Mungo and this is Mary.  We are your forever Daddy and Mummy.
Mary This is the house where we live.  This is your new home where we will all live together.
Both Waving to the camera.
Camera Zoom in to our smiling faces.
Camera Stop.

Location Shoe rack in hall
Mungo Here is where your shoes will live, so when you take them off they go here.  Let's Daddy take off his shoes.  [Mungo takes off his shoes and puts them on the rack]  See, Midge, there is plenty of space for your shoes.
Mary [Walking to cloakroom]  Here is the place where we all hang our coats.  Shall Mummy take off her coat?  [Mary takes off her coat and hangs it up]  Look Tidge, can you see where you can hang your coat?
Camera Stop.

Location Kitchen
Mungo [Making two bowls of Cheerios]  Here we are in the kitchen where Daddy is making the breakfast.  Mummy is having a bowl of Cheerios.  Squidge, do you like Cheerios?
Mungo Now Daddy has finished making the breakfast, I wonder where shall we eat it?  Midge, shall we sit at the table and eat it?
Camera Pans to table with Mary already seated.
Mungo [Off camera]  Oh look, Mummy is sitting at the table ready to have her breakfast.  [Walk to table with the bowls]
Mary Thank you Daddy, mmmm, very nice.  [Takes a mouthful of cereal]
Camera Stop.

Location Camera walking through the lounge looking at the TV with 'Dora the Explorer' on it.  Then moving to the fish tank, pause for a moment and then outside into the garden.  Mary and Mungo are sitting on chairs outside, with Duplo (tower), skittles and football.
Both Wave and smile at the camera
Mungo Here we are, Mummy and Daddy in the garden.  We will have lots of time playing games outside.  Midge do you like football?  [Picks up the football and kicks it around a bit]
Camera Pans to Mary at the skittles
Mary Tidge, would you like to play skittles with me?  [Throws the ball]
Camera Pans to Mungo at the Duplo tower
Mungo Look Squidge, look at the tower Daddy has built [continue building] do you think Daddy can make a tower as tall as you?  Wow, Mummy, isn't that a VERY tall tower?  [Mary comes over to look]
Mary Oh yes Daddy, a VERY tall tower indeed, well done!
Camera Stops.

Location Landing looking towards the bathroom.  Bath is full of suds and has their names in the sponge lettering around the top or on the tiles.
Mary Here is the bathroom.  What do we do in this room?  Yes we have baths in this room
Mungo Look the bath is ready with lots of bubbles.  (Surprised voice)  And look at the bath, whose are those names?
Mary [Reads the names]  Let's have a look Daddy: Squidge, Tidge, Midge.
Mungo [Yawns with hand over mouth]  Oh dear I am feeling sleepy.  After we have a bath it's time for bed and to go to sleep.  Mummy, is it time for everyone to go to bed now?
Mary Oh yes Daddy, it IS time for everyone to go to bed.  I wonder where all our bedrooms are?
Camera Pans to bedroom doors partially opened.
Mungo Well Midge, Tidge and Squidge, there are lovely bedrooms here just for you.  When you come here the first thing we are going to do is find out which of these rooms are your bedrooms.  I wonder if you will have the one on the left or the one on the right?

Location Paper with photo "Midge, Tidge and Squidge, we are your forever Mummy and Daddy."
Camera Film for 5 seconds.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

20-Apr 2010

Shopping!  Yes, we have spent more money that we don't have lol  We now have stair gates, fire guard, bedding, clothes, toys, books, wardrobes, chests of drawers, beds, car seats and a new car aka THE BUS!  This thing is huge!  And it's got five more seats than my old car - at which I cried when it was driven away :(  So Mungo is going to be in flat-pack heaven over the next few nights lol  We also have the drawer and cupboard catches to fit and then I think we are pretty much done.  It's getting very exciting.  There is plenty more to buy when we are in introductions as we can't buy it all yet because we don't know what to buy, e.g. high chairs: we don't know if Tidge (middly) is in a high chair or a booster seat.  We don't know what toys, clothes and personal belongings they will be bringing with them either - we are assuming nothing much.  So one evening after we are part way through intros we will be off shopping again.  The list really IS never ending!

Books!  I don't think I have said much about books on this blog, which is silly really as I have been reading loads.  There is one that I am currently reading and would recommend above all others is "The Science of Parenting" by Margot Sutherland, of whom some people on Adoption UK message boards think is a goddess lol  It is a bit sciencey at the start, but not too much, bear with it and as soon as you get past that first bit the rest is so extremely readable that it even make sense to me lol  There are lots of pictures and little case-studies to make it real and understandable.  It gives practical advice, specific words to say and actions for everything you might come across: tale-telling, time-in, clinging, tantrums, sticker charts, sibling rivalry, family rules and so on.  It's great to read from cover to cover and will be excellent as a reference book as the children get older.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

17-Apr 2010

We had an email, a phone call and a letter in the last two day advising us of the Decision Maker's decision - which was a YES!  So, all social worker boxes are ticked and there is nothing stopping us going ahead with this match - yippeee!  Which is good really because we have S H O P P E D!

So who is the decision maker?  The DM is a senior person within the Local Authority or Voluntary Agency.  As with approval panel, the panel makes a recommendation to the Decision Maker who then has seven working days in which to make the final decision.  The recommendation / decision may be 'no', 'deferred' or 'yes'.  The DM may make a different decision to the panel's recommendation, which is rare but can and does happen.  I know two couples who had a different decision from the DM compared with the panel when they were being approved to be adopters.  With both of them, the 'no' and 'deferred' decisions by panel were overturned into a yes!

Our friends G&F have been having intros with their little on for the last couple of weeks and he has now moved home for good.  We are sooooo excited for them and pleased that everything is going well.

It has been a year since our friends R&A met their little one and that year has just flown by.  She is so settled and just adorable, big hugs xxx

So now we have just 10 sleeps until the Inter-agency meeting on the 27th, where we will be planning for introductions that will start the same afternoon.  Mary picks up her new car on Monday and is spending the week picking up clothes, books and outdoor toys that she has asked for from Freecycle and friends.  We realised that we couldn't afford to buy everything that we needed so we are buying brand new safety and hygiene items, like mattresses, car seats, nappy bins and so on.  Everything else we are asking for donations from people.  We have been inundated with offers, everyone has been so generous, it is overwhelming!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

13-Apr 2010

I think it is finally starting to sink in that we are going to be parents.  We do still keep having to pinch ourselves from time to time.  So we have been shopping!  I have been buying all sorts of things online and tomorrow will be buying from real life shops too!  My changing bag arrived today - from Pink Lining.  It is GORGEOUS!  If you are looking for a treat and a practical and smart bag then look them up.  We also got a nappy bin and cartridges (thanks R for the tip!), a heat sensitive bath mat, purple spotty muslins and a changing mat.  The two best and cheapest sites we have found are (not which is a US site) and  As I was unpacking it all, like a kiddie on Christmas Day, a neighbour who I used to work with popped over with about 30 books and some toys and nursery rhyme cassettes!  I have also been onto Facebook and begged my friends for cast-offs and have been inundated with offers.  I am totally shocked and amazed at everyone's generosity!

We got a form in the post from the Local Authority who we are adopting through, asking us to give feedback on how panel went.  I would really like one to fill in asking us to give feedback on how matching with these three children went!  But we will be professional, and anyway we might need them again in the future!

My (Mary's) car gets picked up today by the new owners :'(  I know I am going to blub, just like I did when Mungo told me it was sold.  We went out in it for the last time last night, very sad occasion.  It has served us well and we have had so much fun and happiness in it.  It has taken us to some wonderful places and has never let us down.  It has been a part of the family for six years and today is a sad day.

On a happier note, I get to pick up my new car on Sunday, yayyy!!!  It's a seven-seater with sliding doors, so it will be great for the kids.  As soon as we pick it up we will be off to the shops to pick up the wardrobes and beds that we have earmarked.

Paperwork!  We have also handed in our application form for a place at our chosen school, sent off the application form for child benefit payments and spoken with the Child Trust Fund team.  We have also spoken with our dentist, doctor and optician about how we register the children as new patients.  We learned something new: children don't need to get their eyes tested until they are 5!  Of course that is unless they have eye sight issues, which our children don't.  So there you go, we didn't know that!

About three weeks ago I finished my NVQ3 in Children's Care, Learning and Development and I got a Distinction, getting top marks in all ten assignments.  I am so thrilled and pleased that I finally got through it - with a lot of pushing from Mungo I might add.  Without him I wouldn't have finished it.  So here's a big THANK YOU to Mungo!  Sooooooo now what do I do in my spare time?  I have taken up crochet and crocheted a baby blanket.  Actually its only a small one made out of 30 squares so really it's a doll's blanket!  But I don't care because I actually MADE something!  Now I have got to think what to do for my next project.

Friday, 9 April 2010

09-Apr 2010

The juiceman from del monte he say.....   ....YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was a unanimous yes!  They were very impressed with our commitment to the children and how much we have lived and breathed them in the last year.  We have handed over the DVD and introductions books and the social workers loved them!  They think they will be great and the children's social worker said she can't wait to start working with the oldest one to prepare him for meeting us.  We are just overwhelmed with emotion and relief!  Mungo says I can now go shopping!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wooooooooooo hooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!

I would say you don't know how much we have wanted this but I doubt there is a single soul reading this who doesn't know our story and I think you all know how we feel right now!  I say again what I said in my last post, thanks to everyone who has supported us in one way or another.  Signing off a relieved and extremely happy mary and mungo who are now parents!!!

Thursday, 8 April 2010

08-Apr 2010

Today we got a phone call from our social worker to say the birth family had moved from our town back to the town where the children come from - so they aren't two miles away like we were told!  we are over the moon and sooooooo relieved. that was the one thing we were very worried that the panel might defer or say no about.  She also said that intros have been put back by a week so we wont be meeting them until 27th or after.  Grrr...  Not very happy about that but hey it gives us more time to SHOP!

We have also been told that we WILL get an adoption allowance, a settling-in grant and they are considering a lump sum payment too!  This is more than what we expected so we are very happy indeed!  It means that I will not have to go back to work as soon as we had expected.  This will only serve to help the children attach and settle in much better and defer any money worries for longer making us happier bunnies - wooo hooo!

We have today finished the introductions books and the DVD (eek!)  Mungo is finalising the DVD and could be up a while!  I did the introductions book, it was the Tomy Talking Photo Album and is fantastic for children of all ages.  i did one for each child, named the books so they know whose is whose and we took it in turns to record the messaged with each of the eight photos, so they can get used to our voices.  We did pictures of:

- Mary and mungo by the front door
- The outside of the house
- Us in the kitchen / diner eating breakfast
- Us in the lounge watching the fish tank
- Us in the garden playing with toys
- Us in the bathroom with their names in sponge letter on the bath
- Their new granny and granddad playing in the park
- A close-up of us - so they can see mary's spots and mungo's warts lol

Each of the pictures is slightly different so their books are unique to each child and in total they all have 18 photos of us.  We also bought a little individual toy for each of them and they are in most of the photos too.  I even crocheted scarves for the toys and embroidered the children's initials on the scarves so they know whose toy is whose.  The toys will be their presents to them when we meet them for the first time!  The DVD followed a similar format to the pictures but without the grandparents.

I am still a bit fazed by everything that has happened and I don't feel that I can relax.  I think it's all the problems we have faced to get to this day.  And many, many times I never thought we would.  It hasn't been without its struggles and downright despair too many times. but through everything all our cyber friends - that's you! - all have kept us going.

Here is a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who has been there for us, who has supported us and has cried with us.  To everyone who has commented on our blog, sent cyber hugs / choc / wine, to everyone who has wished us well and given us advice, who has been in the dark with us and who has yippeed when things went right - this goes to you:  THANK YOU!!!

We seriously couldn't have got to today - or tomorrow - without you all.  So it's time to switch off the lappy and try to get an early night's sleep, ha ha!