Friday, 18 October 2013

Intros Day 12

What a strange strange day. Picked the boy up from FCs house where he actually let Daddy put him in the car seat rather than insisting FC did it as on last 2 mornings. Then it was a drive off to another local town - mainly to pay a decent cheque from HMRC into bank. Got some more long-sleeved tops for us all and managed to grab a coffee as well although the boy did test boundaries a bit by jumping on furniture. He then insisted on walking (been in buggy up to stop for coffee) which we allowed but he didn't like holding Daddy's hand. A bit later he decided to start crawling around in a shop as Mummy was purchasing lumber cushion (new car has good support and I am noticing lack in my car). Eventually Daddy had to pick him up as he kept crawling - saying he was walking. Got back to car where Daddy tried to train the boy on shutting caps on sports bottle tops when not drinking from them and set off home - as is becoming usual he fell asleep on way back.

I did wake him up when we got back and he had a bit of lunch before happily playing around the house - not really registering when T dived out to put another cheque in bank that had arrived in post today. We had discussions over climbing on furniture in shoes and jumping on it as well - allowed to bounce on Mummy & daddy but not solo. he also managed to start climbing up shelves at one point - can see we are going to be having numerous discussions about this until he gets it. As advised by brother-in-law we are picking our battles carefully - really concentrating on the ones where there is a chance of harm coming to him for now. So holding one of our hands when on roads or in shops and not jumping around on furniture (already fallen and banged his head once). His FC arrived with most of the rest of his stuff and her other two kids as agreed. They got a tour of the house - partly led by the boy but also by me and played a bit with his stuff before they left for final dinner at Pizza Hut.

We then spent some time sorting out clothes into age sizes - making sure that only the ones that are his size went into the cupboard, drawers & wardrobe. My sister got some of the smaller stuff as her younger son is 10 months younger than the boy. Going to ask around the adopters we know with smaller boys about the even younger stuff. Kept a few important things back but mainly we have enough stuff in storage for the next 2 sizes which my elder nephew has grown out of that we do not want to keep stuff that is too small. We then took ourselves to the pub for a last meal for a while as a couple and spent some time afterwards sat just chatting. 

This has been a strange 12 days - but as DH put it earlier when we were sat talking to my sister & brother-in-law (also adopters) now comes the new reality as of 9am in the morning.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Intros Day 11

What a day. Started well with review meeting showing that everyone felt things were going well. Ok T spent most of it amusing the boy but he still contributed. Moving in day was moved forward to Saturday :) So one more day of this strange situation - and as T pointed out coming back this evening we do not drop him back at FCs again.

Rest of day went equally well - went to local park and fed the ducks - well geese mainly in case of the boy. He did however manage to measure his length twice by running along and not being completely balanced. No crying - just when we insisted he took a hand when a car was around and we were on road. Then off to do weekly shop which was interesting given his dislike of staying in the trolley, or holding hands. Can see onlien shopping being the way forward with an occassional quick visit for bits as coping with him by myself would not be fun. Anyway after all that he had snacked a fair amount, and fell asleep in car on way home. He'd been up at 5.30 so we let him sleep - woke up when I got him out the car at home, but a few minutes snuggling with Mummy in rocking chair and he was back to sleep again. Once again he showed that he has some bond to me as I could soothe him and get him back to sleep. Meant we got our lunch in peace.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Intros Day 10

Full day today - well from when I picked the boy up at 9.30 till just before bedtime at 18.45. It went well other than FC having to put boy into car seat first thing that is. We came home and played a bit and had Fireman Sam on in background at times. Saw Henry-cat before he scarpered for the day and drew pretty pictures on my iPad.

the-boy-ipad-1 the-boy-ipad-2

Eventually we set off for T's pharmacy - he didn't fall asleep quite as quickly today but was asleep by the time we arrived. However he woke up again and was very glad to see Daddy. Spent about 30 mins or so there - we ran in circles round the shop floor (only one customer me in during time we were there). He went through to dispensary in T's arms and had it explained to him that he should not go through there without one of us.

Drove back with a sleeping boy but arrived home in heavy rain so the boy woke up when I got him out the car and promptly stayed awake. Another fun afternoon of playing with cars and bouncing on Mummy ensued. He came into kitchen with me as I prepared the evening meal for us all. Fed him at his usual time and was pleased when he enjoyed the meal - it was something I'd been told he would eat but wasn't sure he would et my version :) I fed him most of two yoghurts although he managed part of the second himself as I had to answer the door. Played a bit more before he had his bath which he really enjoyed and didn't want to get out of. Just got him dressed in pyjamas when Daddy arrived home which he loved. Eventually we had to reluctantly take him back to FC's.

Review meeting tomorrow and then full day with us both. Hoping for move in on Saturday....

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Intros Day 9

How did today go? Well I feel. The boy & FC arrived as expected - with another load of stuff - including first set of clothes. FC left with boy being pretty upset as she went - I tried to soothe him and was starting to get laughter as well as tears when his SW arrived. After about 15 mins he was fine - distracted him with the glass pebbles in glass bowl on our windowsill which he'd played with yesterday - posting them all behind the fire guard then. Today it was down gap in radiator - but it kept him amused and heered him up. His SW didn't stay very long but by the time she went he was happy.

We spent the morning playing - and investigating the house more. Again Henry-cat was very patient as the boy fussed him sat on our bed. We played with cars all over the house and watched Fireman Sam snuggled together on the settee. He bounced on me and with my help on the floor. He loves me holding him under arms and bouncing. We played peekabo round the lounge curtain and hide and seek round the dining table. Lots of eye contact as I could get it.

Getting lunch he came into kitchen with me and tried to open doors and drawers - very glad we had safety locks on them all. We ate and raced on a banana at end. Then it was into the car and off to T's pharmacy. The boy feel asleep on the way, woke up after we arrived and then feel asleep in Daddy's arms. So not much of a visit but was pleased to see Daddy. Tomorrow I have decided we go before lunch in the hope he will be awake to see T. Coming back he slept more, woke up when I got him out the car seat and out of his coat. I brought him upstairs to his bedroom and sat down in the rocking chair with him in my arms. He snuggled down and feel asleep on me - tears in my eyes at this point. Eventually I moved him onto the bed and he slept till about 15 mins before FC was due to pick him up when I woke him up. Changed nappy and took him down where he watched a bit more Fireman Sam, which gave FC and I chance to put his slide & swing into garage. The boy gave me a kiss and a cuddle before he left.

Tomorrow I get to pick him up from FCs and then we spend the entire day together - dropping him back at bedtime so he should see Daddy twice. Last day of T working for 11 days - not been ideal during Intros but all agreed best for the boy as otherwise respite would have been needed.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Intros Day 8

Today was my first day flying solo as T had to work. Also first day at our house - FC stayed as well. After a bit of kerfufle finding us (miscommunication over address) they arrived fine. The boy was alright - I'd got some of his toys out and about on lounge floor so it was at least some familiar stuff. We also explored the whole house and Henry-cat was very patient taking several/minutes fussing before deciding to hide. This was useful as the boy is not used to cats. He did get clingy to FC around lunchtime - general feeling was he was tired so we put him in our buggy after lunch and wandered up to the local park. He had a lot of fun running round trying out everything but fell asleep on short walk back. So I lifted him out of buggy, and brought him into house to lay on his bed. He came to as I lifted him up and as I took his coat of but washappy nough to snuggle back to sleep. FC and I chatted while he slept till I had to wake him so they could get out of our estate before local primary school finished. Chaos does not decsibe the roads at that point and they needed to be back in time to meet other 2 foster children off school bus.

All in all I felt today went ok - was expecting clingyness as he is confused and his secure base is FC at moment. Hopefully tomorrow will b easier when she leave him here. Got his SW coming in morning and then we are taking a trip to see Daddy at work, The boy was asking for T today which is the other reason he was clinging to FC as he has a much stronger attachment at the moment to his Daddy. I've got the time to work on that though.

This evening T attached a hook & eye to our downstairs cloakroom door as the boy kept going in there. We also have put eyes at top & bottom of stack of drawers in dining room so we can tie handles together as the boy also kept opening them. Otherwise fairly child-proofed house - at least on first visit :)


Sunday, 13 October 2013

Intros Day 7

Much shorter day today as FC had the boy's leaving party today which we did not attend for two reasons - it was his and there was also a security risk involved (not for us directly but still better avoided).

We go there at 7am after a much better get up this morning - both awake at 6am so had time to think unlike yesterday. Got there to the boy opening door and went in and through morning routine again. This time he did eat some breakfast although was still trying to be Houdini out of his booster seat. As we left we had for the first time a bit of a breakdown with him calling for 'Nanny' - his FC. Ended up stopping 200 yards down the road and me getting in back with him which worked. Went to another soft play place today that was open from 9.30 - and was actually fairly quiet at first.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Intros Day 6

Ok how has it got to day 6 already ... time is flying by. By this time on Monday I will have had the boy & his FC at our house for a few hours without T who is working :(

Today didn't start very well with us waking up looking at clock and realising it was 6.49 and we were due at FCs at 7.00. Good thing it is 5 minute drive away :) We had an interesting morning with the routine - the boy was already up but doesn't get dressed till after breakfast it appears so was sat watching TV with biscuits.  He didn't want much breakfast - FC said it was the same yesterday so think he is a little unsettled unsurprisingly. Once that was over it was get him dressed in lounge which ended up as FC says it usually does being fun as he did not want to be dressed. Eventually we managed and following a game of see-saw on FCs knees off we went.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Intros Day 5

Later start today - hence yesterday's post this morning. Starting typing this sat on the floor at FC's house waiting for her to return with her other 2 children from school disco. Was about to say no noise from upstairs having put the boy to bed but we then had to go to settle him. However seems ok now - she says with fingers crossed.
EurekaToday has been another great day. Arrived spent a few minutes in the house and then trundled off for the day. Ended up at Eureka spending most of the day we had there - just ensuring we left in time to get back to FC for tea. He loved the cars & trucks - and the alien in Soundscape. So we spent lots of time chasing him up and down between the 2. He slept on the way - and I just managed to keep him awake on the way home.

Annoyed with our SW who we told this morning not to say anything about us tag-teaming with the other 2 last night. We were expecting it so were not worried but our SW was more concerned and talked to FC's SW who talked to FC while we were out. Not what we wanted at all - as we said to FC this evening before leaving we were fine, expecting this and have dealt with. I showed T evening routine this evening. He will see morning routine tomorrow and will show me eventually - but it is going to be his time with the boy - particularly once I am back at work as I am out house 7.15ish.

Now home - we left with the boy asleep. 7am get there in morning so early night tonight :)

Intros Day 4

Can't believe it was only day 4 yesterday - feels like we have know the boy for longer. Posting this the morning after the day before as got caught up last night once we got home with catching up with one of our great friends.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Intros Day 3

Well we arrived at FCs at 9.30 to find a happy boy calling Mummy...Daddy... After about an hour or so there we took him out. Currently typing this sat in Soft Play place near where we live having had him out for over 4 hrs.

Went to supermarket to pick up some bits for lunch and also some more tissues as the boy has the tail end of a cold and also appears to be getting his last 4 teeth :) Then quick stop at delivery office to pick up a parcel from Granny & Grandpa which couldn't be delivered yesterday. We then went off to Mamas & Papas to get a Little Life rucksack - which has a parent strap attached as well as a decent grab handle. The boy will not wear reins (he sits down and refuses to walk) but after yesterday we knew we needed something. My elder nephew has one and it has proved useful at times.

We also went looking for rear view mirrors so we can see him from front in car but no luck in what we want. Suspect I am going web searching tonight for that and also for an Ergobaby carrier for me to use when I don't want buggy out.

Talking of buggies T had great fun putting ours up at first as we both forgot the safety catch on base .... once we remembered it was easy to put up. Back to our day - after we'd done a bit of shopping wandered back to find somewhere to eat our picnic lunch - decided on a local lake with play area. On way there the boy fell asleep as he had done earlier on way to shops. But we also decided his car seat needed adjusting so while Daddy took him for a short walk Mummy adjusted car seat to a better fit. Apparently he spent most of walk asking 'Where Mummy?'. Anyway as they got back it started to rain so our planned picnic took place in car instead:)

Then off we went to soft play area where we spent best part of two hours with him enjoying himself and T & I relaxing a little. Still watching all the time and he kept checking to see if we were still there - which was reassuring in that we are getting a little way to a secure base there. We all enjoyed ourselves. Well other than the first nappy change which was a stinker and involved a vest change as well - for some reason I got that job. T has never changed a nappy and didn't want to deal with it while the boy was anxious - at least that was his excuse. I haven't changed many but do know what I am doing. He has been roundly told it is his jb tomorrow - at least an early one so he gets to grip with it.

We had to leave the soft play place to get the boy back to FC before the other two foster children got back from school (disrupted adoption in their past so they are very anxious apparently). We should mee tthem tomorrow as we are going later, taking the boy out for most of the day till teatime, then watching or (as my sister so kindly put it tonight) helping with evening routine.

Another good day which was rounded out by us visiting the local primary school open evening - it has nursey provision which he will be eligible for next September. This means we need to get his name down on the list. A school I know a little and one where we already know a governor as one of the people from our prep course is a parent governor there. T found it positive and we have his name down (or will when I run form to office in morning - we live around 100 yards from school). Still to decide completely on childcare arrnagements when I go back to work but we shall see. Keeping options open at moment more than anything else.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Intros Day 2

Longer today on day 2. At FC for 10am and greeted by the boy opening door shouting for Daddy. Spent time playing with him on floor - loves cars & trucks, and noisy toys  :) Then we all went out for walk to local play area. I pushed buggy down there while T & FC chatted. Once in park it was run round and play on everything letting Mummy join in as well as Daddy. Best bit for of us was him walking up ramp to flat bit for zip wire (broken) & confidently jumping/launching himself at us from end (3.5 ft drop). He trusted us both to catch him which was an immense feeling. Only launched himself if one of us there as well. Lots of fun had by all with swings, houses & slides. We spent the time with him while FC sat on bench. Sausage & chips for lunch from local chippy. Eaten in main park with occasional chasing by Mummy or Daddy when he ran off. Fed the ducks with bread with just me as Daddy stayed with buggy.

On way back to FC's house - T pushed this time while I chatted - the boy fell asleep so after getting wellies off his feet laid him on couch while we chatted for a fair while. When he came to happy to curl up on Mummy's lap snuggling till fully awake. Wonderful feeling. Played a while longer before we had to leave (later than planned) as picking up new larger car.

Tomorrow we take the boy out for part of the day from after we arrive till just before other foster kids due back from school. This is a day earlier than expected but we already have car seat etc. so fine I hope.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Intros Day 1 (First sight)

Well we met the boy this morning for just over an hour before the planning meeting. He came to the door calling for Mummy & Daddy which was lovely. Was very confident with us showing us all his toys - wanted Daddy more but knew he was a child who makes a beeline for men. He was however quite happy to interact with me - and to look at the pictures the FC had taken on our camera. Bless him he was a little confused as used to swiping touch screen to change pictures (FC uses phone mainly) and of course ours is a proper camera with arrow keys to move through. Got some lovely photos today and no doubt we will get more as the week progresses. He can be distracted quite well - avoided a bit of a crying fit by that - and T tells me he has a good strong grip as he was being led round the house by his little finger :)

Although the boy definitely went for T he did let me pick him up and give him a cuddle at the end. TBH getting the attachment quickly to T is important at he will be the one out at work initially indeed he is working first three days of next week. Eid and getting pharmacist locum cover round here doesn't work :D Had more time than planned but still had to run as we needed to have lunch before meeting.

Planning meeting went very well as our SW had a provisional plan which we had seen last week - so other than a couple of timing adjustments everyone was happy. FC is having party Sunday afternoon which is well before placement (6 or 7 days) and we agreed to let her other 2 foster kids come and see where the boy will be living the evening before he moves. They unfortunately had a disruption so are worried about this obviously. I got general agreement to take the boy up to see T at work Tuesday & possibly Wednesday as well as being able to keep him at home on Weds till T comes home provided he is comfortable. Given today I am hopeful but tomorrow is another (longer day - 4 1/2 hrs). We even have our first 4 SW visits after placement in the diaries now.


Monday, 30 September 2013

We are there....

Less than 2 years since we started on this journey (Info evening at LA in December 2011), this afternoon the panel recommended our match with the boy who we were linked with at end of August. That timeline includes a 9 month hiatus from Feb - Oct 2012 before the initial social worker recommended us forward. Since then the process has confounded us more than once - the most recent being under 4 weeks ago when we found ourselves with less than 4 weeks to go to panel rather than panel at end of October.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

The night before

Cannot believe we are now at this point. Trying to go to sleep night before matching panel - and in a weeks time it should be night before Intros start. I have 4 days left a work till I finish for at least 41 weeks. I had 2 weeks annual leave left which I am using up for first 2 weeks. Plan is the boy will be moved in by 21st Oct but both T & I are hoping for Friday or Saturday before then in our hearts if things go well. Should know more about plan tomorrow as our SW was hoping to have basic plan for us to see then.

Panel not till 2.30 pm so got to occupy ourselves for morning but we have plans that may involve car buying. T was a little shocked by how much boot space buggy took up. After some test diving have found car we want & hopefully the guy who has sold us last 3 cars will be able to do us a good deal on 18 month old version we have found which is specked as we would like at a price we can afford. Now to see what he offers for my current car which he sold us 4 years ago....

Short post today and not on theme unsurprisingly given we are not adopters yet.


Friday, 20 September 2013

Getting there

Well where are we as we get closer to matching panel and Introductions. After this evening we have a toddler bed in the boy's bedroom and a backpack to carry him in thanks to the local selling group.

The Boy's Room

On Sunday we got to collect a Maxi-Cosi Loola pushchair that I picked up for £25 on eBay. So think we are getting there in terms of furniture - need to pick up another Trofast unit from Ikea for dinning room and possibly one more for the boy's room depending on how many toys he comes with. We might get a better idea of that on Monday when we meet his foster carer. I met the medical advisor today (date and time changed with short notice so T couldn't come) who seemed to have no real concerns - she said he is a not a high risk child having never lived with birth family and only moved foster carers once at 5 weeks old. He has secure attachment to his foster carer which is good for us although we know transferring that attachment to us is going to take work.

Cannot believe that by 2 weeks time I will have stopped work and potentially in 4 weeks we will be looking at the boy moving in. I've had an interesting week at work - ended up sorting my own cover for a module that starts on Monday afternoon yesterday. Thankfully it wasn't too bad but I could slaughter the colleague whose responsibility it is - he has made so much work for us programme directors this last year it is unreal. Thankfully he hasn't reapplied for his position with merger so he will not be in position come 1st October.

It is coming fast now - and even though I do not start teaching next week I still have quite a bit to do at work. Getting there though but have agreed to write two sets of exam papers - which is fine as I shall be marking the summer ones probably anyway. Hoping over weekend round test driving cars to get some bedding for the bed. We're test driving as we want to decide what we want for when we do replace car in 4-6 months time. Decided to do it now without the boy in tow so it should be a little easier.

I am very excited and also very nervous. the baby daughter of one of the couples form our prep course (whose house we drive past every time we go anywhere) came home today and another couple must be getting close to moving elder son in. We were last to panel of 6 couples but will be 4th to matching panel..... As I have found throughout the last year the process likes to confound us and change our expectations of timing frequently. 17 days till I will have had first sight of the boy....

Sunday, 15 September 2013


Well the theme for todays #waso is relax. Which is a good thing to tell me at moment as I try to get everything done in 4-6 weeks less time than I thought I had. 3 weeks today (13/9) by this time (7pm) I will have finished work for at least 41 weeks....

Relaxation at moment for me is usually playing computer games (MMOs mainly with our friend P) - nothing better than hitting stuff after a bad day at work :D I started playing MMOs about 7 years back with Lord of the Rings Online (big Tolkien fan) and have played a number both seriously (raiding regularly etc.) and these days much more casually (pottering around levelling and doing bits & pieces). We brought lifetime subs to LOTRO so have nothing to pay there and tend to stick to free-to-play MMOs now.

However beyond MMOs relaxing is also reading and various crafts: cross-stitch embroidery & card-making mainly. Reading has been one of my main activities since I was 2 1/2 & Mum taught me to read as she apparently got fed up with me correcting her when she made a mistake reading to me (I have a very good memory). As she puts it I haven't stopped reading since - it is something I still enjoy doing and I always have at least one book on the go - often 2 or 3 - one actual book, one on the Kindle and one on the Kindle app on my iPad.


Embroidery is something Mum started me on when I was 10/11 and I nearly always have something on the go. Takes me forever to do one but it is something I tend to do while watching the little bit of TV that I do. The picture in this post is of an embroidery I finished a few years back (2007) which I gave to Grandma for Christmas that year. it has come back to me after her death earlier this year.

Card-making is something I just have periodic blitzes at - made a load of Christmas cards a few weeks back so we had a stock before Christmas crept up on us. This was when we thought our boy would be moving in with us mid to late November. That all changed when we got the phone call last week.

Still playing odd bits of MMOs at moment but we are using a lot of our spare time getting jobs finished round the house. The boy's room is mainly finished - other than something for him to sleep in as we are waiting to hear from FC about that. But we have sorted out the three laundry bags of clothes from my sister (whose elder son is 2 yrs older and younger son is 10 months younger). So there are clothes in the wardrobe, in the chest of drawers and in the cupboard. Plus many more (larger sizes) packed away in vaccie bags on shelf in wardrobe. We've installed and got working an IP camera to monitor room and got two of the Ikea Trofast units in and fixed to wall. Expecting to need more but waiting to see - will sort early on in Intros if needed. Plus we want one in dining room for toys downstairs. Today's (Sunday 15/9) plan is a quick trip out to local outlet place as I need more casual shoes - I own one pair of walking & my walking boots and that is it other than work shoes. Come back via Costco as we need coffee beans for machine, and then loft sorting time. We brought this house of my parents and there was stuff left in loft then (mainly children's stuff I will admit). Plus my brother lived with us for about 2 years split over two periods so we have several boxes belonging to him that he can have now he has his own house. This should free up some space for stuff we will need to store. Little worried how much the boy will come with as been told my his SW that his FC is not planning to take any more little ones - just to see out the 2 she has on long-term foster care. So we could end up with loads - hence the need to make sure we have space. My in-laws laughed yesterday when we were discussing this with them. Thankfully after my sister's experience they seem to be more accepting of what we are saying about things like not picking the boy up initially or giving him anything. Then again my sister-in-law is a yr 2 (was reception) teacher in a deprived area of Liverpool so has experience with the social services & foster care system. She also seems to be getting herself clued up on adoption which helps us no end. Ok this post has veered somewhat around and taken me nearly 2 days to complete (now Sunday morning) but that is my life at moment. 13 more working days to go before it all starts.....  

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Reeling once more

T has decided the adoption process likes to confound us. There we were happy we had a link and expecting a late Oct/early Nov panel date. That was until today when in Conwy. T tried to answer a call from our SW but failed - she left a message asking him to ring back which he did promptly.

Our son's SW wants panel on 30th Sept and Intros to start a week later as his FC is going away for a week from 26th Oct and they feel respite to Intros would not be a good thing - could we mange this. Cue two people on Conwy harbour front hurriedly phoning work while on holiday. Fine for me - T has the complication of Eid-al-Adha which is predicted to be around 15th Oct. One cannot get pharmacist locums where we live around either Eid. Cue call back to our SW who understood this and went away to talk to her manager and also medical advisor as the short notice might mean going to panel without meeting her.

We wandered round the Castle at Conwy and then down to Bodnant Gardens. Driving back through Snowdonia at a point we actually had signal, we got an email from our SW telling us she had spoken to her stand-in manager (annual leave for actual manager) who felt we could manage without T for 3 days during second week of Intros and she had also got us a medical advisor appointment the week before proposed panel. We then went looking for phone signal around foot of Snowdon - ended up in car park in Llanberis. Promptly spoke to our SW again as she phoned following up on email to check about FC meeting times. Then T forwarded email to his line manager and company boss, following up by speaking to line manager directly. Meanwhile I finally told my mother (issues with her spreading too many details round family so is kept a bit out of loop) that we had a link and the timescale. Phoned Dad (he is away for work) before sending emails to three people at work who needed to know.

Given work a fine conundrum to solve - I was teaching 2 modules in 6 weeks - now I am not with under 3 weeks to go before term starts. The decision to go with new timescale is absolutely right as we do not want our son disrupted as much as respite could do. Ok have around 4 1/2 weeks to do stuff we thought we had 9 weeks+ to deal with but we will get there. What happens happens for a reason and this match just feels so right to us.


Sunday, 1 September 2013

Photos & friends

Had a great time yesterday as we attended the wedding (ok technically civil partnership) of one of our great friends. We actually left home on Thursday - spent the night in Chester and then drove to Ynys Môn after a brief shopping trip round Chester.

However Thursday was a bizarre day in many ways - I was all set to use public transport to get to work so I could go straight to T's work in the evening. Then had a text from social worker at around 7.30 to tell us she would drop the photos of our linked LO off during the day. So plans changed as we wanted to share the photos with our close friends. I drove to work, came home picked up photos (and a customs duty demand from Royal Mail) and made trip back into town to join T. Even that was slightly diverted as went to the Royal Mail office to pick up parcel as I knew it was the earrings I wanted for my outfit.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Another thing of the list

We spent bits of today wandering around various places looking at buggies, cots/toddler beds and the like. Not getting any of that till we have been officially linked and met foster carer. However we did get something that has been on the list for a while - namely a fireguard.


So that is one more item off the list - poor Henry is getting used to these stair gates - particularly one at top which means he can no longer get into bedrooms. Well not until he learns to jump it that is.



Main fun for him will really start when we put the gate into kitchen doorway - we have no door - it now is the cupboard door on landing (don't ask it is a long story :D) This gate will block him from food and his cat flap - so we are suspecting we made need to find some way to make it easier for him to jump over. I wish somebody made a child gate with a cat flap in.....


Friday, 23 August 2013

Reflections on today

Well I have finally found time to blog again although it isn't going to be a long one. I hate Clearing...... Well actually I don't it just takes a lot out of me and involves me working 8 days solid - finally got some time off today. Shall see how we are doing when I go in on Tuesday - it's been tough again this year but we were getting there as of yesterday.

Anyway enough of my work life - time to talk about what this blog is supposedly about. We had the meeting with our potential link's SW today. In fact as T put it later we had SWs in our house today for the longest time thus far in the process as ours arrived at 1.15 and left at 4.45. She came early to discuss the child's SW questions with us before she arrived at 2.30 - which we both felt was valuable. Also finally managed to show her the fence round the patio which was partially her suggestion in the first place. It is now partially painted so doesn't quite look like it does below.


The pre-discussion made the subsequent 2 hr discussion go a lot easier. Not going to talk much about the questions as a lot were pertinent to our potential links story - and it is his story. Did talk a bit about his age and why we were not dead set on having a very young baby (honest answer - ever since I started thinking about adoption as a single mother 11 years+ ago for some reason I always envisaged a toddler). We also discussed a fair amount about attachment and we would foster the breaking of current attachment to foster carer and making attachment to us. Also got to here a bit more of his background and talk about contact (which is a bit of a minefield in this case).

His SW assured us he is still developing at the right pace and is a lovely little boy. He is well attached to his FC, and seemed to cope ok with his respite placements. Indeed apparently every FC he spends some time with wants to keep him. After it was all done and his SW left ours said she felt we had presented ourselves really well and answered the questions as she expected. Just got to wait with everything crossed till next week. Hopefully we should know on Tuesday after his SW has spoken to her manager. Then we should get some photos of him which means we can start talking a little to our families about him - well ok my sister & brother-in-law know a fair bit but they are adopters themselves.

I am feeling more positive than I did before - this does feel like the right match for us so just got to hope his SW agrees.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Going back in time…

Well we got the official letter yesterday to confirm we were approved - and a load of information plus some forms to sign :) On extract of minutes, it was nice to see the reasons for approval (7) and no concerns at all :D However it did show that it had actually taken us 9 months to get to this point - from application to approval which I hadn't realised. Thought it was November we put application in and in fact it was October (before prep course). I did say my memory is a sieve......

Saturday, 3 August 2013

This week

Warning very rambling post - which is an indication of my state of mind at the moment.....

As T put it earlier this has been one interesting week. Starting with panel on Monday which was a real high and is still sinking in to be honest even if we had phone call on Thursday to tell it it was all final. Following that I worked Tuesday then have had three days with only partial working ( thankfully summer with no project students). I had what I thought was a migraine Wednesday morning which wasn't that unexpected - I tend to get them after stress has calmed down. But it never properly went and got worse so I looked at blood pressure. It was up beyond the tipping point for me so off to the Doctors I trundled on Thursday to get my dosage increased as we had thought may happen. Slowly sorting but I wish I didn't get these spikes in BP. Hopefully this dosage should keep me stable- T (being a pharmacist) has always said I may need a higher dose than I was initially on.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Today is Yorkshire Day

Well today is August 1st and hence it is Yorkshire Day. I was born in Harrogate and lived there till I was 21 months old. Then we moved away and all over Eastern England till we moved back up to Yorkshire when I was 17. I've basically lived here ever since (21 years now and counting). Mind you I am the one of us (two younger siblings) who sounds least like they come from Yorkshire even if I am the only one born here....

In many ways Yorkshire has been the steady place in my life - I lived in 8 houses with my parents before I finally brought my own place - and went to 7 schools before university. Throughout all that I had family in harrogate until after we moved back up here. Two parts of the country are 'home' to me - here in Yorkshire particularly amongst the Pennine areas and East Anglia (Norfolk & northern Suffolk). They are the areas my grandparents lived in so I have many memories of them - well pictures in my mind.

Meeting date

Well we have a date for meeting with our SW and the SW of the prospective link we hav. Not till 3 weeks to or row (23rd Aug)  by we have it :) Family finder for the boy has been talking to his SW as well as our SW. As it happens FF is the SW who did our initial visit and recommended us to go forward. She is friends from uni with some of our friends (T decided later he did remember her vaguely as we discovered this towards end of first visit) so as T says not only do we blame them for us but now for our potential son as well. She apparently approached our SW about this boy some months back and we would probably have heard about him sooner if it wasn't for my wobble at start of June due to losing Ricki & Grandma within a few days of each other.

Anyway we are getting more paperwork about the boy soon so should get a much better idea about him on paper anyway. Just hoping his SW likes us and our house as I am starting to feel a real connection. Looking good for our preferred panel date (end of October) at moment as our SW said 2 months from initial meeting. Just means I have 6 weeks of teaching to do....well it will keep me busy anyway:)

Tuesday, 30 July 2013


Well first thing to say is we are now approved. As someone I read recently said it is our adoption equivalent of the blue line on a pregnancy test. We were first panel and being us arrived stupidly early. Ok partly as we were on train as planning to go into town for a meal to celebrate we hoped.

Then had long wait for questions although did spend time discussing next steps in our potential link - and possible dates to meet his SW. Panel was running a bit late so we got our questions about the time we had to go in and hadn't finished discussing them when chair came down to talk to us.She explained  what was going to happen - introductions then questions then a chance for us to add anything further then we would go to other waiting room while panel asked our SW something in references. This was no surprise to us as there is a potential safeguarding issue within the family of one of our referees ( not referee herself) which was in her reference so we had expected something on that. Once we had finished with questions we went down to panel and found ourselves faced by 13 people (seemed to be more observers than we expected & two minute takers).

Sunday, 28 July 2013

The night before

Well we are now within 12 hrs of our panel. I am nervous but also still excited. Had a great meeting with three of the other couples from our prep group tonight. Two couples missing - one starts Introductions tomorrow and N wasn't feeling well so backed out and the other couple are away we think.

Of those of us who were there - one couple has prospective matching panel 5 weeks tomorrow & 1 is at similar point to us in finding out more about a child. Third couple has yet to see a profile they want to explore further. We had a good time chatting & catching up - become a group who are there to support each other as best we can. Indeed one couple met my sister & brother-in-law as they wanted to meet an adoptive family. They really appreciated it from what was said tonight which made me happy as I started that process by asking N if she would.

Still feeling very positive over our potential link who just seems right to us. Hoping we might get a bit more info tomorrow. Suppose I better try to sleep if I can....

Friday, 26 July 2013

Excited & nervous....

Following last night's meeting with our SW we have the CPR for a little boy who we both have had a gut reaction of 'he's the one' to. Little older than I hoped for...but only by a few months, but he just feels right so we are taking it forward to gain more information. So we have a potential link - before we are approved adopters :) We were round with my sister and brother-in-law last night (who are experienced adopters) after SW left to discuss things through. Got a lot of useful tips from them and also warning that attachment beyond 24 months can be more difficult which I sort of knew already from my reading around.

I have had this week off (still got far too much holiday to use) as we originally planned to - spent a lot of it catching up on sleep - my version of end-of-termitis. Yes ok the students finished back before Spring Bank (at end of May) but I have been busy until graduation last week. Indeed am still busy - got bits an pieces of work I really should have done this week but decided week off not thinking about work would be good for me.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Holidays past & future

Holidays for us have till this year consisted usually of 1 week abroad, most years 1 week with T's parents on their yacht, and a couple of weeks camping usually in UK. In terms of amounts, T gets 25 days plus another 5 days that he buys - I get 35 days plus some extra days between Christmas & New Year and an extra day after Easter. To complicate matters further his runs for a calendar year & mine runs April to March.

This year we managed a week in Cyprus during our usual week at April/May crossover week - which is revision week at uni. Otherwise holiday has mainly been used for adoption stuff - our home study fell in this holiday year for T and across two years for me. So I had to use less holiday than he did in this year. 

Friday, 12 July 2013

Reeling again

And not for the first time during the process (back loaded some of my blogs from private blog covering the process thus far).....

We saw our SW on Wednesday to discuss our PAR - only a few factual changes to make as we both felt it was a good reflection of us. Although T did say seeing everything written down that we had been through with my health and his job fun since we got together makes him realise quite how much there was. The reassuring thing for me in report was that medical advisor just commented that my ongoing (well-managed) chronic conditions would need discussing through the home study. Our SW commented that I had never had to cancel due to ill-heath and had seemed pretty good throughout the period - which to be honest is true. The last 18 months or so I have felt so much better - many less migraines which I can see from the lack of sick days on my planner at work. Ok had a bit of a blip recently thanks to a very bad hayfever season - but the nasal douching my doctor suggested has made a real difference to me in that I am no longer living with a  low grade permanent sinus headache. This does make a difference to my migraines as well as the build up could trigger them at this time of the year. At least roses (my favourite flower) do not give me any issues - given the number in our front garden at moment.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Pets during approval process

First time post and first time link to #WASO- at least on a public blog. I will eventually transfer over some of the posts from my private blog that I have written during our process. I have fits and starts of writing - depending on what is going on my my life.

We (being T my husband and myself) are approaching the end of the approval process within our local LA. We live  in Yorkshire and are first-time adopters with no birth children, and no experience of IVF or other fertility treatments as we decided that they were not a good idea for us. I work in higher education and T is a healthcare professional. When I say we are approaching end - panel is in a little over 3 weeks and we received our report on Wednesday. Meeting with our social worker next Wednesday to discuss the report - which is pretty fair just needs a few factual changes (and the odd typo).

Friday, 24 May 2013

A tardy Update

So so grateful this semester is over with. I am not sure how I have coped given a stupid timetable and effectively working 4.5 days most weeks (less after Easter when it was 4 days mainly).

But anyway we got through the home study – after my last post we had one session before Easter thanks to a somewhat heavy snow fall in this area the Friday of week before Easter. so the one meeting we did have we looked at our Support network and also a bit more about us as a couple in terms of leisure activities. Our support network is possibly not as wide locally as many but I am slowly working on that with going to the Adoption UK support group regularly and I am sure it will grow once we have a child placed. As to leisure – I do a fair amount (orchestra, Brownies & school governor) and am hopeful all will carry on. the most difficult will be Brownies due to timing but as T says all we can do is wait to see as it all depends on child. SW herself said it was obvious that the one I didn't want to go for my own sanity was orchestra – which is so true. It was something I carried on through the years of illness and something very close to my heart. It relaxes me and gives me great joy as well as making me forget about other things for 2.5 hrs on a Monday. One can’t be thinking about work when you are playing. For T it will be the sailing – he needs that for similar reasons to my and my music. Also discussed health to some degree.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Where we are....

Been meaning to update this for a while but work is hectic this semester thanks to a stupid teaching load. One thing the adoption process has done is made me take a hard look at my teaching load and make a serious request for it to be modified.

Anyway we finished our SEF finally at end of January. It was an interesting document to write and I was grateful to my sister for giving me her chronology and schools stuff. Made writing mine a tad easier as I only had to ask Mum about one date – when we moved from where I was born to where N was born. A lot of the SEF made my finally put down on paper some of the issues I have had over the years with everything that has gone on in my life.

Anyway that went off to our social worker and then we waited for first meeting on 8th February. Well actually first we had a meeting with most of the rest of the prep group other than the one older couple. That was a great evening and it was brilliant to find out all of us there had SWs and most were 2-3 meetings into home study. Just us and one other couple hadn't started. Ended up with T inviting them all to our house in March for a meal.