Today was a little emotional at times, but interesting. Started looking at the adoption circle or triangle and the links between adopters child and birth parents. Interesting short discussion before moving onto talk from former community social worker (now an adoption social worker) talking about a family she had worked with and all the steps the eventually led to younger sister being adopted although older sibling remains in children’s home. It was fascinating to hear about all the issues involved and quite how long the process took, in part due to the difficulty in gathering evidence of neglect that we heard a little of last week.
Then we split into 2 groups (male & female) and talked about our path to adoption. It was insightful to hear 4 talk about IVF and their experiences with it including 1 ectopic pregnancy. Our route is somewhat different as we never went down the IVF as we had decided beforehand that it wasn’t for us. Plus we had always seen adoption as an alternative path to being parents. After all I had been thinking about before I even met T. The other 2 couples have birth children – one tragic case of a early birth with severe medical problems which so far has required 20 operations plus a second child who died aged 7 weeks. Second couple have 2 birth children – one with issues, but mother had always thought of adopting so they are exploring to see if it was right or them. She was the one came prepared with tissues which I think we all needed.
After lunch we had a birth mother to talk to us who I felt was brave to come and speak. We didn’t get her full story but she has 2 children one who is adopted & 1 in care who she sees 3 times a week. She really put across the point that informative letterbox contact is important to birth families & made us all think about the impact on that part of the circle. Then we split into three groups to discuss letterbox contact from the perspective of three parties in adoption. I found myself in birth family group which we all agreed was hardest in some ways to see as we are all at other side. It was insightful to think about it from their perspective and what they might like to send & receive via such indirect contact. Finally given an envelope which for us had nothing in and asked how it made us feel. We looked at from two angles : a grieving family who would feel rage, upset, assigning blame but also a family who wouldn't care and would not really see a thing.
SW emphasised the importance of making effort even if response is poor for sake of child.
Next time we have to bring a significant object which as we were told I immediately thought of Grandpa’s violin. So it will go with us on Wednesday.