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.
The panel was fairly relaxed - if running a little late. 6 questions in total - and one of those was for his SW - or in fact his SW's manager as his SW had leave today :)
1. What attracted us to him? Gut reaction I think is best answer here. T answered and basically said reading the profile we both just felt it was so right. Nothing jumped out at us beyond attachment (due to age - he has never lived with birth family) and potential for difficult lifestory work later.
2. Our thought's on meeting with medical advisor? My turn to answer as I actually went - which was nothing beyond what we already knew and a little more info about the reason he is in care.
3. Our feelings on letterbox contact with birth siblings? T answered - we feel it is important for the boy's identity and also for particularly one sibling to feel comfortable he is in a better place. May also help us later to validate some of his lifestory. 2nd part of question was to SWs about agreed contact with birth parents as it was a little confused. We'd all discussed this beforehand while waiting for panel and agreed that once a year was enough as not certain parents will respond. Original court order had advised twice a year hence confusion.
4. Question for SW bout dealing with his lifestory book & later life letter.
5. What we had taken from meeting with FC and how this will help us in early placement? I took this one. Simple answer was a lot of practical formation about his routine, what he eats and what he will not eat and basically stuff to help with transition of care.
6. Direct question to me about my work hours to which I gave the honest reply that I had agreements in place and was managing a 8 - 4 day now.
We then left panel with the book we had prepared for the boy about our house - which has 2 bears above in to show him round. One of those bears (the golden one) was also at panel and is to go to his FC along with Intros book for her to use with him. The other one is sat on his bed here - waiting for him. Apparently when panel chair and adoption SW manager came to tell us result the chair said the panel members didn't want to let bear go. However he is back with book in bag for our SW to get to FC. One of the photos in the book is to introduce the boy to Henry-cat who has featured on here before. Not certain what he is going to make of another upset to his life but we shall see.
So here we are just waiting for the Agency Decision Maker to confirm the recommendation on Thursday morning. We have first sight next Monday (our SW is away Thurs/Fri and the boy's has court appearances and all sorts on). Planning meeting Monday afternoon and then Introductions proper start Tuesday. Draft plan has him moving in by Sunday 20th at latest and hopefully on Saturday if all goes well. Intros review meeting is only on second Thursday as T has to work 3 days of his paternity leave (getting pharmacist locum cover for Eid round here at short notice just doesn't happen). So I am handling first visits to our house by myself - but then again it is only what will be the case once T is back at work - and because of this he has the full week off after the boy moves in.
Now to ensure that everything is ready (we think it is) and enjoy our last few days as a couple.....