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.
The next meeting after Easter we talked about identity and diversity – as our SW says the latter is no issue at all for us as she can tell by looking at our support network. We have two very good gay friends along with acquaintance with a transgender lady plus my closest colleague at work is Indian – and I spend my life dealing with people from all over the world – penalty of working in a British university. About a third to a half of my colleagues are not originally from UK.
We also talked about our motivation to adopt – and had a frank discussion about why we didn't go down the IVF route. For me it boils down to watching my sister & her husband suffer as they did and knowing how I react to hormonal medication. For T it is simply he doesn't believe in it for cases like ours from a medical standpoint - if my body will not conceive naturally then we shouldn't be forcing it to. I also said to our SW,which our referees can back up, that adoption had been on my radar since I had been told the likelihood of me having a child were slim after 30 when I was originally diagnosed with the endo. I said then if I got to 35 still with no partner I would look at adopting as a single mother. It has been on our radar since we got together as I never hid from T my potential fertility issues.
The following session (which was the next day) was tied up with finance (pretty healthy), health & safety – we need to get a fence put above the drop to our lower terrace in back garden, and the pet questionnaires. Discussion about Ricki and her nipping my nephew one time but also about the fact that both cats tend to run away when they can. Also talked about local area in terms of schools, medical centres and shopping etc There the talk I had with my sister helped as I was able to talk about more child centred stuff than I had known about before.
The first session of the next week were spent discussing our experience of children and our understanding of adoption as well as our own parenting and what we would do the same and different. We both talked about the need for boundaries and also use of strategies like ‘time-in’ with adopted children. T raised the fact that he would try not be as critical as his father was. We talked a lot about my nephew and how much valuable experience we are gaining from having him round for a few hours most weeks. Also talked about following my sister & brother-in-law’s set boundaries and making sure we took their guidance in things. We both raised the fact that we know what it is like to be ‘different’ from the normal whatever normal is as T put it. We can relate to a child in that situation which does help.
The following session (next day again) we talked about the types of children who have been released for adoption. talked about why we wanted to adopt a boy and what age range (0 – 3). The reason for the boy is simply I do not relate as well to the older girls as I do to older boys when I have been involved with youth groups and the like. I am not a ‘girly’ girl – after all I am an engineer for a start We discussed our two definite noes – severe physical disability due to our house and a child who has suffered sexual abuse as neither of us feel able to cope with that. We do however feel able to cope with other types of abused children as well as been prepared to think about a number of medical issues as long as they were not so severe as to require lots of ongoing medical care. I was expecting the ‘infamous’ list that my sister had talked about in this session but it didn't appear – we just discussed all sorts of potential issues and background.
The next week which was T’s last session we just went through all the documents including evidence of our financial state (pay slips, loan statements, bank statements etc.), birth certificates, marriage certificate, driving licenses, passports, car insurance and my car’s MOT. As T had put it a couple of days earlier – there had been a folder in our study which would have been a goldmine to an identity thief. Luckily my sister had warned us about this so I had managed to get a certified copy of my birth certificate as could we find the original anywhere. Also planned a meeting to discuss report in early July as our panel is on 29th July.
We then went to Cyprus for a week – brilliant holiday and much needed even if I did spend one day marking. Our SW saw T’s parents and my Mum (who is one of our referees) during that week.
When we came back I had one further meeting to finish off my personal stuff – mainly education but a bit about the emotional abuse at the start as SW had seen my mother the previous week. Also talked about work and what I was prepared to do in terms of flexibility – luckily my job is flexible anyway but we have talked about other things which will all be child dependent. Work is the easiest part of my life to describe – I spent one year in the US and have been employed at the same place ever since I came back. So so different from schooling. We talked about education mainly 5 – 18 but also a bit about university.
Now had a slight spanner in the works thanks to an safeguarding issue to do with the father of one of our friends. So seeing SW in a fortnight where I am hoping this will be resolved – as T is threatening to pull out at the moment if confidentiality is broken given that at the moment it is accused only. I am more reasonable but probably because I have worked in education for so long and know the school teachers are suspended when an accusation is made because safeguarding children is of the highest priority. Think he has calmed down a little now although he does say SW would not have known about this if it wasn't for friend being a referee which I will acknowledge is true. We had said nothing as we had all thought that this would have gone away -and when all said and done we have met said father twice in my case and once in Ts.
So fingers crossed for a fortnight’s time … between now and then I have marks to chase, meetings to get through and a nephew to look after while his parents meet a prospective matches SW.