Sunday, 4 December 2011

Heartwarming video and a quick update

Sorry. Have been too busy to eat and sleep lately, let alone blog!

We have had some news: we have been allocated our social worker and it's one of the really lovely experienced ones which is great. They were all lovely actually but we got on well with this one so we were really pleased.

I just wanted to share this video with anyone who hasn't seen it. It made us cry a little bit but in a positive way!

Almost Christmas! How exciting! Time off to finally catch my breath, reflect and remember how happy and lucky I am!

Hopefully next term won't be quite as busy, although with extension and adoption all in the pipeline I'll believe it when I see it!

Take care, everyone.


Sunday, 13 November 2011

Food for thought

Finally we have had some free time to catch up with things and really reflect on the course.  I'm flitting between feeling really excited and just catching my breath and feeling a bit scared about the whole thing!

We are now thinking that I won't be our child's main carer as there are opportunities for me at work, whereas my other half doesn't particularly enjoy her job very much!  So the plan would be that I would take a month of adoption leave for introductions and settling in (I think my students can probably cope without me for a month) and she will take that time as paternity leave and holiday, and then we will switcheroo and I will go back to work with her taking the rest of the adoption leave.  We think we will be allowed to do this although I do need to check!  It's quite good that you can share the leave these days!
It is quite a lot to think about as we had sort of always planned for me to be the main carer, not for any real reason, just I guess because I'm the one who bakes the cakes and works with children (albeit grumpy teenagers!).  But actually, on reflection these are really rather superficial reasons, and I think it would be really hard for me to be at home all day sending my other half off to a job she doesn't really enjoy anymore.  So I think that's quite a big decision made.
We are just getting quotes in from builders for our extension so it's a nervous time for us!  It's all very exciting, but as I say..occasionally I catch my breath with the overwhelmingness of it all!
School is crazily busy at the moment and it does make me worry about the future.  Being a teacher you always take your work home with you, but it will be hard to do work when there is a little person needing love and cuddles!  I'm sure we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

In other, more hilarious news, one of my year 7 students exclaimed in my class that asexual reproduction was what lesbians do!  I have to say, if one of us just had to chop off a finger and it would grow into a baby, life would be much easier!  Although I'm not sure I would really want a clone of myself!!  Hideous!  I love the things that kids come out with sometimes!

Time for Sunday night hot chocolate in front of he fire before another crazy week.  Not long 'til Christmas! X

Friday, 11 November 2011

Day three and four of prep course

So...we had day 3 of the prep course on Tuesday and then an evening meeting on Thursday night.  I've only just managed to get round to writing about it as this week has been totally mad!

Day three of the course was really good.  We were all much more relaxed and people sort of opened up more so the group activities were more helpful and a bit less intense! We looked at techniques to use and talked more about introductions, introduction books, matching, etc.  the adopter who was helping on the course brought in the DVD they had made for their two girls and it made me cry! The excitement and anticipation in the film really came across and made me think about how wonderful and exciting that time will be. So, all in all, it was really great.  The social workers were all so open and friendly and full of advice and different ideas whilst accepting other people's points of view.  We have all exchanged email addresses and are going to keep each other posted!
The Thursday evening session was definitely the most powerful.  Two sets of adoptive parents came in to talk about their experiences and they were just so inspiring.  Me and L just sat and listened for two hours, totally in awe of them!  If we can be half as patient and kind as they are we will be doing well!  I was seriously impressed!

Everyone on the course agreed that it was really weird going into work on Wednesday!  We're like: "OK, ready now...!". I was saying though, we need to take it one step at a time and enjoy and learn from the journey rather than constantly wondering when it will end.  I think that's the only way you can hope to get through it and keep your sanity!

So all in all, a really excellent course with lots of information and food for thought without being boring!  And after our initial worries, it really wasn't too scary!  Some of the other attendants were saying things like: "I wonder who will be first...". I'm usually naturally curious but I have to say, I wasn't really wondering at all!  I think it just takes as long as it takes!  We shall see if I'm this patient in a years time!

So now we are just waiting for a call to find out who our social worker will be.  The three who took the course were all lovely, knowledgable and good fun so I kind of hope it will be one of those but we shall see!  I will let you know.

All that remains for me to do now is go to bed!  It's been a long, tiring and emotional week and I've got a busy weekend of marking and planning ahead!  Not wishing to sound like a moans old teacher of course...

Take care, everyone!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Day 2 of Prep Course...and now much less overwhelmed!

Hello folks,

Great day today. Loads to think about. We saw some really moving films and talked about the different kinds of abuse which was quite emotional, but then we focused on what the impact on the child will be and, more importantly, how we can address and improve that behaviour. There was much more group work and discussion which I found really helpful. The day started with us, as a group, ordering different behaviours into acceptable and unacceptable, things like biting, swearing etc. it was a really interesting activity and got us all talking and thinking about things.

I am really pleased we have picked the authority which we decided to go with, the social workers just seem so genuine and really knowledgeable and helpful.

Getting to know the other people on the course has been really good too. We have all swapped email addresses.

We also grouped off into males and females today and discussed our journey to adoption without he social workers being present. As we expected, the other women in our group had longer stories than ours, having come to adoption as a last resort after fertility treatment etc. it was really powerful listening to them and really made me think.

So, that's about it! I'm pooped so I'm not going to say any more!

Sunday, 6 November 2011



So, first day of prep' course on Friday.  It was really tiring!  I'm not sure why so tiring...because we have already done the foster carer one and read quite a lot of books it wasn't so much of an information overload as it might have been.  I think the tiredness came from a combination of it finally all being real and properly starting, as well as sitting in a dark room for a whole day!  The social workers running the course were very friendly and approachable so everyone felt like they could ask questions and the atmosphere was very relaxed.  On the course there were two single adopters, two straight couples, a gay male couple and us so we weren't a minority group.  There was a bit of a funny moment when my little case study group said that an issue for our case study child was a lack of a male role model in the home.  I probably should have said something but I didn't.  Silly.  What I did do was write a question mark next to where I wrote the comment.  How lame!  I must man up and tackle these things tomorrow.  I don't think they meant anything by it, but when you are in a group with a lesbian and a single, female adopter I think you should probably be a bit more open minded!

So...I will let you know how tomorrow and Tuesday go.  We are finding out our attachment style tomorrow which should be interesting.  I think me and my other half are at opposite ends of the spectrum!  If I have a problem I talk (rant) to as many people as possible (hence the blog!!), if she does she's much more likely to hide in a corner and eat a biscuit!  But I think that's part of why we work.  I'm sure I couldn't be married to someone like me; we would never get anything done!

The title of this post is "overwhelmed", not by the prep' course necessarily, just a whole bunch of other stuff which has all lumped together to make a big lump in my throat.  You know that feeling where you just feel rather uneasy and like it won't take much to tip you into meltdown?  It's not a good place for a teacher to be as in normal circumstances the kids don't get to me at all but lately I've been slightly less robust with them!  Nightmare!  Hopefully after this week things will start to settle down a bit.  A combination of the house extension, the adoption finally becoming real, the prospect of a new head of department at school, and my Grandma being unwell as finally taken its toll.  I have taken some time out today to have a bath and eat some chocolate and we have stocked up on easy dinners like pizza and fish fingers (most out of character for us!).  I think we just need to be careful to take care of ourselves as all of the above are having quite a big impact on my wellbeing!  Am currently sitting in my pyjamas in front of the fire and drinking a cup of tea.  This combined with the blogging therapy is definitely helping!  Thank you, free therapists!

So apparently the Friday part of the adoption training was the most wordy, hopefully Monday and Tuesday will be more hands on and really get me thinking.  I will let you know!  Take care, everyone x

Sunday, 9 October 2011

The Kids Are All Right


So, since I last blogged the media has been going crazy with adoption stuff which is rather wonderful to see.  Now whenever I talk about our adoption process, people love to tell me the latest statistics and about how we desperately need adopters.  So that's nice! Sort of.  I think it's shut up the people who were worried that the evil gays were stealing all the babies from the poor infertile straight couples.  Hurrah! 

I read a study the other day that said two mums are better than a mum and a dad.  I'm rather sceptical of this piece of evidence, I have to say.  Because although gay people definitely have to think about parenthood a lot more than straight couples do (they can't just have a quickie and 9 months later along comes a baby), I don't believe that we are inherently better parents.  I have many straight friends who are wonderful parents and I don't think for one moment that my sexuality has any real bearing on my parenting skills.  Although I do believe that we will be just as good!  My other half has read almost every parenting book ever written at this point and that's got to help.  Although I sometimes can't help wondering when "being prepared" moves into being strangely obsessive...I wonder what the social workers will say!  So far I have read 2 books, and discussed the others with her...sort of!  By discussed, I mean that she has read out loud any of the more amusing anecdotes and I have laughed.  The book reading thing is normal behaviour for her anyway.  The same thing happened with survival skills a few years back, and then gardening...and now parenting!  It's funny though because the more books she reads, the more contradictions there are.  I guess you only really find out the right way when there's a child in your house that requires its needs to be met!

So...what else has happened?!  The twins have been born and they are gorgeous and fuzzy and lovely.  So that was exciting.  Work is crazily busy which makes me wonder how parents do it!  Roll on half term!  And I have volunteered for a new head of department job at school (I'm not sure if that makes me a bit crazy) which would mean that I definitely won't be the one going on the adoption leave.  Some areas of our lives are moving crazily fast and others incredibly slow (we seem to have been waiting an awfully long time for this prep course!).  The overall effect being similar to when I was forced into running when I was at school; somehow my legs went faster than my body and I often fell over.  Well, metaphorically speaking I haven't fallen over yet and let's hope it stays that way!

Oh yes...the title of my blog.  The Kids Are All Right!  We watched the film last night and had a sniffle or two.  It definitely makes me glad that we're not using a sperm donor!  I thought it was incredibly well done actually and quite moving.  I'm not sure what else I have to say about it really.  I'm not much of a film critic!

Anyhow.  I shall be in touch if anything else exciting happens.  Only three and bit weeks til the training course...exciting but scary!

Thanks for the comments some people have been leaving.  It's lovely to know that people are reading my ramblings.  It makes a person feel much less mad to know they are not just talking to themself!

Take care everyone x

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Back to reality!

No real adoption news (not until the training course in November) so this is just another rambly update for those who are interested!

So, after my first paid summer as a teacher I'm back to work with a crash!  I'm not sure I've ever felt so tired, but it seems like everyone at school is the same!  Only 5 weeks 'til half term!  And I'm sure those 5 weeks will go very quickly!  I hope so, and I hope I grow a pair soon and stop feeling so utterly pooped!  For those of you with "real jobs" who are thinking "what's she moaning about - part timer!" I get in at 7.30 and leave at 5.15pm three days a week, 6pm one day and 10.30pm another day.  That is quite a lot of hours!

It makes me wonder how people cope with having jobs and children.  I know that I will be part time for a while but will probably have to go back full time when our little person starts school.  Teaching seems like such a convenient career for having children but it's so time consuming and exhausting!  The holidays are awesome, though!

I have been telling some of my colleagues about the adoption and they are all wonderfully positive which is nice!  It's great to know that the all important support network that the social workers always talk about really is in place.  The other thing that keeps happening is that on the New Family Social message boards, loads of people are going from training course to placement within a few months with approval and matching panels happening on the same day.  I had previously thought that this was unheard of and that it always took years and years so I find this both exciting and scary!  We have to have our extension built but I guess after that we are good to go in a physical sense, but my brain and heart were prepared for a long old wait and the prospect of a short wait definitely gives me butterflies!  We shall have to wait and see...

Just a short blog as I have work to do! :(  Sigh!  Hopefully next time I blog I will be full of beans again!

Hope everyone else is enjoying September.  I love the Autumn: our three year civil partnership anniversary is coming up soon along with our ten year anniversary of being a couple.  It's a big year for us!

Friday, 2 September 2011

Getting excited about babies (not our babies...yet!)

So the last couple of weeks have been filled with visits to my friends with children and lovely massively pregnant friend. It's all very exciting and heart warming and makes me feel really great that when we do adopt lots of my friends are starting families too and we can all be jolly young families together.

I haven't much to add this post as nothing much has happened. We made a decision regarding the fostering because we are biting the (oh so chilly) bullet and probably going to do the extension over the winter which means it could start in a month or so (scary times!). I am seriously excited about the prospect of a child friendly, massive kitchen though so I think that will make it worth it. On the subject of that, I have been reading, a wonderful blog about a dad who cooks with the cutest toddler. It's close to my heart as cooking is something I'm really passionate about and want to share with our children. The veal escalopes clip is particularly hilarious! I've just bought my brother the cook book for his birthday and I really want it now! The other awesome thing on the blog is that he puts Archie (the toddler) in this thing called a fun pod, a piece of furniture designed to make a toddler worktop height without them falling out...might have to get me one of those! All very fun and makes me think about the future in a dreamy, rose-tinted sort of a way. I think that's ok every once in a while given that the rest of the time we are ploughing through a mountain of books explaining how and why our children will most certainly come with a whole bundle of issues we need to work through with them.

Two other random thoughts for this post are:

1. Bear Factory clothing, how can it be more expensive than real, adult clothing?! It's probably cheaper to hire a nanny and pay for your child to dress them than buy one of those bears. I went there with my friend's little girl; she bought a dress and some roller-skates and didn't get much change from £15. Truly absurd! But my friend was awesome, as it was her daughter's pocket money she was allowed to buy whatever she wanted and we all waited patiently while she counted out her money at the till despite the massive queue behind us. When I was a child I never would have been permitted to purchase such an extravagant post office savings account was actively encouraged and my mum would help me to make clothes for my toys. I like the idea that (within limits), my friend's child could choose what she spent her money on, although I also like the fact that my mum encouraged creativity and saving! I will keep you posted (maybe...if I'm still blogging in 5 years time!) as to what my method would be.

2. I've been sharing this clip with everyone because I think it is hilariously true, so for those of you who read this you may get a laugh from it. It has nothing to do with adoption!


p.s. Back to school on Monday but will try and keep you posted with adoption stuff (and you will probably be glad to know you will get less of the random extras!)

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Tiny steps...

Good news!  First proper step in the right direction.  We have been invited to attend a training session in November.  I feel very positive about this as the council obviously spend money in order to train you, so I think they must feel like we are likely to get through.  Again this doesn't make you any less nervous about the whole thing.  It's very weird to think that when you are on the training the social workers are scrutinising your ideas and participation.  At least they are honest about it though!

Now we have to decide whether or not to carry on with our resite fostering.  We were approved as weekend respite foster carers for disabled children back in January having applied in March 2010.  The idea is that we would look after one child for one weekend every month for most of their childhood.  It was the foster training and home study that made us realise we were ready to adopt.  I'm not sure if that sounds strange or not.  But anyway, now we are not sure whether to be linked with a foster child or not.  We are having an extension early next year, and with the training and home study I'm not sure if it will all just be a bit much, as well as the fact that we won't be able to offer the child a stable long term placement because a few months in the back of our house will be knocked down, and then we could be adopting!  Big decisions to make.

I was talking to the social worker and she said we could have our panel this time next year and be matched a few months later which would mean that it would be crazy to start fostering now.  But on the other hand it could take a couple of years.... nobody knows.  I think the experience of fostering would be really good, but I don't want to offer a child a home with us, only to take it away again a few months later.  More discussion needed I think.

So...back to school in 2 1/2 weeks.  It's weird to think that it could be my last full time year for a long time especially as my career has only just started.  I'm not sure what happened to us, but we couldn't be more sure that we are ready and really excited about becoming parents! It's mad to think that we could potentially be matched some time next year.  I'm gearing up for a big old wait though.  I don't think it's a good idea to set yourself unrealistic deadlines in the adoption process.  It seems to me you have to try and use each bit of waiting time to reflect and prepare.  We have a ridiculous amount of parenting books already.  Again, it seems weird to buy books about parenting a ficticious child...but we are anyway!

I think I'm getting carried away again!  Needless to say we are very excited about getting past the first hurdle and actually starting the process properly.  There won't be any really interesting news now until November but I'll keep adding my general ponderings for those of you who are interested!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Busy busy...

Not me, the social workers!  I feel slightly mean about the tone of my last post now.  Given the industrial action it's not really too surprising that agencies are running a bit behind.  After all, the children in care always have to come first and I guess that means that the social workers are always crazily busy juggling nervous potential adopters (me) with children desperately in need of their help.  I know which I would choose and really, which I would want them to choose; it's just difficult to rationalise that when you're feeling anxious!

Anyway, for those of you who are interested, we should know for definite by the end of the week whether we're on the training course in November.  Excellent!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Of course we haven't heard anything!


So...yesterday was 2 weeks since the social worker did her home visit. She told us that by this time we would get a call to let us know if we have made it onto the training course. We called them and they said that as the course isn't until October they haven't made any decisions yet. Horribly disappointing although I can't say we were surprised. Miscommunication is something I find quite irritating though, the NHS does it brilliantly as well. Tell us it will be a month and we will be pleasantly surprised if it's 3 weeks; tell us it will be 2 weeks and we will be horribly disappointed if it's 3 weeks. Our double glazing company have the right idea (told us it would be 8 weeks and it was 6), but public services can't seem to get the gist. I'm not saying mislead people, just be honest, or honestly pessimistic in order to avoid horrible disappointment! Ho rant over.

Last night we went to "mind out for the laughs" in Brighton. It was a comedy show to raise money and awareness of Mind Out, an lgbt mental health charity. We were in Brighton anyway and thought it might be fun. It was really good. I'm really glad there are services like this available, especially for young people. One funny bit involved a woman taking about her middle class, organic self harming with stinging nettles. Quite random.

So no news. Not sure if no news is good news in this case as I guess is we were amazingly awesome they would call us back straight away but I'm not really sure it works like that.

5 weeks into my eight week holiday now and the time is flying by...once again I'm doing too much thinking! I'm not actually very good at being on my own, I have a penchant for self-criticism which is exacerbated by too much procrastination time. This is something I need to be super aware of and keep in check before the arrival of a potentially new parent blaming little person!

The New Family Socialers have just been on their annual camp and I think everyone on there who doesn't have kids yet looks on it with huge aspiration. "One day my friend, you too shall camp with all the other gay parents and their children". But for now, we wait! Maybe one day I will be blogging about my camping experience! I don't even like camping! Must be the hormones...

Monday, 1 August 2011

Baby shower and playing the waiting game


so on Saturday we held a baby shower for my chum who is pregnant with not one but two babies. It was a wonderful day and we are all really excited about their arrival in a few months time. It's quite exciting to think about the prospect of our kids playing with each other in a few years time (admittedly, really quite a way off but I'm on holiday so have a rather longer than normal procrastination time currently).

I was talking to my friend and it got me thinking that couples who have biological babies go through similar stages to adoption, they're just not written down, or subject to government targets. When couples start "trying for a baby" it can take ages and I guess that must be pretty stressful in itself. We're worrying about whether we have passed the home visit and will be offered a place on the next training course. In some ways I wonder if they will offer it to older people as they have less time to wait, I'm not sure how it works.

It's a funny old time though. We're talking about it with lots of people which makes me worry that if we don't progress further we will have loads of people to tell which would make us feel rubbish!

I've also been making a colourful spreadsheet of our finances. It's going to be a tight few years if we both work very part time as we hope we will. But I guess that's just part of having kids really and I'm assuming that you just make do so long as you can pay the bills! At least our house will be awesome by then and hopefully not costing us very much.

So that's me. Not much to say at the moment really. We're just waiting so my blogs will be filled up with my musings and other assorted bumblings until we find out that we have a place on the training course.

Stressful times and we haven't even really started yet!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

First home two weeks to wait (eek)

So... first proper visit from the city adoption social worker. As always, it was more like a chat than a scary interview. I think this is because the social workers are good at their jobs and put you at ease so you open up and reveal what you are actually like rather than just showing them your scared "rabbit in the headlights" interview persona. We usually follow a policy of being as honest as possible and generally rambling on and answering questions in as much detail as we can. She was pretty positive actually, said there was no reason she could see why they wouldn't invite us on the training course. But it's her manager's decision and we'll find out in 2 weeks. Eurgh! 2 weeks feels like a long old time!

She did ask us why we didn't carry on with foster caring for a couple of years before adopting and I wondered if that might be something they come back to us with. Our answer was really simple; because we're ready to adopt, we're ready to permanently have a child in our lives, we're ready to change our lives completely and we're really looking forward to it. Whether that will be enough of an answer remains to be seen. I hope so. I don't want the fact that we wanted to be foster carers to count against us now, it's just the timing is a bit dodgy with having an extension and going through the long old adoption process. She didn't ask us much else. Briefly went over our childhoods, why we want to adopt, our relationship, why we've chosen adoption rather than anything else.

It's a fair point. I mean there's plenty of womb at the inn so to speak. Sorry, that's really bad but I couldn't resist it. We don't have anything against people using IVF or turkey basters or any of that but it's not for us. I like the fact that our child will have a sense of where they came from and how they got to where they are. I feel like it's important for them to have a clearer idea of this than telling them who their sperm donor was. Plus the fact that there are so many kids out there that need adopting and so this feels right. I'm thinking about it now and it's really quite exciting! Must try not to get too excited until we hear back that we're through to the next stage. Then the training course isn't until November so we can chill for a bit, although obviously we won't!

Ever since we started thinking about adoption we've been reading lots of books about parenting, gay parents, attachment, adoption etc. etc. and the social worker seemed really surprised and impressed. We didn't do it for that, we did it because we find it interesting and want to be as prepared as possible when there is one, or possibly two little people in our home and we need to be able to link their behaviour to our behaviour and their past experiences. But that's my top tip for today. Read a book! They will (quite rightly) love you for it!

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Over thinking things?!

So, we have our first social worker visit tomorrow. It is exciting to think that we are finally starting our journey but scary to think that there's a small chance it could end here! I say small chance not through arrogance, but just through the fact that we are already approved foster carers and our current social worker was very positive. Being the crazy human I am, though, I will always cling to the little bit of worry instead of the massive amounts of common sense. Must try and work on that! I think it will come in handy for both being a teacher and a parent! Self belief is a wonderful thing!

I fear I am over-using the exclamation mark and my colleagues in the English department would be very disapproving!

A few things have happened since I last blogged. School have been encouraging about giving the same benefits to adopters as maternity pay. It's not in writing yet but hopefully it will be soon as that will make a huge difference. My partner works for a charity so she would only ever get statutory pay which isn't much at all really! It's weird to think that I'm only really just starting in my teaching career and it won't be long before I go part time. I think this will be hugely beneficial to me in getting the most out of parenting, teaching and life generally and I feel massively blessed that we're in a position where we can do it. I have spent most of today making a huge spreadsheet of incomings and outgoings to work out where we really are with things. Said spreadsheet has many, many formulae and is pleasingly colourful which makes me feel better. Sad really!

The second important decision we have to make is whether we continue as foster carers (or even start!) We registered our interest in becoming respite carers to a disabled child way back at the beginning of 2010 and we have just been matched with a little boy. The idea of the scheme is that you are matched with a child throughout their childhood, offering respite for one weekend every month. When we started the process and underwent the foster carer training we didn't even know that we wanted to adopt. Going through the process and talking to each other, as well as meeting and talking to people at New Family Social meant that we felt we were actually more ready than we realised. Working through everything with our foster caring social worker and going through the approval process gave us the insight and confidence we needed to start the adoption process. This in itself is really great! But now we're not sure where to go with starting a link with a child or not. Our social worker thinks we over think and worry about things (true enough, I am partial to a spot of procrastination or two); but I feel like I don't want to put all the time and effort (and the child's time and effort too) over the next few months to then break the link when we have our extension, then again when we are matched and a child is placed with us, and then possibly permanently. It seems a bit rude! I wonder if someone else might be better. But then we actually have to be formally deregistered as foster carers when we haven't even started which in itself seems a bit mad. I'll talk to the social worker about it tomorrow (poor woman!)

Again, I'm rambling on. Congratulations if you made it this far! I feel I should tell you a joke or something as a reward. "What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh!" Boom boom...

Something's telling me it's time for bed.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011


Happy news indeed. I phoned the City adoption agency yesterday and said "we've been offered a home visit with the county one but I said we would rather have you!". They phoned back and are coming for a home visit on Wednesday next week! Should last about 1 1/2 hours. I'd better bake some biscuits! Funny how I like to do that really, it's not like I'm trying to prove how much of a Nigella I am or anything, I just like to make people feel welcome! I really am so very 50's... I think I even have a bottle of shake 'n vac somewhere...

Sorry...veering wildly off topic!

Anyhow, we are very excited about this home visit, and it's quite nice to think that two agencies wanted us! I guess that makes me feel less nervous about the whole thing.

So we're actually on the starting line now, rather than just lurking outside the stadium somewhere! I hope we get put on a training course in October. My head of department wasn't too keen on the idea but it can't be helped. I've just emailed school to ask whether they will provide adoption pay which is equivalent to maternity pay so we shall have to wait and see. I will keep you posted.

I'm currently trapped in the bedroom as the extreme nesting has somewhat taken over the house. The main living area looks like something out if CSI because it's completely covered with plastic sheets. Log burner and solar panels this week...obviously essential to family life! We are so strange! Our architect came yesterday about the extension. We really need a third bedroom and I want a kitchen I can cook and supervise children in, but it's so very odd planning the design of our new house around our imaginary family. Though I want everything g be perfect, in some respects I really don't because I'm a clumsy old thing and I don't want our children to feel scared to sneeze and avoid Ribena like I did as a child...white foods and clear liquids only in this house...hideous! The architect has understood me brilliantly as is planning some kind of amazing two kitchen showy kitchen in the open plan living space where I can pretend to be Nigella and another one in a giant cupboard which I can fill with mess and shut he door...fantastic!

I'm sensing this has turned into a ramble so I shall leave it there.

Much chaos and excitement though! Excellent!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Parenting talk and nesting

I don't know if it's just me but currently all the programmes on TV are about parenting and everywhere we go there are parents! And all we seem to talk about is parenting, parenthood, etc. We're currently looking at improving our home: large scale nesting I think. Putting an extension on the back for a big family kitchen and getting a wood burner and solar panels. Future proofing, I believe it's called. It's exciting to be thinking about changing our garden to be more child friendly and having an extra bedroom to fill.

I think we're at the stage where we're not sure if we should be saving money or spending it. My maternal instincts are telling me to save up nest eggs (!) and then the other half of me wants to make our home as wonderful as possible now because in a few years' time it will be a lot more difficult to paint and have home improvements done. But I guess it's easy to get swept away in all the excitement when in reality our family finding days are a long way off really. At the moment I'm not sure if it will go scarily fast or horribly slowly, it seems like there is no in between with the adoption process. That reminds me of an assembly some of the sixth form physics students gave on roller coasters; it's not the speed they go but the change in speed which makes them so terrifying! I think it may be the same with the adoption process!

Monday, 11 July 2011

A baby niece!


Not strictly adoption news but it led to me and L having a long discussion about things so I thought I would share some of it!

We were both seriously excited by the arrival of my brother's baby girl this week. I am thrilled to be an Auntie and looking forward to lots of spoiling her and cuddles. Our friends are also expecting (twins no less) and I'm organising the baby shower. It got us thinking about society's reaction to a new born, and how it differs from adoption. I guess people are well trained in how to react to a new birth: buy a babygro and some flowers, take hundreds of photographs and coo lots at the cute little sleeping wee person. More than that it comes automatically: I couldn't stop staring at my little tiny niece and wanted to cuddle her all day! And I imagine that people don't quite know what to do when you adopt. I mean if we adopt a three year old with it's own personality and ideas, it would be rather scary to be passed round the room and photographed, and quite schocking to recieve huge amounts of new stuff. It's all about the slowly, slowly, softly, softly and I wonder how I will respond to that when the time comes. But that's me...I do like to worry about the unknown. Must purchase a self-help book and become more centred!

To be honest I expect our friends and family will be quite awesome...excitedly murmuring away n the background but trying not to be too overbearing. I just wonder if we will miss all the fuss, all the welcoming and all the celebration. Who knows? There are many many more things to wonder about at this stage and many more important things to worry about. But I do know that being an Auntie is going to be really fun!

Friday, 8 July 2011

Form filling and information sessions


My first post...excitement. I thought I would document our experience with the information sessions we have attended so far.

So after advice from the lovely people at we decided we should check out two different adoption agencies. Where we live there is one big county one and a smaller city local authority. We thought we would go with the county one as it's nearer but on advice went to the other one just in case. Wow...I'm glad we did! The county one talked about wanting adopters from different backgrounds at the beginning but the whole presentation was littered with "they need a Mum and a Dad" as well as crayon drawings of mummies and daddies. Ridiculous. Definitely not practising what they preached there! There was also an overwhelming vibe that they were doing us a favour and potential adopters were almost an inconvenience. Erm...more like essential! I don't like the way they made you feel like it was a hideous trial you had to go through to "prove your worth". Odd. Anyway, we went off to the city one and they were genuinely inclusive and wonderful and incredibly friendly (plus we didn't have to take part in a cringey quiz).

Which means that I would definitely reinforce the advice we were given: you're awesome, they need you so shop around!

So after more form filling in we've been offered a home visit by the county authority (their session was first) and we've sent off our form for the city one. Hopefully the social worker will be able to come during the school holidays.


I'm already feeling like I don't know if we want one or two children. Lovely sensible people seem to suggest that you just wait and see nearer the time. Although clearly it is something we need to think/talk about a lot!

So...that's the end of my first post. Will I keep this up I wonder. I'll try!