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!