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