Saturday, 25 February 2012

Macaroon baby

Hello everyone.

It’s been a while because we haven’t done much in the way of adoption things in between our last visit and now.  We have another home study session next Friday and then possibly only one more before we go to panel.  At the beginning of the year going to panel seemed a long way away but now it seems to be not very far away at all!
I have been filling my time with making macaroons!  It’s a most excellent distraction from worrying and thinking about babies and helps on many levels.  One is that in a few months/years (probably not years!) time I will probably never have the time to make macaroons ever again, and two is that the whole process is so fiddly and time consuming that you can’t possibly think about anything else.  The unfortunate side effect is that I seem to be growing my very own macaroon baby, gestation probably about a month!  I’m hoping that it won’t go to full term or they may decide I’m not fit to adopt!!  Still, I would definitely recommend taking up a new hobby at the start of the adoption process.  It is a most excellent way to while away the hours and think about other things!
So it was lgbt adoption and fostering week this week.  I haven’t really been involved but have been admiring all of the wonderful gay mums and dads out there.  There have been some fabulous, really inspirational stories and it’s been really good to see it all over the news etc. etc.  I think there are some people in the world that find gay people adopting a hard concept to accept and I’m sure that all this publicity has gone a long way in helping people to understand and addressing their misconceptions with reality, statistics and facts, rather than just their old fashioned, misinformed opinions.  Being a scientist, I quite like statistics and evidence, and it is really encouraging for me to read studies about gay parents being as good as, if not better than heterosexual couples.  I think I’ve said before that I would never presume to be a better parent because of my sexuality, but I guess gay people can’t accidently get pregnant, so the children in their care are 100% wanted, which would mean statistically there would be less issues.  That’s the way I see it anyway!

The doors go in on our extension this week.  The plastering has been done and it’s starting to look more like a house than a building site which is nice.  I’m so looking forward to getting home and sorting out my kitchen.  I love cooking and baking and it’s going to be really wonderful to have somewhere to store all our kitchen gadgets and things.  So exciting!  I wonder how many months of macaroon making there will be before it’s nothing but tray bakes and flapjacks!
Right...I need to get on with some school work.

I hope you are all well.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Decisions, decisions!

Hello folks,

Well nothing is standing still round here at the moment.  We had another social worker visit yesterday so that's the fourth visit of our home study.  Our social worker thinks we may only need two more and she will have all the information she needs to complete our form.  Crazy!  So we have another two meetings booked in at the beginning of March which means we have a couple of weeks to calm down a little bit.

We went a bit crazy on Saturday.  Firstly we went to see our house which was just looking fantastic.  The wooden cladding (which is the sort of designed element of it) around where the glass doors will go has gone up and they are plastering it this week.  The glass doors won't be in for a couple of weeks but it's really starting to take shape.  I'm definitely looking forward to getting home now.  It's getting a bit stressful, looking after someone's house/post etc. etc. for them.  It will be nice to be home and have all our things around us again.  I'm not a hugely materialistic person but there really is no place quite like home!  After visiting our house we were incredibly excited, and also still buzzing from the visit on Friday so we went to Ikea to plan our family furniture and get more excited about children's things.  It's weird because we don't know if we will need a cot or a bed so we can't buy anything like that but we didn't really go to buy anything anyway, just to get excited, not that we needed to make ourselves more excited.

Then the visit on Monday was really nice.  We're quite relaxed now when we are talking to our social worker and we all have quite a laugh.  I came out with a real clanger!  I was trying to say that I was out at school, and all the staff knew but the children don't, but what I actually said was; "I'm not actively gay with the kids!" I mean, really! "I'm not actively gay with the kids..!" What a bloody ludicrous sentence!  We all had a good chuckle about that and told her not to write that one down!  Then we talked about how we got together, what we felt it would be like being two mums, how we would help the child to be resilient etc.  It was really fun.

We met up with two really good friends of ours last night.  They are just about to embark on a self build project about 15 minutes drive from our house with the intention that it will be a jolly family home filled with babies.  It's exciting to think that in a few years time instead of meeting them for a curry in the evening we will probably all meet up at the zoo etc.

I think I've said the word exciting too many times in this get the idea though...we're quite excited!

Oh yes, which reminds me.  The reason I have allowed myself to throw caution to the wind and unleash the full force of my massive excitement is because we have made a decision about the adoption leave.  Because I'm the one who is looking forward to doing all the jolly middle class mummying activities like baby rhyme time and 'music with mummy', we have decided that I'll take the year, and then I'll go back to work and my partner will go part time.  Because I realised that I was really worried about missing out on being a full time Mum, which is something I've always imagined I will do and have hugely looked forward to.  My partner is happy, so it seems to make sense as she's not really too bothered about the sort of "trappings" of being a Mum, but more about the actual parenting.  We were quite wary of calling it "mummying" as that sounds like we are being really un-PC and the social worker didn't know what to call it in the paperwork, but I mean all the jolly meeting up with other mums and dads social activities - I'm relishing the prospect!

It's all just so exciting!  We're going to be mummies! x

Saturday, 11 February 2012

The L Project "It does get better"


I'm not usually a fan of this sort of thing as it can be a bit poorly produced, but this video and song is well put together and has a powerful message but is still quite listenable.

And LGBT bullying is just so bloody awful.  Thought I should share.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Seriously excited today!

Hello folks,

we just had the visit from our social worker to discuss my partner's childhood experience but she started by talking to us about what sort of child/children we are hoping to adopt.  Why did she start with that?!  Because people are ALREADY asking about what adopters are coming through the system.  Crazy!  And because we live out of the city, we're more desirable as they have lots of adopters within the city, and children from the city can't be placed with them as they need to be placed further away.  I hope that makes sense.  But having previously said that we were looking at panel in July/August, they are now saying May/June.  I mean...we shall see...but it certainly seems like they want to move forward with us because there are squiffles out there who need homes, and we have quite a good one for them.  It's beyond exciting, but it makes us really need to think more about things like adoption leave: who is going to take it etc. etc. Big decisions!

So we were talking about what sort of children we would be happy to accept.  We actually said today (and I agreed) that we could be approved for 1 or 2 kids.  Currently I've been thinking 1 and my other half has been saying 2.  I've conceded that we wouldn't mind two if they were very close in age.  I'm not sure I could cope with a one year old who isn't sleeping combined with a four year old dealing with loss and grief.  So then she suggested twins (!!!).  How hilarious would that be?!  After our best friends had twins in October, if we were placed with twins it would be really weird.  And also bloody hard work.  But then, I'm not sure I could face going through this process again so...who knows.  We are still undecided.

We talked about the fact that we would be prepared to accept a child with a level of disability.  Our main caviat to that is that we want them to have a reasonable expectation of an independent adult life.  Not because we'll want to get rid of them (!) but because for me, that's what parenting is all about; nurturing your children so they grow and develop and are eventually ready to be an independent, functioning part of society.  That's something which is important to me.

So it was a very exciting visit, full of things to think about.  Our social worker is so lovely and fills us with confidence.  She is so great.  She seems really genuinely interested in our lives, even all the little bits and bobs and is fantastic at helping us to interpret how the experiences in our lives have shaped who we are, and what influence this might have on our parenting.  I really do feel that we are so lucky to have been given such a wonderful social's great!

I'm so thrilled that we are going to be young (ish) parents.  I feel so priveleged to be entrusted with the welfare of a little person or two and I take the whole thing very seriously.  My imagination is running wild currently with what sort of child will be placed with us, what they will be like, will it be a boy or a girl etc. etc.  and thinking about all the things we will do with them.

So happy, happy times!

Oh, yes, and it's half term!  Wooo!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Mrs Bloggins

So...the whimsical title for today's post is a tenuous Postman Pat reference.  L and I have been hibernating under duvets away from the snow and discussing such important things as which wall stickers we might like for our child's bedroom.  Never mind that we have no idea of the sex/age of said child, we have had a jolly old morning of rose tinted spectacly talking about our childhoods, looking at baby toys and talking about room decor.  We have decided that we would rather not use too much branded stuff...I'm rather fond of 60s and 70s designs and patterns but most wall sticker companys sell a huge amount of hideous branded monstrosities and we had a bit of trouble finding what we were after. If anyone knows of a company which sells cool children's stuff please let me know so I can bear it in mind in the distant future.

We have been told that our new kitchen should go in at the beginning of March which means that with a bit of luck we might get home earlier than we thought. I feel slightly nervous seeing those words written in print, especially given the inches of snow outside, but there we are...I've said it now!

We spent a few hours yesterday filling out lots of paperwork for our social worker:
- Our chronologies from birth to now, including any changes in our lives.
- Our pet questionnaire: how dangerous are our two cats and where do they poo
- What we learned from the preparation sessions: lots and lots but probably not nearly enough to prepare us!
- Our financial report: how much we earn and how much we spend.  Luckily I has already made a colour coded spreadsheet about this for planning how we will manage with one of us on adoption leave etc so I just copied and pasted.

My Mum and Dad came for an incredibly short visit yesterday and left early because they were worried about the snow (good call on all accounts).  They brought some of my Grandma's things with them including her engagement ring which I'm going to have resized and wear it every day.  It will be really nice to have a reminder of her with me at all times, because I think she had a big influence on my outlook on life - keeping positive etc. and looking at that on my hand will remind me of her and help me keep cheerful and strong. 

The adoption really getting going, combined with thinking about my Grandma, combined with it almost being half term means that I'm feeling a little bit wobblier than normal.  My brother is getting married next Summer and it's crazy to think that by then we could have a little person with us...thinking about things like that makes me hugely excited but also slightly overwhelmed!  We are still trying to work out which one of us will take the adoption leave; there are a few things that need to be finalised with my job before we can make a firm decision.  Once we know more and we can start to make firm plans I think I will feel a bit better.  Also once we are back in our own home I think that will make me feel more settled.  I don't know how other people decide who will take the adoption leave.  Our motivation is partly financial, and partly based on the fact that because I'm a teacher I get long holidays anyway so it makes more sense for L to take it but then she earns more than me so it's tricky!

Sorry if this blog is a little muddled.  I think my brain is a little fuzzy and muddled currently! I'm looking forward to my week off.  Phew!