Saturday, 19 May 2012

We've received our PAR

Hello again, I said I would post about the PAR, so here are my thoughts. Our social worker did not disappoint us.  She always asked questions and seemed like she just "got" us really well and was also a very switched on and intuitive person and this certainly comes across on the PAR. I shed quite a few tears when I read it.  It's a great way to make you realise how lucky you are, how much support you have and evidence for why your relationship is strong and has lasted.  We changed a few minor details, or a couple of bits where we weren't sure it sounded quite as it was meant to on paper, but mostly all 43 pages were accurate and perceptive.   For those of you who haven't seen one before it starts with each of your childhood experiences: parenting, education etc. and then moves on to specific sections like religion, how we will cope with a change of routine etc etc.  She used lots of quotes from our meetings and also quotes that we had sent ourselves anyway so it felt like a very personal and appropriate document. Our new sofa arrived this week.  Amazing how a thing like a sofa can make you emotional but it's a big family sofa which we will all be able to cuddle up on and it's making us feel funny! Our social worker is coming today for us to sign off all the paperwork and then it's panel in just over 3 weeks.  Wow.  Can you believe it?  Really, this bit has been very fast... I have no complaints about the time scale so far! I can't remember what I said in my last post about two children, but it seems like they are hoping we will have two.  This is stressful as we have to sort out the second bedroom, but we can't properly do it until we know.  I have sated the crazily organised part of my personality by making a list of things to panic buy when we are definitely matched!  There's not too much to do but I was "ready" (as I'll ever be!) for one and two seems like it will be wonderful but challenging! I spent last weekend with my lovely friend and her two gorgeous twins.  I had a wonderful time playing with them and cuddling them.  They are slightly stranger aware and treated me with appropriate suspicion (they are 7 months old) but they sort of got over it and let me have lots of cuddles! My friend is doing so well.  I can see that she is pretty pooped but she applies a very organised approach with lots of routine and I think that helps preserve her sanity as well as the babies.  At least our two won't be in the same room waking each other up constantly! So all in all it's been a good week.  We are both rather emotional but managing! This weekend we haven't done too much.  We have just been enjoying the new house which is something we needed to do really.  We also went to the cinema...we're trying to do things like that that we won't be able to do in not too long.   Or it might be too long!  It's still horrible not knowing!  I don't know if I'll go back to school in September and that's just so weird!  Just have to try not to think about it! Take care, everyone!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Getting a bit carried away

Somehow our assessment process is complete; I thought it would sort of go on indefinitely and had got used to being “prospective adopters” but now it sounds like we’re not going to be “prospective adopters” for very long at all.  We had our final social worker visit on Friday and the house safety check...nothing too exciting:
  • ·         Are your chemicals in a locked cupboard?
  • ·         Are your blind cords tied up?
  • ·         Do you have socket protectors?
  • ·         Do you have a pond?
And our lovely social worker is going to email us our PAR next week for us to read through and check.  Our friends who are approved adopters came round for dinner on Saturday and were really emphatic about how important the PAR is in the matching process as if you go out of county it’s the only way the other social workers get to find out about you so we are going to scrutinise it very carefully and make sure it sounds like us.  Our social worker has been so lovely and seems to know us well so I’m not expecting any huge errors or bizarre assumptions but it will be nice to have the document.  In a way it’s quite nice to have external approval from our friends, family and a social worker that we will make good parents.  I just really hope we can be.

So apart from panel in a month’s time, we’re all set...which is a bit mad really!  I’m not complaining though!  I have been very impressed with the time scale especially given what people told us and all the newspaper reports about the adoption system.

So that’s the kind of “nuts and bolts” news.  But in other (more crazy) news, our social worker told us that two sibling pair groups with both siblings under the age of 3 are coming through the system at the moment and they have already decided that we would be a good match with them and they don’t get many adopters who are approved for two.  I’ve kicked into some sort of crazy, excited, panicky, stress-filled overdrive now.  I know I shouldn’t because nothing is certain and we haven’t been approved yet etc. etc. but our social worker told me to get lots of practise dressing/bathing kids etc. etc. so I can be really speedy when we have two.  I should clarify that we’re not being pushed into this...we have always said we don’t mind one or two...but because we had an extra room built in our house, that was always going to be the nursery so we have decorated it a bit and we’re pretty much ready for one.  If we have two then we have to re-organise and decorate our current spare bedroom which doesn’t sound too stressful now I’m actually typing it, but I’m a stress-minimiser.  I manage my stress by being ultra prepared for things so I have no need to be stressed.  To be honest it’s probably not the bedroom decorating as such that’s worrying me, it’s more the fact that in potentially three months time, our household could expand from 2 to 4.  Which is wonderful, and exciting and brilliant.  But three months isn’t very long and I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to relax ever again!  Even though I should be spending lots of time relaxing because I won’t have time in three months time.

Sorry if this post is a little disordered.  It’s accurately reflecting what’s going on in my brain.  I’m unbelievably excited, but then I worry that I shouldn’t be because it could still take a long time and could not happen like she said.  But then I think it’s unlikely our social worker would have said this if she didn’t believe it as she is very kind and nice and intuitive and I don’t think she would deliberately mislead us.

So we have finally given up trying to be pragmatic and sensible and have tipped over into fully embracing this adoption and really getting ready, both physically and emotionally, for the little people (person?) who are about to enter our lives.  I was feeling pretty unsettled when I started writing this entry and it has definitely helped so thanks everyone!

My Mum and Dad are being great too...they have said that they will come down and help decorate/whatever we need.  But my Mum said to me “I think you just need to keep calm about it all until you know more” which is sound advice and easy to say, but just not happening for me!  The weirdest part is that I don’t know whether I will be going back to school in September.  I don’t know what my life will be like in a few months time.  It could be just like it is now, or there might be two children in the house and everything will be totally and irreversibly different.  It could be years before I’m a full time teacher again.  It’s just all a bit crazy.  I am just so looking forward to being a Mummy now, and it seems like everything we do, we’re having to think about the imaginary children which aren’t ours yet.  Even buying a sofa you that pattern good for sticky fingers?  Will we all fit for family cuddles?!  But then they’re not imaginary really...they’re real...they’re born and probably already in foster care, but we just don’t know who they are yet.  But I really shouldn’t go there because it will drive me even more mad.

At least with a pregnancy you get nine months notice.  With adoption it’s like you’re trying to conceive for months and months (or years) and then suddenly the gestation is 2 months!  It’s totally mad.  It seems that either you are massively self-disciplined and try not to think about it at all, and then buy everything in a great big rush, or you let them in, open your heart and prepare yourself for your new arrivals, but also guard yourself against disappointment and pain and a big long wait.

So...that’s where I am...I’m somewhere that I don’t really know where it is.  I’m excited but I’m trying not to be excited; I’m stressed, but I’m trying to keep calm and reasonable and I’ve got no idea whatsoever what the next few months hold.  But I’m in my house, I’ve got my wonderful partner, our house is ready and big enough to be a family home and yesterday we picked up our new chickens.  I think emotionally and physically we are ready, it’s just the uncertainty and lack of time scale which is the hardest bit but we’ll muddle through the next few months somehow.

I’ll try and blog again when we’ve received our PAR and let you know what we thought.

Take care everyone.