Saturday, 23 June 2012
So now I am finally going mad. Everyone said it would happen but we are not really sleeping well and everything sets us off. We just bought the Mommy, Mama an me book and that was such a bad idea. It's lovely and sent my emotions all over the plan. I can't remember if I said but we have decided to call ourselves Mummy and Mama. I'm Mummy and my other half is Mama. Last week we started trying to make our intro video a little bit. With the windows movie making package we can put music in the background. It's pretty cool. We chose "all about you" by McFly essentially because I have the musical interests of a teenage girl and also because it's quite jolly and seemed to be sending the right message! So we just played with that really and it was quite fun but we can't make it properly until we know names and ages. I think a video is quite a good idea in case the foster carer isn't great and won't read their intro book very much. We think we are going to make board books from this site: http://www.chloesmummy.co.uk/ for our intro book as then they will be very toddler friendly. It's nice because we can put the photos in the book into stills in our video so it links nicely together. We joined adoption uk this week as we thought we probably need as much support as possible! We are looking to start a local group of new family social as all of our nearest ones are actually very far away and just not realistic with two tiny people. Only a week and a bit left of school. It's such a relief as I'm so tired I feel very fuzzy headed at the moment. Luckily it's just a few serious lessons of A level and then mostly jolly fun stuff which isn't too arduous. I just wish I knew whether I was going back in September. It's so strange this not knowing. Or maybe I will just go back for a few weeks. Who knows?! I can't decide if we were being hopelessly optimistic thinking it would happen for us this summer or if it still will. We haven't heard from our new social worker yet. Hopefully we will next week. It's been a week of hopefully and nervously checking my phone but not finding anything. And everyone at school is so sweet and always asking how things are going. I told school it was likely it could be the summer, so they could be prepared but now I'm less sure, so I feel a bit silly. Eurgh! Sigh, it's all just so emotionally draining! Anyway, take care and I will keep you all posted! X
Wednesday, 13 June 2012
So...we did it! It was a nerve wracking panel with some quite tricky questions. Not wishing to blow my own trumpet but our social worker said that one of the panel said that he wished he lived with us, and that we were one of the best sets of adopters they had had through in ages! Hurrah! We are excited but totally pooped now! So for those of you who are interested here is a summary of the questions and our answers: You said in your report that you have not really faced prejudice in the past, how will you deal with prejudice when you face it in the future, especially with a child? I said that I would do what I do at school when the children make unfounded and bizarre comments and question why they thought that. That usually works quite well. We also said that we are just normal people who happen to be lesbians and this wouldn't change...and that's why we haven't faced prejudice in the past. Because when people meet us they realise that we are not evil demons but just normal, nice people, and one of our friends said that we turned her homophobic father into a gay loving open minded person! Hurrah! How will you deal with it if your child is bullied for having two mums? We said we would try and bring them up to be resilient so that they would know that if they were bullied then the bullies were at fault and not them. We also said that we would contact the school if we needed to. We would encourage our children to talk to us and we might rehearse what they would say to someone who asked them a question about having two mummies. We said that it is normal for children to ask questions and be curious and that's ok and we gave the example of someone we has met through NfS whose son said "my birth mum wasn't very good at being a mum so now I have two brilliant dads." You are very calm people so how would you cope with an aggressive or violent child. You have said that this is not something you will consider but it could develop. I said that we would not be afraid to seek expert help if we needed it, that sometimes that is the way forward. I said that it would be very hard but we would have to persevere. L said that we would try and find out why the child was so angry and sort out the cause of the behaviour. You said that you would be unable to support a child with an existing faith. We said that we were open minded about religion and will support our child in exploring religion. We have lots of religious friends. But we could not support a child who was expecting us to go to church with them every Sunday as we felt this was hypocritical of us. But that we are open minded about religion and want to teach our child about different faiths and religious celebrations. J, I was pleased to see that you didn't rebel as a teenager. How would you cope if you had a teenager who came home with a shaved head and a tattoo? I said that I worked with teenagers every day and I felt that treating them like adults, calmly but with clear consequences, worked very well indeed. I said that I thought there were worse things they could do than shave their head, although it might be quite embarrassing when we go shopping! We said that they need to express themselves and if that's the way they choose to do it, that's OK. We wouldn't scream and shout but would let them know that they are safe and loved and that it would be hard but we would do our best. Sometimes teenagers behave very differently at home and at school. I said that yes, in my experience they do, but that in my experience in the boarding house I had learned to deal with both sides. I also said that we had talked a lot about our children being teenagers because of the adoption process. Much more than most parents. We felt overwhelmingly that we want our children to feel safe and like they can talk to us and would try to keep calm and not engage in power struggles with them. You seem like very calm and nurturing people, how will you cope if you are rejected by your child? I said that it would clearly be really hard and we would find it difficult and from talking to other adopters it seems to be quite common. We would do our best and keep trying but not smother them, make sure we were meeting their needs and keeping them safe, and then let them come to us. We said that we would support each other and do our best but that it would be a very difficult time. Our social worker then said that she thought we would be very good at finding creative ways to engage, nurture and build attachment. How would you cope if they used food as a power struggle, for example refusing to eat. I said we were going to get them to engage with cooking and preparing food from an early age but if they are using food as a power struggle the best thing to do is not to engage in it and make it an issue. So that's it. Done! Now we just have to wait for a call and then we will know more! What an experience. We gave our social worker a little hamper of homemade cakes and biscuits and she gave us a big hug. We were so lucky with our social worker and will miss her loads! We are going to keep her posted and send her photos etc. And I will keep you lot posted too! We did it! X
Friday, 8 June 2012
It's only 5 days until our approval panel now and we are excited and nervous. Because we have been to a panel before to become approved foster carers, I think we are not too nervous about the actual panel itself, I am more nervous about what comes next! I think I'm more nervous about the panel than I think I am as I'm not really sleeping too well at the moment. With the jubilee, half term has gone by in a flash and now it's only 3 1/2 weeks until the summer holidays. We have sort of been told loosely that things are likely to happen over the summer but we're trying to remain sensible and guarded but it's kind of unrealistic for us. We painted the second bedroom over the jubilee weekend so it's ready now, it just needs cheerful soft furnishings and a bed/ cot and I have some hot air balloon wall stickers that I'm ready to buy when we know more. I just hope we are allocated our new social worker soon after panel and we start to find out what's going on as it's the not knowing I find the most difficult. I have been doing some shopping and things lately in a slightly mad way as I know that when I'm not working I will probably feel guilty about buying things for myself. So I've had a mini splurge on nice classic things that hopefully will last for a bit. Some of my friends think I'm a bit mad because they will obviously get covered in food/paint/poop but it's helped me a bit and I sort of think that's what matters! We are looking into getting a bigger car too. Our car is only just big enough to fit a double buggy in the back so we are thinking we should upgrade to a more sensible and mumsy number! Everything we do at the moment makes me feel a bit mad and excited. We have well and truly fallen off the edge now. Hopefully once we are linked and matched it will get better as we will have more of a focus rather than blindly trying to prepare for...we don't quite know what! So in five days time we will know whether we are approved adopters and, from what we have been told, things could start to happen any minute after that. The manager of the adoption agency seems to be very proactive and switched on so let's hope things move quickly for us as it would be so wonderful to be able to do all this stuff in the summer holidays rather than panicking in the autumn term, which is always a bit of a busy old nightmare anyway. So there we are. I'm not sleeping terribly well so sorry if that doesn't all make sense. Some of the lovely people from our adoption training course are coming for tea tomorrow so that will be nice. It's been really good because I've spent the whole day baking! We're making a hamper of homemade things as a thank you to our social worker as we will be moving to a different one after Wednesday so I have spent the day making vanilla fudge, malteaser cake and shortbread! Very fun. The malteaser cake is delicious. http://mirandagorebrowne.typepad.com/beautiful-baking/2012/02/mirandas-malteser-cake-a-perfect-cake-to-make-with-the-children-or-to-enjoy-when-you-need-a-taste-of-home-for.html If anyone is interested. Right...definitely time for bed. Take care, everyone.