Last week we had our third assessment meeting with Denise. When we arrived I was slightly taken aback to find out that due to a booking mishap we were to have our meeting in a room at the front of the building that is sometimes used as an entrance. Thankfully we were only disturbed once but it wasn’t ideal. Tom was absolutely fine about it so I figured I should be too.
We started off with the boring stuff. Firstly, there were our employment referees which, both being self-employed, have caused all kinds of confusion. Plus, Tom worked in France for a while and I’ve worked with children on a regular basis so all those employers have had to be contacted as well. Amazingly, the French version of DBS only took a week to come through, so that was a relief. Secondly, we talked a little more about our finances. I’ve noticed as the sessions have gone on, Denise has seemed less worried about our self-employed status – I hope that’s a good sign. Thirdly, Denise gave us the obligatory warning about what we were letting ourselves in for. And asked again if we were ready. And again we told her we are.
The main topic for discussion today, however, was our relationship. Denise asked about how we met, how we dated, how our relationship developed and how we came to be in a place where we’re wanting to adopt. It was lovely reminiscing about both events that took place nearly thirteen years ago (where has the time gone?) and more recent conversations about adoption. It was funny which bits we both remembered exactly the same and which bits had altered in our minds over time.
Denise asked us about what we love and what niggles us about each other. It was relatively easy to find minor niggles – apparently I leave my shoes all over the place, Tom always seems to want to talk to me when I’m in a different room and can’t hear him, and… maybe I should stop there. But it was so difficult to put into words what I love about Tom, and he me. It’s simply something we both feel and know.
In previous meetings we talked about times of stress as individuals and this week we talked about times of stress for us as a couple, and importantly how we dealt with them.
As we started talking, Tom and I really struggled to think of any major stresses in our lives together. I was desperately trying to think of some terrible situation that we’d got through in order to prove that we could cope with stress, but there simply weren’t any. Tom then reminded me of when I left my well-paid job to become self-employed - it was worrying but also completely liberating for me. And with further prompting we thought of other instances too… When the sale of our house nearly fell through, which was infuriating, but we persevered and sorted it out. When Tom’s dad was unwell, it was really sad, but we all rallied around to make sure he got better. And when the abusive, alcoholic couple in the flat above ours flooded us after they left the bath on, we rolled our sleeves up and sorted the flat out. At the time each situation felt terrible but the important thing is that on every occasion we looked after and supported each other.
Like at the last meeting, Denise took two hours of discussion and in one line summarised our relationship perfectly. It was lovely hearing someone from the outside talk about what they saw in us together. We left feeling rather loved up and thankful for each other. And I think Denise has seen that we are able to love and support each other and our future children.
My husband and I have adopted two wonderful children. Duckling is 5 and Gosling, her little brother, is 3. I'll be keeping track of our journey here...