Over the last month or so we’ve attended many final sessions of one thing or another before our panel date and this week was no different, as we went on our third and final preparation day.
This was a much bigger group than our first two prep days which meant there was a bigger disparity between where we all were in the adoption process. Some were right at the start of stage two with others going to panel in the next few weeks – strangely enough two other couples had the same panel date as us. I couldn’t help think of them as our competition but thankfully all three of us are looking for different types of children.
Also unlike last time, there were two other gay couples, which were the first we’d met during all our sessions at the agency. It was great to chat about their experiences and hear the answers to questions we’d been thinking about.
We were told at the start of the day that the focus would be fact-giving so we knew what to expect once panel was over. And they weren’t wrong – we were bombarded with topics that included…
The process of matching & introductions – this had all been explained to us right at the start but as it’s now an imminent possibility it was really helpful to be reminded of what to expect, get top tips on handling it all, and know what is expected of us.
Contact – we talked through the different types of contact that exist and what’s expected of us. This was spoken about in a really positive way and we both feel very strongly that contact is something we want to happen if it’s appropriate for our children.
The internet – how we need to keep children safe online. Much of this was covered in a training session I attended a few weeks ago which I shall be writing more about in a future blog.
And a general round-up of information we may need to think about.
Amazingly I didn’t come away with a huge book list so I may be able to get back to a novel or two before I’m too exhausted to read when the kids arrive.
Both social workers were great and unlike every social worker we’ve met to date were really keen on us feeling positive about what’s to come. Yes, we’re going to adopt children with trauma, and yes there may be times of complete chaos. But - and it’s a big but - we are going to have our own children, something we’ve yearned for, and there are going to be as many wonderful moments in the coming years as bad ones.
As always my social secretary side came out and I organised for us to share our email addresses so we can get in touch in the future.
We left feeling energised, positive and excited about the next few months as we hopefully go from prospective adopters to approved adopters to parents.
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...