It’s been quiet hasn’t it? Sorry about that! It doesn’t mean things haven’t been happening – we’ve just been having our weekly 3.5 hour meetings with our social worker covering a million and one things. Rather than email an update every week and subject you to the same mundane chat we have to go through – I thought I’d just treat you to the edited highlights.
In total there are 8 meetings with the SW, each lasting between 3 and 4 hours (the equivalent of 2 cups of tea and three wees) There is usually homework we’ve to complete which I do immediately and then spend 5 days nagging husband to do his. We also have to embark on a mammoth speed clean either the night before or morning of – I’m sure you don’t think it would make much difference but we never know which rooms she’ll want to look in and also lets be honest, she’s judging our ability to parent and we feel better about this if the house is clean and tidy.
Last week we were mid shouting match about something when the doorbell rang and we answered with smiles of pure joy – nothing if not authentic!
She gets settled and then cranks up the wheels of her wordprocessor (we’d call them laptops but not sure the Council have got there yet) and the meeting commences. Its hard to really go into the detail of what we discuss, its pretty personal and its pretty deep. Its also pretty helpful in getting us to think about what parenting an adoptive child will be like. There are differences and its good to be able to talk about these with an expert.
There are some funny moments amongst the madness.
SW loves husband and so he gets nearly all the airtime. He likes to pontificate and discuss and debate and reflect. I give an answer and hope she’ll leave soon. For 2.5 hours I allow him this. For the final 30 minutes I actually get quite grumpy about it. I’ve tried kicking him under the table, nodding a lot to demonstrate we got the point, widening my eyes in a none verbal way of saying please please shut up and then when all else fails I just say outloud please may I speak!
We over egg the ‘I read this’ or ‘I reflected on this’ she’s not seen through it yet but we give each other a smile when we do it – we know we read or reflected just that morning whilst running round cleaning!
We promised that the cat didn’t go upstairs and wasn’t an issue. In order to get around these blatant fibs we feed it as soon as the doorbell goes and then lock her outside. However, now she’s taken to sitting on the windowsill outside where we sit and demanding to be let in. I let her in, she goes straight upstairs. Then I need to wait long enough so it doesn’t look odd before I go for a wee and shut the room door that it has decided to curl up in. If I don’t do this before SW needs the loo we’re in trouble. Cat roulette
She encouraged us to visit the nursey we’d want to send our child to – I got the time wrong, we were an hour late and we actually have no children. Awks.
Every week without fail the parcel delivery services of the world conspire against me and deliver an Amazon or ASOS parcel as we’re sat mid meeting. She actually arrived today and asked what time it was coming – oh how we laughed (and then I said between 10.30 and 11.30.)
In the last three sessions we’ve covered support network, motivation to adopt (here we had to go through both failed IVFs and it was such a hard emotional session) past boyfriends, diversity, our religious beliefs, what we’ve learnt through the process, how we will support each other, the experience we have of children, the lifestyle we lead and how we will change this to have children, how we celebrate special occasions (she wasn’t sure about my month long approach to birthdays) our approaches to parenting, the differences we see in adoptive parenting, what we understand about child brain development, how we feel about contact with birth parents, how we will talk about the fact the child is adopted, how we will deal with a child who has been neglected or abused.
My reflection today is we started off wanting a child to complete us and our family and as you get further down the route you realise its much bigger than that. Its not just about being able to be mummy and daddy to someone, its about helping that child have the best life possible when it hasn’t had a good start in life and some of the impact of that life will be known and some of it will be unknown. I’m starting to feel much more confident about the fact we’ll be a little bit different.
There’s one more session left. I don’t think any of us can wait for it to be over.