Monday, 28 February 2011

meeting boy-o...

We went to the adoption agency offices this morning to plan out the next couple of weeks. We had some formal stuff to go through, and promises of reports and life story book came from boy-o's social worker, but both us and his foster mum wonder whether it will actually happen. We have planned our meetings with boy-o until next Tues. Because the foster mum has other children, one of whom is having an operation next Wed, we are having a review meeting next Tues, and then will plan from that point!

Having done that this morning, this afternoon we actually meet boy-o. He started off shy, and not at all happy, but gradually he started to come round a bit. After about 20mins, he ended up looking at the book I made whilst sitting on my lap - which I have to say was a truly amazing experience, not having a little boy sitting on my lap, but the fact that this is our little son.

We built towers of stacking cups and knocked them down. He spent time emptying my handbag. He spent time with M, again sitting on his lap looking at the book, but also playing with other toys. We looked at the photo of our dog, and decided that dogs go 'woof'.

When we left boy-o said 'Good bye' and 'see you'. And it's nice to know that in the morning, we will spend more time with him.

I can't explain how happy I feel right now, and I know that I will grow to love this character, who does everything at one speed (fast) and wants to explore and investigate.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

a week gone...

I meant to update daily this past week.... I failed. But I've had a good week, seeing friends, and sharing time with them!

Tuesday involved a meal out with some dear friends from Church. They have seen me through some tough times and tears. Equally I have seen some of them through tough times!

Wednesday involved... having my feet nibbled by fish with two amazing friends. We met, we had our feet done, we had coffee, we went shopping (briefly) and we still had things to say.... and I talk to these two people regularly.
Thursday was a running around day; went to drop work off at school, and having my hair done.

Friday was spent with another selection of friends - my infertile friends, except looking at us soon, you wouldn't know that. 2 of them now have two children, and the other one has one... and soon so will I. I was spoilt, loved and looked after, plus given some lovely things for boy-o.

I've had some moments of shear panic this week. What if I can't do this, what if everything goes wrong? What if I've forgotten something major. This evening having cleaned my house, fitted the car seat, and produced a book for boy-o introducing our house, I'm calm. There is nothing I can do now, this is it. Tomorrow we meet our son!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

More details about Panel...

So yesterday saw me in a state of high nervousness. I spent the morning doing mundane, boring jobs but kept very busy. Eventually though, time passed and we went to panel.

We started off in a meeting room going through the questions and discussing with our SW, his SW and his foster mum. As our SW had a bad back, she wasn't sure she would make it and had phoned earlier in the day and spoken to her manager, who'd apparently said that panel were more than happy with the match (unusual info to have before hand). Eventually we were collected slightly late but still. We went in to see some faces that we recognised from our previous panel, which helped because we knew how some of these minds worked. We spent about 30 mins being introduced and asked questions. We showed the pictures we had prepared for boy-o, and his foster mum showed photos that she had with her of him (sadly no more photos for us!).

When we finished we headed out to the waiting area, and within a couple of mins the chair of panel followed us out to say 'congratulations, we think it's a really good match, and there are some really good reasons (which she listed but I can't remember) for it to go ahead'. And that was that.... we are going to be parents. We had to wait for our matching certificates, which allows for me to have time off and get adoption pay, but it was done, soon enough!

So the questions
What attracted you to boy-o? We talked about how we felt drawn to him when we read about him, and how everyone that we've spoken to who knows him as encourage that feeling. That he's lively, and boisterous and that it sounded like a child we could deal with. We also spoke about that gut response to him when we read his report.... I didn't say and perhaps I should have that we were ready to say no, simply because he was the first child we were given details on.

Could panel have an update with regard to boy-o's health, development and attachment? His foster mum and social worker took this one, and described his development as normal, his attachment as good (I'm waiting on this one) and his health as everything that we have been told about. Chesty when he has a cold, susceptible to infections if he cuts himself and having speech difficulties.

What did the adopters take from their meeting the with medical advisor with regard to boy-o's various health issues and uncertainties? We responded with information that we had been given, the fact that we knew before we agreed to the link that there were risks to his health, but that is all they are, risks.

How will boy-o be helped to be introduced to our dog? We talked about the fact that our dog is used to children, that although she is bouncy, she will go to her bed when told. We talked about the fact we are going to get her puppy crate out again, so that she has somewhere she feels secure.

Will we be keeping boy-o's first name? Yes, our social worker did raise the issue about the unusual nature of his name and what we had talked about in regards to that in the future. Everyone was happy with what was said, so that is positive!

How will we manage the fact that boy-o is not yet talking to help him through introductions? His foster carer actually answered this one and pointed out that although he is having difficulties with speech his understanding and communication abilities are fantastic.

Question about older siblings...

Is it planned that the adopters will meet members of the birth family? How do we feel about this? How does boy-o's birth mum feel about it? We'd discussed this at length, and feel that it would be positive for boy-o and his birthmum that this meeting happens. We also discussed meeting the two siblings that have been adopted, if their parents are happy for this. It was also mentioned meeting other birth siblings, particularly the two older ones who have been at contact with boy-o. And although yesterday was the first time this was mentioned, we agreed that it sounded like a sensible idea for boy-o and for his birth siblings.

How will the adopters help boy-o to understand his difficult life story? We answered slowly and over time. We will have a life-story book from his social worker (although I half way expect to a) have to chase this up and b) to have to re-write it anyway!). His social worker also had some input on this.

Question about older siblings...

How would I manage if she were to come across any of boy-o's siblings in future through her school? (asked by the women who deals with the agencies looked after children at my school) And I was able to confidently say, with our social worker nodding her head, that we'd talked about this when boy-o was first talked about. That there is a real possibility for some of his siblings, but that the head is compassionate and understanding and I may be able to avoid teaching them, and if not... we'll we'd talk it as it came!

Monday, 21 February 2011


Hurrah.... we're going to be parents! Now to wait to meet our son...
More details tomorrow!


I nearly didn't sign up for ICLW (go on click over to Mel's if you've no idea, I'll wait) this month. And then yesterday I was thinking, but I've a whole week of waiting to get through, perhaps I'd better.... today is the big decision day, the day that we go to panel. I'm excited (a little) and nervous (a lot) but in 4 hours time we should know the outcome.

What, I hear you ask, am I going on about.... here in the UK the adoption process is different to the US. The boy who hopefully will be our son, is presently living with foster parents, and has been for many, many months. If we get the go ahead today, all the talking and listening that we have been doing over the past couple of months will become real.... and next week we'll meet our boy-o.

I'm nh, and I teach science at high school - except I don't because if today goes well, I'm on adoption leave for the next 'x' months.... 'x' is still to be determined, and I don't have to say when I am going back to work until 8 weeks before I want to start back. I can have up to a year off, but we'll have to see how finances go. I've been married to M for a long time now, we started trying for our family nearly 9 years ago. We've been through IVF and ICSI, miscarriages and no results, and pain, grief and despair. And today we might finally be able to start talking about our family of 3!

If you are a first time visitor - welcome, have a look around. Most of the past few months have been adoption talk; but there are odd other bits in there. I'm off to find new blogs...

Saturday, 19 February 2011

leaving work... part 2

Sorry - this is long and is mostly for my memories....

The last couple of days have been bizarre. I walked into walk yesterday feeling more than a little odd. And I left feeling full of hope for the future. Thursday was saying goodbye to some very special people that I have taught for a long time. People that I watched grow in height and character from being 11 years old and nervous at starting school to truly wonderful (mostly) young adults who are ready to continue their journey on. It happens every few years that you get to teach the same children over and over again.

I taught some of these children on that horrid Friday afternoon when I started to miscarry and yet felt that I had to stay at school. I taught them through the bleakness and despair that followed, and continued to follow. But through the hope as well. They don't know that, of course, but I do. But they do know that we are adopting a little boy - they were the first students at school to know, and they were lovely about it. They are deeply upset for themselves, but so happy for me. They baked a cake, got a card which they all signed, two of them wouldn't leave my classroom yesterday, I had flowers and hugs from them. And even though I don't teach them on a Friday, they all passed through my room at least once.

Friday was strange. It started with my boss having a dig at me over going out for a meal with friends - not the whole department. I have to say the day ended at the pub - with the same friends! Friday is assembly day for my form, so there we went. My other boss (year head); came up and asked me if the pupils knew why I was leaving to which I responded that my form did... a little into the assembly after his usual weekly spiel he said 'it's a sad day today, because we have to say goodbye to Mrs ....' He spoke about the fact I was adopting a little boy, and how pleased he was for me. He then called me forward and I received a bunch of flowers which another head of year gave to me, along with threatening to sing or give me a full on snog! My year head then preceded to give an assembly about heroes and finished with the challenge to the pupils to figure out who the heroes were in the world, celebrities or people who do special things like adopt little boys. I could have cried at that point.

My first lesson was a non-contact and I spent a lot of time moving things from my classroom. I was visited by some of the year 13's, with a bunch of flowers. At break time I was given another bunch of flowers, this time from the science staff, along with a speech about how I will be missed. My year 12's presented me with a card, hugs and chocolates. My year 11's turned up with cake. And at the end of the day, the people I teach chemistry with gave me another bunch of flowers. All sorts of teachers and assistants passed through my classroom, and some came baring gifts and cards. Some just to say 'good luck'.

At the end of the day, I went to the pub for a few quiet drinks with some friends. But lots of people turned up to wish me well. I eventually left after many hugs but no tears; and came home feeling very odd. It's strange to think that I won't be going back to teach at the school for a long time. And that everyone is so happy for me. When I got home, I re-read my cards, and I cried. Because the words that have been written are so lovely and caring and cherishing. These people are the reason that I've stuck it out for so long at that school.

My life is about to change, in a way that I've dreamt of for so long. And it's good to know that so many people have my back.

Friday, 18 February 2011

leaving work...

I've left work today, to start my adoption leave (I hope and pray). So many good wishes, and so many hugs. I kept thinking I was going to burst into tears - but I did hold it together until I got home, and re-read some of the cards. Some of these people have supported me for many years and watched me cry many, many tears.

More tomorrow, today I'm going to look at the 4 bunches of flowers that I've been given, along with lots of bits for boy-o!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

an evening out...

I'm sitting here shortly before midnight on a Thursday evening with tears running down my face. Not because something bad has happened - oh no, because the unbelievable seems to be about to happen.

Earlier on this evening, as I sat chatting to Michael it suddenly occurred to me, that this evening, something amazing was happening. This evening I have been out with some colleagues from work - my friends - and we have celebrated that I am leaving work in just over a week!

I'm actually starting to believe that this will happen. That after 8 1/2 years I will actually be a Mum and M will become Dad.

I've celebrated and relaxed with some of the people who have supported me over the last few years - and some newer friends. I've celebrated with people who have stood where I have, and have had the same outcomes and have had relationships split up. I've celebrated with younger people who are still to commit to relationships. But they were all happy for us, and I have had an enjoyable evening, and spent time with some lovely people.