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Ciacox's adventure

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ciacox:
Feels exciting to be starting this diary and imagining where it might end up.

I've been on the FF forum for a while and got loads of support here while my partner and I went through ICSI. We had our final unsuccessful treatment in March this year. Feeling very glad not to still be stuck on that horrendous rollercoaster and delighted to be queuing up for a new ride. Here's hoping this one takes me somewhere happier!

Some stats: I'm 35 and my DP is 40. We've recently relocated from the South East to the North West and are currently settling into new jobs and house hunting.

I've not been on the forum much over the last few months as I just wanted a bit of time not to be in the midst of everything. Since then we've moved to a new city, started new jobs and are now getting ready to jump into the world of adoption. Went to an open evening on Tuesday and was sad (selfishly sad of course - delighted for the children) but not surprised to find that our local authority does not currently have many children requiring adoption and has quite a few prospective adopters waiting. Apparently all our neighbouring local authorities are not recruiting at all and we will only be accepted into this one if we will consider adopting an older child or a sibling group or a child with a disability. This is painful news for us as we - like most prospective adopters I guess - had imagined ourselves adopting a single child under 2. But a part of me feels very calm and accepting. Our child is finding his or her way to us and I've learnt by now that this is not something I can control. So a little daunted but not put off.

We're hoping to have an initial visit from a SW in the next few weeks. In the meantime we'll check whether it really is true that other LAs are not recruiting and will have a look at some VAs too. I can't help thinking, though, that if there are relatively few children in the adoption process at the moment, the LAs will be better placed than the VAs to make placements.

Good news is that the LA were fine when we said we are planning to move house next year. They said it wouldn't delay us getting started in the process but might delay approval if we had not moved in somewhere by that point.

Another worry that we haven't broached yet is our lack of local support network. We're new to the area and whilst we're beginning to make friends, our closest friends and family are down south (we moved for jobs and because we could never have afforded a family home in London). They're far away but very supportive so I'm hoping that'll count for something.

Sq9:
Good luck with your journey.  ^hugme^ ^hugme^
It is worth doing research on other la's to make sure this one is the best for you. there has been a reduction in the number of children under 2 mainly because of changes to case law.  We had a long 10 month wait but our 11 month little pink is currently snoring her head off upstairs and she was so worth the wait  ^cloud9^. She was 6 and a half months when we found out about her and 9 months when we brought her home.  We struggled with whether to increase our age range as we were looking at as young as possible, but had always felt that was the right age range for us so we were reluctant to change and I'm so glad we stuck to our guns as little pink is just perfect for us. :)  If a younger child is what is best for you, don't be put off by statistics and being told of long waits as things are changing all the time.  By the time you are approved, who knows how many children there will be as it is something that nobody can predict. As you progress through home study your views on age may change, or they may not, but try not to worry at this stage about what children are waiting now.
Good luck  ^hugme^

ciacox:
Thanks Sq9. I talked to a neighbouring LA today and - contrary to what we were told by our LA - they are still recruiting and have never stopped. So we're lining up at least two initial visits for the new year. Neighbouring LA did seem a bit more concerned about the house move but recommended that (should we go ahead with them) we get through stage 1 and then if necessary take a break to settle into new house before starting stage 2. Beginning to feel a bit real now. Not sure how we'll be able to decide between LAs but hopefully that'll be a bit clearer once we've had initial visits.

ciacox:
So we've had a number of phonecalls with LAs now. One initial visit is set up for the new year, and we've sent off a form to another LA which should mean they call us to arrange a visit. Have decided against the local authority where I work as I decided that the chance I may encounter through work families with children going through the adoption process would make things complicated. Of the two coming to see us one is the LA in which we live. Have some worries about them as they've been pretty disorganised on the phone and also because I know we risk putting ourselves out of the running for some of the children they have because we may live too near the birth families. But this LA is the only city one - all the others are rural and it's just hard to imagine they have a lot of children needing to be placed. The first of many many decisions and stresses!

I've been reflecting the last few days on how far I've healed from the fertility treatment nightmare. It's about 9 months since our last treatment and I do feel so much better now. Only a few months ago I was still getting regularly side swiped by the grief of it all. It's not that I'm no longer sad but I do feel I'm ready to move on. We're just back from visiting some friends and their new baby and I didn't even cry on the way home! When I cuddle tiny ones now, instead of feeling the pain that I will never have that with mine I find myself thinking I must enjoy it especially for that reason. And I really feel I have something to look forward to now. I'm ready for the hard slog and the needing to be patient. I know it will be difficult but I have faith there will be a family at the end of it. (Think I'll have to manage the expectations of family who all seem to have got it into their heads there will be a child next Christmas...)

An interesting discussion that's come up for us recently is how we will manage the adoption leave. With the new law coming in in April we will be able to share it and have discussed doing 6 months each. If that wouldn't be too disruptive for the child, I'd love this idea. What we can't agree on is who would take the leave first. For practical reasons, it might make more sense for my partner to take the first half. But I hate this idea. Completely selfishly I want it to be me. I've always imagined it that way. I'm aware this is sexist and it's totally fine for him to want this too. I guess for all the time we were trying to get pregnant i pictured my maternity leave and now feeling that I won't have the equivalent first months of adoption leave feels like another loss. Not sure how demanding I can or should be. Hopefully time will iron out this one for us.

ciacox:
Just had a 2 hour visit from a social worker at a neighbouring LA. Overall positive. None of my fears were realised which is always a good start. He didn't say that there is a huge wait and that they are only looking for prospective adopters for children in hard to place categories. In fact, he said they have recently re-opened recruitment for all prospective adopters and that they don't have any prospective adopters at the moment who have been waiting a long time. He also wasn't massively worried about the fact that we're fairly new in town and don't have family around. And he didn't say an outright no to us starting stage 1 before we've moved house. He's going to discuss with the team a possibility of us starting Stage 1 now and having a break between Stage 1 and 2 if things getting tricky when it comes to moving. He told us lots of stuff I already knew (because we've been to a few open evenings and because I spend a lot of tme reading everyone's stories here) but it was good to have it all spelt out. very importantly for me, my partner felt really positive. He felt that this was a guy we could connect to and since he'd be the one for at least Stage 1 that seemed like a good start. Still a few more phonecalls to make but we both feel like we might have made our first decision of the new adventure! (the registration of interest we sent to our local authority has been lost in he post - perhaps that's a sign!)

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