Adoption and Fostering > Adoption Diaries

Pursuing our dream

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So, a little about me. My signature sums up our treatment but we've considered adoption as a way to have a family since the first failed cycle. We watched the programme (BBC?) on adoption parties & later the Andrew Castle programme on ITV. I've been reading diaries & blogs for the last 18 months or so. They've been both a comfort & a terrifying prospect (probably in equal measure!!).
We are booked in for a home visit on Wednesday, having been to open evenings for 2 LAs. I suspect the LA we're in (visiting Wednesday) would like us to wait longer than we have so am prepared for that to be said. They do say it's a 6 month wait, and it's 6 months since we did the last test - though the subsequent miscarriage dragged out a further 6 weeks.
We cleared the house like mad last weekend & there'll be more of the same this weekend together with some targeted cleaning. We're very fortunate insofar as we have a 5 bed house so there's no way we don't have the room, but I still worry about where to hide the 'stuff'!!
We have also been on a proper reading mission.
I downloaded a few things from amazon & started with Sally Donovan's No Matter What - which I'm relieved to have since read shouldn't be your first book!!! It did scare me & threw up a specific issue for me (will come to it!) & I nagged OH into reading it also. He's given up on it - it kept him awake one night. The issue of dealing with parental death isn't one he likes to consider (does anyone?), but he said he was agreeing to take in some children/a child and provide a loving home whole he felt the book paints only the negative & he felt it was likening the experience to having rabid wolves enter your home!
He's eager to read about the balance & has been better with the more scientific book on what attachment disorder and the like is. I'd like him to open his eyes a bit more to the range of real life/living with problems!

What struck me - I'm a teacher - is a) how I teach & b) the potential issues of sending a lo to school and the issues he/she may face. Put bluntly, I know that there are particular students I teach who have particular conditions & advice is issued on how to best deal with these students - but I know that the real situation for me is not dealing one on one with said student, but managing a behaviour alongside 20+ other students. I'm not alone in that either, I just mean that we are only human and when you are having one (or more!) students cause a distraction you can lose your cool. I teach 11-18 & am in a challenging school in my defence &  I know that I can be very black and white too. I don't know, I've just become very self aware & reflective - it's not news to me but in the days of assuming I'd have children naturally school issues/learning difficulties weren't something I'd ever considered. Thanks to 'No Matter What' I've developed a real bee in my bonnet about it! I can also see the spin side, that as a teacher I am well placed to know what schools could/should offer & in my experience schools will jump all kinds of hoops if the parent shows a bit of knowledge.
If there are any teachers who've adopted who are reading this who can tell me if this is a normal reaction then please reassure me!!
Anyway, home visit Wednesday....

Hi just thought I'd pop on to wish you good luck & hope Wednesday goes well. Adoption for us has been the most wonderful thing we have done so I hope your journey brings you happiness too.

I'm not a teacher so can't help there but it sounds like you have been doing lots of research & are preparing yourselves. On the house tidy/clean front try not to go overboard & panic about it (easier said than done I know) but social workers will want to imagine a child in your home & if it's too tidy etc then it'll be difficult for them to understand how you would cope with the mess & 'stuff' that comes with a child (and completely takes over the whole house!!)

All the very best  :)

Hi Helen,

I'm sorry to read about your losses and wish you well for your meeting on Wednesday.

Regarding schooling, I think the ability to basically select the school you want for adopted children now really helps because of course you are right that for a teacher with a class of 30 managing behaviour does have to be the priority in a lot of situations. 

I have two children, the oldest of whom is currently in pre-school and due to start school in September, the younger will be starting pre-school probably in the summer term.  I did a lot of research and visited all but one of my local primary schools (we have 9 in our town to my utter amazement, of which 5 have pre-schools) and spoke to their special educational needs coordinators before making a decision on school selection.  The school I have picked is not the school I would have selected had I had biological children with no suspected additional needs.  The school on my local estate has a much smaller and "nicer" catchment area and great OFSTED reports and results.  However they have very little experience of dealing with children with additional needs and they also don't have a pre-school, so it would have been one pre-school then a change for school, which is a massive consideration for my daughter.  The school I've picked for pre-school has so far lived up to what I'd hoped and been incredibly supportive of my daughter and of me, and I have made an application to the infant school which we have already had a lot of involvement with.  They have a good academic record but they do have a wider catchment area which would probably have made me think otherwise but it also gives them a lot of experience of dealing with kids who have issues and that has been apparent from the start.  The SEN support is fantastic, they have nurture play areas and a high staff to child ratio through teaching assistants, and they are really open to individual needs of children.

I'm not sure that answers you question as a teacher, but as an adopter, I think being a teacher would help you to find the best school and push for the best support possible for your kids.

I agree about the house tidying by the way.  Make sure the rooms are accessible, and definitely clean, but too tidy can raise eyebrows about how you'll cope with child related mess.  Five bedrooms sounds awesome.  We have three, and with two kids I'm running out of places to shove the stuff I don't have time to sort through.  I want a room I can just throw stuff in then force the door shut and forget about it!  I want a room I can throw a child into and know they will come to no harm and destroy nothing valuable too.  If I had a spare bedroom, that's what it would be!

I look forward to hearing about how the meeting goes.

All the best,

Wyxie xx

Thank you for your replies - I've been reading your journeys!
Re the house. We moved in last April (from number 14 to 18, so no change of neighbourhood!), and still had a room piled with boxes. Last weekend was basically a weekend of tidying away & going to the tip!
Also a sort through underwear drawers (again a textiles bag for the tip !!), to make sure that they can be closed instead of left half open!!
I don't think I'll ever be accused of living in a show home, my default position though is 'utter tip' so must up my game to make it more if a 'lived in house' look!

Wyxie, your schooling comments have been useful. I was anxious that I didn't come across as an intolerant teacher, I try to get it right but on the wrong day, when certain buttons are pressed I get it wrong. I do try to make it up/wipe the slate clean when the occasion arises. I also hear a lot of horror stories, make CP referrals (& quite frankly look at some kids & wonder what they're still doing with their parents!!!).
I had this conversation with OH last night; I think maybe I'm feeling a little overwhelmed... I put it to him that I'd been reflecting on how I can be with kids (whereas I know I'm an entirely different person with my nieces!), how I am very much focussed on action/consequence (because the other 20+ kids in a class want to know what's going to happen to X given what they've done/said), that I can be quite inflexible. He said that's where he comes in, that he can be a little more flexible & between us we're a good team - which was reassuring enough & I'm glad he said the right thing!

Eeeek. It's tonight...
The house is clean and tidier (without looking like a showroom).
I have, naturally, got myself a little anxious. It is 6 months since treatment ended, although not yet 5 since the miscarriage. We knew from the first scan that this wasn't a viable pregnancy, things did drag for sometime though in the pregnancy that lacked a baby...


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