Adoption and Fostering > Adoption Diaries

Two imperfect people try adopting

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So how to start a diary of my adoption journey  ::) Well probably with the title '2017 will hopefully be our year' The mantra me, my OH & probably hundreds of ff have said at the end of every year in the eternal quest for parenthood.
A bit about what led us to today. Well me & my OH met a bit later in life, me 35 OH 40.  I'd previously been in a ten year relationship with somebody who didn't want children & I was happy with that until...bam my Dad died & suddenly family & having my own family became the most important thing to me.
Splitting up wasn't that hard, whilst we'd had fun clubbing, hanging out with friends etc. my priorities & needs had changed, where previously I was longing for Saturday nights now I was longing for a pregnant bump & everything else that came with it. I was very fortunate in that I met my OH six months later. What was less fortunate is he didn't really fit in with my friends, many of whom didn't accept the split between me & my previous boyfriend (we'd been a very close knit group doing everything together) & I ended up withdrawing from them.
Thankfully me & my OH just clicked & from the outset talked about our desire to have kids. I knew from the start he'd be a fab Dad, he was like nothing I'd experienced before, extremely attentive & always putting me first, knowing when I felt down & always able to make me smile. The hardest working man I know & in a weird way I suppose he reminded me of my Dad.
We got engaged on holiday at the beginning of 2013 & decided to try for children straight away. We couldn't believe our luck when a few weeks after the holiday I got a bfp. One of those couples that don't even have to try!!! ;D however our joy only lasted 7 weeks  :'(
Months went by of ttc where I endured endless baby showers, friends on their 3rd pregnancy, constant questions as to why we hadn't got married yet (because if we get married we'll then have to endure the when are you going to have children questions!) then in 2014 our ivf journey began.
The first go (NHS funded) was a massive shock to me. My best friend had gone through the process, had got pregnant first time and also ended up with five very healthy embryos still in the freezer. I'd naively kind of expected the same result. But no, two blastocysts ended with a bfn & none in the freezer.
Round two (privately paid) I threw everything at it, acupuncture, reflexology, vitamins (I'd have run round naked smacking myself with twigs if I'd thought it would work!) The 2ww was the most anxiety provoking time of my life, so much for trying to stay stress free! but again we got a bfn, this time on Mother's Day. We were away at the time & ended up eating out at a service station as it was the only place that wasn't full of families celebrating the day.
The second time round I went on the ff for support & whilst it was the best support ever I could also feel my mind being sucked into the wonderful world of immunes, DNA testing, sperm fragmentation testing & a whole host of other weird & wonderful unscientificly proven tests. My ivf consultant didn't help my fears by suggesting a test he'd previously rubbished, as a way of offering me some sort of false hope- PGS, which was ridiculous as that was a way of picking the best embryos to implant back in the womb & I was only making two per treatment cycle.
In the back of my mind throughout the treatment was a work colleague. She'd tried ivf over 8 years before getting her little girl. I'd seen the misery she had gone through, the massive debt she'd accrued, the strain on her relationship  & the effect on her mental health. I know not all stories end up like that but I think it was so close to home that I wanted to get off the ivf train at the first opportunity with my mind & relationship still intact & with one paid treatment still to go that's what we did.

We'd talked about adoption throughout the second round of treatment and slowly I started to accept that I didn't need to be pregnant to be a mum & with my anxieties during the 2ww how would I cope with 9months!
My OH agreed straight away to adoption. I was initially sceptical about how easily he was persuaded down this route & even got him drunk one night just so I could get his true feelings out  ^idiot^But after many weeks of various interrogations (bonkers I know!) I was relieved to see he felt the same way as me.

So began the information gathering which included internet searches, meeting with an old friend who'd adopted a child & telephone calls to various agencies. At the same time I'd been nagging my OH to be info gathering as well & thought we were on the same page, that is until we went to the information event. Wide eyed & lost for words my OH read one adoption profile & then another, then sat through a brief talk about foetal alcohol syndrome before admitting to me that he'd been expecting our child to come from somebody like an unmarried 15yr old catholic girl....hmmm, really! Thankfully we sat down with a lovely social worker who didn't seem in the least put off by my OH naivety & suggested he spent the next few weeks doing some research before arranging a social work visit. To be fair on my OH the info event wasn't for the faint hearted, the profiles were all large sibling groups from completely different ethnic backgrounds from our own, with an array of very complex needs.
Following the event I arranged for a woman  from work to call round to talk about her adoption experience & then we went round a couples house so my OH could have a good chat with the husband & get a male perspective. Thankfully after that my OH felt more informed & less freaked out about the whole process. I then got him drunk again (obviously) just to check true feelings - definitely a strategy I'd recommend!

23rd August 2016 was when I made the call for our first sw visit. I was told if I didn't hear within 2 week to phone back. 2 weeks went by & I phoned back, we then waited another week before a lovely sw phoned to say she could see us tomorrow or the next day,then after that she would be going for an operation. Excitedly I phoned my OH who immediately said he wasn't able to do either days due to important meetings, grrr! & then Immediate panic by me, 'what if they think we aren't committed' 'what if they think, "if we've not got time for a sw meeting we've not got time for children"'. I then grumpily told my OH that he needed to ring the sw back & arrange the first visit as I could literally drop everything to attend. Unfortunately she ended up going for her operation without getting to see us first & then what ensued was weeks of sick, then another operation, then more sick, loads of calls from me to try & get another sw, no calls returned (soon realised that the phrase 'if you don't hear in two weeks' meant 'you won't hear in two weeks & you'll always have to ring back') then eventually we got reallocated a new social worker.

I should probably say at this point that we went with our LA, as despite it having 'Inadequate' as it's ofsted report we were rightly or wrongly lured by the fact it covered a massive area, so we thought there was a higher chance of matching with a child or children who's needs we best suited.


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