So the day arrived that the children’s social worker were expected. Sandwiches were ordered (A platter from a local supermarket, some crisps, scotch eggs (you never know when a Scotch egg will be needed) some sausage rolls and even more tea). The safety equipment was installed (mostly :-)), the house is tidy (very), the dog washed (He wanted to make a good impression as well) and the grass is cut and the edges done – as a bloke, that is important – as a man’s home is judged on his grass – right?…. Ok…. S insisted on the edges being done too!
MY TIP – Just buy some sandwiches, as you do not need to add making them to your to do list, and do not plan a 3 course meal – you don’t need that extra pressure.
So there we were, sitting staring at the door, awaiting the ‘knock of fate’ – the knock that could change the direction of our lives forever. I can not overstate how nervous, excited and terrified we were waiting for that first meeting. Would we be ‘good enough’, would they ‘like us’ and even more importantly, would they tell us more about the children?
They are here….(cue the dramatic music….). They had arrived!
Oh wait. It was just the postman delivering some plug covers – *must remember to put them in as soon as they leave….
KNOCK KNOCK! – (part 2)
This time they had arrived. Our social worker was already here (drinking some Bake-well Tart tea), so we got up and opened the door to 2 brand new social workers (I will just call them 1 and 2 to remain anonymous and a bit mysterious – but if they read this, they will have to fight it out of who is 1 and who is number 2.)
We sat down with them to start the conversation on our children (see what I did there,,). They had a lot more ‘paper’ information, as well as personal experiences of meeting the children and what they were really like. This really brought some much needed clarity to some of the information from the CPR’s.
The meeting really just consisted of us having a deep and meaningful conversation about us, our background, our motivations to adopt as well as lots of information about the kids and what makes them tick. It also provided us with a great opportunity to ask for clarity around some of the phrases and comments in the reports and also to finally understand what the heck some of the ‘identified behaviours’ actually meant.
MY TIP – Prepare some questions about the children and do not feel afraid to ask anything that does not make sense to you – even if you think them simple – it is a new world you are entering and the paperwork is not always clear…or totally accurate, but I will save that for another time.
1 and 2 also spent some time looking around the house checking the rooms, the garden and the dog making sure we were prepared (or at least have a good understanding of what else is needed). While it did not seem they were looking for faults or minutely checking ever corner – we were nervous that they would feel we were not ready – so I think I ended up pointing out many bits we have done (LOOK, safety film on the glass, LOOK, locks removed on bathroom, LOOK draw locks on knife cupboard). I think S felt I was being a little nutty, and she might have been correct, but I was extremely nervous and wanted to make sure we made a good impression. LOOK grass is cut AND edged…… 🙂
MY TIP – Do not try to have the house 100% ready, you still have time. But make sure you have made progress on getting ready and have a good understanding of what else is needed to be done. After all, remember you are never 100% sure of the kids you are getting and their needs until they are 18 and hindsight kicks in :-).
Following the couple of hours chat, house tour and mass tea making, we were told the news. They initially wanted to take some time to discuss it at their hotel and then let us know, but they could not contain themselves it seems.
‘WE WANT YOU! to be their new mummy and daddy’
The kids social worker (1 or was that 2??), who knew the kids well, actually started crying when she told us which set of
me,,, eeeerrrrr S off as well. (solid proof that they are human too )
BOOM – that took our breath away – what do you say to that? What did we say? Not sure, I think we babbled some incoherent rubbish and made ourselves look a little foolish 🙂 or if you ask S she thought that she was so overwhelmed that for once she said nothing….who knows… but put it that way this was definitely not what we expected.
MY TIP – by the way… we are informed this is very very unusual to be told on the day so please do not build up your expectations and do not think you have to say too much if you are lucky enough to have a chance to move to the next stage. One thing that is assured is that either way it is very surreal. You don’t need to say anything or even accept at that time, and they expect you to take a little time to let it sink in.