So there we were, with an introduction plan to finally meet our children confirmed (ish) and the final steps to start our real journey (everything before now seems so unimportant – although at the time it feels the world).
We had a few weeks between the panel and the introduction, which was filled with the final panic buying and building of the things we not quite finished (Beds, that stair gate that was not yet fixed, the photo book (more on that later..) etc.)
Everything had suddenly becomes very real and all the little things that I had put off now had to be completed fast and to the highest standard – our kids would be coming soon and we could not ‘fail’ them by not having it ready. (in my mind I was very (maybe overly) concerned how they would feel coming to their new home and the unicorn transfer was not up – do our parents not love us??)
MY TIP – Keep calm, just put together the lists you need to do and work through them focusing on the important ones. You have enough time AND everything does not need to be show home perfect on day one (Once you have the kids your perspective of what is ‘perfect’ and what is important changes again anyway….a lot!)
While we were waiting for the introductions to start, S and I did our photo album. This is a talking album that shows pictures of us, the house, the park, their bedroom etc with us giving some commentary. It is a little awkward ( to put it mildly) as you are trying to talk to your kids who you have never met, showing excitement about the house (Imagine a overly positive voice targeted at children – this is your bedroom, do you like your unicorns and trucks. Mummy and Daddy are really looking forward to reading you bedtime stories each night.
I actually found this quite difficult and struggled to do my commentary on a few of the photos (which was surprising as I work in communications and stand in front of crowds and cameras all the time). I felt a lot of pressure that if I did not get it right I would let down the children, as this photo book would be in their memory box for years to come. I ended up sounding very false and got extremely frustrated with myself (and a bit annoyed). Thankfully S saved the day as usual by stepping in to give me a good talking to and after a few false starts (and her endless giggling whilst mimicking me) we managed to get it completed and posted the week before we met the children.
The book was given to our kids the week before we were due to meet them (so far they had not been told about us at all), so it was very exciting to see how the reacted. Thankfully they were extremely well received by the kids – and this is a memory which makes me smile with pure joy and gets me through the tough times – Their social worker told us that when she gave the books to the children, they both very excited and went to look at the them in the kitchen and then the older child (A) was going through the books with the younger child (B) to make sure he understood, showing him the pictures and saying, ‘This is is your new mummy and daddy, this is our new park, look at the slides’. The most touching part was when the Social Worker was leaving, child A was upstairs in her bedroom at the window and pushed the photo book up to the window on the picture of us and with grinned from ear to ear and did a big thumbs up – Phewwwww. The Social worker was in absolute bits and had to drive round the corner to burst into tears. I know both S and I when we were told had the same reaction…..and if I am honest it can still bring a tear to our eye.
It is that reaction which certainly makes the stress all worth it!
So, now it was less than a week until we met our children and started the introduction fortnight. Gulp