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Showing posts with the label prep groups

Approval

Two days ago we went to Adoption Panel, and were relieved to have their recommendation for approval - once the decision is ratified by the official agency decision maker, then we will be fully approved adopters!

It's been a tough journey so far, and although I have a feeling that the hard work is really only just about to begin, it's worth a little look back before we move on.

The reason this blog has been so quiet for the last couple of months is because we hit a big stumbling block about 6 weeks ago. Last time I posted we had just been to the final day of the prep groups, which, if you have been reading regularly, you will know were difficult. I thought that we had put all the problems behind us - we'd had the meeting with the social workers, talked through the issues, and I had very carefully kept myself to myself on Day 4 - so as not to be at risk of offending anyone, and so I could feel comfortable in my own self about attending the day with the social workers who had…

Approaching the finish line?

September feels like it's whizzed past really quickly - until I realise that we're not even quite two thirds through it yet! Perhaps more accurate is that we seem to have packed so much in to the last 19 days that it feels like a whole month must have passed. (And maybe that's why I'm currently laid up in bed full of stinking cold...)

In adoption terms, I think we've almost finished the home study now. Fairy has met with our social worker for her session, and husband and I have only got one more session booked in ourselves. We've done day four of the preparation groups, parents have been to the Family and Friends group, and it's all starting to feel very real.

For those who are interested, I got through the last prep group by not speaking. It wasn't so much that I had all these contentious issues that I was afraid to raise (I didn't), but I think that after being left feeling so vulnerable previously I wanted to take back a bit of the control; almos…

Back on track

It's been over a month since my last post, but not much has happened in that time to be honest. We've been away on holiday, which has given us a break from the process - after the prep group experience it was definitely one I needed. I was due to meet with our social worker before we went away, but in the end I felt like I needed a bit of time and space to get my head sorted again.

We had a lovely summer, and saw lots of friends who asked us how the process is going - it was nice to be able to talk about it all in positive terms again, and just focus on the reasons why we're doing it.

We've now entered the home study - the final stage of the assessment process, and as well as having weekly visits from our social worker we also have one final day of prep group to do. I think it's fair to say that I have pretty mixed feelings about all of this at the moment. At my social worker's suggestion, I'm probably going to approach the final prep group as a box-ticking…

Ouch.

Had our feedback meeting with the social workers from the Prep Groups today. I'm really glad to have had the chance to do it before they write the report on us, and not just because if we hadn't it would have ended up a pretty bad one...

Apparently during the group sessions I came over as impatient, distrustful, and undermining.

It's pretty hard to sit across the table from someone and hear them say that about you.

I want to make one thing clear - I completely support the right of anyone to think those things about me. I'm sure that the way I presented myself in the prep groups could have been interpreted as any or all of those things.

However that's *not* how I intended to come across, and if I'd known that's how they were taking me I would definitely have done something about it at the time!

I did feel - and I think I have said in a previous blog post - that as the course progressed there was almost no point in me saying anything, as it didn't feel li…

Confused... and reading lists

Just had another chat with our social worker, who was trying to reassure me that the meeting is nothing to worry about.. but apparently it's not to do with what we wrote on our feedback forms, so it must be something to do with our attitude during the course itself. I'm probably more confused than I started out now, trying to work out whether I was unintentionally rude, or said something I shouldn't have... I feel like a kid who's been called to the headteacher's office and has no idea why!

Anyway.. there's not much point dwelling on it, so in other news I have just started reading a new book, about Reactive Attachment Disorder. It's quite a tough read! It's not a psychology book, and I kind of miss the theory side of things (I always like to understand stuff) but its' not trying to be one - it's about parenting a child with RAD in a way that allows them to form loving attachments and learn appropriate behaviour. It's very practical, and a l…

Prep groups day 3

I just realised that I haven't written up Day 3 of prep groups yet; I was meaning to do it this morning but got distracted in to writing the previous post instead!

Day 3 started off really well - we did a small group exercise where we split in to groups to discuss what we thought a child would understand about adoption at different ages. I really enjoyed that - particularly as my group had 0-4 years, which was a fascinating age to consider. I was surprised how many of us in the group already had children, but it certainly came in useful in this exercise! When we came to sharing with the other groups it was really interesting going through the different ages, and thinking about the different cognitive abilities a child will have, and how they will understand the concept of adoption. It was also interesting to reflect on how, regardless of the age which a child comes to us, we will still have to go through this gradual process to explain adoption to them, as their understanding grow…

Me and my big mouth

I've just had a call from our social worker, who wants to arrange a meeting between husband and I, and the two social workers who led our preparation groups last month. Apparently they feel that our participation in the group wasn't very positive, and they want to talk to us to explore why that might have been before writing their report.

I'm pretty upset about this right now.

The trouble with me, is I am virtually incapable of keeping my mouth shut if I feel strongly about something. I can be brutally frank, although I do try to mediate this with politeness wherever possible.

The trouble with other people is that they *don't* do this. They don't tell people if they disagree with them, and they don't expect to be disagreed with either.

When I was training as a teacher, I used to absolutely love being observed. I was still nervous about it, but I used to really enjoy the process of having someone watch my lesson and give me feedback on it, especially if they cou…

Prep groups Day 2

After a slightly shaky start (in my opinion!), I was really pleased that on Day 2 of the Preparation Groups we started to actually get our teeth in to some of the issues. I spoke to a few couples who had found Day 1 quite frustrating - lots of "We'll just mention this thing, but we're not going to talk about it now as we'll cover it later". Well - hurrah! - it's now later :)

We spent quite a bit of today talking about abusive situations, and thinking about the various things which our child may have experienced. We were split in to groups and each given a 'heading' to brainstorm under. When we came to share as a group there was something that I found really interesting; the group who had been brainstorming sexual abuse had written in detail about the (relatively) low level stuff - inappropriate touching, exposure to porn, etc - but had grouped a whole load of stuff together under 'sexual crimes'. Personally, I'm not sure how helpful that w…

Preparation Groups

I've just read my post-before-last, where we had just been given the dates for the Prep groups, and I said I thought the time would fly past - could not have been more right! It's been such a busy month and it was a bit of a shock last weekend to realise that we'd be heading off to Birmingham first thing Monday morning!

I wasn't sure what to expect from the groups, and I was quite nervous as we drove up. I was really surprised to find that there are 13 couples in our group; as someone who is quite used to training adults in a variety of settings this seems like a huge group even to me! It made it quite difficult to get to know many people, which I thought was a shame, although we've got three more days with this group, so hopefully we will get to know the others as we go through the process.

I had high expectations for the Preparation Groups; from everything I've read, or where I've heard people talk about them they are painted as this fantastic, mind-open…

Like a piece of china

The adoption journey is all going well so far, if a little bit slowly. Well, that's not entirely true - it seems to go in fits and starts. When I first made the phone call we got a load of stuff through in the post to read, DVDs to watch, interview with two social workers... and now it's gone a bit quiet!

The interview went very well; the social workers were impressed with how much research and preparation we had done already, which seems funny to me: spontaneous I may be, but I'm not going to dive in head first if I don't already know exactly what I'm letting myself in for!

They have also decided that we need a bit more time to process everything that's happened over the last eight months or so. If I'm completely honest, I can see why they have said that but I do slightly resent the fact that they have taken that decision on our behalf. I have spent two years coming to terms with my inability to bear any more children, and the events of the last few months…