In early January we submitted our expression of interest form. We we’re told to submit it after Christmas in order to get over the delay that can be caused by the holidays. Four days later we were acknowledged by email and told our designated social workers would be in touch. One week after that we were sent a bunch of paperwork.
Nothing unexpected but here’s where we begin to officially hand over of information and confirm that we are who we say we are and we’re not in financial difficulties etc etc.
Just thinking back to that original submission form where we needed to confirm our exes would give a reference as well as our close friends and family… This was a difficult one as DH hadn’t spoken to his since they’d split and mine was with someone new – wedding plans etc. So via Facebook direct messaging we carefully craft emails and they are sent. Within only a few days both had replied to say ‘yes, no problem’. Phew that was one of our big early hurdles over with. I’m sure this is an issue many will struggle to get their heads around. DH was angry initially that she would have anything to do with this.
Anyway, back to the social workers.
We had an email two weeks after initial acknowledgement to say hello and could we provide three dates to meet up. Tricky when you’re both working full time but anyway we did it. These are two hour sessions and one is at your home. We planned ours throughout Feb and early March due to collective availability. Funny thing is, we then had to book in our first stage review – 14 March. So it was all quiet on the Western front then bang, we have a date which completes step one. Eek, exciting! Also weird as haven’t even met SW yet.
Along with our request for info, we had to book a medical (private with a cost of £73 each through our doctor). We were told this may take weeks but for us it was happening a week later. We also had to complete an online form for a CRB or currently known as DBS check – criminal record/are we dodgy check. Our employment entered was ‘adoptive parent’ this was interesting as it’s the first time either of us had officially be given this title. Exciting! I know it shouldn’t be but I’m taking little positives from our journey.
One of the forms to fill is the Chronology, from birth to 18, then 18 to current day. I had mine drafted before Christmas (as we’d been given the heads up). DH went to see his sister and dad where they discussed key family dates. He said it was a positive experience as it gave them a chance to talk about their mum who had passed away six years ago.
When I asked my dad about the year I went walkabout from my first house and was found a few miles away he said ‘you were about 11 I think?’ …no dad, we moved from that house when I was 8. So I did it myself…
Today we plan to read each other’s chronology – rather like proof reading the factual part of your autobiography. Then we’ll send in advance of our first official meeting this Wednesday.
Last week, in the meantime, we had our first training session. It was much easier to face the room full of people than the first intro day. We saw some familiar faces as well as some new. It was led by a great lady who took the intro session. We like her. She is knowledgable, straight talking and respects our time to question the adoptive parents who have joined the session.
During the day we we split from our partners and put into groups with one of the adoptive parents. We discussed ‘loss’ and how to deal with a few scenarios. It was useful. Lots of different opinions and we stayed on topic. Unlike my husbands group which apparently went very off piste as no one felt brave enough to bring it back to topic. All useful though.
We’ve planned to swap email addresses next session with some of the others, I think it will be good to share our journeys.