How to re-order posts so that they are in date order

I spent ages trying to sort this out.

 

I wanted a specific category to show up on our menu above in chronological order.

 

Such a simple fix… Select the URL of the category you want to show up, in this case: https://samandaliceroberts.wordpress.com/category/just-an-update/

Then add ?order=asc which ends up as https://samandaliceroberts.wordpress.com/category/just-an-update/?order=asc

Then I added the above url to my menu. Now you can read our journey in date order…

 

Thank you thank you thank you.

http://kindofdigital.com/2008/09/12/re-order-posts-in-wordpress/

 

Simple yet effective

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Optimism versus Realism

So it looks like month 3 hasn’t produced anything positive either. I’m trying to keep strong and continue along the road to happiness, but quite frankly there a lot of things that are coming up against us as time ticks by.

We’ve looked into our options with the house. Turns out instead of being able to extend our contract, the landlord wants to sell up. She wants to offer us first refusal, but it’s not really much help to me when I can’t get a mortgage. It’s just a bit of a sick joke really. A mortgage would be cheaper and would help us out greatly in the long run, but when your wife has a high genetic risk of cancer, then there aren’t many mortgage companies out there who will even look twice at you.

I don’t know what we are doing wrong with our donor. I know people who are trying for a baby spend months, maybe years trying to conceive and it seems early to be worrying. But when we’re not even contemplating going down the Natural Insemination route and we will only conceive by Artificial Insemination at home, then we’ve got to try and make things work for us. To be fair, I think we are going to have to get our donor checked for sperm count soon just so we don’t end up flogging a dead horse as they say.

So anyways, it’s not 100% that I’m not pregnant yet, but it’s certainly looking like it’s a negative. 2 tries down… I’m just hoping it’s all a step closer.

I’d love to stay optimistic at this point, but I’m finding it so difficult. 2014 has finally arrived and it’s the year I’ve been dreading for so long. I don’t know why it felt much better that Alice’s operation was next year as opposed to this year. It was only a day that made the difference.

I’m just so tired and it’s only the 3rd of January.

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10 Things You Don’t Know About Us

So I wrote this about both of us as I couldn’t think of 10 each!

 

1. Alice is a fantastic musician. She’s been in several bands, can pretty much play anything after 5 minutes, except stuff you blow into – dear god she’s bad at the Sax…

She’s got several music grades under her belt in Drums, guitar and bass. She’s even been known to front a band or two…

 

2. Sam was a DJ for many years. Some might say she suffered quite a bit from Peter Pan syndrome… She never wanted to grow up so she stayed in a Student environment for 13 years running Club nights, Karaokes, Rock nights and even the odd wedding and christening!

It left her with an extremely eclectic music taste, a love of Karaoke and a soft squidgy mess at many a wedding first dance.

 

3. Alice and Sam met while Sam was engaged to someone else.

A big soap opera style scandal ensued, but alls well that ends well… Perhaps it’s a story for another time.

 

4. Alice is originally from the West Midlands and met Sam while living in the Northeast.

 

5. Sam is originally from the East Midlands and met Alice while living in the Northeast.

 

6. There is 9 years between Sam and Alice…

Also there’s 9 years between Sam and Alice’s Mum. Then 9 years between Alice’s Mum and Step Dad. Then 9 years between Alice’s Step Dad and Sam’s Mum… It’s like Toby jugs but with age!

 

7. Alice and Sam have matching tattoos on their left arm. They got it on the day Sam surprised Alice with a proposal. It reads With Every Beat.

 

8. 21.12 is important to Sam and Alice and is why they got engaged on the 21st of December at 9.12pm. They then got married on the 21st of December the following year and had their first dance at 9.12pm. (Also see point 6…)

Luckily, the Mayan Calendar was wrong and the world didn’t end on their wedding anniversary, further proving that Gay marriage is not going to cause the apocalypse.

 

9. Alice and Sam have moved house 5 times in 4 years and have lived in 3 different counties in the UK.

 

10. Both Sam and Alice were brought up as only children. Although later on Alice has now become close to her half sister.

 

Bonus one…

Sam is a Gemini
Alice is a Gemini
Sam’s Parents were both Gemini’s

Even Bernie and Nala are Gemini’s…

Byron was born in March. But on Friday the 13th of course!

Month 2 and another day closer.

Well, we are heading towards month 3 now.

Obviously month number one didn’t produce any of the results that we were looking for. Also we had a death in the family which I’ve mentioned before so it was difficult to continue without feeling disrespectful. Especially as my most fertile day was the day of the funeral. It just didn’t feel right.

So basically we postponed for month number two and look forward to getting our lives back on track and trying again this month!

I can only hope it is as bizarre of an experience next time and that we can be successful soon.

 

This month we find out what our long term plans are for the house too. I’m hoping we will be able to negotiate a longterm contract so that we know where we stand for the coming months. A chance to feel settled.

 

I’m just looking forward to seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Three things or objects I would be lost without.

Three things…

Hmmm.

Well seeing as though I can’t say the usual fluffy answers such as family, love and inner peace, I guess I’m going to be wonderfully materialistic in this post.

Guilt free, honest answers! Happy days!

1. iProducts.
Now I couldn’t put down 1, 2 and 3 as iPhone, iPad and iMac so I’ve lumped them together under the tag iProducts which is a phrase I feel is completely under used.
I’m one of those geeks that lives on their tech.
I’ll use the phrase “I’ll google it” several times a day. Another favourite is “there’s an app for that”.
I feel a pang of fear and panic if my battery levels are lower than 50% and I don’t have the relevant portable charger with me.
I talk, FaceTime, bbm, blog, tweet, Facebook, email, text and iMessage regularly. I feel disconnected without this little piece of technology.
People wonder why I’m so attached to the tech and I tell them that it’s where my friends and family live. I speak more to my mum on FaceTime than I do in real life. It’s an issue with distance as opposed to ignorance.
I document everything with a status or photo. My dad thinks I’m on Facebook too much but he doesn’t understand that I love the anthropology of it all.
I get email updates about what I was posting a year ago. Sometimes 2, 3 or even 4 years ago. It’s interesting to me. It’s a condensed diary.
In the way that people write diaries, or perhaps in a more modern sense they blog, I like to document day to day life online so I can look back and see how far I’ve come.
So yeah, number 1: my iProducts.

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2. My TV.
And with that my subscriptions. Netflix and sky tv. We gave up Lovefilm recently. There was a ceremony with candles, hymns and everything. One of them had to go and Lovefilm was it… A sad day for all involved.
Anyhoo, at the minute we are pretty strapped for cash so we spend a bit more a month on good movie subscriptions and a good tv package because that’s what we enjoy. We don’t go out every weekend and party until we vomit. We get a bottle of wine and watch tv. We have friends over and watch a movie. We obsess over what the hell is going on with American Horror Story or the Walking dead. We bitch about X Factor and nearly vomit while watching I’m a Celeb. It may not be the most intellectual of pass times but it keeps us happy.
I draw the line at soaps though. If we get sucked into soap land we find it hard to escape so it’s better to keep away!!

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3. My Patmobile.
My Peugeot 1007. My red devil on 4 wheels. My granny wagon. My first car. My Pat.
I love and hate having a car. If someone could pay for the petrol and the maintenance then that would be fine, but they don’t so it’s the main reason we are skint.
It is the main reason that we have days out though. We get to pop to Morissons for a breakfast. We can have a drive over to Whitby. It gets me to work 40 miles a day…
It helped me play chauffeur to the family when they needed help while Alice’s nan was ill. It got me to George’s funeral in Lincolnshire in one weekend. It takes Grace out for the day with me and Chels.
Pat is awesome. Now I have him I wouldn’t want to let him go. Learning to drive is so expensive but so worth it.

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So there you have it. My favourite completely materialistic, self-obsessed items of self indulgence.

Ten Guilty Pleasures…

1. Glee – I’m old enough to know better, but young enough to not care!

2. Reese’s cups. Love em. In fact, any chocolate and peanut butter combination. Funny thing is that I’m not fussed by chocolate or peanut independently. Oh and no jam (jelly) with my peanut butter thanks… When I was younger I thought it was cool. Now, not so much!

http://laineyslifelessons.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/life-is-just-better-with-reeses-peanut.html

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

3. One Direction. Well this is guilty pleasures right?? Alice loves them. Which is even funnier because she’s a crazy rocker normally…

http://www.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article847635.ece/ALTERNATES/s615b/One+Direction

One Direction

4. Cinnamon rolls. Tesco‘s bakery. Oh yes. The icing, the currants, the cinnamon… Yummy.

http://comfortbites.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/cinnamon-rolls.html

Cinnamon swirl

5. Having the house to myself and doing nothing. This drives the Mrs mental. She’s very obsessive when it comes to cleaning so if I can get away it, a day in my pjs doing naff all is heaven! Even if that means surviving on crisps and toast to make sure it’s a basic clear up job!

Feet up relaxing at home.

Yes they really are my feet and my pjs… Turtle power!!

6. Dancing. I love to dance. I can’t dance, but that doesn’t stop me. I love a sly boogie around the house. I’ve been known to involve the dogs too… Alice on the other hand is used to me now and accepts that every once in a while she’ll get twirled in the kitchen.

https://i1.wp.com/www.kingofhumor.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Dancing-alone-resizecrop--.jpg

Dancing alone

7. Musicals. I know is said Glee before, but I really love them. Sound of music, les Mis, phantom, calamity jane. My favourite at the minute is Wicked, but it’s always changing. I don’t go to London anywhere near as much as I should!

https://i1.wp.com/www.visitcardiff.com/dbimgs/Wicked.jpg

Wicked the Musical

8. Bollywood movies. The drama, the cheese and those dance moves. Alice hates them so finding time to watch any nowadays is tough.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/0d/KabhiKhushiKabhiGham_Poster.jpg

Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham

 

9. Onesies. I have a few and love to snuggle in them. I look like an idiot but at least my feet are warm!

https://i0.wp.com/media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/236x/9c/06/1c/9c061cc9ff1a2762fb526ad75d939051.jpg

Onesies for all!!

10. Facebook. Now it’s not necessarily a guilty pleasure, but I’m always on it. I read every post that it shows me. I have even been known to complain to Facebook that it doesn’t show me every single post, so I can read through them chronologically and not miss a thing. Yeah, I’m always on it. I’m sure that’ll change once we have a family and I don’t have time, but right now I’m obsessed.

http://noinpart.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/facebook-is-like-fridges-profile-timeline-cover.jpg?w=545&h=207

Facebook has a hold on most of us right??

11-22-13

Giving people like us some hope. Congratulations!!

To make a long story short: after induction, 48 hours of intermittent contractions, 7 hours of laboring without an epidural, another many hours of laboring with an epidural, increasing interventions, a fever, decreasing heart rate and, finally, an emergency cesarean, our daughter (blog name still Bingo) was born this morning. All are well.

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A family member that I’m thankful for and why… My mother in law!

I’ve started a lists thing to ensure I post more frequently and to stop me only venting on this site.

I need to remember that things aren’t always bad and that there is more to us than babies and genetics and cancers…

So today it asked me to think about a family member that I’m grateful for. This in itself is a bit of a trial!

Obviously I dearly love my mum and dad, but I thought I’d take a different route and talk about my mother in law.

Over the years the standard mother in law has been the butt of many a joke. She’s seen as the meddling monster who interferes when you least want her to, always thinks she knows best when she doesn’t, and most relationships will have that moment when the wife/husband will be pitted against her in a who’s right and who’s wrong scenario.

All in all, pretty negative views.

My mother in law is different.

Because there’s quite an age gap between me and Alice, it has left only 9 years between me and her mum. I think this helps as we’re not from completely different times! We both know about the 80s. The only difference is that I was dancing around my living room pretending to be a pop star and she was sneaking into clubs.

I love Rachel to bits and I’m very lucky that she accepts me into her family.

The reason Rachel first sprang to mind this week when I saw this post topic is because last Sunday, the 17th of November, we lost Alice’s nan, Rachel’s mum.

It was so sad, but she had her family around her when the time came. Alice was the only grandchild there. She wanted to be there for Rachel and Rachel’s brother and sister.

Nan had been the very centre of this family and was loved by everyone – in laws included. She spoke to me as we were having photos taken when we signed the register at our wedding. She welcomed me to the family. It meant the world to me.

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Rachel will be my child’s grandma. She’ll be there for them with sweets and cuddles. But most importantly, she’ll be there for me and Alice.

Now don’t get me wrong, my Mum is a fantastic one!! She’ll be there for us no matter what. But this is, to me, about having love for someone that is basically a new addition to my life.

We live around the corner from Rach, and it’s nice because she keeps an eye on the house and the animals while we are at work. But more importantly it’s nice to have family so close. I’ve never been in that situation before. Family visits were planned ahead, scheduled for the weekend or perhaps even longer due to distance.

Last night we had an impromptu trip to ikea and it was lovely.

They’re both as mad as each other mind!

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I guess, I’m thankful for being accepted as Alice’s wife, when with other partners there’s often been friction and sometimes full blown hatred.

I’ve truly got two mums and that makes me a very lucky girl.

One small pot for man, one giant leap for lesbiankind.

So we got our first deliveries.

It was definitely bizarre, but I’ll get to that in a minute…

So yeah, month one got under way so it’s and exciting time right now.

I’m taking my vitamins, no alcohol, not smoking now for several months.

Now if you know me, then you know that the two non-living entities that mean the most to me are a good whiskey and a cigarette, so life has already changed!!

Ok, so here’s how it happened…

We’ve known our donor for several years and we were surprised that we were able to iron out the finer details and progress under our terms of business shall we say.

Our donor had to listen to us basically break him down, and break his heart a little too I think, but being the good guy that he is, he agreed.

He said “of course I’ll still do it, I can see what it means to you both and I get to be the one that makes you both so happy.”

It was a revelation.

Right then…

The stars began to align and the moon was in the 93rd sector of Pluto or whatever crap, and basically it was time to try it out.

Me and the Mrs had made the agreement that she would speak to our donor during the day and confirm details etc etc.

Our plan was to turn up equipped with the suitable conduit, supply donor with said conduit, receive the goods and then drive the short journey home to complete the deed.

All very peculiar.

We arrived and watched our donor grab a few bits and pieces, switch off lights and head downstairs to meet us.

Oops.

Failed at the first hurdle.

Thankfully our donor had just moved so we were quickly able to divert him back inside the house for a tour of the new digs.

Once inside we mentioned that we thought it would be much easier and less uncomfortable for him to provide us with a sample to takeaway…

So very very awkward…

He was fine with it and was happy to oblige. So we gave him the pot and then it got really weird.

Now, normally we are all pretty comfortable around each other, but what had just dawned on us was the fact this poor lad was faced with two women and a pot. And they were making demands that even the strongest of characters would feel moderately pressured by!

To make it worse we were going to be in the next room. Waiting…

I have to say that given the fact we know each other well and have seen and done some mad things together, this was unprecedented weird.

Sitcom weird.

Anyways the deed was shortly done and off we jetted in the car and raced back home with the missus nursing the delivery, in the pot, in her bra.

God knows what would’ve happened if we were stopped by the police.

Anyhoo, night number two…

This time things were a lot less awkward and quite humourous. Although we had one minor issue.

Traffic.

Now this is worse than driving when you need the loo and can’t find one. You’ve literally got something in the car that’s at risk of becoming completely useless and yet the simple fact you have it means so much.

We rushed into the house and did what we could in the time we had. Romance wasn’t exactly at its best…

Humour however was as I’d left my boots on! Now the reason this is particularly funny is because of the donor’s love of dr martins. There I was afterwards, legs in the air, hoping that gravity would help us out and up against the wall was such a funny sight.

Firstly, the donor is known for his docs.

And secondly, all that was missing from our lesbian baby making attempt was a pair of dungarees on the floor and Tegan and Sara playing in the background!! Sometimes the stereotypes just find us…

Anyhoo, we have since then found out that the first attempt wasn’t successful. But I’m quickly learning that this whole process needs, humour as well as heartache.

Time to take new steps…

This week things are going to change I hope…

We’ve got a donor, he’s confirmed and it’s looking positive. I’m petrified that it’ll drop through yet again. We’ve never got as far as how it feels right now. There’s still no donation as it were, but on Wednesday we’ll be in receipt of the first batch of goods.

And if so that’s further than we’ve ever got.

There’s certainly something to be said about counting chickens before they’ve hatched…

Hopefully tonight we’ll be able to speak to him and get him to sign on the dotted line before we go to collect on Wednesday.

At the minute it’s all about charting temperatures and how my body is reacting. My alarm goes off in the morning and with eyes still screwed shut I turn it off and reach for the thermometer on my bedside table.

It’s quite a funny ritual.

Bleep. It’s turned on.

Then I lie there half asleep and wait.

Bleep. It’s done.

Now finally open my eyes and update the one of many pregnancy apps on my iPad. (I use Glow the most…)

Fall back to sleep.

Alarm goes off again. Crap! I’m going to be late if I dont get up now!!

Apparently when you’re ovulating the temperature will rise a little and stay that way if you’re pregnant. So it may help me aviod getting ahead of myself. Here’s some info: http://www.babycenter.com/chart-basal-body-temperature-and-cervical-mucus

I’ve got an appointment with the Doctor on the 12th of November. So hopefully we will have all the ammo we need to get help if we need it.


I guess we’re relying on the fact our donor has what he needs and that I’m ticking over perfectly. Being 32 does scare me as there are so many things that could be wrong, but who knows…


I didn’t manage to get to the hospital for my second blood test so we’ll have to wait til next month for that one.


It feels ridiculous that after 3 years of trying to make a family, we’re only just getting all the ingredients.


I really dont think I can let myself dream right now. Before I’ve seen little things and I’ve bought them. This time, I’ve got nothing. Not so much as a teddy bear. It hurt so much last time when I gave it all away. Baths, clothes, baskets, changing mats… I’ll never forget leaving all that behind.


If we cant conceive now, I don’t know how I’ll feel. I’m simply not thinking about it.


What will be will be, but please keep everything crossed for us!


Things are about to get messy.

We Got Married.

I’m really enjoying this blog. It’s so lovely! 🙂

Elizabeth Merritt Abbott

On the hottest day in June we stood on a gravel path that cut through a prairie in central Iowa. We held small bouquets arranged by my mother-in-law, calla lilies and freesia. My brother combed his hair and tucked in his shirt. My mother cried. The dog behaved. My wife-to-be looked beautiful, like the best kind of summer girl in her green dress – even when she made that scrunched up cry face while saying our vows.

wedding1

Wedding2

Back at my mother’s house, just down the road, our families and friends gathered. More people than I expected Food. Games. Beer. Wine. More love than I deserve. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.

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Life has a funny way of making you run in circles.

Well here we are again, we’re back to square one. Well, Square one plus VAT I guess. We have a donor.


God knows what that means for us as we’ve had donors in the past. There’s been no medical problems or other issues as we far as we know, the one issue has been reliability. Everytime, we’ve been let down by the person, not nature.

I’ve got blood tests next week and an appointment next month with the Doctor.

I dont even dare to dream at this stage. I’m holding out hope, but I think I’m just a bit broken by it all and would rather be negative than anything else.

One thing I know about me for sure now is that I’ll be damned if I’m going to give up. I’ve wanted kids for as long as I can remember, and after 3 years of being messed around, we’re not really much further ahead. I know I am biologically further along than I’d like, but I can’t turn back the clock now.

I do wonder what help, if any, we will get from the NHS. We decided after the adoption fell apart to visit the doctor to start with getting help from the NHS and to be fair, he didn’t have a clue.

We went to see the nurse last week, and although she was a lovely lady, she didn’t have a clue either…

I said was there any help or advice she could give and basically it was a no. She’s just referred us onto the Doctor.

All of the forms were very stereotypical. We watched as she had to scribble out “Male Partner” and put N/A in a lot of the sections. We took it in good faith and had a laugh about some of the questions. Obviously there’s a lot wrong with our sperm count and Alice can’t get it up. *Insert Fake Laughter here*

But joking aside, I felt a bit like it was a complete waste. I said to the nurse that we’d been looking online and really needed some help as there’s so much information you just don’t know what to believe.

I even asked about physically how we should go about it and her response was “Well there’s always the Turkey Baster method!!”

You're kidding right??

You’re kidding right??

I laughed but I think she saw that I didn’t find it all that funny.

It’s just never ending at the minute. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, but I can’t tell from here how far away it is.

Until there’s a blue line where it’s supposed to be, I haven’t got a sodding clue.

There’s no title that can express this feeling, or even explain it

The worst sentence I’ve seen in black and white for a long long time.
I can’t even type how I’m feeling.
The excitement from everything at the beginning…
The first thoughts on adoption, the first meeting, the conversation with the adoption officer, the fact it would only take about 6 months…
How perfect we seemed to the adoption officers at the meeting.
Seeing and hearing the success stories.
I guess no one wants to talk about the supposed 7 out of 8 applicants in the UK who get refused at the first enquiry.
(I know it’s the Daily Mail, but still… Here’s the link)
No criminal record, no substance abuse… Still no good for the thousands of children desperate for a home.
Right now, it hurts to the point that I can’t even bear this blog.

Cat amongst the pigeons…

We may have a donor…

I’m confused now. Do I trust them to be a donor for us and possibly get let down (again), or do we continue down the already stalled adoption route?

What would you do?

We have 4 months to try with a donor I guess… Or do we focus on the adoption? The preparation for adoption pretty much the same that we’d want to do for having a child with a donor…

 

Oh god I don’t know…

 

This would spin everything around.

Adoption: Alice is the one off work on “maternity” and I remain at work. Which I will admit hurts and I feel like I’ll miss so much.

Donor: I’d be the one to carry the child and go on maternity as Alice couldn’t (or rather wouldn’t because of various reasons) carry the child.

 

Adoption: Our lives are going to be scrutinised to the finest detail and we may not pass their requirements. However, we’d get to give a second chance to a child that really needs it.

Donor: We could have future issues with the donor’s partner if they don’t like it. It’s a lot to ask of someone. After all the heart ache of people letting us down, we’ve stopped asking and closed that door. Now it’s potentially open again. We could experience various issues with having our own child as there’s no guarantees in any situation and I know that having a child over 30 is always going to be more risky. Also Alice has always worried about not feeling as connected to the child or like a third wheel between me, her and the donor. At least in this case, the donor isn’t actually connected to us personally. He’s a work colleague for Al.

 

All I know is I want to be a Mum and it’s been a desperate gap in my life for a long time.

 

I have this app that lets me know what I was blabbering on about 1 year ago, 2 years ago etc and 2 years ago almost to the day as I write this, I posted on Tumblr about it:

“My life feels like it will mean nothing until I have kids. There’s a massive hole where my kids should be.” – Thursday August 4th 2011.

My friend replied to me saying:

“You will have them eventually, you deserve them and you and Al will be the best mams ever! Just kind of be patient and I know that’s hard and sucky but you will get there! I wish I could help xxx love you”

 

That woman is now one of the best mums I know, and has a beautiful girl that spurred me on to look at adoption further.

I saw her baby and knew that if someone told me I was to take over and look after that little girl for the rest of my life, I would love her as if she was my own without question. It really made me rethink about what family really is.

But would I always wonder what it would be like to be a mum through it all, from pregnancy to birth onwards??

I know I appear impatient but I’ve wanted to be a Mum for as long as I can remember and I feel like 32 years is too long.

 

Either way I know we’re getting ever closer, but now I’m confused about what to do.

I feel like I left the donor option behind me forever. I made a conscious decision to write that option off and follow the adoption route. After being so hurt in the past by people letting us down at the last minute, this feels like we’re picking at a scar that’s not fully healed.

 

It may even be irrelevant as he wants to ask his girlfriend. I know I’d say no if I was her, but I’m aware that I can be selfish in that respect.

Maybe she’s a better person than me.

 

I dunno…

Please help.

He has your… well, nothing

Genetics have never done either me or Al any favours… I do wish they would have her eyes, but as we’re adopting it’s not likely!! As this blog says, family is much more than a genetic link. In the same way a house can, with love, become a home.

Two Female Parents

The other day as I pushed the boys around a shop, a stranger stopped me. How cute, she exclaimed (about the twins, not me), and doesn’t that one look like you! She pointed at A. And I resisted the urge to say that no, actually he doesn’t.

A doesn’t have my mouth or nose or ears. His eyes, while the same colour as mine, are a completely different shape. In short, he has none of my physical features (although I’m picking up a strong shared tendency to stubbornness). And there is no reason why he should. Genetically, the boys are my partner’s. A and R both look like her.

When we first discussed the options for having kids, it was clear that for many reasons it made sense to use my partner’s eggs. After a little thought I was happy to say that the fact that I would have no…

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Panel

Reading this has given me a bit more strength… Congratulations! xx

willynilly

image (2)So the day came – and we were ready. We had spent months preparing for this moment – read many books, written lots of notes and fake-interviewed each other countless times. We were both so nervous and running on adrenalin since we hadn’t been able to get much sleep that week. We knew this would be the most important day of our life to date, there was just so much riding on it. Because of the speed of our process and the social worker’s belief in the match that had come up, we were doing both adoption approval and match approval in one day – two panels for the price of one.

Despite all our team’s protestations that the panel were ‘really nice’ and we shouldn’t get too worried, when we asked about dress code, we were told in no uncertain terms to be formal. Out came the job interview…

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Stumbling blocks…

We had a phone call from the adoption agency. It wasn’t great news, but it wasn’t bad news either I guess.

I’ll have to explain, we’re a bit different to other couples and things are a bit more difficult.

A few years ago, April 2010 to be precise, we had to collect some blood test results for Alice. Alice’s family has a troubled past with genetics and in particular, the BRCA2 gene. Recently the BRCA1 gene has been in the papers courtesy of Angelina Jolie and the preventative surgery she opted for.

Well, to cut a long story short, Alice has the BRCA2 gene. If you’re so inclined, you can read the wikipedia entry about it here. She’s going to have the surgery at some point in the future, but we’re not sure when they’ll be able to do it and understandably, the adoption people need to know when too.

I can understand that.

Love Makes a Family

Love Makes a Family

Also they want us to prove we’re not smoking so we’ve got to go to the doctors and get reports done. Fair enough.

Also our nice new house is well, basically too new… We need to have been in there for longer. Which is something that worries me in any case as our landlady is a bit flighty… We’ve got a tenancy review in December so I’m hoping we’ll be able to extend the tenancy for a while longer. Also we’re going to put ourselves on the council list so that if we can, we’ll be able to get something more stable.

They also want to speak to any significant previous partners. Which is not good news for me, needless to say the person I was with before Alice could hold quite the grudge. Hopefully they’ll take a statement from a mutual friend instead.

Little hands

Little hands

Oh and then there’s me having been a bit crazy in my early twenties. Nothing major, I was just a bit messed up and suffered from thinking the whole world was out to get me, when in reality it really isn’t. I think I had a hard time coming out and not living up to what I thought my parents expected of me. In reality they wanted me to be happy, it just took me a while to figure that out and basically stop being a brat.

It’s added an extra 5 months to the whole process which initially knocked me for six. I’m gutted as we were so excited thinking that we would have a new addition to the family within the space of a year, and now that has been extended again.

We’re so desperate to have a family and share our lives with another little one (or two) that it feels like its slipping away from us again. It’s not and it’ll all be worth it, but we started to let ourselves believe things were really happening and happening quickly too.

I broke down on the phone to the woman, which was awful. She explained that it isn’t a no, it isn’t even necessarily an issue, but there are things that we need to get in order before they can consider us.

So we’ve got some work to do now…

Bring it on, we can do it.

We Can Do It!

We Can Do It!

The meeting

Ok so we arrived at the Stadium of light and were lead upstairs to one of the meeting rooms.

Stinking hot weather and even hotter in the room…

There was a mixed bag of people waiting there some young, some older and then there was us.

 

We sat down and went through a basic introduction of the processes and what is likely to happen for both people interested in Fostering as well as adoption.

 

We were informed about financial benefits and fall backs as well as some advice about the mental drain that the situation could cause.

 

It was absolutely fantastic, very clear and well delivered. They covered nearly all bases to the point that no one could think of any questions!

We were then split into 2 groups, the people interested in Fostering and the people interested in Adoption.

We had 2 adoption officers with us as well as 2 adoption officers from Barnados. There was also one of Sunderland Council’s Adopters there to tell us a little about her experience.

We listened to the officers from Barnados as they’ve introduced a new scheme called concurrent parenting. You basically have the child from day one and work alongside their birth family. This is incase there is a chance to rehome the child with their birth family. There is only a small chance of them returning, but it’s almost liked shared parenting. There’s much more to it and I’m probably not being fair to the system, but I remember thinking that it would take someone stronger than me to do that as I couldn’t take in and care for the baby and worry that I would never be able to adopt them. Selfish I know, but I’ve got to be honest.

They then let the lady talk about her experience of adoption. It was really interesting and her anecdotes of the child were extremely endearing.

She was looking for a child through adoption and had a son already who was 11. They were potentially looking for a boy of school age, but their adoption officer went on a hunch and offered them this beautiful little girl who was only 3. She ended up being a perfect match for the family as the son was old enough to be finding his own feet and making important moves forward into his teens. They hadn’t planned on a girl, but the officer thought that there was a desire for a girl in the house, but they hadn’t really thought about it!

Not long after they officially took the little girl home they were due to go away to visit the lady’s parents for their wedding anniversary and they were faced with explaining that the whole family was going away.

The little girl had been moved around quite a few times and they were unsure as to whether or not she would form an attachment, let alone deal with a break away so soon after being settled.

They planned out how to go about it and decided to show the little girl how they were packing the bag. They laid out all of the clothes for the weekend for everyone.

Everyone had exactly the same amount of clothing. 2 pairs of underwear, 2 pairs of socks, 2 tops etc… She explained to the little girl they all had the same amount of clothes so they had to come back and all come back together.

It was such a simple thing, but it was vital to the stability of the child. She needed to know she was in her forever home and going away didn’t mean they weren’t coming back.

 

I guess you have to remember how much these kids have been through the mill. They may not have physically obviously injuries, but that doesn’t mean they’re not emotionally scarred.

 

Listening to this woman just made me more certain that we can do this. It’s not about just loving and cuddles, although they’re important of course, it’s the extra steps you have to be prepared to take to ensure the child trusts you and what you are telling them.

 

I want to be a mum and this feels like one of the most amazingly rewarding ways to do it. Heaven knows I’ve needed a second chance (or 4) in my life, and this is our chance to give a child a second chance at a loving and secure home.

 

Mad day…

Ok, so we’ve gone for it now…

We went to the introduction meeting.

It was more like a meet and greet with a bit of a question and answer set up.

I’m not going to lie, I was very nervous. Alice was too. She went into babble and fiddle mode!

We had downloaded all the information available and had filled our form out. There was no need to do it before the presentation evening but we were fairly sure this was what we wanted!

Just incase you’re reading this and wonder what it’s like to attend one of these, I’ll try and explain it in the next post properly…

We were attending the “event” shall we say, at the beautiful stadium of light in Sunderland. Now, as a Sunderland supporter, this was already awesome, but anyhoo…

I’d been at work all day, strange day where nothing goes right kinda day… It’s totally irrelevant, but I want to set the scene before the next post!

Woke up at 6.22am precisely. This sounds good and prepared but no. At 6.22 I’d expect to be alone in bed as Alice should be just about to arrive at work. Needless to say sleeping beauty was still lying there next to me! I quickly woke her up and had to rush her into the city to get to work in time. Then after talking about it in the car, we decided it would be best if she kept the house key so she could get home easily after work. One key is currently with her Mum so she can get in to let he woofs out.

All fine and dandy until I realised that I didn’t have a key to get back in after dropping her off. Thankfully Andy was still home and I was able to steal the key back to get in… Then an hour later after sorting myself out for work, I left and headed to the park and ride to take me into Durham.

I arrived with plenty of time and got on the bus with my colleague. Chatting away and I realised I’d left my phone in its holder on the dashboard, basically as an open invitation to smash and grab… The car park is pretty good and they have good security, but even so I knew it would be playing on my mind. I decided to stay on the bus and wait for it to turn around in the city centre and head back up to where I was parked.

Time to kill, what do you do? Social media of course! Out comes the iPad and I’m merrily scrolling away, when I look up from the page I noticed we aren’t heading back to the park and ride I’m parked at, but the one the other side of Durham… No choice but to sit and wait until it had done the full loop before it started heading back to the car.

Arrived in a fluster to the office to more things going wrong of course…

Basically today was no looking right at all!

Then I was due to meet a friend to check the car out after work and he was a no show.

I had planned to quickly change at his garage too so I could be a bit more presentable after the heat all day in the office, but no luck there either and time was running short for me to get across Sunderland to the stadium.

Traffic was bareable and it helped that I spent most of it behind this one bus heading to Shields that had a huge adoption advert on the back of it… Then the radio seemed to know what songs to play as well. I’d hastily done my makeup in the car mirror and I was close to losing it as emotions were definitely running high!

I arrived and found some ladies who worked for the events team at the stadium. All I wanted to know was if it was ok to park where I had and they were convinced there was no event on… Cue further confusion!

Thankfully it all got sorted and I quickly shuffled around in the back seat of the car and changed. Classy stuff I must say. Thankfully the windows are slightly tinted in the boot so my modesty was preserved. I hope…

What a daft series of events on a hot day in July.

But, out of chaos comes the calm… 🙂

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Plodding on…

So we've made further steps onwards. We spoke to my Mum and Dad and told them we were going through the adoption process.

I don't know why I was nervous, but I was!

We talk a lot over FaceTime as they're over in Switzerland working during the summer. They never got the hang of retirement, so this helps keep them busy and earn some extra cash. Anyhoo, we were chatting and they asked us if there was anything new to report, to which I replied, “yeah, we've kinda taken a leap in a new direction.” My Dad, who never misses a trick said, “adoption?”

I guess it's written all over us!!

They're really supportive and we are very lucky. Al's Mum Rach, and step dad Andy are awesome too.

Mums decided already she's going to be a “Nana”. I like that as her mum was my nana, and I know she will be wonderful. Dad will no doubt end up being pops as that's what we call him already and I can see it sticking! Rach is “Nan” or “Nanny” and Andy, well I guess we will see. I think I can see him as a Grandpa… As for Alice's dad, god knows. All that matters on that side is that Al's half sister Holly will be an Aunty, and she's super excited! 13, going on 30 that kid though…

The big question I guess is what do we get called??

I've never thought of it really as I've always just seen myself as “Mum”. Alice has said she will be mummy, but I'm thinking she will end up as Mama!

It's nice to know we will still get time off for statutory adoption leave, which will no doubt be Alice and I'll take paternity. Which sounds weird to say the least… I wish I could have more time, but I'll be able to use some holidays too so it'll be good to be around for a while full time.

The next step is entering into Stage one…

More to follow soon!!

Taking baby steps…

Sam here! Actually it may as well be said now, Alice won’t be the one posting. Like, ever. It’s not really her thing!
 
So then, we’re moving on to the next adoption agency… I’m not in a rush as such, but I just think that if they can’t even consider speaking to us until November, how long is it really going to take??
 
There’s a meeting next week that I’m hoping we can attend. They’re not running another one until September so it looks like we may be lucky…The printer is now working overtime printing off all sorts of information.I’ve been looking at loads of websites and there are some heart breaking cases on the Internet of kids waiting for homes. There a lot of brothers, sisters and what look like entire families that need forever families.I know we would take siblings, I have to say selfishly though that I’d like adopt them from an early age. I don’t want to miss out on some of the big moments.

We will see I guess!

I can’t put into words how much I hope this all comes together.

Adoption – and so it starts…

We made an enquiry to a local adoption agency the other day. They got back to us really quickly, but due to Government changes they’ve had to change their processes.

Basically what that means is that they have to do a adoption class with prospective adopters before they can go to next stage.

Fair enough, but our local council is full to capacity with the number of potential adoptive parents they can put through the programme. They can’t consider us for a course until we contact them again in November.

Then we still have to wait to get on the course.

It seems this new procedure to ensure the process is faster has broken our local, previously successful, system.

The woman on the phone was extremely apologetic and tried her best to explain, but the long and the short of it is that the council no longer has the capacity to deal with the volume of people wanting to adopt the huge quantity of children desperate to be adopted.


Paperwork. It’ll be the downfall of the entire world.