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.

 

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