Getting off the Rollercoaster - Going for Adoption

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Stages of Excitement?

  1. First get approved. (Pretty exciting . . . for about a day or two, until it sinks in that this is kind of like passing a very important exam - a huge achievement, and you are suddenly much more 'eligible' - but the search for the perfect job is only just beginning . . . and there MAY not be a job out there for you).
  2. Your profile is circulated among 'Homefinders' in neighbouring local authorities. They are responsible for identifying possible placements for children in their area. (OK. Not very exciting at all - kind of like you have dropped your CV off at an employment agency, but you aren't really sure if they are really doing anything with it).
  3. SW contacts you about A Child. It's a real Child. The Child you have hoped for, dreamed about. (It is very easy to get excited at this point, but remind yourself that this is just like seeing the ad for your dream job. You haven't got it yet - and there are probably plenty of better-qualified people out there). THIS IS WHERE WE ARE. PLEASE NOTE - WE ARE ONLY HERE!! ALL STAGES AFTER THIS MAY NEVER HAPPEN.
  4. SW calls to say your details have now passed from the Homefinder to The Child's social worker - and they want to meet with you. (Ah - we are invited for interview. This is both exciting and terrifying. You prepare to make a first impression - but stress levels are high - a lot will hang on this).
  5. Meeting with HF and The Child's SW (with your own SW) takes place - usually at your house. You may see a video of The Child, certainly plenty of photos and lots of documentation. Talk lots and lots about how you would meet Child's needs, how you would overcome any issues, how you would deal with problems, your support networks. (This is sooooo exciting, though you are still trying to keep a lid on it. But getting this far is beginning to make it seem REALLY REAL . . . it's 'first interview' stage).
  6. The three interviewers from #5 (above) meet and discuss in private how you got on. (Will you will make it to second interview?) Still trying to keep a lid on the excitement - it's nail-biting.
  7. A formal matching meeting takes place between all of the SWs who have potential parents for The Child. You do not attend. It may be as soul-less as a tick-box exercise to sort out the various candidates. You wouldn't want to be there. (HR has got the upper hand now - I have always thought people were better judges of compatibility and empathy - but HR says it is about points). This is the point at which you are MOST LIKELY to fall off the shortlist. Bye-bye baby. (This is why you shouldn't have got so stupidly excited sooner - silly Bridget).
  8. Matching Panel. This is it. They are about to offer you The Job. Unless something goes quite badly wrong. Which is rare but CAN happen. Be warned. You are not there . . . quite.
  9. We won! We won! The matching panel approved us - The Child will be Ours! We are now finally allowed to be REALLY EXCITED. Excited for real. To the power of 10.

We have not got there yet though. In the meantime, however, I am more than happy to have you guys do the excited bit. I feel like I am in a bit of a trance, and can't let myself feel too much. It all feels far too dangerous. I guess the obvious analogy (which you will understand that I did not want to use) is the being pregnant. I feel a bit as though that should be the analogy I use, but if I try to think of myself as newly pregnant. . . that's no use at all - I know it won't work out. It will all come crashing down. My defenses are almost too good now - just as I could not allow myself a glimmer of hope with my last pregnancy, I can barely do it now. And yet there is a huge difference. This child lives and breathes and is waiting for a family.


  • The agency which is handling this current 'potential match' operates something called 'competitive matching'. This means we will be played off directly against other couples. It may really at some stage be more about ticking a higher number of boxes than another couple.
  • We are currently only at stage 3 of the above process. There is a hell of a long way to go. Okay?
  • KT would not even have contacted us under normal circumstances but the homefinder insisted, before our forms could be passed to the child's SW. The child's SW might just not think us right. It could all stall in the next week or so.
  • Or it could stall in the next month or so.
  • I don't know if I can hold it together in these meetings - I get VERY nervous for job interviews and this is SO much more important. I am afraid I will either be apparently UNDER excited, uninterested, or so overwrought and overexcited that I come across like a maniac.

In other news: I wrote an email after work to the rest of my team and broke the news about what is happening. They don't even know I have been going through this whole adoption process for the last year and a half. I gave it the subject line ' A small bombshell ' - I may post it here actually.

I also told my manager, just to keep her in the loop. I gave her chapter and verse of all the provisos.

I have to remember that somewhere out there, there is at least one other couple, possibly more who are pinning their hopes on this little boy. And as R so rightly said - "the important thing is he will be adopted by someone who will love him - even if it's not us". My husband blows me away sometimes. He is desperate to have this child too.


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