Getting off the Rollercoaster - Going for Adoption

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Disgruntled (and old)

It turns out that it isn't a Final Hearing after all (although it does say that on the letter from the court, so silly me for taking them so literally). No, this is just the Birth Parents' FINAL chance to make a case for them to have him back. Our final hearing, when they get to tell us we can keep him, will 'hopefully' be within a couple of weeks of their final hearing.
Oh how crap. Really.
I just want this over and sorted.

In the meantime I spend my time being paranoid about being an older mother, and wondering if I should just blog older mothering stuff. I could bore for England on the subject. And, just for laughs, a bit of me has also not quite given up hope of a younger brother or sister for Theo. (Hollow laughs here please. I really am not kidding anyone.)

I did actually discuss the possibility of adopting again with KT (my SW), but even I could see that there are all sorts of things to consider - some directly because he is who he is, and others under a general heading of 'other factors'. For example, and in no particular order:

  • Theo is just the most charming, smiley, gorgeous child - SO easy to love - I would worry that a second one may not be so loveable.
  • Theo needs to feel 100% secure with us, which means the timing of a second child would be critical - on the one hand said sibling would need to be 2 years younger (this is SS rule, apparently) AND not introduced just as Theo starts school for example.
  • If I feel such an old mother already, and Theo was born when I was 43, how am I going to feel about being a mother to a child born when I was 45 - 46?
  • A second very young child may be difficult to find and difficult to allocate to such ageing parents.
  • If we had a second child we would almost certainly have to look at moving house at some point - which would be a shame (we love where we live) and financially pretty problematic.
  • Theo is an incredibly sociable child - and he really does attract other children so that I genuinely believe he will always have lots of friends, which would certainly mitigate against being an only child.
  • He does already have a half sister and half brother, but as he will not be growing up with any contact with them, this really doesn't seem very relevant - and of course they will never share his relationship with us, which is kind of the point.

There is loads of stuff that has been floating around my head; I sometimes wish still that I were more articulate, more dedicated as a blogger and could record all these things.

In the event of my personality NOT changing, however, I shall just record here that Theo has started imitating lots of words now, and said another child's name last Friday (he did say a horse's name before that, but not sure that counts!) The child is Ali, (Alastair) - the horse 'Poppy'.

And finally, if I were not disgruntled, would I just be gruntled?

Monday, October 20, 2008

A date for the diary

On 13 November 2008 at 10.00am we have our 'final hearing' which is (supposedly) a formality, and from what we understand is held as an adoption celebration. To be honest, from the correspondence we received today, it didn't feel like that. It is very clinical, and states that should the birth parents wish to oppose the adoption they must provide evidence of a change in lifestyle and are urged to seek legal representation as a matter of urgency. Of course, the understanding from all the evidence that has been submitted so far is that it will go forward unopposed, but there is always a tiny chance I suppose . . .

The hearing takes place at a court in a city which is not where we live, but not too far . . . bizarrely we were advised to use a court away from home so as to throw the birth parents off the scent, so to speak. Any documentation sent to the birth parents from the court is anonymised, so that we are not traceable. All a bit cloak and dagger, but bearing in mind their lifestyles, it's probably just as well.

R has suggested that we pretty much keep it to ourselves until it is done and dusted. Really, with all the preparation and the numerous meetings we have had with SWs, I genuinely do not believe a problem will arise at this stage. But I do agree with R - let's not set ourselves up here. (Like we aren't already committed!) Can you imagine - to make a decision against us would involve Theo in unimaginable pain - quite apart from any consideration of us. No, no, no, no, no.

And this month I have also elected to do the 'letterbox' letter, which goes via social services to members of Theo's family. I will write a letter to his half brother (age 11), half sister (age 3) and aunt (mother's half sister) who have all expressed a wish to hear news of him on an annual basis. I am sure it will get easier, but they are not easy letters to write.

Just at the moment I am tired, and being perfect mum is hard; I know I don't have to be, but I want to so desperately. He deserves it.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A day in the life . . .

It's been a long time since I left anything here - but here (left) is a tribute to our great British summer 2008!
I am less of a brain person these days, more the domestic goddess-in-training - and frankly not all that promising! Here is a rough summary of my day:
got up when child woke up (just before 7am) - pulled child from cot; changed nappy
watched a bit of TV (Tweenies, Boo and Bob the Builder - recommended only for the under 2's or the completely brain dead)
Had a shower while child watched Boo! (so inane, but he loves it)
Dressed child. Very cute rugby shirt and trousers.
Dressed Mummy. Not very cute - off-white ancient bra*, fleece and jeans.
Fed child smoothie and weetabix. Child rejected weetabix. Fed child some of own smoothie too.
Fed the cats
Mummy a bit hungry.
Put a large saucepan of chickpeas on to cook for meal later - had remembered to presoak them! Hurrah!
Greeted builders (currently having a conservatory built - can't wait till it's finished!) - made them coffee and gave them a plate of flapjacks, cooked previous evening (extra DG points)
Managed a cup of tea for mummy.
. . . and a flapjack, as still hungry.
Played a bit with child - rocked on rocking Moosie; "read" some books, bumped on the stairs, bashed a shape sorter for a while.
Changed pooey nappy of protesting, kicking child.
Drove into town - bought vegetable bouillon powder, toothpaste, fruit, 3 birthday cards, 1 birthday present. Ate samples of fudge in card shop - 2 pieces actually - both shared with Theo.
Bumped into the husband of a friend, whom I (embarrassingly) didn't immediately recognise. Problem = his child wasn't with him, therefore I assumed it must just be some speccy weirdo smiling at me.
Walked across park - went on swings, seesaw, slide, swings, slide, swings. Played with the gate. A lot.
Drove home - Theo failed to fall asleep in the car for late morning nap. Slightly frustrating!
Cooked Theo's lunch - eggy bread (French toast to the posh) - most of this also rejected, but yogurt went down easily.
After nappy change went for a short drive for the sole purpose of persuading the boy to nap. (It worked - heaven! Transferred sleeping child successfully from car to bed upstairs, set baby monitor and retired.)
Theo slept while I emptied dishwasher and re-stacked, cleared general debris in kitchen, tidied toys, brought in washing and (shock) read a chapter of my book.
When he awoke I changed his nappy, gave him some juice, and we played outdoors - push-along car up and down the lane, fed windfall apples to the horses, climbed up and down the front steps, blew up the beach-ball again, shouted excitedly at cows and chased the cat a bit.
Tried to stay clear of the wet concrete in the back garden - the footing for our new conservatory.
Finally, late afternoon and husband returns from hard day at the office. Hand over boy leaving me free to cook dinner.
Chick pea and spinach gratin for mummy and daddy. Pasta bake (frozen from previous leftovers) with additional tuna and cheese for boy.
Boy and husband come in one hour later - dinner is served. (Well, very close-to!)
Daddy baths boy. Mummy helps catch him after to dry, moisturise and wrap for bed.
Straight after The Archers lie on bed with boy until he falls asleep. Transfer beautiful sleeping baby to cot and creep from room.
Watch a rather poor film on DVD (Catch and Release - not sure what made me choose it, but I certainly didn't think very much of it).
After film creep back into bedroom to go to bed.
*it defies belief, I know, but this bra is actually the one I wore to run the London Marathon in 2001. Yes, honestly. What does this say about me?

The point of all that is, I suppose, my day-to-day life is inane, even monotonous in its minutia. Still, it would be wrong to think that I mind because in the grand scheme of things I feel it has purpose and meaning - pretty much as never before, which is amazing. Right at the centre of it is this little boy who doesn't yet understand what it means to be adopted, what his birth parents were like, how he has ended up here. I consider the issues daily, and feel the injustice of having to burst the beautiful, happy bubble he lives in. I worry that I will get it wrong and make it more painful than it needs to be somehow. But I am so glad and grateful to have him. I think I may end up as one of those people whose only regret was 'not having more children'. But I never knew it would be like this - that I would be like this.