Friday, March 15, 2013

Training - Day 2

Wednesday was the second day of our training course. In the morning we had a session on attachment and some of the issues that poor attachment can cause. It was quite eye - opening and a bit daunting if I'm completely honest.
The second season was about the stages in the adoption process. It was good to hear the views and thoughts of the adoptive parents who had been through it all, but I have to admit I'm not sure it was the best use other training time. I think most people on the course had a pretty good idea of all the stages.
The afternoon was spent talking to adopters and hearing their stories. This was definitely the most useful part of the session, although again quite a bit of time was spent talking about the process and the delays and problems they had. I know the LA must be limited in which adopters are able to help on the course, but I did think it would be useful to hear from people who have had adopted children for 10 years or so. The adoption process is obviously important, emotional and stressful but it is only for a limited time. Once it is done we will be adoptive parents for life and I think it would be useful to spend some time thinking about longer term issues.
Overall though, the course was informative and thought provoking. I'm looking forward to the last 2 days next week.

Edit: I'm adding my regular link to the Weekly Adoption Shoutout.  The theme for this week is contact - not something I can really comment on at this stage in our journey, but there are some intersting blogs linked to it.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Training course - day 1

Yesterday was the first day of 4 of our preparation course. It was a good day, but there were a few surprises:
There was a bigger range of people on the course than I expected - some of them had almost finished their home study, only a couple had yet to start and one had already adopted (an international adoption)
A large proportion of the people on the course already had birth children. I knew that adoption wasn't just for people who couldn't have their own children but was surprised by how many were there (probably about 50%)
The course wasn't as intense as I expected. I'd heard people saying that I could expect the course to dig into some quite unpleasant topics and that I was likely to find it harrowing. Although we spoke a bit about neglect I didn't find it as shocking as I'd expected, maybe because I was expecting it and because my life experiences have already exposed me to some of the horrific things that life throws at people. That said, quite a few people on the course commented that they would be in bed by 8 o'clock as the course was so exhausting. In contrast we had friends round for a game night (How do you cope with the stress of the course? Decapitating unconscious half ork barbarians. Maybe not the answer a Sw is looking for!)
It wasn't as detailed as I expected - again, this maybe because we have done a fair bit of reading and are already aware of the effects of FAS etc already (at least on paper)

That aside it was a good day - its nice to meet and chat with people in the same way situation a day to share stories of the journey so far and useful, though shocking, to read some of the children's backgrounds.
We are currently on our way to day 2 - I'm sure it will be just as useful and thought provoking

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Don't walk too fast

It seems strange writing this post, given that it's only a few weeks ago I was complaining about how slowly the process was going. Patchwork had a meeting with our SW this week and she mentioned that she would like to try and get us to panel by the middle of June! I have one week over the Easter break when we are in the country - during that week our SW wants to do an interview with both of us and 2 more interviews with just me. I must admit I've got slightly mixed feelings about this. On one hand it's great that she wants to move things on quickly, especially as we had so many delays to start with. On the other hand though, I am slightly worried that it may be taking things too quickly and that we will both need time to process all of the information we get from the training and preparation discussions.
I'm sure our SW won't move us on faster than we can deal with but it does seem a bit odd to be thinking about a possible panel date before we have even started the training course.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Looking back at where you've been

It's been a busy couple of weeks on the adoption front (as well as with work stuff)
I spent a lot of time over the half term break sorting paperwork for the LA. They've asked us to provide 6 non-family members each to act as referees, but want people who have known us over various stages in our lives and in different capacities - not an easy task, but I think we have both managed it.

I know its a chronometer, but there aren't any good images for chronologies!

We've had to produce chronologies of all the key events that have happened in our lives since birth, including schools, addresses, key relationship events, employment etc. It took a while to collect all the information together but even if now I have sent it off, new minor things keep popping into my mind that I missed off.

I thought the wonderful thing about Tigger was that he was the only one.
We've also had to produce family trees for our immediate relations. These are complicated enough to start with, but when you start having to include ex - partners of current partners of step-siblings it gets a bit silly. They need to be in there though as they are parents of children we have contact with.  The final tree is too large to print out, even on A3 paper, so i'm going to have to do some reformatting of it at some point!
On a side note, producing the close family tree has inspired me to do some more research on the family tree that my dad started a few years ago.  With the help of I've tracked my paternal line back to 1780 - I think that's a bit more detail than the SW needs though!

All of this paperwork formed the starting point for my first preparation interview with our SW, which took place last Friday.  Although the SW was supportive throughout the interview, I found it quite grueling from an emotional point of view.  The purpose of the meeting was to look into how my life experiences might help me cope with the demands of parenting an adopted child and help guide them through the difficulties they are likely to face.  For understandable reasons a lot of the time was spent talking about some of the more difficult aspects of my life - being bullied, divorce as well reflections of my time spent working in the institutes in Romania.  It was a very intense hour and half to say the least, but generally very positive.
For any readers who are reading this blog for hints and advice, the main hint I would give is to give yourself time after the interview before having to do anything significant.  My interview took place at work (it was more convenient for me and the SW) but I was glad that I had a lunch break to collect my thoughts - I don't think I could have walked straight from the meeting into the classroom.