So we were recommended to go forward in October 2012 being told the most likely date for prep course would be in new year. However instead within a few days I got call to tell me we were on November course. I have written about the actual course during the time we did it, but I found it really useful. We are still in touch with the other 5 couples who continued through the process (one couple dropped out) and we try to meet up when we can. As we all say we are our own support network for each other. One couple’s son moved in with them Monday of this week which was lovely news and most of the rest of us are somewhere in link/matching process (one couple yet to get a prospective link).
At end of course we were told we would get a letter telling us who our social worker was in the New Year. So we were all surprised to get one within a fortnight of the course ending. By the time we met at end of January 4 couples were into home-study and us and one other couple were about to start. We were lucky in that we got the senior SW from our course as our SW. We eventually started our home study in mid February and would have finished by end of April if it wasn’t for my complicated back-story (moving around a lot and the school stuff) which meant I ended up needing two sessions to cover this. Our poor SW ended up with three couples needing PARs written at same time (thanks to the other couples putting delays into process) so we were the last couple to go to panel from our prep course. One couple went in mid May, 3 in mid June and the last couple a fortnight before us. We all shared the joy as we were approved and by the time we last met (night before our panel) it was just us to go.
June was a difficult month – first having to decide it was time to let my beloved Ricki go, and then just 6 days later losing my paternal grandmother made the first week of June hard. Ok neither was completely unexpected but it did take me a few weeks to get my head back in gear – this made me very grateful for having late July panel date – saved me a lot of aggro as it is also the month of meetings what with confirming semester 2 marks and then the Boards of Examiners (I ended up going to 5 out of 8 of them for various reasons). Then grandma’s funeral which involved a trip to Suffolk as although she died up here the funeral was where she came from.
Then July hit and things eased down – we had our PAR to read and when our SW came to discuss it she also asked us if we felt ok about going forward to matching after approval (when we had seen her in middle of June I was still wobbly and said I wanted to go to approval, but couldn’t be definite about matching at that point). By meeting in July I was fine again so she surprised us by saying she had some profiles she wanted to discuss. Thursday before panel we met and talked about 2 profiles- one of which we both had am absolute gut reaction to of ‘that’s the one’. His family finder is the original SW we met way back in Feb 2012 – so as T puts it – ‘if he becomes our son then we can blame that particular group of friends not only for us meeting and marrying, but also for us becoming parents…..’
That is how we got to where we are now – I do not want to go through my experience this Semester 2 again – teaching 20+ hours a week (as my sister put it I was doing pretty much the same a full time school teacher), and doing my substantive admin role (I am in charge of all the PGT courses in my faculty) all in at most 4.5 days a week. That made for a hectic time – but also made me finally stand up to the senior management and say I need some teaching removing. I have turned round and said I am not coming back of adoption leave to the same load as I have now. Mind you the programme restructure we are in middle of doing (implementation to start 14/15) will help in the long-term.
It’s been a roller-coaster of a journey to get this far with some real highs as well as some lows, but I am glad we have done it. Now for the last stretch and I am hopeful that in November I will finally be a mother. All hinges on a meeting 2 weeks today which will probably be subject of my next #waso post (Clearing next week so not certain how much time I will have to write)