Today I received a confirmation letter for my meeting next week. On first reading the whole thing totally terrified me, but now having read it through a couple of times I think perhaps I’m feeling a bit more rational.
I keep comparing everything to the other agency, but I now think perhaps the telephone conversation I had months ago with this agency could be the equivalent of the other agency’s initial visit. That would mean this, although called the same thing, could be the next rung up on the ladder from that…this letter certainly makes it feel that way anyway!
Dear Mr and Mrs …. (Erm, ok. I know most people they’ll deal with are couples but as I’ve already filled in a form saying I’m single and spoken to someone else on the phone and said I’m single, you’d think they’d get this basic bit of info correct? No?)
Thank you for your response indicating you would like to proceed to the next stage of the adoption process. (Woah now, this all sounds a bit formal – next stage? I didn’t realise I’d been through a former stage! Think this first sentence is what frightened me – I’m going to the next stage…am I really trying to do this? Me? Seriously?)
The purpose of the visit is to gather information about yourself and is an opportunity for you to ask us questions. (Jolly good. I’ve come up with quite a few in the four months its taken to get this far.)
We would like to discuss the following with you:
- A brief personal profile
- Your current relationship and any previous significant relationships
- The members of your household
- Your occupation
- Your reasons for not being able to have children (if relevant)
- Your motivation for deciding to adopt
- Health issues
- Does anyone in the household, or who regularly visits the household smoke?
- Any convictions
(Ok, so far so good – I know what’s coming with some of these – CRB checks, health check with a doctor, most of it I’ve already covered with the lady on the phone and on the initial form I filled in…so I’m not too worried…I just await instruction on how to go about it. Its the following stuff that I have the most concerns and questions around:)
- The views of family/friends/work colleagues regarding adoption (really? I’ve got to try to shoe-horn that into a conversation with all my friends/work colleagues before next week…without them getting extremely suspicious?)
- Your support networks (Well, here we’ll come to ‘the crunch’ or what was the main ‘crunch’ last time…)
- Reference (This must be about future references…surely? Again this worries me – I’ve read of places that insist on 8 references and from those 8 they select 3. And that’s not 8 people – so 4 couples – its 8 couples or 8 single people. Then there are restrictions on how many family members you can include and how far they’re willing to travel to take up those references…all of it mightily scary, yes I’ve tried to think through who I’d ask but its complicated – some of the people who actually, probably, know me best I don’t often see and they live miles away!)
- Feedback from the information evening (Erm, what information evening…have I missed an information evening then?)
- Age of children you are considering? Siblings? A child with physical/learning needs? (Well, actually, I was really hoping they were going to help me with that…I’m guessing nothing can be set in stone at this stage yet though…right?)
We will also view your accommodation in relation to living space and health and safety. (Best get the hoover out then…and perhaps even a duster…I think I have one of those, somewhere!)
We look forward to seeing you again soon... (I haven’t yet seen you…it’d be nice if I had!).
It sounds like its going to be quite a discussion, so may be I should get some cake in too! Had this letter come two weeks after the phonecall as promised, I think I genuinely would have felt like it was more of a natural progression, as it is, after the plateau of the last couple of months, it feels like quite an acceleration from no-where. There is also the pessimist in me that’s saying don’t get too excited, don’t let your feelings run away with you because they might well say no.
So anyway. Next week is definitely happening and I now know a little bit of what is in store!