Still waiting

Well I have nothing really to blog. Still no report from the agency, no official letter to say they are happy for me to go ahead with the process. No dates for the January training.

Have to say what’s really been antagonising the situation is the poster campaign my agency have done for National Adoption week. I do quite a lot of driving about in my job and it seems no matter where I go I get stuck behind a bus with ‘COULD YOU ADOPT?’ blaring back at me off the Ad board on the back of it…wont tell you the thoughts running through my head every time I see it! It also makes me worried because they’re being so slow at the moment I’m imagining with loads of new enquiries they’re going to grind to a total halt! (My impatience rearing its ugly head again!) Anyway, if I’ve still not heard anything by next Friday I’m going to give them a call to try to get the Jan dates as I need to let my parents know as they are going to take it in turns to come with me on the training.

I did also glean this bit of new info off their website about the children in this area needing adoption:  There are 43 boys and 29 girls, 22 are under two years of age, 37 are under five years of age, nine under seven years of age and two over seven years of age. There are also 17 sibling groups of two or more children. And even that tiny bit of info I found interesting.

I know the agency hasn’t forgotten me entirely as I got a letter yesterday about attending an information evening on fostering to adoption and concurrency planning. No explanation of what that was though and its on Tuesday. I have since found out (google is a wonderful thing) and I don’t think that’s right for me. I know it would break my heart if a child was placed with me only for a court to decide a bit later it was right that s/he should be returned to the birth family. I also get the impression that this is to allow very young children to bond with their potential new parents as quickly as possible rather than be shunted from pillar to post before that. I was tempted to go just to feel like I was doing something but I know in my heart of hearts I couldn’t live with that uncertainty so better the places be filled by people who do feel they could do it and the letter makes it quite clear it isn’t compulsory.

I have also organised a meeting with my sort of boss (hard to explain) to find out about adoption leave and pay, as the organisation I work for makes up its pay for people on maternity leave so they get a full wage. It is however very vague about what it does for adoptive parents and I need to know how soon I’m going to need to save every penny I have.  He knows its early days and nothing is certain. I am kind of nervous about the meeting, I must admit as I wait to discuss it with him in a couple of weeks.

It feels a little premature in some ways, but in others I’m not so sure. I feel I need to do some proactive things else I’m going to go crazy just sitting here doing nothing. One of the SW’s did say that with LA agencies the process can take longer but often the matching process can be quicker whereas with independent agencies it can be the other way around. So the longer the organisation has to get used to the idea I may need to take time off the better really.



This (rather rambling…apologies) post is for #WASO, the Weekly Adoption Shout Out and is on the theme of ‘barriers’.

I can’t ever really remember not being interested in adoption. My biggest barrier to considering adoption earlier was probably growing up in Churches that expected you to be married and biologically reproducing before the age of about 21. Marriage and the inevitable kids were seen as the ultimate goal before anything else in life. The unspoken outworking of this is that if you are still single and/or childless in your mid-late thirties then you haven’t really succeeded, even that God hasn’t blessed you. Lovely. (Being unmarried and childless himself, I’m not sure that making sure everyone got married was ever really Jesus’ intention) .

But nevertheless, sucked into this way of thinking, the goal for me for a good few years was the same – to get married. And of course, to have kids. But here’s the difference. Even then I knew I wanted to adopt. Yes I wanted biological children, can’t pretend for a moment I didn’t, but even from the moment I played ‘families’ with my Barbie dolls, some of the kids in Barbie’s (huge) family were adopted. But my barrier for years was that I had no Ken, no husband. I believed that first it was impossible for a single person to adopt but also that I wouldn’t have the strength/ability to do this unless I was married. Then there was the opinion of course that a child should grow up with two parents (and I’m not even going to start on the gender of those parents!). What would people think if I became a single mother by choice?

First the barrier of singleness in my own mind and  my own view of my standing before God was broken down and changed. I do not believe that I am somehow inferior or less loved or less following God’s intention because I am not married. I do not believe I am any less blessed. I do not believe I am living an inferior life because I am not married.

I have also watched friends’ and acquaintances’ relationships break up for all manner of reasons. And I saw the effect of relationship break ups on the kids I worked with (not all bad, I must say). I have also watched people in marriages where they are deeply unhappy and no longer even seem to know their spouse but carry on in their unhappiness because they believe ‘that is what God wants’. So therefore my view of this ‘ultimate goal’ has changed too and my life as it is became far more attractive. Then when I was told by a fellow Christian that singleness wasn’t a barrier to adoption and plenty of people with less background of working with young people and children than I’ve had cope just fine. That was pretty much it. Barriers all gone.

And I can’t help but wonder. I wonder, if I had got married, if I would still be doing this. I like to think I would be. But who knows? Adoption obviously certainly isn’t an ‘easy option’ to parenthood. I have been in contact with two married people recently – the first has no fertility issues but is thinking of adopting, but for her the possibility of biological children is a reality and adoption is simply ‘an option’ (but one she is seriously considering). The second has had fertility issues but the thought of the intrusive nature of the adoption process seems like too much to handle for them as a couple. So may be for me too marriage might actually have become its own barrier to adopting.

For other blog posts on adoption see:

Telling people

I have tried to keep my adoption journey as secret as possible due to the nature of my job and because, actually its no-one’s business except my own.

I am however, terrible at keeping my own secrets…partly I blame the fact I don’t have a spouse to bend his ear with my thoughts and feelings. So…I told my SIL (who is very supportive) who told my brother. After I filled out the initial application form, I told a small group of friends in the locality that I could be confident would pray for me and who I had discussed adoption with in the past, well before I applied. Then I told a couple of friends who I am in contact with a lot but don’t physically see very often who again had known of my intention to adopt for a long while.

Then I was warned that I would need references from every place I have ever worked with children and that they would be taken up as the first part of the process within the next couple of months. So I told an ex-colleague that a form could be winging its way to her soon. I then had to locate someone who I could use as a reference for a different job as the equivalent of my boss had retired, my only other colleague passed away nearly 2 years ago and the equivalent of the board of directors had all changed. We’re talking 15 years ago now so the likelihood of anyone in the actual ‘company’ remembering me was slim. Then I had a brainwave and asked if it was possible for one of the young people I worked with (then aged 15, now aged 30) to write it and the answer has come back that it is. So I contacted her and asked.

Now, I have just been on a trip back to where I grew up and was based for 5 years of my adult life. During that trip I have just told my parents, who were for me, by far the hardest people to tell. I told an ex-work colleague who was a close friend and who I knew would be able to give me advice on how to broach it with my parents. I then told one of my oldest friends. Then I had to go back to the school I worked at again to warn the head teacher he would be getting a form soon (and also to remind him who I was, as again its been almost 7 years since I left.) Then because I knew the head teacher isn’t always that discreet I told another ex-colleague  who  (for good reason) I didn’t want to hear it just announced in the staffroom in a throw away manner.

So now at least 12 people know that I have started this process. That feels like an awful lot. They are all people I trust, or who I have to trust because my hand has been forced, to hold this secret.

I have been deeply encouraged by the responses to the news. Most people seem to be genuinely thrilled or are at least putting on a very good act of appearing so! Also what I found interesting was how many of those people also had some connection with adoption. One of the people I told was thinking through the possibility of adopting herself, another had considered it but decided it wasn’t right for her and another has close family also going through the process. In some ways that helps too because it makes me realise that actually more people than we might think are affected or have been touched by adoption.

Unfortunately I haven’t yet told everyone I have to. Next up I have to tell the bosses of two different places I currently work with children, as they too will have to write references. Then I have to tell my ‘boss’, as there are questions over adoption leave, pay and general support that I need to ask as the agency want to know the answers. This brings it all a little more close to home.