Today my SW visited…and it turned out to be the weirdest visit ever.
She said she wanted to be honest with me and that my PAR had gone to a child’s SW and that she was waiting to hear back from them, she couldn’t see why the SW would object to us but you just never know. After the match-that-wasn’t I said under no circumstances did I want to see a profile until a SW had seen mine so she assured me that wouldn’t happen. She said what she would like to do was look at a baby’s profile to get me in the ‘baby mindset’.
I thought this was going to be a hypothetical baby – a pretend CPR, but no. So she starts telling me all about baby X (She actually told me the child’s full name) and their history. She says things like ‘Baby X had the same carer <then> as <then>, so that would be really good because they will be able to fill you in on what they were like <then>’ and ‘Oh I know the FC Baby X is with, they would be really great with <your son> as they have done another baby adoption where there was another child about <your son>’s age’ and ‘We know Baby X has <complex ethnic background> but you’re quite happy about that, aren’t you?’ and ‘BM has specifically asked that Baby X be placed with adopters with the same religious background as you – and that was what caught my eye about the baby in the first place, so you’d be able to meet that requirement’ and then at the end ‘so how do you feel about Baby X?’ So I mutter something about there being nothing that put me off and how Baby X’s background was actually more straightforward that my son’s. She asks me if I have had any thoughts about how we would work intros with my son (erm no, seeing as I don’t have a match yet…!) so she makes some suggestions. So by now I am thinking that Baby X must actually be the child she has enquired about and I’m ready for the big reveal…
But what she actually says is, ‘Well that was just to give you a flavour. Baby X isn’t even through the court system yet. I’ll let you know when the other baby’s SW is in touch, ok?’
She asked to see ‘the baby’s room’ again. At the moment this is a bare room with a book case and a dismantled cot bed in it as when I went through the process last time I wasn’t allowed to do anything until just before matching panel, certainly not until I had met the child’s SW. So I didn’t really think anything of it, plus she’d only seen it a few weeks ago.
‘Right, well you know a child’s SW would not be happy with this?’ She says. ‘You need to get this sorted quickly. They’ll want to see books and toys and a cot! If a baby’s SW agrees to you they won’t want to hang around, everything will happen really quickly. You need to get nesting!’
And then she left. And now my brain is reeling. What on earth was all that about?! Why tell me all about a child that can’t even be placed with me? Why did I need to hear about a child’s profile to ‘get in the baby mindset’? Was she playing mindgames? What was the point?
After over 6 months of waiting, this week I was told the news that the SW of the child I had hoped would be agreed as a match had said no to us. The reasons given were valid – the lack of age gap (which was always the major factor) but also the fact I am not a man! Had I been a single man, or married to a man, I have been told it would be quite different.
So far I have been the wrong colour, religion and gender/or marital status to adopt the two children I have been considered for…and there isn’t a lot I can do about any of that!
These first few days since being given that news have obviously been difficult. My emotions have swung all over the place. From being totally pragmatic and philosophical to blubbering all over a terminally ill friend when I was supposed to be going over to visit to support him! People IRL have been sort of sympathetic in a quick ‘oh I’m sorry to hear that now lets move on’ sort of a way or have been quick to list all the reasons they thought it would never work anyway. Cheers for that. No understanding for the depth of emotion involved on my part at all. No appreciation of the fact this child is a friend of my son, a child at the moment I see twice per day, every week day. No appreciation of the fact that this decision means in all likelihood, in a few months we will never see this child again.
My SW has tried to offer me hope. I realise the SW was trying to say ‘there are other children out there’ but actually I’m not sure it has made me feel any better. In the course of the same conversation as giving me the news she asked my ‘permission’ to look at a couple of children that could be ‘potential’ matches and pass on my details to their respective SWs. She also told me I am ‘next on the list’ which means that any child who comes up in my age category I have to be considered for first (though the idea of this makes me uncomfortable – I thought it should be who is the best match rather than who is first on the list!). I am also not sure why my ‘permission’ was needed – to honest I would rather not know about these ‘possibilities’ as they are just that…and I have heard all this before. There is every chance the respective social workers of these children will say no again, or that their histories and needs mean that they are totally unsuitable for us. But though I try to feign total disinterest, I obviously can’t help but be intrigued a bit…could one of them be the right child for us? There is still that tiny bit of hope left but every time it rises to the surface now I force it down. I do not really believe anything will come of these ‘possibilities’ sadly because I cannot let myself wonder…hope just leads to more disappointment. Yes, as someone said on Twitter, one day a SW will say yes, but I still don’t believe that will be any time soon.
And now due to feeling caught in this downward spiral of sadness, disappointment and rejection, I am not much fun to be around (I imagine this post is not that much fun to read!) so I am avoiding Twitter due to all the newly approved people who are already allowed to join Linkmaker and appear to have a gazillion matches lined up already. Its rubbing salt in my already open and pussing wound and I don’t feel I have any emotional capability to rejoice with them in their joy. I will probably come back eventually, I always do…but a break is needed to mope, wallow in my grief a bit and then hopefully get my sanity together to be happy with and for others!