The 5th December 2016!
I didn’t really sleep the night before. I woke early, not tired but in dream like state. I felt like i was suspended in some semi conscious reality. Excited, anxious, fearful, optimistic, positive.
Today , the 5th December 2016 was the date we had been given to meet the lovely Sheila* in our local community centre. The 5th of December was going to be a day we would remember forever, the day that would hopefully mark the start of our journey into parenthood.
We were married back in early September 2016. We had two weeks of unadulterated luxury and self indulgence in Thailand, exploring and getting comfortable with out new found marital status. Upon our return we set to finding a charity/agency which reflected us singularly and now more so than ever, collectively. We had decided our Local Authorities approach didn’t reflect us in any way, so it was time to move on. I had the pleasure of stumbling across http://theunlikelydad.com on my journey. Thom was a fountain of knowledge and support then and now. His story cast light and joy in what felt like a dark minefield and continue to do so. Thank You Thom!!
He explained that the process would be:
• time consuming
• at times intrusive
• but most of all INCREDIBLE
The journey for the first time had been likened to pregnancy, this was our pregnancy! I will carry this analogy with me forever. It helped me massively at times where I felt I was hitting brick walls. Thom suggested we look at http://www.first4adoption.org.uk to try and find our agency. We instantly took to one profile of an agency. An agency that seemed to celebrate diversity and offered a personalised approach, not quite so ‘tick box’!. Said boxes still needed ticking (over and over and over again) but their approach seemed different. It felt ‘right’.
So the 5th of December 2016 we were sat in the cold rather unwelcoming waiting room. A small room that was CRAMMED with leaflets, information, advisory and support contact numbers. Distracting 1970’s strip lights that would flicker ever so slightly. It was all feeling a little overwhelming at this point. Reception were unable to locate/contact Sheila* so we were told to make our own way to “the room at the end of the corridor in the South wing on the 3rd floor”. We meandered for what felt like an age pacing down ever shrinking corridors littered with the same unnatural flickering tube lighting we had experienced in reception, going up and down and around in circles! We finally found ‘the room at the end of the corridor in the South wing on the 3rd floor’. Time seemed to stand still for a moment whilst we paused outside the door. I was great full for this moment as it allowed me to centre myself and catch my breath, to bring myself back. The moment was broken by Sheila*. She opened the door with a presence of warmth, smiling knowingly, she was the warmth and light this building lacked ” Steven and Jack?? please come in, take a seat….Let me introduce myself…..”
We were taken on a journey of self exploration, our earliest memory to now and everything that came in between. Probably one of the most cathartic experiences of our relationship. We learnt more about each other, we somehow grew closer, our desire to be a family was solidified. To my supprise 4 hours had passed. Sheila* gathered her sizeable pile of notes she had been scrupulously scribing whilst we had been chaotically taking her though ‘our story’, “right thats all I need for now is there anything you want to ask me? Any questions you may have?”
a sentence worded or expressed so as to elicit information:
“we hope this leaflet has been helpful in answering your questions”
synonyms: enquiry · query · interrogation · examination · quiz · [More]
a matter requiring resolution or discussion:
“the question of local government funding worried ministers”
synonyms: subject · subject matter · theme · issue · matter · point · [More]
ask (someone) questions, especially in an official context:
“four men were being questioned about the killings” · [More]
synonyms: interrogate · ask questions of · put questions to · [More]
Well where do you start? I think to myself, use this time wisely: “so what happens now?” I ask in a desperate attempt to get a glimpse, some kind of indication as to what her recommendation is going to be. Does she see our strengths or are our varied backgrounds and experiences just to opposite? Sheila* is all too familiar with the question I can seen by her slight smile and knowing glance . “You’ve both been very open and honest, thank you. I now have to go away and make sense of what you’ve shared with me today. I need to put that into the context of you being potential adoptive parents and make a recommendation to the charity as to your suitability. All i can say is you both have some lovely qualities.”
LOVELY QUALITIES…………WHAT!! In that moment I was thrown back to when my little sister was enduring a difficult labour with her first child, my first beautiful niece who I love DEARLY! A beautiful soul like her mother. Myself and my brother had left Italy in a rush to be back for when our first niece or nephew was to arrive. Of course we had earthquakes and public transport on a Sunday in Italy to deal with! When we touched down we immediately phoned our mum who had been told that her daughter, my little sister was doing “ok”. “ok” was does “ok” mean? much like “lovely qualities”. Ambiguity Personified.
the quality of being open to more than one interpretation; inexactness:
“we can detect no ambiguity in this section of the Act” · [More]
synonyms: ambivalence · equivocation · obscurity · vagueness · [More]
We were told we would hear the following Monday either way, congratulations or commiserations, welcome aboard this crazy , beautiful train, or thanks but no thanks. This would turn out to be the longest week, 7 days, 168hrs! But….This was our pregnancy right……….on average 9 months……….so whats seven days?
*names changed for confidentiality.