So We are now one year into meeting our boys. It’s insane to think its been a whole 12 months which seems like a lifetime ago but also no time at all.
Seems like a good time to pick up the trail Again now……..So approval panel!
For those who know skip the next paragraph. So you go to panel with your prospective agency/authority to be approved as adopters. Panels recommendation is then passed onto the agency decision maker who has the final say. Once matched you are then expected to attend panel AGAIN at the placing authority of the child or children, where unfortunately you have to endure the same process. The main difference between the two panels is this final hurdle is namely aimed at the social workers/family finders/ medics so panel are Confident you have been given as much information as possible and you are moving forward with your eyes firmly open, with as much information as possible.
Panel is a process we were fast becoming uncomfortably comfortable with.
This holding room by contrast is light and early, the walls breathe! As do I. We had been told that the agency decision maker would sigh off the the recommendation of Panel on the same day. This time we go in with an entrougae of support, our social worker, the boys social worker and their family finder, all of whom are championing our cause.
We had been made aware due to the profile of the boys ‘case/story’ that EVERYONE had an invested interest in their placement i.e US. Despite this we felt comfortable and confident that this was ‘it’.
Panel went by with relative ease, the main concern panel had was nothing to do with us but the lack of input from the medical advisor who by all accounts was routinely off ‘sick’. Panel wanted reassuring that we were fully aware of what we letting ourselves into. The main reason for this as befor was due to the lack of certainty around T-Rex’s future development. We laughed, I cried (again), we shared photos of our house, their future home, and then once again we were asked if we had any questions, if not to leave and take a seat back in the holding pen.
We waited for a few minutes, everyone breathing a sigh of relief. The Social workers and family finder where pulled over the proverbial hot rocks that are paperwork and protocol of moving looked after children onto placements whilst we smiled and sweated.
Much to everyone’s relief we once again received a resounding and unanimous yes! That’s it, it was official, the boys, OUR boys were coming home. I still to this day cant imagine going through everything we had upto that point to be told no?.
From panel we moved straight into the next meeting where we outlined everything that was to happen over the coming days and weeks, and most importantly the day the boys would come home. The boys foster career was present for this meeting. We hadn’t seen each other since the very emotional meeting at life appreciation. Christmas had come and gone since then in a bit of a blur and we were well and truly in the throws of 2018. I felt hugely for her as the mix of emotions she was clearly feeling must of been almost impossible to process. She believed we were the right parents for the boys but the journey she had been on with them coupled with this being her first placement meant we were all in for one hell of a ride and feeling a little overwhelmed by it all.
I’m going to ask they boys foster career to guest on the blog about how it was for her.
So it had all been very carefully planned out. I felt like we sat and passively agreed to everything that was suggested during this meeting. I was a little uncomftable with the regidity of the said plan but had also learnt not to rock the proverbial boat. So it was agreed we would now somehow summon up the capacity to drive home another 250miles, quiet, speechless, autopilot journey. Needles to say the following journey when we returned on only 3 days later was fuelled by entirely different emotions.
It felt like our feet hadn’t touched the ground and my head hadn’t caught up with my heart befor we were driving up again, knowing when we were driving back this once again would be an entirely different experince. I suffer from quite complex anxiety issues which this whole process had shook to its very core, pushed and stretched be beyond my own belief.
That night sitting in the cottage we had been rented for the week my mind ran at 110MPH relentless unanswerable questions, unimaginable scenarios with unknown outcomes. Very little sleep was had, I found myself lying there, tossing from side to side, to hot, too cold,over tired, then wide awake, wishing for the alarm to go off, not out of excitement but out of sheer desperation for that part of the process to be over and onto the next, which subsuiquently meant we were one step closer to the final chapter of our rigid introduction plan.
The plan was that we would meet the foster carer and the boys at their local soft play for 2hrs and that would be all for that day. Over the course of the week the time we spent with the boys intensified. We stepped forward as she took incredibly brave steps back, entrusting us with them, showing the boys first hand that everything that was going on around them was “ok”.
We drove around and around and around and the Sat’Nav typically could not seem to find the place we were heading to, the place our children were waiting. Anxiety’s were high and tempers short! No one likes a back seat driver especially when the Sat’Nav has other ideas about where you are headed or the sheer inormity of the drive your on.
We finally arrived there was no chance to sit outside the front door on the drive and compose ourselves! We were instead parked outside a floor to ceiling window into the world of soft play. The other side of this window were two children, one of which was SCREAMING “daddy….papa…..black car” the other fast asleep. Time for me froze for what felt like an eternity I had been run over and then reversed over again for good measure! We had no idea that T-Rex would be so engaged and know who we were. Adrenaline took over the overwhelming anxiety and that was the moment my life changed forever! We walked in to our little boy overjoyed that his daddy and papa were there. It was like he had been Waiting his whole little life for us, already so familiar. The foster career was undertsandibly emotional, she explained she had never seen him react in such a way or to become so excited, for us just INCREDIBLE, for her bitter sweet I imagine. Baby Beamer sound asleep oblivious of the sheer magnitude of what had just happened around him.
Those Two hours went at a rate I didn’t know was possible. I didn’t want to go, I didn’t want to wait till tomorrow, I was hungry for them , for our relationship to develop, to learn about each other. I wanted to firmly plant the roots of our family tree.