Isn’t it funny how when you are told there is any sort of delay to something it feels like you are going to be waiting forever, but then in a blink of an eye that time has passed?
It was now the start of September and we were about 1 month away from our meeting to discuss the areas the team wanted us to work on before officially starting Stage 1, and we received an email from our Social Worker advising us she is leaving the agency. We were unsure if this meant anything for our journey or not, but she told us the meeting would still happen as planned with her line manager who we previously met.
The day of the meeting arrived, and we were both quite nervous about the whole thing. Were they going to be happy with all the stuff we had done? Were we going to get a new social worker who felt there were other things missing? Were we going to be further delayed? Thankfully the meeting went really well. The manager was happy we had done what we had been asked to, and our new Social Worker seemed very positive and keen too. We were advised they would take all the new information to their Team Meeting in 5 days and then we would meet with the new Social Worker again via Teams to discuss the decision the same evening. After waiting 3 months already, 5 days felt like nothing, but we were both still nervous and anxious about what the answer would be.
5 days pass and we are both sitting at home anxiously awaiting some sort of news and keeping everything crossed that it’s a positive answer. Our Social Worker was having some technical issues with her laptop, so the meeting ended up being a phone call instead, and we just sat at the table with the phone on loudspeaker holding hands as we waited for the answer.
“The team have all agreed you are ready to move to Stage 1” … I could have cried there and then!
We spent about 30 minutes discussing how Stage 1 was going to work and the paperwork involved. Everything looked positive and we were excited that our journey to being parents was officially starting!
We completed our initial Registration of Interest (ROI) and then over the next few weeks we were sent all different documents to complete, including our DBS checks and medicals. My husband had lived abroad for a few years, and it turns out that an overseas police check (same as a DBS check in the UK) is required for anyone who lived abroad. Based on the fact it was getting nearer to Christmas and the whole process wasn’t the most straightforward of things, we were very worried this was going to cause further delays to our journey. We both felt confused why this had not been mentioned sooner so we could have got it all sorted before starting Stage 1, but you can not change the past so onwards we went. Whilst we worked on the overseas check in the background, we spent the next couple of weeks focusing on our Stage 1 Workbook. The workbook requires you to answer so many questions about different aspects of your life, including your childhood and family life and relationship, that sometimes it felt very intrusive and made us think about things we hadn’t for quite a while. In a way it was like our own therapy session getting lots of thoughts and feelings out on paper, but we ensured we gave ourselves plenty of time and took a break from it when needed.
Just before Christmas we received another email from the agency, we had been booked in to attend our Stage 1 Prep Course over 4 days in January! This was very exciting news, and a nice little gift around Christmas too. We could not wait to learn more about the process and meet other potential adopters going through the same things as we were.
After a year of ups and downs, it seemed 2022 was going to be a busy year for us and, if all goes to plan, the year we become Daddy & Dada!
To be continued…