Posted tagged ‘Home study’

Panel

September 25, 2013

Well the day finally arrived and I got a yes at panel!

Things have been very hectic and stressful at work so when the day arrived I was tired, stressed and a little bit emotionally unstable. However, once my parents arrived they were a brilliant distraction and I felt myself feeling a lot happier about things.

When I arrived at the venue, we went and sat in a separate room to wait while the panel read and discussed all the paperwork. Then the chairman and another member came through and said they had some questions and invited me to the panel room. There were only 8 members on the panel that day and everyone introduced themselves before firing questions at me. I was surprised by the number of questions but not by the content (even my SW commented that they asked a lot of questions!). I was asked about my support network, how I would cope if a child rejected me, how I thought it would differ to teaching, why I wanted to adopt now and some other more general things (hobbies, description of my house etc).

Once I’d finished answering, I left and my social worker stayed behind for more quizzing. I was a little unnerved by the number of questions but said to my parents that I was pleased with my answers and felt that I’d done all I could so generally happy. Eventually, my social worker returned and we waited while the panel deliberated. This felt like forever and I found myself talking nonstop because of nerves. Finally we were invited back through and the chairman said I’d received a unanimous yes! I couldn’t stop smiling, had tears in my eyes and thanked everyone over and over again while my social worker dragged me out of the room.

As soon as we were out, my social worker gave me a huge hug and I struggled not to cry (but think I just about managed!). Then we returned to my parents, there were hugs and tears all round before we said our goodbyes.

Can’t believe what I’ve been through today but I’m so excited to know that this WILL happen. Now it’s just a matter of waiting but it’s a much more exciting wait so I’m hoping it’ll be a little more bearable.

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Finally – good news!

September 15, 2013

It has been a tough couple of weeks for me since finding out I wouldn’t make the last panel date. My SW seemed to be constantly contacting me with a stream of things that had been forgotten. One on of these occasions I found out she’d missed something which I felt was very obvious and it really upset me that it hadn’t been sorted. I decided that I’d done enough bottling things up and I sent a long e-mail saying how concerned I was with the constant delays and disappointments (perhaps a little stroppy but not rude). The next day I received numerous phone calls to tell me that I WOULD go to the next panel but I continued to doubt it as I’d heard it all before.

However, I have now received a letter in the post to confirm that I go to panel on the next available date (later this month). I’m experiencing a strange mix of emotions – I am really really excited that this is finally happening but terrified in equal measure that it will all go horribly wrong. I try to be positive so tell myself that at least I will know (if they say no) and can set about my back up plan for having children.

It is an amazing feeling to finally have some good news and I hope that it can stay that way for the time being. I hope that panel are kind to me and soon this will all be a distant memory as I deal with trauma of waiting for a match 🙂

More delays

September 8, 2013

Despite being prepared and excited, the world of adoption strikes another blow…

I got a call from my SW to say that my panel date wouldn’t go ahead as she got the report back with requests for some more information. The information is very straight forward so she added it the same day and sent it back but it means that it won’t be ready for next week and therefore the best we can hope for is a panel date towards the end of September.

As ever, I try to look on the bright side (despite being extremely disappointed) and this delay is much better than going to panel and having them defer me due to the missing information.

Everything is ready for panel so I can just concentrate on other things until a date is actually confirmed.

Family Book

September 2, 2013

I finally got around to doing a job that I’ve been putting off for AGES – making a family book for panel.

Initially, I found it hard because it is extremely strange to make a book for panel that I’m then supposed to adapt to fit a child when linked. When you know nothing about a child, how can you make an appropriate photo book? I fretted over this a lot before I finally gave up and just decided to make one aimed at my ideal age etc. and be prepared to redo it completely if necessary.

Months and months ago I bought a little scrapbook from paperchase. All the examples of family books I’ve seen are large flowery books which really didn’t feel very ‘me’. So I went with a bright blue book with huge cartoon animal faces on the front. I’m worried that social workers/foster carers will disapprove but it fits my personality and is aimed at a child not adults. Then, I took assorted photographs of my house and family to include and hid them away so I could ignore the issue of actually having to put the book together.

However, with a panel date looming I felt I should get my act together and finally do it. As I’d already bought the book and printed the photographs, it was actually relatively quick to put together. In true ‘me’ style, I wrote a plan first of what I wanted to include on each page so I could change things before I set loose with the glue.

When I was considering a slightly older child, I had big plans about including lovely sentences about all the wonderful things we could do in each room (e.g. this is where we can bake cakes and cook tasty meals) but this just didn’t seem appropriate for a much younger baby/toddler. So once again, I decided to forget about trying to impress the panel and make something suitable for a baby (who, to be honest, probably couldn’t care less about what I write on each page) and this is how it went…

A first page which said ‘Hello…’ (to be jazzed up later’ followed by a picture of me ‘Mummy says hello’. Then, photographs of the house and different rooms and each one has a short statement saying ‘Somewhere to…’ (cook, sleep, play). Then, I included photographs of my family (and a very cute teddy bear) with ‘___________ says hello’. The final page says ‘we can’t wait to meet you’ and I intend to put a picture of the child on there but I’m not 100% happy with that so may change it.

Overall, it is very simple but I’m really pleased with it. The pages are bright and colourful with full size photographs and short statements in a huge font. It does the job and if they want me to change it, I can do so.

PS I also bought a Whoozit fabric album which I’ve put a few pictures in as the baby can then handle it without worrying about it getting broken. I really like this idea and some of the pages are crinkly/chewable so it’s almost like a toy!

Moving quickly

August 17, 2013

I was always eager to keep my blog posts fairly regular but would often struggle to find things to write about. Often, no progress was made for weeks and weeks on end and I had nothing to say. Then, all of a sudden, I have SO much to write about in such a short amount of time.

In my last post, I said that my PAR had been completed and submitted to the manager for checking. All must have gone well because at the end of the week I was sent a copy (excluding references). I was asked to read it through and check for any errors and was surprised at how long it was. After trudging through 30 pages of information about me I was really pleased – pleased that there were almost no mistakes to correct (attentive social worker!) and pleased with how positive it all was. I don’t think I could be happier, it is a true picture of me and my adoption journey and to the untrained eye I can’t foresee any major problems (fingers crossed). If panel have any problems then at least they will be real problems and not just due to errors in the paperwork.

My SW also mentioned a couple of children she would like me to consider! Talk about exciting!!! First job is to get through panel and then consider some profiles. After such a long process it is so exciting to see things moving so quickly. Hopefully panel will go smoothly and one of those LOs will be perfect for me.

Next step – wait for confirmation of a panel date and try not to implode in the meantime. Really need to get my family book done for panel too – I keep putting it off because I’m worried I’ll mess it up or generally miss something important.

 

PAR = done

August 13, 2013

Well this post has been a long time coming but I am pleased to announce that my PAR has now been completed!

It has been submitted to the manager and hopefully everything will go smoothly now for a panel date in September. I am still always worrying about what may go wrong but my SW seems confident that we should breeze through panel.

Also discussed children today. Nothing specific but a refresher for my SW as to exactly what I am hoping for. This has got me unbelievably excited and I am really looking forward to September and hopefully a quick linking/matching experience.

Can’t stop smiling!

I would accept

August 13, 2013

Completing the par also involved the completing of the ‘what I will accept’ form (I’m sure it has a real name but I have no idea)

For me, there were 2 parts to this form. The first part involved levels of contact which I would agree to including direct contact with birth parents and other family members, as well as letterbox contact and whether I would want to know about significant health issues in the birth family. I was a little nervous as it was very generic but the social worker said that when discussing individual children, you are perfectly within your rights to change your mind. Due to my experiences, I am very open to contact (if appropriate) so this was relatively easy to complete.

After this, we completed the form which looked more at health and emotional problems that I would be prepared to taken on. This I found much more difficult. It was extremely hard to say no without feeling like a complete cow but I had too be honest. Also, I found myself saying that it would depend on individual circumstances a lot but I imagine this is normal. Once again, my SW said that when considering children you can make a fresh decision and my answers are really only used for matching – you’re not tied in, so to speak.

Something which was particularly apparent was how well my SW knows me. She was able to give some really thoughtful advice when I was unsure about what to put and made me feel really positive about her finding me the right child.