Posted tagged ‘Panel’

Matching panel

July 11, 2014

Well this week it all became official – I got a yes at matching panel and will soon be a mummy to 2 very gorgeous little boys!

I found the experience terrifying but oddly a little less stressful than approval panel.

When I arrived, I was shown into a waiting room and the panel chair came and introduced herself. She explained how the process was work and it was almost exactly the same as approval panel. Then I waited while they looked through the notes and chose some questions.

Finally, I was called in to answer some questions with both my social worker and the boys’ social worker. The questions were mostly as expected – why these boys? How will you cope if they have trouble bonding with you? How will you meet their individual needs? I thought I answered the questions well and after about 10 questions was asked to leave while the social workers were asked some things separately.

The social workers followed me after only a couple of minutes, which I was told was a good sign. Then the true waiting began but honestly, I felt quite positive.

Eventually the chair came out and told me that it was a unanimous yes. Then she went through a list of Barbour 10 reasons they felt it would be a match which was a really lovely touch. She also thanked me for coming forward to adopt the boys which was also a lovely thing to say.

All in all, despite the nerves, it was a very positive experience. I enjoyed it more than approval panel and now just can’t get my head around the fact that I am going to be a mum. When will it start to feel real?

 

 

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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.

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!