Monday, 26 May 2014

An Aside: Privates on Parade - balancing confidentiality and openness in the adoption blogosphere...

Photo: The Adoption Social

Privates on Parade - balancing confidentiality and openness in the adoption blogosphere...

This article was first posted a few weeks ago on the fabulous blog: The Adoption Social .  The Adoption Social is a great place to browse for invaluable information about adoption and fostering, to read other blogs about these issues, to enter discussions into topics which concern many adopters and to just hang out online. It publishes new content every day and is one of the websites I keep coming back to on a regular basis.
Run by two blogging adopters it really is a forum for adopters and by adopter. Check it out and participate in one of their Link Ups...

A piece from Adoption Journey on the need for adopters to consider privacy in social media.

A few weeks ago I was reading the paper in my lunch break. Towards the middle was one of those heart warming human interest stories. An adult who had been adopted as a very young child had set out on a search for her birth mother and had finally found her using Facebook. A reunion ensued and so did a happy ending. They were now back in regular contact and building a new relationship. Who couldn’t fail to have their heart touched by such a lovely tale? Well, me for a start because, as I read it, the uplifting story was tinged with a shiver which went down my spine.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Chapter 42 - Matching: Meeting Our Little Man (momentarily)...

The day had finally come for out "fly by" visit to the foster carers to see the little boy who might one day soon be our son. We were aware of the rules... LOOK, DON'T TOUCH! However, it was still an amazing opportunity to start to get a feel for who this little boy actually was. Up to now we had only seen some photos of him. It seemed that our authority didn't do the videos of children which others seemingly do. Or perhaps that was just for the more difficult to place children where there was the possibility of out of county adoption?  Or maybe we just never saw them? Either way, it felt like a unique opportunity.

We would actually get to see (we were pretty sure of this at the time) our son-to-be!

Saturday, 17 May 2014

An aside: Music was my first love...


This blog is written as a contribution to the Music themed Weekly Adoption Shout Out at the Adoption Social website.

"Music was my first love
And it will be my last
Music of the future
And music of the past

To live without my music 
Would be impossible to do
For in this world of troubles
My music pulls me through..."

OK, fair enough, it may be a bit of gloriously overblown 70s prog bobbins from the team behind the Alan Parsons Project but the lyrics of this kitsch classic pretty much serve as a manifesto for my life. Sure, it may not be my first love... my lovely wife, my gorgeous little boy, my faith... they sit in pole position. But it is true to say that music gives them a pretty good run for the top spot!. Music has always been incredibly important to me. In my teenage years it was a comfort in hard times, a refuge and an inspiration.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Chapter 41 - Matching: Meetings - Momentous and Mundane...

Well, a good number of the hurdles had been successfully leaped. We were pretty sure that the grumpy little boy staring our of the front page of the CPR form was the one for us. His social workers were pretty sure that we could be the parents for him. There were still things to work out and we would be seeking to dot every "I" and cross every "T" in the paperwork. 

We now felt that we were sufficiently far down the road that we could start telling people. We had, up to this point been pretty protective of ourselves and only confided in a couple of our closest friends - the real inner circle of our support network.  We hadn't even told our families yet. We reckoned that for them, in particular, it would be more difficult for to deal with the potential disappointments if we had decided not to proceed. Given our long history with infertility and first trimester miscarriages it would have felt like running around telling everyone the moment we saw two little blue lines. After a while those little lines had come to fill us with a mixture of dread and foreboding rather than joy...

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Chapter 40 - Matching: Under Scrutiny

Well, wheels were being properly set in motion. Denise phoned us the following day with a firm date to meet our little boy's social workers. It would be an opportunity for us to ask more detailed questions about him but also for them to scrutinise us. They would dig into us as individuals and as a couple (we were used to that by now). They would examine our motives for becoming parents and to parent this child in particular. They would look at the emotional environment in which a child would grow up and consider whether they considered the match to be a suitable one.

No pressure then.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Chapter 39 - Matching: Decision time


We had given ourselves a week or two to try to assimilate the information which was presented in this little boy's CPR form.  Yes, there were questions which we would need to dig into. Yes, there were small gaps which we felt we needed to fill in. Yes, there were some medical issues which we needed to check out. Yes, there were still a world of uncertainties to weigh up. But... and this was a big "but"... day by day, hour by hour and page by page we were coming around to a feeling that this might just be our son we were reading about.

Intellectually it seemed to make sense to say "Yes" but intellect can only take you so far in cases like this. Alongside all the weighed-up pros and cons we were both developing a feeling in the pit of our stomaches that this was somehow all... just... "right"! This was somehow meant to be. 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Chapter 38 - Matching: Further investigations


We were finally considering a child. There was a fair amount of paperwork to look through. A huge number of documents to analyse and draw conclusions from. Hundreds of lines for read between. There was  a description of this little boy, a potted history of his short life to date, a description of his birth family and their circumstances, a family tree (which looked like several intoxicated spiders had crawled across the page, so fractured were the various familial connections). There were medical reports on the little man and his wider family. There were some headline psychological reports on his parents and feedback from his foster carers on his progress to date.

It was an awful lot of information to assimilate. And of course there were worries... What if we miss something? What if there is something important in there and we don't realise the significance of it? What if there is some vital element that is missing from the reports? What... If... They're... Hiding... Something...?