|Frank Gorshin as "The Riddler"|
Dib dib dib!So we’d survived two home-study sessions with Denise and we were all starting to get the measure of each other. And before the next session there was a small matter of seeing whether I could pick up some additional experience of working with children in a formal setting. Sunday League football was out of the question even though there was a local sports field not far off where there were regular kids training sessions every Sunday morning. For us, Sunday mornings were reserved for church and, let’s face it, doing an alternative kids’ activity on Sunday morning simply displaced one childcare opportunity with another. That left me no further forward.
Since we were hoping to be placed, eventually, with a pre-school or kindergarten aged child Beavers seemed to be the obvious door to push on. A quick Google showed that there were three Beaver troops in the area. Excellent, plenty of scope for getting involved in the 8 months or so running up to panel. Or so I thought.
I jotted down the contact details for the three troops and phoned the numbers listed on the websites. No answer... on any of the lines. Not to worry, I left a voicemail message on each of the numbers giving some quick context as to why I was looking to get involved and left my contact details. Just for belt and braces I followed up each call with an e-mail covering much the same information. Shouldn’t be too long now and I could happily tick one of Denise’s boxes.
That box never actually got ticked. I waited for a response. After a couple of weeks I left three more voicemail messages. A week or so later I sent another three e-mails. It was now a good couple of months since I’d initially contacted them and we were well into the depths of home-study. A few weeks later I thought “I must chase up those Beaver groups again.” and then thought about it no more.
|Lord Baden Powell|
Anyway, back to the Spring and my impending solo flight with Denise. The reason for the one-on-one interviews was a psychology research project which our Social Services were participating in. A university was doing a study into adult attachment styles and how these derived from formative experiences in childhood. In return for carrying out the interviews on prospective adopters and returning the data to the university the Social Services got a detailed attachment style work up on each of their candidates. That seemed fair enough and, although participation was voluntary, it seemed to us that it could only be helpful. Or at any rate, what concerns would refusal to participate flag up? As it was, we were keen to get as much info about ourselves as possible.
I was up first and my wife would be the victim at the next session. So as we sat at the kitchen table Denise arranged a pad of paper, a Dictaphone and a printed script in front of her. She explained that she would be sticking to the script as a guide to our discussions to ensure that we properly covered all the areas necessary for the study and to ensure consistency across the sample of prospective adopters. Fair enough.
- they were ALWAYS there for me, consistently and solidly – totally dependable;
- they always put the interests of the family and, in particular, the children first; and,
- they always encouraged me to be the best “me” I could be but never by putting “pushy parent” pressure on me.