Monday, 13 January 2014

Chapter 29 – Post approval: Setting a direction


Finding a purpose
Having discovered ourselves in limbo it was clear that we needed a game plan. We were the third or fourth couple in our group to be approved into the adoption register and already a number of those were being matched. About a month or two after we had been approved we had another big adoption group get together. Several of the couples were in the throes of the last stages of the approval process - their haggard and concerned look was familiar to us. We'd seen it in the mirror often enough only a month or so before.

Another two couples were proudly sharing their matching experience, preparing for matching panel and thinking forward to introductions. For us it was still seemingly radio silence. Sure we had our ritual of reminding Denise that we still existed. However, despite the frustrations of seeing others ploughing ahead we were set on our patient approach.

Didn't make it any easier to cope with though.

It was at the get together, while relaxing over a post-prandial beer that Brian, our friendly neighbourhood prop-forward plonked down next to me. "So, Julie says that you've still not heard anything. Not been matched." I responded with a shrug in a non-committal manner. "Nah, you're going about it all wrong, mate. You need to keep giving it a shove. Push the whole thing forward. Hassle your social worker to send you all the info on all the kids who are up for grabs."

All through the approvals process we had stood aghast at Brian and Julie's ability to wind their social worker around their fingers. To get him to do just exactly whatever they wanted. It had certainly seemed to have worked for them. They had been browsing through our county's own internal version of "Children Who Wait" trying to decide which children they would go for since long before they had been approved. Thinking about Denise's methodical by-the-book manner I allowed myself an internal smile, thinking about the polite but firm pat on the head which our trying to do the same would have produced. It isn't necessarily as easy as all that. All through the adoption preparation process we had gently pushed to see where Denise's limits and soft spots were. What we received was a gentle but firm push back. There were lines... They were clearly marked... They would not be crossed, thank you very much. We had quickly come to an understanding of how it would all work. Denise's understanding of how it would all work.

And frankly, Brian and Julie's bull-at-a-gate approach to life wouldn't have rested easily on our shoulders. No. We had made a decision and we were content to live with it. We had considered looking through "Be My Parent" and the like and decided that, for now, we would not rush into that. We resolved to give the social services a good clear six or seven months to do their thing. After that point we would reconsider and decide if the time was right to become a little more proactive.

Not that we wouldn't keep up our gentle "remember us campaign". However, for now we chose to trust the social workers and let them get on with their jobs...

It still wasn't easy as we watched a number of our fellow travellers go through the linking, matching and introductions process over the coming few months. Again, we would turn up at the odd evening post-approval training course and introduce ourselves during the obligatory round the circle point of the evening. Each time we were quietly amazed at the number of couples who were passing through the process in a manner that Denise (and all the Local Authority guidelines) would not have approved of... "We are going to adoption panel next month and we've been matched with a little girl of 3 years old..." WHAT?? "We were approved last month and a week later we were matched with..." REALLY?? Time after time we had to take a big deep breath and tell ourselves, "No, we've made our decision about how we are going to play this. We know that it is the right way for us. We know that it is the right way to work with Denise. We know that we have made the right decision for us for now..." Still, GRRRRRRRR!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We're up to face the approval panel next month. Several of our group have already been approved, and one couple already has a baby under the foster-to-adopt process. We are in no rush (we have 4 birth children between us) but it is still a difficult thing to sit and be patient, waiting for the world to move at its own pace. Hang tough, it will come.