Some of you may have been wondering after the six IVF treatments that I went through what happened? Did I become a mum or did I just give up?
After the last cycle of IVF failed in June of 2006, I registered an inquiry almost immediately to the local Council for me Kent County Council to adopt. I received an information pack in which there were several forms I quickly returned the completed form and a Data Protection form.
I was then invited to an information meeting in the September of that year where social workers spoke to us, couples and singles, interested in adopting. They tried hard to put us off! I totally understood why as they really wanted to make sure that it was what really you wanted. They would invest a lot of time with those that really wanted it! They had to make sure this was for them to take them through the whole process.
I was the following month allocated a Social Worker and she did an initial home visit, a month later was then confirmed onto a Preparation course starting in the February of 2007.
Adoption Preparation course
The course was one day a week for 4 weeks and started on my birthday it was intense instruction on child development especially for those children from difficult and challenging backgrounds and introduced us to all that we may come up against. This was a time with other couples to really delve deep into what we really wanted and what type of child that we would welcome into our family. I was the only single person amongst eight couples. We became good friends and even today are still in contact. I suppose it was like our own antenatal group.
During the course, we did some role play to help us understand how the children perhaps would be feeling. It really did open your eyes!
March 2007, I gave my formal application to adopt. For me, it seemed to move quickly to the next stage. I was accepted by the end of March and allocated a Social Worker and started my assessment in April 2007.
This was another intense part of the process, to say the least, the form that needed to be filled in included absolutely everything. From my childhood upbringing to school to the family’s ups and downs and all had to be done chronologically. Where I had worked (that was an interesting one as at one point I temped and I needed to remember all the companies that I had worked at – I think I remembered most of them).
I was lucky that it was only me for the assessment, the Social worker spent a good amount of time with me to get the form done and she did not need to speak with a partner separately which of course would normally happen. I had both parts of the now very familiar Form F done and dusted by June. This also included a list of seven references that I needed. They really wanted to make sure that you had support (yes these were really needed).
My now rather large Form F – basically my life to date, was sent to Panel for approval on the 25th July 2007. I was then invited to a panel meeting where I was basically interviewed by a panel of 6 people from adopter to social worker and can’t remember who else was there. My social worker sat outside. I was asked a few questions. I remember being asked about my finances and being really hot on figures I was able easily to answer how I managed my finances being a self-employed person. I then had to wait for a decision 15 mins later I was told that I had been approved to adopt! But always a but, this needed to be ratified (who knew what that meant, I do now!) It means that it had to be approved by a higher person. This thankfully happened two days later which was a Friday I remember it well. So, I celebrated with my sister.
Now the wait happened!