Newbies

(1000 Posts)

Hi I am a newbie and only just started this journey, officially made the call last week.

Just interested how may other newbies are out there who are still in the early stages. I keep coming across people and recognising names. Anyone want to let on what stage they are at?

funnychic Wed 12-Sep-12 06:30:23

Hiya and welcome, I'n not that new and approved. you will be in my position before you know it, try and enjoy. xx

Lovesoftplay Wed 12-Sep-12 08:39:23

Not a newbie either, but funnychic is right, you will soon be there x x

LocoParentis Wed 12-Sep-12 21:07:52

Hello

We're waiting for the initial social worker visit.

I'm glad there are a few of us going through it at the same time, we'll hopefully be able to support each other and share our experiences.

x

calmlychaotic Thu 13-Sep-12 00:00:02

Same as you made the call last week, got to wait till end of October for an open evening and then home visit after that. Social worker phoned and introduced herself couple days ago. There does seem to be a lot of people on here just starting out now. Good to have the support.

Hi Funny, LSP, loco and Calmly - hope those abbreviations are OK?? Thanks for saying hi. I am excited but scared. Been vaguely thinking about this for 20 years! definitely considering it for about 5. Long journey just to get to this point!

Lovesoftplay Thu 13-Sep-12 08:18:50

It is a long journey (not so much the actual assessments etc, but the decision making before you start) but it will fly by now. So exciting smile

At the moment I feel more nervous than excited!

Karbea Thu 13-Sep-12 22:08:38

Hello,

I made the call yesterday and had a long chat with the social worker. Open eve is nov 20th, nothing but reading to do till then...

Good luck Karbea, exciting time. Let me know if you read any good books.

mrsballack Thu 13-Sep-12 22:58:12

Hiya.

I'm a newbie too. We submitted our initial forms and are waiting for our first home visit. Having a nightmare with try

mrsballack Thu 13-Sep-12 22:59:47

Whoops hit the button too early. Damn iPhone.

We are having nightmares trying to get a consent form from our Local authority. They claim to have sent it twice but we've not received it and they are quite rude when I ph

LocoParentis Fri 14-Sep-12 20:55:56

Is it worth trying a different local authority? If they are problematic this early on, what will they be like when you need there support

Hi nembies, how are you all today?

I hope all well.

LocoParentis Sun 16-Sep-12 11:16:43

Hi Italian,

Today I am reading 'what every parent needs to know' by Margot Sutherland and obsessively overanalysing the profiles on bemyparent!

I'm totally sure we're doing the right thing but the nerves and self doubt have really started to set in now. I'm sure I'll feel better once the initial visit is over with.

I did manage to switch off from everything for a little while and have ordered a new coat grin.

How are you feeling?

calmlychaotic Sun 16-Sep-12 23:10:14

Hi loco.
Do you recommend the book? Going to get myself down to the library this week. Anyone else got any recommendations?

Hi Loco I felt very stressed today as my DD was being really naughty and I wondered how I would cope if I had two who were both being really naughty at the same time!

How do you get hold of be my parent? Can you read it on line or is that a totally dumb question? I have seen a hard copy of it but it was so long ago and I didn't really know much then!

OK, have found Be my parent on line. It is very interesting. I am assuming that these kids are not using their real names and photos because some don't seem to match the ages! It is pretty weird just reading the details and knowing they are all real children! We are so much at the start of the process that it all seems so far off! Must ask a question of the more experience lot about 'Be my parent'! Feel free to pop over and answer it if you know!!

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/adoptions/1565998-Be-my-parent-how-does-it-work

Thanks.

mrsballack did you get the form in the end?

Oh it's just breaking my heart looking at Be my parent! In a funny way I needed to think about the children, because getting ready for adoption I am thinking about me, will I cope, what will they think or me, etc etc and actually forgetting the children!

Tigglette Mon 17-Sep-12 20:46:53

Can I join in too please, we've been to the open evening and have completed initial paperwork - social worker is sending us for an early medical because we're both overweight (currently dieting like mad...). She thinks it won't be a problem as long as we bring our weight down but wants a medical before our prep course. All very exciting and scary and happy and frightening, but glad to have the process underway.

Tigglette all the very best luck losing weight. If you do manage it you can change your name to .....twiglett! I am struggling with my weight too, I've been overweight for years but now am thankfully losing weight. I managed to avoid donoughts and fried chicken and went for prawns, bread and salad instead!

Good luck and all the best.

Tigglette Mon 17-Sep-12 21:26:26

I'm a v long way from being a twiglett - more of a tree trunk but I'll get there... Avoiding donuts and fried chicken and wine is a good starting point for me.

LocoParentis Mon 17-Sep-12 22:24:07

Hi everyone,

Tigglette you're not alone, both my DH and I are overweight. We're hoping they'll be alright about it. I definately feel able to look after a screaming toddler or two. We're both open to losing weight as it's something we both want to do anyway.

Calmly - it's definately interesting, very easy to read it's not aimed at adoptive parents just parents in general but as i don't have any children (yet) I wanted to at least get some research down into parenting techniques. I read somewhere they may ask you what your parenting technique is so i thought i'd better learn some! I've ordered Real parents real children which looks really interesting i'll let you know when it arrives.

Italian - two being naughty together is what is keeping me awake at nights too. We're hoping to adopt siblings and my worst worst worst fear is two toddlers holding hands and running away from me at speed. I suppose whats been comforting me is that I would cope as i'd have no choice but to cope. And the days when they are both making you tear your hair out will be far outweighed by the better days, or the days when they go off and play nicely together smile.
In answer to your question about how soon to tell the social workers about DD's behaviour I would straight away. I think it will actually stand you in good stead the fact that you have recognised it and are dealing with it constructively.

I can only see the public profiles on be my parent it's just really to get an understanding of the 'types' of children awaiting adoption, i.e usual age of sibling groups, health probs, foetal alcohol, attachment etc. It's really really premature but I'm an over thinker what can i say.

Also big news in the parentis house tonight. Our sw called and asked if she can pull forward our initial meeting to the 24th of Sept so they can sent us on the prep course starting friday 28th of Sept. shock shock shock.

I'm not nervous about it i'm terrified!

loco really hope all will go well. Yay, 28th Sept, how exciting.

Loco and Tiglette I am watching The Biggest Loser, it is an old series from USA and then later this week from Australia. It is on every weekday after noon at 14.00 until 15.00 and sometimes also from 15.00 to 16.00. It is on Pick TV, which is number 11, and I try and record it daily to watch for inspiration each night!

Good luck. Wow, it's all happening on here!

calmlychaotic Tue 18-Sep-12 03:12:43

Hi everyone,
for those of you worrying about more than one child to look after, I'm a childminder and I always find more than one easier if not too much of an age has as they usually amuse each other. Once you get used to the logistics of leaving the house and increase in noise that is!
Be my parent is heartbreaking isn't it,I find it really strange too that if everything goes according to plan and I get matched with a child about 2 my new dd/ds is born already and out there somewhere. I find myself worrying about them. Surreal.
My top weight loss tip is have everything you want but in smaller quantities and nicer versions, I mean if you feel like chocolate buy yourself a little box of beautiful Belgian truffles instead of a big bar of something,and really savour them. Also carry a water bottle everywhere and everytime you feel like a snack drInk some, and eat loads of fruit, it really does satisfy sweet cravings. I just lost 2 stone doing this, good luck.

Tigglette Tue 18-Sep-12 08:52:33

I keep thinking the same calmly, we hope to adopt two older children so there's that thought that they're already born and the hope that they don't get too screwed up while we're waiting to adopt them. Thanks for all the weight loss encouragement, I'm guessing if this is the hardest part of the process we'll have done well but oh am I regretting not moving more and eating less before now!

calmlychaotic Tue 18-Sep-12 13:33:54

Its a weird feeling worrying about children who are almost hypothetical!I found the hardest thing with weight loss is how long it takes, I'm not very patient

Calmly wow, excellent tips. All best wishes with that.

calmly and tigglette where are you in the system at the moment.

Tigglette Thu 20-Sep-12 20:04:37

I'm very early on, attended an information evening in July and have submitted paperwork for initial checks as I need to have a medical early in the offices because I'm overweight. I should be invited to prep group once that's done and we'll go from there. Psychologically I'm at the "oh my goodness what have I let myself in for, do I really want all of the lifestyle changes etc". I know I do but I get a bit daunted thinking about it. We've told very limited number of close family members, all of whom have been delighted for us and would usually support us with stuff.

Tiglette just sent you a message - feel free to ignore it.

ALL best wishes with next step.

mrsballack Sat 22-Sep-12 20:19:33

Hi guys,

Glad to see theres been lots happening while ive been away. I am currently in Rhodes, waiting for the bus to the airport and I am losing the will to live.

No sign of the form before we left, I think I'm going to have to go and collect it on friday before work. At least they cant say its been lost in the post again. I am trying to give them a chance as Ive heard some good things about my LA but if they carry on being rubbish and rude I will look elsewhere.

Hubby and are are also in the fatty club, so we are with a lot of you too. We had lost weight before our holiday but you know what happens on holidays.

My main concern is my lack of experience with children. All I have is a few months of helping with the Beavers, but I suppose that's something.

mrsballack glad you had a great holiday, very jelous, me, envy.

Yes, quite a few people have said that they need to lose a bit. But what we are losing it for is worth it! PLUS we get to live a longer and healthier life. I watch The Biggest Loser Australia every day to try and get me MOTIVATED! (Well I record it and watch it when DH is not around in the evening, he HATES it!).

mrsballack I heard a great thing on here of a person who got experience with kids by helping at school. I am pretty sure she went in dad a gardening club once a week in her lunchbreak (or something like that). I think it was a school near where she worked so she just fitted it into a work lunch break! The good thing is that things with kids can be quite short! So swimming lessons etc are usually half an hour and ballet or Rainbows is an hour. So helping with stuff is not a huge commitment. Also if you did a club or school activity in the lunch break or afer school I expect some schools would bite your hand off, they love having responsible adults going in. There is a woman who comes into my kid's school and does junk modelling with the kids once a week, they love it. There's loads of info on the Internet about craft etc. I always thing craft is a fun thing for some kids as they get to make something and take it home!! Just an idea.

oopse - she went in and DID a gardening club once a week.

LocoParentis Sun 23-Sep-12 16:19:48

Hi everyone, I'm taking a break from making my house presentable for the initial sw visit tomorrow. The sw said she's bringing the manager with her and they'll tell us there and then whether they want us on the prep course starting friday.
I don't think I've ever been more nervous.

LocoParentis wow, very exciting and nerve wracking! All best wishes for the visit. Hope it goes well. Try not to worry.

calmlychaotic Sun 23-Sep-12 23:25:00

Hi everyone,
locoparentis good luck for tomorrow, please let us know how you get on.
I am not very far at all, made initial call, have had a very promising chat with social worker over phone, got information evening in about 3 weeks. Can't do anything now until been to that. My last miscarriage was only in July so I am a bit worried they are going to say its too soon and to come back in 6 months. Will see. This waiting is frustrating just want to get on with it!

LocoParentis Mon 24-Sep-12 17:42:07

Thanks Italian and calmly,
So that went really well, they didn't try to put us off or be negative about it.
They ate my biscuits! I knew the biscuit decision was important. grin
I feel so glad that the first contact is out of the way. At least I know now we're not a definate no, that we have a chance iyswim.
Im thinking of it like this:
Initial interview - first audition
Prep course - boot camp
medical, references etc - judges houses
home study - live shows
panel - the final
matching - getting your christmas number one
being a parent - having a successful career.

sorry i'm rambling. I think the adrenaline (spelling!?!) has hit me, now its over with and went well.

Calmly - even if they say its too soon they may do the checks and everything for you to at least get the ball rolling. Then you won't feel like you're in suspended animation in the mean time.

calmly I am so very sorry to hear about your misscarriage, and I am guessing there were a few, so sorry. I hope you have had some counselling, I think the adoption people like you to have some of that, but I am sure some more experienced adopters can advise.

If your miscarriage was in July, well they do usually say 6 months before starting the process. You are going to the open evening next month so could you ask them about it at that? So after open evening soon you would be looking at start or New Year, or maybe end of year, would you? All the very best.

Loco fab news, that really is great. I am very pleased for you.

calmlychaotic Tue 25-Sep-12 00:05:52

Thanks for kind thoughts, I just had 2 but that's enough, one was quite late. I have friends who have spent 10 years plus trying to conceive and had so many mc and its just not for me, there are enough kids out there that need a home is my logic.

Loco, that's great, now what kind of biscuit did you go for, very important! I love the x factorcomparison, guess I'm currently queueing outside a venue!

Suppose yes that's true if they do checks at least its doing something. I asked for and was referred for counselling, I didn't feel I needed it I did think t would help with my applying to adopt, anyway at initial telephone assessment I scored far to high, am apparently normal and fine and in no need of counselling. . .they haven't seen me first thing in the morning though! I agreed didn't feel I needed it but did worry a bit that I should have some just to prove I'm ok. Just felt like a bit of a waste of everyone's time.

Italian, I'm not really in a massive rush anyway, my ds is only 2 and they prefer an age gap, saying that I would like to be all done before the end of next year.

Lots of questions for the open evening

anyone given any thought as to if they would late twins, siblings?

calmlychaotic Tue 25-Sep-12 00:06:56

Take, not late!

calmly I have a birth child too (she's 8) so I decided I would only like one child. I know I would love twins, but at my age not sure I would cope!

LocoParentis Tue 25-Sep-12 10:35:09

Calmly the fact you contacted for counselling, and were told you didn't need it may well be enough for the adoption agency.
I did cry on them when they asked the ivf question. I really thought I'd blown it then and they'd make us wait but they seemed happy enough that it was a year ago.
I suppose ivf, miscarriages, infertility in general is going to have affected most of us and if they won't consider adoptive parents who have been through the mill with it all then lots of children would be living in foster care.
We've said we are open to a single child or a sibling group of two. I told them I would love twins. They said it's probably more likely the oldest sibling being around three and the youngest about one or under.
I think they were testing the water to see if we would take three. We were very definate about not taking three.
Biscuits. I didn't buy the milk chocolate hobnobs I had planned. I went to marks and spencer to get flowers on the morning. Didn't know i wouldn't be able to buy hobnobs there, we don't buy biscuits very often you see. So bought ginger snaps and these belgian chocolate florentines. They ignored the ginger snaps but ate the florentines.

calmlychaotic Fri 28-Sep-12 23:25:30

So not great news, been doing lots of ringing round because I was hoping not to have to deal with my own local council. So far 3 agencies and 4 councils have rejected me. All same reason because I have 2.5 year old. My argument that by time through process he will be 3.5 and I could adopt 18 month old is ignored. Been told to go away and come back in a year. What am I meant to do for a year! With my own council only got so far as information evening so far so now I'm convinced when get to proper meeting I'll get rejected by them too.

DameKewcumber Sat 29-Sep-12 00:18:29

calmy - not a newbie but I just wanted to say that the reason they may be telling you to go away is that although some councils say minimum 2 year gap they really do mean minimum. Most councils prefer a gap of 3 yrs or even more. Also saying that allows you to adopt up to 18 months may make the selection pool (of children) too small to be worth them getting you started yet. If you wait another year they would be able to suggest up to 2.5 yrs which makes many more children in your range.

"I would like to be all done before the end of next year. " Do you mean with a c child placed? BEcause I know 15 months from application to placement is possible but I have to say in my experince it isn't usual, particularly if you've looking at a child under 2. In your case (with a young child at home) I would say you need to start thinking about 2 yrs as a more realistic target.

Hi Calmly Sorry to hear this is tough for you. I know how you feel - I have been there done that! It is tough.

In all honesty I can see where the LA are coming from (although I could not when I was in your position!). There really does need to be a big enough gap between adopted and birth kids, for the sake of everyone involved (including you).

The year can be a time of getting yourself ready for adoption both emotionally and practically.

Also you can enjoy the time with your birth child who is still so young. In a few years time he will be off at pre-school and then school. I know it is corny (and people told me when I was sad not to be allowed into the adoption process when DD was aged 2) but enjoy this time with your birth child while he is young and you will be able to give lots of attention to a new child when they arrive.

Calmly earlier on in the thread counselling was mentioned. I personally feel most people can benefit from the chance to talk openly with a trained adult who is not involved in the situation they are in and can provide a listening ear and help to find a helpful pathway through concerns etc.

This is not about counsellors giving all the answers or 'solving' a problem.

The fact that you had a miscarriage a short while ago and have now come to the conclusion you will not try for any more birth children and will now look at adoption is a massive thing! A good counsellor would help you work through the implications etc for you. That has been my experience of counselling anyway!

I do think part of the year away from the process could be a chance to get your head around it all. For me it has taken a long time to come to terms with adoption rather than another birth child. I now feel excited about the process and ready for it all (or am I wildly naive!).

I feel the child we adopt (if we are lucky enough to get through this process - and we are right at the start) will most probably come with their own set of baggage and concerns so it is imperative I have worked through mine before they arrive! The process has been very long for us, and it may be more straight forward for you, but these delays (although VERY annoying) can allow you a breathing space to take stock before you go to the next bit. Please P.M. me if you would like to talk more.

All the very best.

CheshireDing Mon 15-Oct-12 12:22:55

Hello, can I join as a "newbie"? Is this the thread to join or is there another thread?

DH and I have been discussing adoption more recently. Even when we first were thinking of moving in together and talking children etc I said I would always like to adopt but now I hope we are getting to that stage.

I notice on a lot of thread though you seem to be able to register with your own LA and others. I just presumed I would only be able to go to our own (Warrington) and then wait it out, so to speak.

What would be the real advantages of us going to others too though?

Would they all prefer to wait until our DD is older too? - She has just turned 12 months.

Sorry about all my initial questions.,
Thanks

LocoParentis Mon 15-Oct-12 19:05:49

Hello and welcome CheshireDing.

I think it's very likely that most LA's would want your DD to be older. They usually say a minimum of two years between your youngest child and the adopted child. It's worth phoning and asking them though, just for your own peace of mind.

You can choose which LA to go with and i personally would recommend having a look at the ones within striking distance. Like anything different departments will be ran differently. Some may be a lot more organised and process your application much faster. Some may have a lot more children waiting than others, depending on the demographic of the area.

As well as LA's there are adoption agencies, Barnardo's for example. They tend to specialise in 'harder to place' children.

It's worth remembering as well that only the LAs have the children waiting to be adopted. And they are going to try to place their children with their adopters first. So sometimes as 'fast' as an agency may seem to get you through the process you may be waiting a long time to have a child placed through them.

When choosing your LA its worth having a look on their websites as they usually say what adopters they are looking for ie sibling groups, older children etc. I also found looking at their ofsted reports helpful.

Good luck!

Welcome CheshireDing.

I agree that your local authority may ask you to wait a bit but I am always surprised that one local authority says one thing and another says something different so it is always worth asking.

All best wishes.

CheshireDing Wed 17-Oct-12 21:25:34

Thank you smile

Actually since you both mentioned it I have had a look at a few LA's round here and the Ofsted reports are way better for some than others (way better than Warrington). One even has outstanding so I think we will look to them first.

I do wonder what the thing is with the current children being older, to a certain degree I understand it but I have heard previously it's at least 18 months of age.

Kewcumber Wed 17-Oct-12 21:42:21

every LA will have a different age gap rule. I know there was some research done a while ago which said the optimum age gap between first adopted child and second was 6 years!

calmlychaotic Wed 17-Oct-12 23:18:35

Hello CheshireDing, my local authority has agreed to take me on and my ds is 2, they were a bit reluctant and said it may take longer to to find a child as not many babies available to adopt and prefer 2 year age gap. My La is Liverpool, we're neighbours! I was told to wait a year by several other la's and agencies though.

CheshireDing I'm new to all this so no idea exactly but I think the thing about the current child being a bit older is that they are less dependent on you. Also the wider age gap makes the needs of each child more distinct, e.g. an older child will have a later bed time and so will get that one to one time with mum/parents after younger child has gone to bed. But am guessing that is just the tip of the iceberg. I would encourage you to keep reading, and finding out info, and I am sure you will find different LAs have different rules and maybe some will be more helpful than others.

all best wishes,

Oh Kew can you point me at that research that says 6 years, am interested, can't think why!!

LocoParentis Sat 27-Oct-12 13:18:17

Hello,

Hows it going for everyone?

We've finished our prep course a couple of weeks ago and they want to continue with the assessment (as do we)
We've been allocated our SW. She was the one who came for the initial visit and I really like her. It will make it easier bearing our souls with someone you feel comfortable with.
Our home study is due to start before 16th of Nov with the aim of going to panel by the end of March.

pleased grin and terrified shock all at the same time.

Locoparentis great news. What were the highs and lows of your prep course? What were the others people like?

I am all ears, only say what you feel comfortable with. Disguise the people in case they are reading it too!!!

All the best,

LocoParentis Sat 27-Oct-12 18:42:03

Hi Italian,

Highs - 2 things:
1) Adopters, foster carers and a young adult who was adopted came to talk to us. All were fascinating really interesting stories. Was very emotional listening to them, both good and bad. I can't really tell you much more about it, you know confidentiality and not my stories to share on the internet but the things they said made us think the most.
2) On day one they showed us a very basic list of their children waiting for adoption. It was just age, sex and ethnicity but it was like a bolt of electricity went up my spine.It's very probably that my children are on that list and are living somewhere now waiting for us to be approved. It made everything feel real. Especially as they told us they don't have any approved adopters already as they have found matches for the last lot.

Lows - two things again:
1) Little things that we were told anacdotally (if i've spelt that right i'll be stunned) by the foster carers, adopters and sw's about the things that the children had gone through. Can't say exactly what obviously but it was things like but not when a child had come into foster care would only eat bread as was used to only being fed pizza crust. The sort of thing that you know happens but you don't really have to think about the realities of it much in your normal life.
Even though i've put it as a low it was really helpful to realise that and think about the reality a bit more.
2) I would have liked to have had longer to explore some of the areas, attachment, development, long term effect of early neglect etc.

The others on the course were all really nice. We got on really well as a group I thought. Some already had a birth child, some were single adopters, some were foster carers already. I think most had had fertility problems, as you would expect but some were choosing adoption and hoping to have birth children later. I hope we can all stay in touch as would be great to have that support and friends for play dates who really understand.

I hope your prep course goes as well. I really enjoyed it and found it a very useful experience. PM me if you want more nitty gritty smile

Fabulous, thanks Loco.

Hi Fellow Newbies ..... any news?

LocoParentis Sun 25-Nov-12 03:28:20

Hey, we've had our first home visit, it seemed more like a chat than a serious meeting. i suppose it's easier to get a feel for people in conversation than asking set questions.

our next home visit is next week and its the check the house out one. the sw said 'i'm not checking your housekeeping skills or anything just getting an understanding of the house and rooms yer RIGHT!!' i'm still going to go batshit crazy and making the house gleam like its never gleamed before!

anyone else with news or is it all quiet on the western front?

Loco keep cleaning, you might not get much time for it in the future! All best wishes.

VerityPushpram Fri 28-Dec-12 11:25:57

Hi all, another newbie here. Had prep group end november/ beginning december, and just had application to start the PAR accepted. So just waiting for the first home visit!

It's a bit nerve wracking, so I'm happy I'm not alone (not counting DH of course)

Welcome Verity. Just curious but what does PAR mean? Hope all will go well with Home study. Would love to hear how it goes, we are just at the prep course bit next month!

thanks thanksthanksthanksthanksthanksthanksthanksthanksthanksthanksthanksthanksthanksthankswinkthanksthanksthanksthanksthanksthanksthanksthanksthanksthanksthanksthanksthanksthanksthanksthanksthanks

VerityPushpram Fri 28-Dec-12 16:27:52

Thanks Italian smile The PAR is the prospective adopters report, it's the new name for the giant form they fill in during home study. Good luck with the prep group!

MrsBW Fri 28-Dec-12 21:57:45

[Waves hello!]

DH and I started the process in July... He is infertile due to cancer and my Mum was very poorly after I was born and I've been told I'm at risk if I have kids. Had an info evening then initial social worker visit from one LA but were put on hold for 18 months at that point for reasons that I won't go into on here. Bit of a kick in the teeth.

So, we're now going through a VA who so far have been somewhat more open to talking to us to find out more about us rather than make snap judgements.

So, so far it's already been a frustrating process but we know there is more to come, and the end result will be worth it. Just waiting to find out about our initial visit with the VA... Have already been told their prep group is in March so hoping we'll be accepted into that.

Current thinking is we'd like to adopt two, aged 3-8, but that may change of course as we find out more.

Looking forward to finding out more about you all and hearing about your journeys!!

MrsBW thanks for sharing and I so much hope your journey will be smooth from here, or at least a bit smoother.

Just as you asked, and ignore if you like .... My experience is that over 20 years ago I thought about children in care when I was in an orphanage in Romania, then I watched a documentary about babies in China and read about a little boy from Russia who was adopted in the UK. I felt very drawn to the idea of adoption and especially adoption overseas. I was young, unmarried, had no home and kind of filed those thoughts away.

Ten years later I got married and within a few years my husband and I had started trying for a baby and found we were having problems. I thought about adoption briefly but got pregnant (with some help - I mean other than the usual kind!) and DD is now 8.

A year after her birth we had started trying for number two. I had always wanted to adopt but we figured we would try for another birth child and then adopt, or at least that was what was on my mind. When we were told we could not have another child we looked into adoption but we were told because DD was still so young (2 at the time) that we would have to wait until she was older.

We decided to keep trying and had fertility treatment, elusive child number 2 never arrived and strangely the more we tried the more I wanted it to work! So six and a half years later after a lot of expensive fertility treatment we did stop trying and started looking into adoption. We had to wait 6 months before we could proceed and it is has now been almost a year since the start of our last cycle treatment. I am very grateful that the whole chapter of my life is over, and I expect it will be touched on at our prep course and the half day workshop on loss. So now we feel much happier and relaxed as a family, I genuinely feel now ready for the whole adoption process and even if it does not all happen I will be content as a family of three, although I know we have room in our home and in our hearts for another child, so I want to be open to their arrival.

Anyway, long-winded story. All best wishes for all Newbies and may the New Year bring lots of joy to us all.

PS should say we are looking at domestic adoption.

PPS MrsBW So sorry to hear about your husband's cancer.

mrsballack Sat 29-Dec-12 23:30:22

MrsBW my hubby is infertile due to cancer too x

We are having our initial home visit on the 14th jan after around 9 months of our LA messing about with getting us forms and forgetting us. Am going to see how this goes and maybe look at another agency. Typically that is the same day as our beavers group goes back so I think I might have lots swilling around inmy head after the visit. Luckily I have a job with lots of thinking time so I can process it all the next day.

mrsballack so sorry to hear of your husband's cancer. Wishing you all best wishes for the meeting. We had ours a few months back and it was good. I cleaned like mad, hubby saying she would not want to look round, and she did take a quick peek around. She drank our coffee and spoke to us for quite a while, and was very pleasant. So hoping you get a nice one too.

MrsBW Sun 30-Dec-12 11:06:02

Thanks all. My husband was poorly in his early twenties (many many years ago smile) and well before I met him so we've both come to terms with it. My Mum, although poorly after I was born, relapsed early last year after 20 years which has cemented our decision not to go down the IVF road. I just can't risk getting the same illness and my children going through what I went through as a kid.

I know some people get so excited at the thought of even making the very first phone call to the LA or VA, but at the moment, I can't get really excited as the process seems so long and fraught with so many pitfalls. I don't want to get my hopes up!!

Mum2G Wed 09-Jan-13 11:06:54

Hi all, it is great to read about you all, we are just starting our journey too. A bit about us, we have a 5 year old ds. We had a loss due to hyperemesis in Feb, 12 (I had counselling), decided to explore adoption and made the call in Sept.

We have decided to apply to our local authority (Swindon), they have been very nice to speak to and have a good ofsted report.We went to an info morning in Oct.

A social worker is coming to speak to my hubby and I tommorrow and they will then write a report that will determine whether or not we are invited to apply. They say that you find out within 21 days of the visist but i am hoping we won't be on tenterhooks for too long! Just started reading on here, it is so useful to hear about everyone else's experiences. Just ordered some books to read too. Nervous but trying to think positive!

LocoParentis Wed 09-Jan-13 12:41:59

good luck Mum2G. What biscuits did you buy for the social workers?

Mum2G Wed 09-Jan-13 17:11:24

None lol! We have eaten all the xmas goodies and i am staying away from the biccy aisle for a bit!

VerityPushpram Wed 09-Jan-13 20:00:56

I bought three types for mine! She didn't eat any! Good luck Mum2G

Hi Mum2G good luck. Hope it goes well with the social worker. Ours was lovely and it was all very relaxed.

MrsBW how is it going?

Mrsballack any news?

Verity, Loco, CheshireDing, * funnychic*, calmlychaotic, and Tigglette, and anyone else who is lurking - how goes it?

VerityPushpram Wed 09-Jan-13 20:17:08

Just starting the PAR now - tense but exciting stuff! How's it with you?

Doing prep group at moment, very exciting, feeling part of it all. Long way to go, in our area prep group is quite early on, before medical, home study etc etc.
Thanks for asking Verity.

Mum2G Thu 10-Jan-13 10:56:32

Thanks all, hope your meeting goes well Mrsballack

Mum2G Thu 10-Jan-13 15:43:22

Yey! We are to be invited to appply, disapointing news however is there are no places available on training courses for local families til sept (as they are trying to place local children priority is given to families who are not so nearby. They have suggested we think about applying to Bristol.

VerityPushpram Fri 11-Jan-13 08:15:01

That wait is far too long, don't sign anything yet as it will tie you in to them. The government is setting up a hotline today for anyone interested in adoption, the number is 0300 222 0022. Good luck!

mrsballack Tue 15-Jan-13 17:42:33

Hiya. Hope everyone is well.

Well the social workers came yesterday. They were here for about an hour and a half and they seemed very unimpressed. They pulled a face several times when hubby was talking about his childhood and his daughter who he has not been allowed access to. (she is now an adult and he's had no contact for years). They pointed out loads I things wrong with our house (like our bathroom being too small) which was confusing as the couple who lived here before us adopted their daughter whilst living in this very house.
So overall I just have a sense of dread and am fairly certain we will be told no. We will see I suppose.

LocoParentis Tue 15-Jan-13 18:36:59

they're probably just testing your commitment. it's not an experience I had but lots of others have said the initial few visits with the social workers were negative and they were looking for faults.
don't lose heart I'm sure you have a lot to offer

Try and stay positive. See what happens. All the best.

Mum2G Wed 16-Jan-13 17:20:55

When do you hear Mrs Ballack? Fingers crossed it is better news that you think

We are currently shopping round agencies, I read the 'adoption diary' book, It was very enlightening about the whole process and emotional.

MrsBW Wed 16-Jan-13 20:33:17

Hi mrsballack

Sorry your first visit wasn't a good one.

I'm racking my brains to understand why the size of a bathroom would be a factor.

We have no news to report but will check back on this thread every so often!

Mum2G any news on an earlier date?

Mum2G Thu 17-Jan-13 09:32:31

I know what has the size of your bathroom got to do with anything!

No news yet, we are currently talking to different agenices but are unlikely to be prioritised as we don't have room for siblings as we only have 1 spare bedroom and it's too small for 2 to share. We are both white British so unlikely to be considered for black or mixed race children and I don't drive so it would be harder to meet the needs of a child with limited mobility. We have 'made an offer' (their words not ours) to another local authority that is being considered. We are hoping to meet with another next week if my husband can get the time off work.

I phoned the adoption line (Thanks Veritypushpram) and they did give some helpful info, when I asked if it is true that voluntray agencies assess you quicker but then it can take longer to be matched with a child, because they tend to place children who have been waiting longer, I don't think she knew what to say! She did say though that phoning and speaking to them can give you more of an idea of these things. It does seem all very well setting up the adoption line but what is also needed is more resources to enable local authorities to process more applications (stating the obvious but letting off steam!)

mrsballack Thu 17-Jan-13 09:57:46

Hiya. Not sure when we are going to hear back, it was all a bit of a blur. Apparently the bathroom is too small for a baby bath and all the toys and things that children have?!? I was raised in a house built in exactly the same style as our current house so I asked my mum about it and she was a bit lost for words. She said that you manage, and that a baby bath woul go in the bath surely. It did feel like they were being overly picky. I'm hoping that it was just their attempt to test us a bit.

mrsballack sorry it was not good. Pulling faces sounds very unprofessional! Or was it that they were trying to look sympathetic???

I would try and stay positive and not let this get you down.

I am sure the whole area of previous children etc is an area they will go into for anyone so I expect it will come up and be discussed etc. Maybe someone else who has had those kinds of experiences and also adopted (or knows about adoption) could help you to talk it through etc.

This is so weird about the bath! I am guessing they have recommendations on how much space kids need.

We have a birth child and never used a baby bath. We had a foam inset that went into the regular bath and that is what we used when she lied down, then there are bath seats you can use.

This thing looks pretty cool! We had a simple foam thing, so I have not tried this one at all.

www.squidoo.com/top-ten-baby-bath-pads-and-cushions

I could not get the sound to work so no idea what they are saying but it looks pretty good.

Anyway, if the question of the bathroom comes up again I would focus on how you can solve 'the problem' as they see it. using the space creatively like having bath toys hanging safely in bathroom net on the wall, using the inset safe thing that goes in the bath.

I think I would be tempted to tell the social workers that the previous owners adopted with that bathroom. However, the fact that the previous owners adopted in that house may be a bit irrelevant (for the social workers) as things may have changed in terms of what is expected etc. I am only saying this because talking about what people did in the house a long time ago may not help you, and might even make it look argumentative.

PS I should also say that maybe the area of what a birth child does or has is not always the answer anyway, I know I gave the example of what we did, and maybe sometime social workers are looking at the list of things they need/require and don't always want to know how other people have done it/would do it! But I do think showing you have thought about what they said and come up with 'creative' ideas makes you look thoughtful/inventive/in the process etc. Just my humble opinion!

Newbies how are you all doing?

Funny, LSP, Loco, Calmly, CheshireDing, Verity, MrsBW, Mum2G, Karbea, mrsballack, Tigglette and all. Thinking of you. Any one got any news? We have finished prep group and are waiting to see if we get to go on to home study.

VerityPushpram Mon 28-Jan-13 08:35:24

Fingers crossed then! We're about 4 meetings into our home study, in less than a month, so 'vroom'! Looking at the financials form with a puzzled expression, money is a mystery to me but I know I get some so hopefully will all work out.

Mum2G Mon 28-Jan-13 09:32:21

Hey All, How was the Prep group Italian?

Hope your home study is going well, Verity - from the reading i have done there is not a lot that they don't ask you!

We are still talking to agencies, 'making offers' (as they call it), having initial visits and filling in forms. It is looking like we may go on a prep group in April/March depending on what authority we go with. One authority is particularly keen and visiting in the next fortnight - they are talking about prep course in march with the aim of being approved by the end of the summer, so it is a case of wait and see!

Doing some reading here and there, and trying not to scare myself too much in the process!

Hope everyone else is well x

Verity I know nada about money but yes I make it and I spend it!!!

Mum2G Thanks for asking. It was fab, it was great. Lovely people, really lovely bunch, I reckon I could stay friends with any of them! I mean they were all great people, whether we will all stay friends, no idea, but I do hope some of us will. Most did not have kids yet and it would be a privilage to watch them become parents.The Social workers were lovely. So great, met two fab parents who have adopted and the attach team lady was a real star too. So all in all I was very impressed.

mrsballack Tue 29-Jan-13 17:58:40

Donkey

Group: Senior Member
Posts: 1,752
Member No.: 17
Joined: 4-April 10

Hiya. Had a phone call today and they haven't said no yet! We've not been assigned a sw yet as they are short staffed apparently but they are looking at running a prep course in April and will send us a letter to confirm dates.

So good news in general. April isn't too far away but gives us time to sort the decorating that needs to be done.

mrsballack Tue 29-Jan-13 17:59:31

Not sure what the hell that donkey stuff at the top is. Sorry

Mrsballack Great news. April will be here before you know it.

I am now nervous as I have weight to lose and my medical is looming! Luckily I am in such a good place that I know I can do it and feel more confident about talking about the fact that I am overweight but working on it!

mrsballack Wed 30-Jan-13 15:59:47

How much do they want you to lose? I ask because I'm a chubber and trying to lose weight and was wondering if they'd want me get to a healthier bmi.

Mum2G Wed 30-Jan-13 17:10:30

Great news mrs Ballack! It will be good to alll go through it together!

VerityPushpram Wed 30-Jan-13 20:33:11

I'm overweight but my GP made it clear that he didn't think I'm unhealthy. I wouldn't mind losing a bit though, I want to do plenty of running around after my little ones!

All my medical form said about weight was that if BMI is over 30, waist and hip measurements needed to be included.

mrsballack Wed 30-Jan-13 22:56:20

That doesn't sound great. My bmi is currently about 33 but it's going down. I carry most of my weight in the unhealthy midsection too! Having said that I've never had any health problems and my blood pressure and cholesterol are all normal. We shall see I suppose. The sw never mentioned my weight at all.

Mrsballack My bmi is just under 33 so I would like it to be under 30. I am eating less and now I have had a problem with my tooth I expect to eat even less!

Verity You said 'All my medical form said about weight was that if BMI is over 30, waist and hip measurements needed to be included.' Would rather not have my measurements taken!!

Mrsballack If your prep group is not until April and your BMI is 33 you have 3 months to get it down a bit if you feel able to. Please do pm me with any tips!

mrsballack Thu 31-Jan-13 12:42:27

Thanks. I've lost almost a stone in January so it's getting there. Been at a standstill this week but I think that's because I've been I'll so haven't really exercised. I'm hoping that if I can show that I'm losin the weight it won't be too much of an issue.

VerityPushpram Thu 31-Jan-13 13:07:54

Italiangreyhound, I took off as much clothing as I could and still be decent on those scales!

Good luck everyone who wants to lose weight, I'm doing the fast diet but it's definitely not fast - more of a marathon than a sprint.

Oh Verity which fast one, alternate day fasting or 5:2. I am trying alternate day fasting but a bring and share lunch at work yesterday snagged me a bit!!!

MrsBallack what is your secret, a stone in a month!! If I can do that I could be under 30!! Or just abouts!

mrsballack Fri 01-Feb-13 03:33:17

Italiangreyhound I have no idea. I was counting calories, but still having 12-1300 a day. I cheated on at least one day a week. I exercised for 30 mins 5 days a week and did an extra 60 min Zumba class on a sunday. I honestly think it was the exercise as the last week I've stayed the same despite eating better than before.

LocoParentis Fri 01-Feb-13 06:41:33

Hi all, just wanted to update you. We're had to put the adoption process on hold for a year. Over Christmas dh found quite a serious illness. We're pretty sure he is ok but it's their policy that we would have to wait a year after to make sure it doesn't recur and that we're over it.
I understand where they are coming from but this feels like a body blow.
So we're not giving up we are still making preparations but I might lurk off for a bit too lick my wounds.
Good luck in your journeys over the next few months

VerityPushpram Fri 01-Feb-13 07:10:09

Loco, hope your DH is OK, all the best for a speedy recovery and a good result for you and your children.

Italian, it's 5:2, not too taxing but only if you're patient (I'm trying to be).

Loco I am so sorry, I really hope he will be well soon and that you will be on track to adopt again soon.

Mrsballack and Verity thanks for sharing your diet tips.

How is everyone?

Hope all is well.

DH had his medical but I am still waiting.

firenze2 Wed 13-Feb-13 22:52:04

Hello, just joining and Italiangreyhound kindly pointed me in this direction. DH and I are at the starting end of the process. We've had an initial interview and looking to find out about a prep course taking place, hopefully soon.

Loco - Sorry to hear about your delay. That must be so disappointing. But I hope your DH gets well soon.

Welcome firenze2. Interesting name. All the best.

Domjolly Thu 14-Feb-13 07:36:24

Italiangrayhound

Eeekkkk i have my prep tomorrow and on monday i start my home study can tell i am nervous because i woke up at 6 this morning bolt up right i was Oh well just gonna try and keep my self occupied.

mrsballack Fri 15-Feb-13 13:04:16

Hiya. New sw has just left. What a difference!! She was lovely, very positive and friendly. She said she will be recommending us to go forward. Their next prep course is full but there are spaces in may. I feel so much happier with this agency than the last one. Goes to show that meeting with more than one agency is a good idea.

Great news Mrsballack.

firenze2 Mon 18-Feb-13 11:09:00

Domjolly: Good luck with the home study start today!

mrsballack: Nice to hear you had such a positive experience with the new sw. It does seem to differ from agency to agency!

Domjolly Mon 18-Feb-13 18:53:35

Oh my goodness our sw is soooooooooooo nice we have the first of our 4 home studys ( doing four long days) it went well i think talked loads


Now for the seconed half of our prep group on friday iys all going soo fast

Great.

Mum2G Tue 19-Feb-13 10:13:01

Hey all, Sorry to hear that Loco that is a blow, wishing you all well, keep in touch if and when you feel like it x

Fab news Mrsballack, it is nice to feel supported when you know you are going to be bearing your soul to them! Now you can make plans for May which will be here before you know it.

Are you still waiting to hear back after the prep group Italian? Good luck with your medical. We have been given a list of books to read with birth children to help prepare them but i am thinking we will do this later on in the process, i know you were looking at these so if you think any are particulalry good i would be interested to hear.

Welcome Fire! Hope your interview went well, we found it very strange reading about ourselves in the reports that came through after the visits, and it is interesting to find out how they have interpreted what you have said!

Good to hear all is going well Dom, Good luck with the rest of the homestudy and prep, it is funny how sometimes it feels as if things are dragging a bit and then at other times things seem to go fast.

In the end we had visits by three agencies and have just this week decided on who to go with. We are now filling in the F1, getting together all the details for the chronlogy is interesting when you have moved about as much as DH and I have!

All being well, we will start prep course in March, and have home visits every two weeks to do the home study.

We have said we are open at the moment to a boy or girl, but i am kind of thinking it might be nice ot have a girl, ds would like a bro, the social worker suggests that their views on this are key, so i am mulling this one over at the mo!

I have just started reading the attachment handbook for fostering and adoption, it looks like it is going to be really helpful

Hope you all enjoying the sunshine x

Broodymomma Wed 20-Feb-13 10:48:13

Hi room for one more?

We applied back in may last year and finally got our prep course this month. We have 1 more day to go and have already submitted our formal app so hope to start home study soon. We have 1 birth child who will be 6 next month. Good luck to you all!

Mum2G Thu 21-Feb-13 09:48:17

Welcome Broody, My DS is 6 in a few months too, hope your prep course goes well

Hi

how is everyone.

Loco thinking of you and hoping all is well,

Verity, Firenze2, Mum2G, Broody, dom, LSP, Calmly, CheshireDing, MrsBW, Karbea, mrsballack, Tigglette and all.

Sorry it's been so long.

We are seeing our social worker again. I must clean the house and buy buisciuts!

chenbebe Wed 27-Mar-13 12:14:43

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

LocoParentis Fri 29-Mar-13 02:49:57

Hi everyone,

Thanks Italian i really appreciate it!

everything is fine in the Loco house we're just seeing our years wait out. We've been saving like mad and starting to do the more practical things now DH is feeling better. We're trying to be positive and think that it just means we've got a long time to decorate and garden before we become parents.

How is the home study going so far Italian? I really enjoyed ours in a strange kind of way, although it's really intense I know it helped DH and I to see the strength in our relationship, which was just as well really as it was right at the time that we needed it.

I've been keeping my fingers crossed for you all as you continue to move forward, does anyone have any news or updates?

Hi Loco hope the time will go really well and glad DH is feeling better.

Can I aks if you two had to get experience of kids and what you did, please?

Hi everyone - can i ask ifyou had to get expereince of kids and you did it?? MrsBW, mrsballack, Verity, Firenze2, Mum2G, Broody, dom, LSP, Calmly, CheshireDing, Karbea, Tigglette or anyone else?

LocoParentis Sat 30-Mar-13 02:57:53

They have asked us to get more childcare experience but luckily for us we have lots of friends with appropriately aged children who are being very supportive and letting us practice.
W e're actually babysitting for a week starting sunday, can't wait grin

Hope it goes well Loco.

Mum2G Tue 02-Apr-13 10:33:58

Hi all, Hope you are well

Hope the home study is going well Italian, and wish it was better weather for gardening for you Loco

We have the last day of our prep course this week, it has been quite a few weeks learning about all the issues and what strategies can help, it has been scary and we have moved on (a bit) from thinking 'can we do this?' to thinking 'Are we sure we really want to do this?' - it seems like the controlling behaviour (which seems to be quite common?) might be one of the hardest things, but then however hard work it is I have not met an adopter who hasn't said it has been really rewarding.

We are also wondering about the bond that we can expect to have with our adoptive child knowing that we can never replace their birth parents.

Our in laws are understandably concerned about the effects on our birth child, I am looking into strategies to help our birth child feel happy and involved - i found one useful article on the adoption UK website, so any tips on that welcome. Sorry if that all sounds a bit heavy but that is where we are at the moment!

Some ways of getting childcare experience - depending on what time you have: volunteering to do reading with children at school (would just need to get CRB checked - my son's school paid for this), volunteering at the local children's centre or volunteering at beavers, rainbows, church groups?

MrsBW Mon 08-Apr-13 18:10:27

Hello!

We have moved on quite quickly... Only finished prep 3 weeks ago but already had our first home study with the next 3 sessions booked in over the coming 6 weeks.

We really like our social worker so that's a great relief

Childcare experience... We're doing as much babysitting as we can, both of us are coaching at junior sports clubs and we're trying to volunteer at a contact centre although so far they're not replying to emails. hmm grin

MrsBW Mon 08-Apr-13 18:10:48

How's everyone else doing?

mrsballack Tue 09-Apr-13 09:05:22

Hiya. Hope everyone's doing ok.

We have our prep course dates, 15th-17th may. Couldn't have been a worse week really as we are away for my birthday the weekend before and I have a beaver camp 18/19th. Oh well, I'll just have to take a whole week off work, what a shame.

Mum2G can you link to teh article you read or send me th elink in a PM please. I hope all goes well and your fears are not too great. I fear stuff too. Our dd is quite old, 8, will be 9 before child is placed I guess so am hoping a big age gap will help. Thanks for the childcare experience.

Loco all the best.

MrsBW thanks for the childcare experience.

MrsBallack hope it all goes well.

Mum2G Wed 10-Apr-13 13:51:24

Here's one link Italian can't find the adoption uk one at the mo

www.bemyparent.org.uk/info-for-families/your-questions/can-i-adopt-or-foster-if-i-already-have-birth-children,139,AR.html

We have just been allocated a social worker, so will have our first home visit soon, haven't met her yet, so fingers crossed she is nice!

Thanks Mum2G.

Hi, how is everyone doing?

I am feeling strangely stressed at the moment. Half way through home study I think and just feeling tense as I wait for it all to work out. I am sure it will.

andie123 Sun 05-May-13 12:03:49

Hi everyone
I was advised to post here as my partner and I are just starting the adoption process. We had our first visit from a social worker this week and we are currently waiting to hear back about the preparation group. Although we've done a lot of research online and bombarded the social worker with a million questions, we're still feeling a bit clueless and would love to hear from people who are further along on this journey than we are. I guess one of the things I'm worried about is that we are quite young compared to most adopters, and maybe we won't be taken seriously by the agency or then panel? I would also like to know if anyone has any books they can recommend? I'm already reading what to expect when you're adopting and I am finding it quite informative.

firenze2 Sun 05-May-13 14:37:26

Hi Italian, it will work out, I'm sure, but I know what you mean about it being stressful. The home visits are intense and also all the info on the prep course can be a bit heavy-going sometimes.

Hi Andie123! Welcome! We are also just starting out, we've had a few home study visits and are just past the halfway point of the prep course. I guess we are also on the young side, esp my dh who is younger than me. I liked What to Expect When You're Adopting. Try also Adoption Diary (BAAF), which we really enjoyed and gives the info in bite-sized pieces! :-)

Mrsgiggles82 Mon 06-May-13 23:43:07

Hi, I'm new. We have had our info session and first SW visit was last week. We are just waiting for her report on it then she said she discusses with the team whether to accept us but that she sees no problems.

Going we are on prep course in June but not sure if its already full yet.

It's so nice to talk to others in the same boat. I feel emotionally a bit up and down as everything takes so long (4months to even get first appointment) but excited to.

Good luck every one x

Mrsgiggles82 welcome and good luck. lots of support on here from more experienced adopters. It's very helpful on here.

Hi Andie welcome. Can I ask how young you are! Maybe just be make me very jealous!!

Hi firenze2 I just feel a bit stressed by life at the moment. I am sure it will all come together soon enough.

andie123 Tue 07-May-13 09:18:30

Hi Firenze2 thanks for the book recommendation, I'm reading everything I can get my hands on at the moment! How have you found the prep course and the home study sessions so far? Good luck with everything!

Italiangreyhound I am 28 (not that young right?) and my partner is 23 which I know is probably really young to be adopting. However I think it's just the right time for us. I've wanted children for a few years now but it's only the last year DP (is that the right abbreviation!?) has felt ready. Also I have 12 months left in my phd and will be taking some time off after so I'll be able to stay home with our little one.

Andie all the best with the applicaton, have you have your initial conversation yet?

Feeling better now, as feeling awfully stressed before!

firenze2 Wed 08-May-13 11:01:49

I'm glad you're feeling better, Italian. I know I sometimes need some quiet/down time to feel sorted again. Sort of a reboot of the systems. smile

Thanks, andie! The reading bonanza sounds familiar - I practically have a library building up over here. I guess I just like feeling like I have all the info. Or something. At the moment, I'm working through 'How to Talk to Kids So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk'.

The prep course has been very good. We have a friendly group and the sessions are a mix of informal presentations by the sws from our agency, experienced adopters and group activities. The last I thought would be weird, but actually, it is helpful to share with people, esp when those people are going through the same things! Dh and I have also found it sort of liberating to be able to discuss our situation openly (I mean, not full disclosure, but still pretty open) with other people who, again, have had similar experiences. In my own circle of friends, no one else is going down the adoption route, and no one has really had the fertility issues we've had. And although my close friends know our situation, we have only recently started widening the net. Hard to work it in before when everyone else seemed to be getting pregnant. But now that we are firmly on the adoption path, we feel like we have something positive we'd like to share.

So far so good with the home study visits. I have my second individual appointment this afternoon, actually! This time at home (last time it was at the sw's office). We're on a pretty good schedule - there's either an individual or a joint appointment once a week, plus prep group once a week. Plus all the background admin ... piece of cake, lol. Am working on my MA dissertation at the moment, so I was interested to see you're working on a PhD! I hope to go on to the PhD after some time off spent with our dc ('our dc' - I love the sound of that!).

firenze2 Wed 08-May-13 11:04:23

And Mrsgiggles82 - good luck to you! Hope you get confirmation about your application and about the June prep course soon! smile

andie123 Wed 08-May-13 15:32:31

Firenze2 sounds like it's pretty full on for you at the moment! I can't wait to get started with everything properly but I know you have to be patient, which is something I'm going to have get used to. What is your masters thesis on? I think the most important thing when doing a phd is finding a good supervisor, it makes a big difference if they're approachable and available. And of course that the topic is something that you are really passionate about. My Phd is on the canine oral microbiome, which for the most part is quite interesting but not exactly the most riveting topic in the world! Do you know what age child you want to adopt yet?

I love 'How to Talk to Kids So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk'. wink

MaryQueenOfSpots Mon 13-May-13 10:37:53

Hi everyone - hope it's ok to come and talk? I have just phoned our local authority agency to enquire about adoption and they are going to come and see me and DH in just over a fortnight for an initial visit. They also said there are other providers like Cabrini and Action For Children. Does anyone know if there are any pros and cons of being involved with more than one agency? Apart from lots of forms and visits I guess? Is the pre and post adoption support any better/worse with non-local authority adoption agencies? Are the needs of the children different if they are in an independent agency? Hope someone knows smile. We already have a DS who is nearly 5 (not adopted) and my ideal would be to adopt another little boy aged 2-3 years.

Hi MaryQueenofScots welcome. I think you might be better posting your question as a thread. That way people will get back to you, and probably the people who know more will not be looking in the newbie's thread.

I am not sure you can go with more than one agency at the same time, although once approved you can adopt from different places I think, someone knowlegable should be around to say.

Also I think the local authority has all the children so easier to place children will be with them, harder to place children will be through the various agencies, but check with someone else!

MaryQueenOfSpots Tue 14-May-13 14:52:10

Thanks Italiangreyhound for answering.

I have had a lurk on the Adoption UK message boards and found out a bit more about other people's experience of adopting with birth children, which was a useful reality check. I'm still not totally put off, despite some very heart wrenching stories. I'm going to talk to the Adoption people when they visit and mull it over, then post a thread if I need to gain more advice...

buzzybee123 Wed 15-May-13 17:19:09

hello all we are new to the whole adoption process, we spoke to a friend who adopted in January and now feel we are ready to start the process, I have a list of local authorities in our area, I think this where I start smile

I am kind of excited and scared all at the same time, my main concern right now is that my husband might be moving away for work and I am not sure whether it would be best to wait, could be a few months or start now depending on where we end up. I feel I am ready to get on with now

maryqueen I will be interested to hear what they suggest to you, right now I feel a 'bit at sea'

MaryQueenOfSpots Wed 15-May-13 18:24:39

Hi buzzybee are you looking to start your family, or extend it?

Would you be moving far away as some local authorities work together as a confederation - at least that is the situation where we are.

I completely get the excited/scared feeling too!

SunshineLover Tue 28-May-13 14:32:43

Hi all - we're at the very start of the process, making phone calls and trying to decide which agency would be best to go with. It's so confusing and it's really been helping to read some of your experiences! I'm really scared that having spent all this time deciding to do it that they will tell us we aren't suitable! sad

The beginning is an exciting time, good luck SunshineLover and buzzybee.

Can I ask buzzybee whether your hubby working away might mean you need to go to a different county council or agency, or might mean you are living apart for a while? Have you already been to an open evening/open day? I think that would be a good idea first.

buzzybee123 Fri 31-May-13 17:13:07

hi ladies sorry I have been abit AWOL, think I'm going through another miscarriage

we would be starting a family, we are in Surrey right now and would be moving to Shropshire, I haven't called any agencies yet, I wasn't sure if we should wait until we were in the same place or not, its hard to know

Lilka Fri 31-May-13 17:57:47

I'm so sorry buzzybee

I think waiting a few months so that you and your DH are in the same place might be ideal. You have the moving home stress behind you before you start adoption, and adoption is stressful enough without added bits like that on top. It should make the process simpler, as homestudy includes bits about your area, your local amenities and what you have to offer, as well as a bit about your home. If you move at any point, you would have to redo bits of the homestudy, which would be such a pain.

Also, you will put time between your miscarriage and TTC, and adoption. If you wait 6 months (for lots of LA'a) you should be able to able to begin adoption straight away after you contact the agency, rather than being asked to wait a few more months.

Best of luck to you both x

Buzybee so sorry to hear about your miscariage.

I totally agree with Lilka (I usually do!).

I also think you need to work out if you are ready for adoption yet or if you want to explore trying to conceive yourself again first. If you have had two or three missacarriages you can go to the doctor to find out why this is happening/has happened. I just thin kyou need to be redy to adopt and if you are still trying to have a baby by pregnancy then you might find the journey very hard. I started down the adoption route three years ago and wasn't ready. so went to have more fertility treatment, it failed. I wish I had been ready then but I wasn't. So although the treatment failed, I was glad we did not proceed then.

Please feel free to PM me.

I don't want to be negative and I am sure you have a lot to offer as a mum to an adoptive child/children. Please do stay in touch. I have found Mumsnet adoption threads very helpful.

allthingswillpass Sat 01-Jun-13 11:10:38

Hi folks
I've been reading these boards for a little while but I think this is only my second post. I hope you don't mind me joining in.
Buzybee, We are a bit further on in the adoption process and have had the miscarriages and IVF Chapters of our lives. Sorry for your loss. X
Just to give you our experience, the LA insisted that we had counselling to grieve the birth children we will never have to basically try and avoid secondary trauma when a child is placed with you.
In addition, IME they really like you to have been in your home for at least a year and to have a good support network whether that be friends and or family.
Our LA have been pretty awful and most people around our area have gone to an LA's outside the area with greater success.
We have been in the process for 30 months and are now linked to a 2 yr old blue munchkin. We are old grin but young at heart xxx wink

allthingswillpass, how lovely to hear from you, of course you can join. Welcome all young and old. I bet I am older than you!

I'm 48!!!!!

allthingswillpass Sun 02-Jun-13 11:09:32

Italaingreyhound LOL!
I'm afraid you are older than me but IMO age is but a state of mind!
Anyway - your London night out looked to be a rip roaring success. I would have loved to have come seeing as we are within the M25.
Maybe next time! wine

Lilka Sun 02-Jun-13 13:34:18

Ooh, Italian and I are the same age! grin

Maybe we can all get together another time.

allthingswillpass Sun 02-Jun-13 20:04:08

Absolutely!
That would be great but imagining I might never get out again once LO is here!
3 wks to MP!
Terrified and excited all at once!

allthingswillpass how is it going?

allthingswillpass Mon 10-Jun-13 22:17:00

Italiangreyhound I've pm'd you xxx

Hi, how is everyone doing?

Hi everyone hope its ok to join?
Me and dh are at the very very early stages of adoption. So far we have only looked at la's! We are hopefully going to get information n the next few weeks.
I am infertile (unexplained) we had 3rounds of clomid, had always agreed not to go for ivf. Have been ttc for 4years but had my last fertility treatment in January. Dh is. 36 and I'm 30.
We're probably going to start "properly" in September /October.

Welcome inthebeginning and all best wishes for adoption.

mrsballack Fri 28-Jun-13 00:31:29

Hi guys. Just a quick update. We had our prep group in may which was very hard going but very worthwhile. Gave us loads to think/talk about. We have our first meeting of our home study with our social worker on Monday so I'm in full cleaning mode. Terrifying.

Welc

mrsballack Fri 28-Jun-13 00:32:43

That was welcome to inthebeginning btw. My stupid fat fingers posted before I was finished again.

Happiestinwellybobs Fri 28-Jun-13 12:20:56

Good luck mrsballack Hope Monday goes well smile

Dinglebellz Sun 30-Jun-13 07:57:03

Hi there, newbie here! Nice to meet you all brew We had our initial visit last week now waiting to hear if we can proceed to application! We think the visit went well, nearly 2 hours! Apparently the SW decide as a team so staying calm she didn't tell us we could proceed there and then! Keeping fx I can continue on this thread!

mrsballack please tell us more about the prep group and how it is going, only share what you feel able to of course. grin

Dingebellz welcome. Any news?

Anyone got any news?

We have, we hae a date for panel and it is not far off, only about a month to go now!!!!!!!!!

[girn]

Hugs to all (we did a lot of hugging on the fertility thread and I miss it!).

Sorry that was grin !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I prefer the gurn (girn) Italian!

Fantastic news about panel. So excited for you.

We've been a bit sidetracked the past few weeks. I had an interview for a job (didn't get it) , then I had a fall at work and then ofsted! Hoping to get in touch this week with some la's though.

Hope you don't mind me asking but I was reading at the beginning about some of you trying to lose weight. Do sw's try and crack down on it or do they just want to see you're trying? I was bmi 33 but haven't checked for a while. Did lose a lot before though (5 stone) and I am quite fit. It's my new thing I'm stressing about!

somelightattheendofthetunnel Sun 07-Jul-13 21:13:29

Hi everyone... longtime lurker... just wanted to join your wonderful group.. we are foster carers hopefully being approved to adopt our LO.. we're half way through our assessment which has taken 5 months and go to panel in 7 weeks!!

You have all been a valuable source of information... thank you ....

very excited grin

<sly wave to Tulips>

Good luck somelightattheendofthetunnel

Inthebeginning hope all goes well. How did you lose 5 pounds? I am not sure about weight, I think they just want to see you are aware of issues and you are trying but I am not yet an adopter so best to post a questions for experienced adopters.

lindalass2 Mon 22-Jul-13 15:21:05

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Choccyjules Mon 22-Jul-13 20:36:03

Hello All,

Another long-time lurker here!

Have now had chats with three agencies and have information evenings/first interviews with each lined up over the next couple of weeks!

So it's finally all starting for us:-) we have always hoped to adopt and now that DD is 5 and we aren't planning any more BC, the time feels right.

Will keep you all in the loop, I know from my reading here that you are a greatly supportive group.

Choccyjules Wed 24-Jul-13 12:12:47

Hmm, one agency is playing hard-to-get, which I realise may be a tactic to encourage tenacity, however they are supposed to be much quicker to talk to you in depth under the new system. The people at the end of their phoneline (not SWs) don't know the system at all, I seem to be telling them what's next. Annoying as they have a great Ofsted. I think they've put this number in between the public and the SWs recently and it aint working :-(

Mum2G Thu 25-Jul-13 09:18:21

Hi all, welcome to new folk, hope the meetings and enquiries are going well!
Hope the Home study is progressing well Mrs Ballack, we have found ours very intense, we are now looking at placement scenarios and how we would deal with them.
Congrats on your panel date Italian, we are pencilled in for 11th Oct for ours, it is so exciting to finally have a date!
Does anyone live in the south west and know of any local adoption support groups?

Mum2G Thu 25-Jul-13 09:24:40

BTW i am overweight (can't remember the bmi no but size 16 and quite short) and this did not seem to be an issue by the sw, and I put on the medical form the measures i am taking to reduce it and the dr was fine about it in the medical

Hi all, Wednesday night we finally decided to do it and emailed some la's! Emailed 3 and have had responses from two so far. One phoned us and had a very detailed conversation and we are going to an open evening the beginning of September.
I know it's the beginning of a long journey but we are so excited to have made the first steps. X

Choccyjules Sat 27-Jul-13 22:49:15

Yay, congrats! We're right at the beginning too. Though the new rules about assessment mean things could happen quicker than I ever imagined...

Choccyjules welcome.

Hi Mum2G. Yes, I second your question..... "Does anyone live in the south west and know of any local adoption support groups?"

Inthebeginining fabulous news.

Choccyjules Sun 28-Jul-13 11:46:57

Thanks, Italian. You and I were around here a year ago, you went forward, we waited for a while and now the time is right :-) have been following your journey this past year, glad you are nearing panel.

I know choccy I can't believe that they've moved it to being so quick! One of the La's we spoke to said about it, I don't know why but I'd got it into my head that it was up to individual councils to decide if they followed it so I had tried not to think about it.
We were sat last night and dh said "this time next year we could be getting ready to meet our child" lovely.

Choccyjules Sun 28-Jul-13 18:42:57

Oh I thought it was law for them all, could be wrong though? If we sign up in Sept we are supposed to have been to panel by end of Feb!!!

No you're right, it's me being a plonker! I think we will be aiming to be signed up end of September so we will be doing this at the same time choccy!

Choccyjules Mon 29-Jul-13 09:50:53

That's great, we can keep each other sane ;-)

Choccyjules Wed 31-Jul-13 15:39:25

Ok, spoke to second LA today and have an initial interview booked with them. So that's one info evening and one interview, in the next fortnight, with two LAs. The VA we are interested in has yet to hear from their medical advisor as to whether we're a go-er for them.

I know it's daft but I am more excited than I thought possible about the initial meetings. I will reign it in, honest!

I'm the same choccy! We have a s.worker coming to the house in a couple of weeks and then an evening meeting in September. I don't think I can manage 6 months of this excitement- I'm gong to drive people mad! X

Thansk chocyjules. 'If we sign up in Sept we are supposed to have been to panel by end of Feb!!!' that sounds very fast. We 'signed' up in September and are going to panel in September. I have heard 9-12 months from quite a few people.

We were due to be seen next month which would have made it 11 months.

Having said that we chose not to go on the course in October but to wait until after Christmas, had we been on prep course in October it would have been about 8 or 8 months.

According to be my parent ...

"It takes several months to be assessed and approved. The recommended maximum time length from your formal application is eight months (seven months in Scotland), which means that for most people it should not take any longer than this. However, in some cases it may take longer. If things are being held up, your agency should keep you informed every step of the way."

www.bemyparent.org.uk/info-for-families/about-adoption/assessment-and-approval,47,AR.html

Sorry about 8 or 9 months!

mrsballack Wed 31-Jul-13 21:06:26

Hiya. Very exciting for you to be starting out.
We were told that the 6 months starts from when you put your official application in which we did after prep course in may. They were talking about December for panel so that would be just over 6 months. (was end of may and would be start of December)

We have a couple more meetings of our home study led and I'm finding it pretty tough. It feels really long winded and some of the questions seem a little silly, although I appreciate they have to be thorough.

Choccyjules Wed 31-Jul-13 22:42:40

The new guidelines I've had copies of from the agencies (came into law 1st July) say six months from signing up with an agency and being accepted by them to going to panel. That's where I got Feb from.
It seems you now sign up, then they do references and medicals (part 1 = 2 months) then if you carry on, they do prep and home study (part 2 = 4 months) then panel. Very quick compared to the stories I have read over the years.

mow choccy I am obviously behind the times.

twinklemumtp Mon 05-Aug-13 10:49:39

Hello am new to this site but not new to adoption!
I have read and posted on a couple of threads and you all seem really friendly grin so I hope you don't mind me introducing myself!

DH and I adopted AS 7 years ago when we was 16mths our adoption story is a success and is a lovely adorable boy.

We look at his lifestory book regularly and he is very proud of being adopted. SO much so he has spoken to other children in foster care who are going to be adopted to tell them how wonderful it is.

We were approved in April 2013 to adopt again smile so we are now waiting.

It is hard second time around as there is more to consider and we have had to change our lifes completely to meet the requirements of our chosen LA (long story) But we are happy with changes and ready to welcome new LO in to our lifes.

Ok sorry for essay but that is us now time for a brew grin

Choccyjules Mon 05-Aug-13 15:31:35

Hi Twinklemum and congrats on being approved for a second time! Your DS must be excited about the prospect of a sibling. Is your LA doing all the searching or do you also look?

Choccyjules Mon 05-Aug-13 16:02:41

Gonna put this here rather than start a new thread.

Am SO excited about tomorrow - we're going to an info. evening...I know, overreacting eh?! It just feels like we're finally starting to do something constructive towards the coming journey. We may not even go with this LA (are considering three) but it'll hopefully be food for thought.

Promise not to get so excited about meeting a second LA next week (I will)!

twinklemumtp Mon 05-Aug-13 21:25:31

Hi Choccyjules
Hope your info evening goes well. It is worth looking at the different LA's and asking them what kind of children they currently have in care and their process as they all work differently. We originally met 2 different social workers from LA and went with the person we liked the most even though they weren't our assessing SW.

DS is very excited looking forward to being a big bro. When our assessment started we were told we would be matched quickly and the LA had children waiting since being apporved all these children seem to have dissapeared and there are no young children locally. So we have been proactive and have actually found a LO on Be My Parent. We have had all her details and now our social worker has to do some work and organise talks with her sw.

Good luck it can be a long journey full of ups and downs but we feel it is worth it xx

Choccyjules Mon 05-Aug-13 22:05:38

Thanks Twinklemum.

Can I ask, did you look for the opposite sex to your DS or was it more the right child? We have a DD and while she is obsessed with girls I wonder if it will cause less stress if we looked for a DS.

RainbowLady83 Tue 06-Aug-13 06:44:59

I'm new here but not need to the process, we are currently waiting for Baby Girl to move in - 5weeks!MP is at the end of this month. I love talking so if anyone wants a chat, here or pm, go for it smile

twinklemumtp Tue 06-Aug-13 20:14:13

Hi RainbowLady Welcome! grin
Very exciting news that you are waiting for baby girl. Always up for a chat smile

Choccyjules we are approved for either sex as we always said if we had our own biological children we couldn't choose the sex, but we felt that there would be less competition with a girl. We have looked at a couple of boys profiles but both us and SW didn't feel it was right but as soon as we saw the little girl we knew it was right! smile

Choccyjules Wed 07-Aug-13 11:25:58

Thanks Twinklemum. I love your reasoning about not choosing the sex!

So last night we went to meet our first LA. It was a small group as it was August. The SWs were incredibly relaxed and honest and we both came away feeling positive about them. Had a chat about my two medical issues and they were cool about them, hooray. DH and I both commented later that it hadn't been as offputting as we'd expected (lots of people write about LAs being negative at this point to put less committed people off). In fact there was none of that, they treated everyone as though they may go forward. The only thing missing was the adoptive parents' view, which we had been expecting.

Anyway, they are coming out to do an initial visit, then we decide whether to sign up with them. Apparently the only reason they wouldn't take someone on at that point (if SW happy with your potential) is if the manager feels caseloads don't allow them to travel to your area. So it could all stop at that point and there's nothing to give us a clue about that. I thougt if they'd invited us last night they would have already looked at where we live!

So next week we meet the second LA.

twinklemumtp hi and welcome. Congratulations on being approved again. How lovely your DS has had the chance to tell other kids how wonderful it is.

I know it is nosy but am really curious when you say It is hard second time around as there is more to consider and we have had to change our lifes completely to meet the requirements of our chosen LA (long story) But we are happy with changes and ready to welcome new LO in to our lifes. Please do share or PM me if you would be willing to share.

We are waiting to be approved to adopt and we have an 8 year old birth daughter. Our house is the one we have lived in ever since she was 18 months old and aside from tripping over a cushion and falling onto a coffee table and biting her lip, it has been accident free. However, our social worker required quite a few small changes to make the house 'safer' some of which seemed a bit OTT but we want the new child to be as safe as our DD has been and we have no idea how they will behave so might be more 'adveturous' than our present child.

How exciting about 'Be my parent'. Glad to see it has been useful.

Choccyjules glad to hear your open evening was good, was it all you hoped for? On to the next one.

You asked the exact question on my mind! We have a DD and she would like a sister if it is a child but a brother if it is a baby! confused. Of course I don't want DD to make the decision but I would like to find a child who will be able to fit into the family with the least problems for the child and for DD and wonder if a boy or girl would do that. I can see benefits and problems both way.

RainbowLady83 Hi and welcome.

Hi everyone,
choccy really glad it went well, hello to other newcomers.
We have got a lady from a local authority coming to see us tomorrow. She said she would prefer to come and see us rather than just talk to one of us on the phone. So I am currently scrubbing the house from top to bottom!!
In my heart of hearts I know my weight is going to be a problem. From the 5 stone I lost I have put about 2 stone back on. So I need to start the regime again ready for my health check. I just don't want it to put us back and I feel I've let us down by it happening. We shall see.

Hey Inthebegining let's encoourage each other. I need to lose wieght too.

Laurahopeforus Tue 13-Aug-13 18:59:55

Hey everyone waves nervous newbie here smile

My hubby and I made the decision not long ago that we were going to look into adoption, after spending about 5 and 1/2 years trying for own own and getting constant 'no's and heartache we decided now was the time to take the next step. So we have been doing bits of research here and there over the past month or 2, and have decided that when we come back off our holiday in september we will be making the phone calls and starting whatever paperwork needs to be done.

I'm so scared and nervous but I know we can do this together. I have even set up a whole new email and facebook account just so I can speak in privacy with other ladies/families out there, at the moment we have told my parents and a couple of close friends we have just got to break the news to the husbands side of the family about our choice (hoping it all goes well when we get around to it!)

Looking forward to meeting some lovely new people and getting any help and advice smile
(So sorry for such an extended explanation/introduction lol)

Welcome Laura.

italian that would be fab, so far I have been eating healthy again for two days (I know that low carb/weight watchers works for me so it's easy to slip back into it) and done my half an hour exercise today too.
We had an amazing meeting with a social worker yesterday. We are still on cloud nine. It was so positive and practical. She said there and then that she wants us to apply to them and has a part one course we can go on either in September or October.
We have got a meeting booked with another for beginning of September but we are very tempted to go with the first as we were so happy with them

We've filled out our forms and are posting them on Monday. I feel sick/scared/excited.

Wonderful news Inthebeginning.

Choccyjules Sun 18-Aug-13 13:26:09

Ooh Inthebeginning am pleased for you taking the next step!

To be honest, I'm a bit like you in that I liked the first LA (we both did), the second was disappointing and although we meet the third one this week, my mind is already presuming we will go with the first one.

I have to try and focus on this week's meeting to give the third one a chance!

Choccyjules Mon 19-Aug-13 18:19:30

Right, that's me all confused!

I would love to hear people's experiences of going with a LA or a VA and your reasons for that, as that's a major part of our decision now.

Hi choccy,

My friend has adopted 2 children, and she said you will" just know" which we did about the la we are going with but I also checked there ofsted report and these which I found put my ind at rest to why we were happy with the one we had chosen. Have you seen your third one then?

Choccyjules Tue 20-Aug-13 09:27:51

Hi, yes we saw them yesterday.
The LA was very positive, has more children than adopters (but keen to point out they don't restrict adopters to these, depends very much on a good match) but is a bit of a drive away. Fine with my medical history too.
The VA of course has no children but puts approved adopters on the NAR straight away (access to a wider but potentially more complex field) and according to others is very strong on post-adoption support, something I suppose an LA could fall down on depending on funding. My medical history would slow them down though, initially, as they want me to have my medical first and see if their medical advisor wants further checks/references.
So we like them both a lot and there are plus and minus points to each. Have discounted the other (closer and bigger!) LA. Ofsted keener on the VA but both reports two years old and they had different team managers then.

Choccyjules Tue 20-Aug-13 09:28:35

Thank you for the Adoption Maps link, I will have a good look now.

prumarth Tue 20-Aug-13 09:39:21

Hi everyone, I'm new here and had a (probably daft!) question. A few of you have talked about which local authority you will go with. Do you not have to use the one you live in?? And why would they be different - is the process different with different LA?

Choccyjules Tue 20-Aug-13 09:51:48

Hello, no you don't have to use the one you live in, they will assess people at a set distance or driving time from their offices (some say 50 miles, others say an hour's drive).
We were recommended by a colleague to look at a neighbouring LA; they are a small place with a lot of children in care, so need to find adopters from outside their border.
When we started doing this a few weeks ago (have just had initial interviews with three agencies) we were advised by adopters to check out a few agencies and find one we felt happiest with. We're now at the stage where we have to make a decision who to apply to.

Choccyjules Tue 20-Aug-13 09:59:19

In terms of how they are different, I think with the new 6 month assessment structure they will become more similar; up to now it seems each LA has taken whatever time they need to do the assessment, keeping prospective adopters waiting for all kinds of reasons (eg lack of staff, lack of organisation etc). However each area has different numbers of children, who are in care for a variety of reasons, there does seem to be a different 'feel' to each agency, they all have Ofsted reports which are handy to read. Then there are VAs who are different again as they don't have any Looked After Children of their own.
As I am also new to this you may get someone with more experience coming to help out with the answer too, I only know what I have read and discussed with others so far!

prumarth Tue 20-Aug-13 17:28:08

Thanks for the advice - I clearly need to do a bit more research!

Choccyjules Mon 26-Aug-13 13:32:04

So, update from us, we plato send our application form to the chosen LA tomorrow!

We are just hanging on to read an initial report about us which they are sending tomorrow - neither of the other two agencies offered to share theirs with us so more brownie points for this lot - just in case it stops us in our tracks.

Excited to be starting off the six months :-)

So exciting choccy !! I didn't even think about an initial report!! That's got me thinking now!
We sent our application off last week and have been accepted onto a "preparing for adoption" course in October so are very excited too!

Choccyjules Mon 26-Aug-13 14:27:01

Yeah, apparently each of the three agencies will have written something about us following the initial interviews. It goes to their manager who I assume uses it if people then go on to apply to them.

Feels a bit funny that the other two will now have a couple of hours each of our chats with them on paper though!

Choccyjules Mon 26-Aug-13 14:28:11

Oh and congrats for you too, it's a big deal sending that form off, eh?

We've had our letter today to say we have officially been accepted onto part 1! Tells us who are social worker is and that they will get in touch in the next 5 days to draw up our plan. I cried!

RationalThought Sun 01-Sep-13 01:05:00

The process for us has been much quicker than than originally expected.

Our initial meeting was in May, followed a week later by a meeting where a particular child was discussed in very broad terms (I started a thread on this a while ago, so wont go into more detail here). We began training in July and submitted our formal application at that point.

The aim is that we will attend panel next month and, if that goes well, matching panel in November. So potentially it will be initial inquiry to matching panel in 6 months.

Should see a draft of our PAR in the next week, which will be very interesting. The process so far has been exciting and daunting in equal measure.

excitedmamma Tue 03-Sep-13 21:39:34

7 days to panel!!!

"I didn't give you the gift of life,
But in my heart I know.
The love I feel is deep and real,
As if it had been so.

For us to have each other
Is like a dream come true!
No, I didn't give you
The gift of life,
Life gave me the gift of you."
--- Unknown

We have our social worker coming to see us tomorrow to organise stage 1 dates. I'm v nervous

Had our first meeting with social worker today and it went well. We were very honest about things (my anxiety, dh and his dad not speaking) and she said not a problem to all (although I do think she will dig lots about dh and his dad) she said that we need to put up a bannister on our stairs and check our front door isn't easy to unlock....and sort the pulls out on our blinds.
But she was very positive and our family support worker will be coming in the next couple of weeks.

How is everyone doing?

We got through panel last week! Yay! grin

Hey Italian brilliant news for you. Anything said about matching yet?
We've just had our visit from family support worker and she's done our finance check, health and safety check etc and she's happy. Only a couple of little things to change too. She's got 3 of our references back and has got to visit them and us have our medicals and then we will be on to stage two!
It's very quiet on here isn't it?

Choccyjules Sat 14-Sep-13 18:47:41

We go to a prep day in about 10 days time and at that point the LA will accept our form and sign us up for stage one (this has set us back a few weeks as they didn't let on they wouldn't take us in August. The new timescale has clearly thrown them a bit). So our estimated panel date of late Feb is now late March.

Was thinking about you today choccy and how you were getting on. How do you feel about that? We go for ours in 5 weeks time. Can you report back on how it went?

Choccyjules Sun 15-Sep-13 09:32:19

Well am afraid I think it's par for the course if you go with an LA, given the budget and manpower strains they're under. DH was adamant that they were a better option than Coram (less bothered aout my medical history, babies waiting) but I was undecided.
Will report back after we've been!

Choccyjules Sun 15-Sep-13 09:34:02

Oh and thanks for thinking of me grin!

Choccyjules I don't know about the new time frames, we were in the old one so the process from initial request to be accessed to acceptance panel (not matching) was a year. It could have been about 9 months but we slowed it down ourselves at the start due to having a birth child and not wanting it to go to fast. So for us prep group to panel was actually 7 months.

Hope the time flies for you.

Our s.worker was chuntering about the new time limits to work too, but our family support worker seems really on top of things so I'm hoping she will keep tabs on things. Bound to be teething problems with such a big change though.

Choccyjules Sun 15-Sep-13 14:58:13

Will wait to see who our SW is and how they're dealing with it. No real rush on our side really, I think I tend to get annoyed when people change the rules on me and claim they told me (hoho). Probably shouldn't be going anywhere near social services eh?!

mrsballack Mon 16-Sep-13 10:52:54

Hi guys, hope everyone is well.

Had a couple of shocks this past week. Firstly our panel has been moved forward and is now in just over two weeks time. Secondly we have been sent the basic information on a sibling group we may be interested in. The basic info has thrown up a lot of questions which we cannot get the answers to until after we are approved but it's all very exciting.

How exciting mrs !

namechangesforthehardstuff Tue 17-Sep-13 16:45:32

Hello all.

<waves>

Have just been told that our chosen LA will assess us - yay! Am filling in the form at the moment and thinking of enough people to act as references is proving really hard. Not sure how many people we want to share this with tbh...

Anyway just very pleased to be finally moving forward with this. Have lurked and asked questions here for a good few months - thanks to everyone who's shared. smile

namechangesforthehardstuff yay, congratulations. I think we needed 6 referees, 2 were family members and 4 not, 2 was the max we could have as family members.

I think it is important to be able to share with some people and hopefully the people who were our referees will be supportive of us when our little one is placed. Good luck finding the right people.

namechangesforthehardstuff Wed 18-Sep-13 14:45:10

we need 10! 4 family 6 not. This is difficult because dh's family are...difficult. So we've got DBIL and his wife but that only counts as 1 and now we're stuck smile.

WarmHandsPicnicBlanket Wed 18-Sep-13 15:45:08

10?!? I'm not sure I know 10 people, never mind 10 I'd be happy to let near a SW...

OTOH, I know you said you're not that keen to share with other people yet, but you're going to have to get used to talking to people about things you would normally keep private, so this might be a good time to bite that particular bullet.

DH is spectacularly private ordinarily and really struggled to open up to our SW. Speaking to your potential referees will get you used to that (a tiny little bit).

namechangesforthehardstuff Wed 18-Sep-13 17:27:47

Yeah. It's 3 friends each plus 2 family each. And our 'couple' friends only count as one so really it's 20!

This is really bad for dh as most of our friends are people I've brought home over the years so he's left wondering which of 'my' friends to use as his iyswim?! And I have enough useful family but dh...Well useful isn't the word which springs to mind.

We just want to get it right as it's important. Not sure if it's better to just put some random relative or to say upfront 'they're a bit pants actually, we don't see much of them, please talk to these lovely people'

And yes I will be speaking to everyone ultimately of course but I don't know that I want to do it just yet. I have about four friends who know and would kind of like to keep it like that for a while. It's a bit like baby names - I don't want to tell some people until it's a fait accompli and they can only say 'How lovely...' and not whatever unhelpful thing they were thinking.

Sigh.

Anyway nice to be here albeit all worried and stressed out and overthinking things smile

Choccyjules Wed 18-Sep-13 18:26:32

Blimey, we have been asked for three including one relative. They also need something from my oncologist to say I'm free and clear. Hopefully that's all we need - we had trouble choosing who not to ask as didn't want family to be offended!

Happiestinwellybobs Wed 18-Sep-13 19:07:09

Choccy. That's exactly the same as us! And I still haven't told my parents that we got DH's mum to do a reference (she knew we would need one as works in a similar area). They just think that a couple of friends were asked, and that they didn't need to meet family blush. I honestly don't know how I would come up with 10 shock.

mrsballack Wed 18-Sep-13 19:12:35

10!! Blimey. We struggled with 6.

Most of ours were friends I've known for years and hubby has only known for as long as we've been together which was fine by our sw. Our relative was my parents too. Hubby's family are a bit difficult and we don't see much of them but our sw was understanding of that, so long as we had a support network of some sort.

Gosh 10 is a lot! We have to have 4. 2 friends and a relative from each side of the family. Our sw said that baaf only ask for 3 but that they want an extra one.
Got my medical on Monday. Dreading we will be turned down because of my weight even though my sw said it'll be fine. :-(

namechangesforthehardstuff Fri 20-Sep-13 18:45:53

Hi Inthebeginning - if SW says it'll be OK I would guess she knows what she is talking about and relax smile

The more I see people posting here saying they only need 4 or 6 or whatever the more I am inclined to put four friends and two relatives down and say - 'here's six people who can vouch for both of us, a good selection of people with children and people without, people who have known us for years and people who know us as parents, we'll give you a few more if you need them'

'Cos otherwise I'm going to end up with people I'm just not sure about on there and I think it's too important for that....

You're right, I find something fresh to fret about every time something goes well. I've promised myself if (when) we get to the second part I will relax.

I'd do it. I remember one of my friends saying re social workers:take no shit! smile

How is everyone doing all?

We got the letter saying it is official, we have been approved.

No word of children yet!

I don't mind it being slow or anything but I want it to happen after Christmas so I really want to know some details before Christmas and it is almost three months to go until Christmas.

I am just plain scared!

Do most area give multiple children's details to people? Our area only gives one at a time and we are only adopting one.

Happiestinwellybobs Mon 23-Sep-13 07:10:17

Hi Italian. Congratulations on it being officially official! smile

We only ever got details of one child (4 1/2 months after approval) and that was DD smile. I think it may also depend

Happiestinwellybobs Mon 23-Sep-13 07:12:23

Hi Italian. Congratulations on it being officially official! smile

We only ever got details of one child (4 1/2 months after approval) and that was DD smile. I think it may have depended on the quite specific criteria we had been approved for, and the number of children that met those criteria.

brilliant news Italian grin grin so chuffed for you.
Had my medical today. all went fine and all my wittering was for nothing! Then had a call from our family support worker who was checking how we were doing and was speaking to social worker next week about sorting level two out. so exciting!

namechangesforthehardstuff Mon 23-Sep-13 21:32:51

See inthebeginning I told you so grin

Glad it went well.

MrsBW Tue 24-Sep-13 18:58:46

Congrats again. Our panel...which should have been this Thurs... Has been delayed as our Social Worker didn't get our PAR to her manager in time. So the countdown clock has been reset. sad

We've booked a late deal holiday to cheer ourselves up grin

ah Mrsb that's bad! Any idea when til?

MrsBW Tue 24-Sep-13 21:18:58

Late October... So could be worse.

On the plus side it gives us extra time to get our portfolio even better, but I can't deny, we're disappointed.

Still, it's a marathon not a sprint wink

you're bound to feel like that Mrsb like you said look on the positive that you can improve on it. ...... and soon you won't be able to book late deals without a little one e in tow wink wink

Choccyjules Wed 25-Sep-13 22:47:08

Update from us: we get to know who our sw is by end of week, have lots of stuff to start filling in about support networks etc, had great training on attachment amongst other things this week. It's really starting!

Meita Thu 26-Sep-13 10:17:54

Hello! <friendly wave>

Have been reading (and sometimes posting) for a while, but only lurking on this particular thread. Now I feel it's time to join!

We started making enquiries back in June and have been taking our time to think things through and make our decisions. Now we are at the place where we are deciding between two LAs and we will be making our minds up soon, I think. We were hoping to go on a prep course in October but one of the LAs has been dragging things, so it will probably be November (provided they do in the end take us on of course).

So, roller coaster, here we come!

Choccyjules Thu 26-Sep-13 20:18:00

Hi Meita!
I think we chatted earlier about various stuff.
It's tricky deciding btwn agencies, eh?

fantastic choccy I bet you are so happy. I've been doing some of our "homework" this week including my eco map which is all colour coded etc. dh's is currently on a piece of Scratty paper! so was the course good. Was the lots you didn't know? Did the teach you tactics? ours is in 17 days time!

welcome meita how are you making the decision between the two? Don't answer of you don't want too.

Meita Fri 27-Sep-13 15:09:40

yep choccy you started investigating things at pretty much the same time as we did, but you have been more determined about it all, it seems! Hence a step further now. I too would be interested to hear more about your prep course. Was there much actual 'teaching' where you were told stuff, as in, 'this is how it is: ..' (and was there much you didn't know already?), or was there more of working things out together/in groups, or pointing you towards resources?

Inthebeginning well it's hard! We had initial meetings with three (two LA, one VA). Have decided against VA due to the age of our DS. As he is three, and VA usually don't place many very young children, it would mean we'd be bound to doing concurrent planning with them. CP is something we are quite keen to explore further but at this point in time, we don't want to limit ourselves to it.
One LA has given us very mixed signals. They have some experience with CP which counts in their favour (other LA has no experience). And they are closer to us. At times they have been uncomplicated and forthcoming, very quickly setting up a meeting with people who have adopted through them for example. And according to the adoption scorecards they place a larger number of children each year than the other LA we're looking at. But we (me in particular) have some reservations, don't have a good gut feeling. Things seem to be chaotic, we have been told contradictory information, and the SW who we would be allocated seems to have a negative/pessimistic general attitude, and is very patronising, which tends to rub me up the wrong way. I don't know if we'd 'gel' well.
The other LA 'feels' right and gives us much more confidence, but they are further away and place fewer children, which may mean a longer wait to be matched. They also use agency SWs to do the assessments when the regular SWs are fully booked, and we're not too happy with that idea, that would be a risk we'd run with them. Might turn lucky and be assessed in-house, but maybe not.
Both LAs are part of different, large consortiums. So in a way we're choosing not just between LAs but also between consortiums.
I'm tending towards going with my gut feeling but am usually more of an objective, fact-based decision maker who rationally weighs up the pros and cons, so am worried that I'm getting it wrong!

Choccyjules Fri 27-Sep-13 16:43:00

With all the general obstacles and time issues invoved ithis kind of thing I'd say go with your gut (not that I'm much of an expert!).

The course was the first day of a longer course (we are doing the rest at a later date). If I get too detailed I may out myself but if so, hopefully someone wll let me know...!

We started by discussing statements about adoption and putting them into true/false or somewhere in the middle.
Then we split into four groups looking at different age-groups and wrote things a child needs - all these were put into a wall. We noted how many were the same but there were some differences. Then we watched a film about a family in need. Afterwards we took out all the bricks the children in each age-gp were lacking and looked at what was left. The idea being as adopters we would hope to refill those gaps. This was good because we got to do the 'upsetting film about children' wrapped in another exercise, if you like.
Glad it was lunch then.
Later on a clinical psychologist who works with looked after kids came to talk about attachment (I didn't know th were four kinds) then about behaviour management. I was worried the latter one may be a bit too much too soon but it all linked back to the attachment talk and was really practical. She was great. And she works in our area and the neighbouring LA too!
We also looked at the eco-map and family tree they need us to do, plus a detailed form to help the home study.
And had our paperwork/ID checked.
That was Day One!

Swizzersmum Fri 27-Sep-13 21:01:55

Hi all new on here! I am looking to adopt to complete my family as I had an emergency hysterectomy after the birth of my first child. I feel very blessed to have dd but feel my family could expand! I have chosen the concurrent planning route where we will foster until (fingers crossed because they could return to birth family) the adoption order is granted then we adopt so we will hopefully get a newborn placed. I have two home visits left then panel in mid November !! Aarrgh! It's taken about 6-7 months and at times has been draining and intrusive but understandably so. Hang in there it will be worth it! My main issue and only downside is my battle with work to get adoption pay... Because I'll take unpaid leave to foster they won't pay adoption pay as it is based on the preceding 8 weeks before adoption takes place! Thinking of taking the battle to my mp next!! Hope u all doing well xx

Swizzersmum welcome and good luck with your battle. Can you take paid holiday leave and then adoption leave?

Choccyjules Sat 28-Sep-13 10:37:33

Hi!

Can I ask how you are preparing your BC for the uncertainty of concurrent planning? We are still very much in two minds about it due to how a child going back to birth Mum may affect our DD.

Meita Sun 29-Sep-13 11:46:38

good question choccy, Swizzers I'd be really interested in your answer to that one too!

bertiebassettsbelly Sun 29-Sep-13 17:43:33

Hello! Please can I join in? We have just sent an initial enquiry to our LA and have been advised that they will be in touch within the next two weeks. We are hoping to adopt a slightly older child (5-7years) and we are very excited, aswell as very nervous of the next year or so!!

Can anybody give me some idea of the general process from now on please? Thanks smile

Hi bertie welcome! the process changed as of 1st July so by rights it should be quicker. It does change from place to place though how they go about it.
Each la you enquire too will either invite you to a meeting or come and and see you for a chat. They'll then give you an application form to fill out and accept you onto stage 1. From the date of their acceptance to panel should be 6months.
Stage 1 lasts two months includes health and safety check of your house, drb's , finance check, your references filling out forms and being interviewed and you meeting your sw (and maybe a family support worker) and you going on a course (sometimes four days , sometimes 3 and fourth day in stage two.
If they are happy with all of this you go onto stage two although you can take 6 months out.
Stage two is last day of course and then building up your portfolio. Eco maps, info about yourself, relationships etc and then it's panel.

We are on the verge of stage two. Have our course in a fortnights time!

So sorry that is a right essay! Sorry if you know it all already!

bertiebassettsbelly Sun 29-Sep-13 19:56:52

Thanks so much in, that's really helpful! It's all so new and we feel so excited and scared at the same time!! I'm sure that everyone has similar feelings-we are a bit older, I'm 38 and DH will be 45 in December, hence the reason for hoping for an older child.

Stage 2 for you-how exciting!! How have you found the process so far? I work full time, but I have read the policy for adoption leave and I think that I will be entitled to paid time off for meetings etc, in a similar way to antenatal care for pregnancy I guess.

Will your adopted child be your first child? We have spent so long waiting for a family, its so good to finally be doing something positive!!

Yes it's our first child. We had been ttc for 4 long years, decided to end it in January. felt ready to start our new journey in late July so made "the call' when we got back from our holiday at the beginning of August. I'm 31 and my dh is 34 so I think we are some of the younger ones.
I've found it ok so far. I'd read up on here an awful lot so I wasn't too surprised by it all but it does feel a bit intrusive but it's all been so fast that I haven't had (much) time to stress about things. We have also been given some "homework" to do so that keeps me busy and makes me feel like I'm not floating along too much but it is all very exciting.
so have you decided on your la? We looked at two but loved the first one. I think choccy was more thorough than us. smile

forgot to say the school I work for have been brilliant and treated any meetings like ante natal appointments. I've been honest with them throughout everything right from the beginning of my fertility issues so they're not surprised by anything. dh works for a ridiculously laid back company so they've been fine too.

prumarth Mon 30-Sep-13 20:43:23

Hi everyone, I was hoping for some advice from people a bit further along the adoption process or who had already adopted. We received a document to fill in today from our social worker called 'feelings' and it has a large section about how we would deal with sexualised behaviour from a placed child who had been exposed to inappropriate behaviour and also what we would do if a child accused my husband or myself of sexual abuse (they said they wouldn't nesessarily know in advance of placing a child with us for adoption if abuse had happened). We have both found this quite upsetting and scary - and its opened up a whole series of fears for us such as if this is a common issue (placed children making sexual abuse accusations against new parents) and how to respond to this section as a whole. I'm worried that if this is a common issue, and would rightly need to be investigated if an accusation arose, but it would be like a grenade going off in our lives that we are ill equipped to handle & would have huge implications for our lives, jobs, relationships with nieces and nephews etc. Also does this mean me or my husband wouldn't be able to put our new child to bed or have bathtime without the other being present as a 'witness' for example.
I would really appreviate any feedback from anyone who has already adopted or who has also had to complete a similar review?

Namechangesforthehardstuff Mon 30-Sep-13 21:25:13

Hello everyone <waves> Finally sent in the form. Now twiddling fingers and trying not to be impatient. Not v good at not being impatient...

And hi Prumarth. This sounds as though.it could be a stock form to explore your feelings - can you find out from SW? If it is then you probably need to be honest about feeling that you couldn't handle that. What age children are you hoping to adopt?

Swizzersmum Mon 30-Sep-13 23:35:53

Hi I have said that we are helping to look after the baby as their tummy mummy needs help and if she gets better at it then they may go back. Hard really but my daughter is just 4 so she grasps most things but doesn't really get it. She wants to help so we are just being honest and stressing that point at the minute. Have to just go with it it's a risk I know x

Swizzersmum Mon 30-Sep-13 23:37:54

Hi I have said that we are helping to look after the baby as their tummy mummy needs help and if she gets better at it then they may go back. Hard really but my daughter is just 4 so she grasps most things but doesn't really get it. She wants to help so we are just being honest and stressing that point at the minute. Have to just go with it it's a risk I know x

Swizzersmum Mon 30-Sep-13 23:38:53

Not enough hols I'm afraid!

Meita Tue 01-Oct-13 13:22:05

Hi Bertie welcome! we are at similar stages, though we are looking to adopt a young child, due to our DS' age. Hope all goes well for you.

Hello Namechange wow how does it feel to have sent it off? Have you had a reply yet?

prumarth I think this is part and parcel of exploring which children would be good matches for you. I think it is important to be aware and honest about what you would be comfortable with and what you wouldn't. Depending on the children's ages, sexual awareness/sexualised behaviour is more or less likely I guess, and I doubt anyone can really put a number on it. I would say don't hesitate to state that you would be uncomfortable with a child who has sexual abuse in his/her past, if that is what you feel. Of course you can never be 100% sure, but you can say no to cases where it is known. Can, and should, if that's what you feel. Don't try to bite more than you can swallow.

I think in adoption there is never certainty, so at the end of the day, you need to be prepared to some extent to take a leap of faith, commit, and then deal with whatever gets thrown at you.

Regarding allegations of sexual abuse, I have gathered from reading books by foster carers that many foster carers are accused of abuse at some point in time, maybe as many as 1/3 (that is NOT one in three children make abuse accusations. Rather, over the course of a 'career' of looking after child after child, sometimes more than 50 different children over the years, one in three carers will have to deal with abuse allegations at some point). That's why, as soon as there is an inkling suspicion of sexual abuse in the background, foster carers should practice 'safer caring' where they have protocols such as you mention, where for example bedtime stories are read in the lounge in the presence of other people rather than 'alone' in the child's room.
However, I think fostering is a bit different to adoption, in that the children will only recently have been removed from their homes, and hence little may be known about their pasts - many children will only open up about abuse after a little while, when they start feeling safe. Whereas once they are placed for adoption, this phase of not knowing tends to have been resolved - if there was sexual abuse, many children will have talked about it at some point during their time in foster care. If the child behaves in a sexualised way, it will have been noticed. So for adopters it is much less likely to have to deal with previously unregistered sexual abuse than it is for foster carers.
And well. If you find yourself to be the one whose child discloses previously unknown sexual abuse to you, or whose child suddenly starts behaving in a sexualised way, then I suppose you grieve for the poor LOs innocence and try to help them in whatever way you can.

Swizzers that is pretty much what I have been thinking. However, I can anticipate two problems with that. The first, with our BC still being so very young, I worry that learning that some children have to be looked after by someone else than their parents - that some parents aren't able to look after their children - will cause him much distress and shake his heretofore unquestioned trust and reliance on us, his own parents. I worry that he might start worrying that we can no longer look after him and that he has to be looked after by someone else. I'm going to think very carefully about how to broach the topic with him, so that he understands that we are looking after this baby because their parents need help, but so that he doesn't start worrying. In a way I would like to spare him this awareness, of families not being able to stay together, until later.
The second, if all we tell our BC is that we are looking after this baby for now, then if/when the placement order comes through, the baby would suddenly morph into 'your new brother/sister' - I worry that our BC would then be totally unprepared for the idea of having a new 'forever' sibling. But I would not want to talk about a new sibling before the placement order comes through, for in case baby goes back to BM.
What do you think about these problems? I'm honestly curious, as still trying to resolve them for myself.

prumarth Tue 01-Oct-13 15:43:45

Thanks Keira and namechange. I think I was just having a massive wobble yesterday - the section came up out the blue for me and suddenly I went from imagining how happy me and my potential new family would be together (kind of like a scene from the Waltons!) to imagining us being arrested for false abuse claims and being hounded out of our home! A good night sleep has given me a bit more perspective - and sadly I guess abuse is a hideous reality of some of these kids lives and it needs to be raised and explored with us so we know worst case scenarios. I'm still a bit scared of my ability to cope with something like this and don't think it's something I could take on if it's known in advance, but we will just have to pull up our socks and deal if it became a later reality. I guess it just never entered my consciousness as a potential issue that might affect my life so I am very fortunate ultimately.

pru I can understand your opinion totally.
Our family support worker is visiting my mom and dad tomorrow. I'm more nervous than them! grin grin

Namechangesforthehardstuff Tue 01-Oct-13 21:06:30

No nothing yet. DH works with LAs a lot and is cynical and says the form won't have made it out of the postroom yet. smile

I am trying to be calm. <tries> One positive thing is that now that we're moving forward I can engage with other people in 'family planning' type conversations without wanting to strangle them with their own smuggery grin

Prumarth good to hear you're a bit more settled today. TBH anyone who answers questions like that without a qualm is probably really not to be trusted.

prumarth Tue 01-Oct-13 21:46:28

Good luck Inthebeginning - I'm sure they will do you proud!

Thanks Namechanges! I'm sure your form is winging its way off to the relevent person. What age group are you hoping to adopt?

Namechangesforthehardstuff Tue 01-Oct-13 22:03:30

DD is 3 so we can only adopt 2 years younger. So when we.get there probably 0-2? That's why we weren't sure an LA would agree to assess us. You?

Inthebeginning I told my mum she was a referee this week and I could see her heart sinking as I spoke. Good luck to you all. Let us know how it goes.

prumarth Tue 01-Oct-13 22:15:00

We have asked for 0-5. Fingers crossed! We have our course in 2 weeks time so I guess I will discover even more scary and exciting things then!

dh's mom was the same! buried her head in the sand about the form and then kept phoning us asking stupid questions including "do you class the chickens as pets or livestock? " we have six of them for gods sake!
Our course begins in two weeks too. Look well if it's the same one! Our la begins with an s (outing myself totally)

prumarth Wed 02-Oct-13 08:11:24

That would be funny! Unfortunately just coincidence - ours begins with a w! But great that we can compare notes on the courses as we go through them!

dh spoke to our sw today and they're happy for us to go through to stage two! She's sent us our par information pack through too and has told us to start filling it out! has made our day! !!!

Choccyjules Thu 03-Oct-13 18:47:51

Our LA seem to have managed to stall starting stage one again by sending us another form to sign with our acceptance letter...we already agreed to everything starting on the application form!

Having said that, DH just pointed out we have done one day's training. So actually we have NO IDEA when or if our stage one has started!!

bertiebassettsbelly Thu 03-Oct-13 21:40:48

Hi all! Well we have 2 appointments booked over the next couple of weeks, one on Oct 25th with a VA and the other next weds with our LA! YIPPPPEEEEE!!!! I know its only an initial interview but its majorly exciting and all I can think about is maybe this time next year we will be a mummy and daddy, planning our first family Christmas!! (I know that it might take much longer, but a girl can live in hope!!! grin

That's excellent news in!!! Things seem to be progressing quickly for you, I hope that ours is the same once we get going properly.

We told the in laws on Monday, I was absolutely dreading it (they are very old school and a bit in the dark ages!!), but to my surprise and utter relief, they are over the moon for us!! So that's a major relief for both of us.

Choccy, that is sooooo frustrating for you, hope its sorted quickly and things can progress.

Has anyone got any advice about whether to choose a VA or LA? Is there any real difference?

Bertie that's fantastic news How exciting for your! It is such a major thing isn't it. You have every right to feel as excited as you are.
choccy it must be very frustrating. If you have already signed a form and they have sent you the first thing back then I would think you had been accepted from that date?
We've had our welcome pack through this morning for our course. So exciting.
It does all feel like it's going very smoothly at the moment ....a bit too smoothly! grin

Namechangesforthehardstuff Fri 04-Oct-13 19:06:33

My LA haven't told me the dates of any courses or anything. Is that normal? I've only just sent in the form but I'm now worried that we might have missed out on the start of a course so something...

And VA versus LA? I think the word on the street is that sometimes VAs have more 'difficult to place' children because they're doing it on behalf of LAs. But then there are plenty of people here I think who found children who wouldn't fit that through VAs so maybe call and speak to some and see. No VA we contacted would assess us because of the age of our BC.

Look at Ofsted?

I contacted our LA beccause someone on here recommended them smile

no namechange don't worry. We got told it's when our la's social worker came to see us (when we'd first enquired) because there were only two before Christmas and they wanted to get us on them. But I think some people don't get told before they are fully signed up and into stage one.

I've read through what our course will be and I am starting to get a bit stressy. Think it's because I'm used to things not happening that now it is. ...I don't know!

Namechangesforthehardstuff Fri 04-Oct-13 22:23:47

Oh good thanks smile

I know what you mean about stressy. The other day DH and I had a conversation which was practically word for word one we had before starting all this only this time it was me going 'What if it all goes wrong' and him going 'Look let's get going with the assessment and then we'll have the information to make the right decision' whereas it had been the other way round.

It feels like a scarily big decision.

hi all, how are things going? We have three out of four days of our training next week. This week is dragging but I'm also feeling very apprehensive.

Choccyjules Wed 09-Oct-13 21:46:44

Hi,
We seem to get forms to sign and return most days, for the LA to do searches on us via the NSPCC etc.
Have started to fill our medical forms in and have done family tree and support networks.
SW coming next week for more admin.
There is certainly lots to do so it does feel as though it's moving again.
Every so often I sit back and realise there's a child at the end of this, a new member of the family, and wonder who they will be.

RationalThought Wed 09-Oct-13 23:01:59

Inthebeginning - If your experience of the training is anything like ours, there's no need to be apprehensive. There is a lot to take in, but we had a great experience with the other prospective adopters. Sharing our life experiences with each other and learning together was very positive. It was a very mixed group in terms of ages, backgrounds, ethnicities, sexuality, etc. Plus two of the group had adoptees in their immediate family.

Hope all is well with all of us Newbies.

Namechangesforthehardstuff Thu 10-Oct-13 17:51:19

Just got official acceptance letter following ROI form but our appointed SW (who we haven't met - we had our interveiw with someone who was lovely) has invited us to two things - one of which we've been to and one of which could not possibly be of use given the kind of child we will be able to adopt. I say invited but it feels more like being summoned... There's also a massive mistake in the letter.

Am I wrong to have a few misgivings on this sad

Oh dear that sounds unfortunate but congrats on getting approved. No idea what you have been invited to? We were told we had to do a parenting course and just finished it. This was my 5 parenting course, (I have birth DD aged 9) but I loved the course and really enjoyed it.

Just let them know what the mistake is.

If you want to PM me, please do, sounds like we are in a similar boat, newly approved.

Congrats.

Meita Fri 11-Oct-13 13:14:18

Namechanges, I'd have misgivings too, but for now I'd treat it as a honest mistake and just try to keep going. Given as you're signed up with them now. Or have other things happened, and your misgivings are so bad that you are considering cutting your losses and changing to someone else before going to far down the road? I suppose changing LAs/agencies only gets harder, the further along you are in the process.

We've been looking at two different LAs and the one we'd like to go with as they are better suited for us on paper, they seem to be badly organised, chaotic, keep giving us conflicting information, and make an unprofessional appearance. We're trying to decide if that is bad enough to put us off and make us go with the others, who are lovely and professional. Or if, at the end of the day, the approval process doesn't matter half as much as being matched with the right child at the end of it all, and maybe the risk of having to wait a long time for such a match. The chaotic council have the advantage there, purely by numbers, they place twice as many children per year, so it is more likely for us to be a suitable family for one of them.
Or, on the other hand, their state of chaos would mean that they are less likely to know us, and to know their children, well enough to be able to make the right kind of suggestions. Gah... I just don't know. Maybe we are over thinking this.

hi all, sounds like some difficult times at the moment. It is difficult to know which is the "right" one to go with isn't it.
I would talk to sw about it though. explain your misgivings to her.
We start course tomorrow. And then have sw coming to see us next fri to discuss going into stage two. driving myself mad thinking that she's going to come and say no. I can't keep being this anxious all the time but things have always not worked before. So just feel it's a matter of time before this goes wrong. sad Not a good day.

Namechangesforthehardstuff Sun 13-Oct-13 19:09:34

Well don't want to out myself smile but let's say I've been invitied to a seminar on how your adopted child might ummmm, have to manage their own bank account (it's not that). But we're only eligible for children of 0-2 and it just worries me that she hasn't actually read our form...

We're only approved to go onto stage 1 btw, not approved smile

Anyway I spoke to her in the end and sorted out a few things. She seemed nice on the phone. Maybe she's just really busy and hadn't in fact read our form. I suppose that's OK. And maybe she doesn't communicate well in writing.

But this bit of Meita's post

Or, on the other hand, their state of chaos would mean that they are less likely to know us, and to know their children, well enough to be able to make the right kind of suggestions.

that struck a chord with me. What if? It all feels really important to get it right. What if we get it wrong?

And Inthebeginning you will be fine - I was right before despite being a random internet stranger - trust me smile

Devora Sun 13-Oct-13 20:42:37

Hi newbies! Just popped in to give you an encouraging wave and say I hope you're not finding the process too gruelling.

I sat beside my little one as she fell asleep tonight and she kept patting my hand and murmuring, I love you Mummy. It really was all worth it.

Choccyjules Sun 13-Oct-13 21:47:40

Thanks, Devora smile

Namechangesforthehardstuff Sun 13-Oct-13 22:21:04

<feels encouraged> smile

Meita Sun 13-Oct-13 22:56:40

me too smile

bertiebassettsbelly Mon 14-Oct-13 08:17:43

Sorry to hear that there is such a lot of difficult decisions at the moment , it's such a massive life event and I hope that all concerns can be sorted soon smile.
We have decided to use our LA as we got on very well with the SW who visited us last week and they have an outstanding OFSTED, also distance with the VA was going to be an issue. We received our registration of interest pack on Friday and I'm dropping it off today(keen!!). I've also told my manager, who was so lovely we both cried!!! So onwards and upwards and best of happiness to everyone else, we will all get there and reading Devoras message just tops it all beautifully!

Namechangesforthehardstuff Mon 14-Oct-13 10:15:32

Yes feeling good this morning. Have been talking to my referees and it's a conversation I haven't yet had with them which touches on fertility etc. so have been really nervous.

Just got back from speaking to my neighbour who I know has been wondering for a couple of years why DC2 hasn't made an appearance yet and she said 'I can't think of anyone who would be better at this. I'm so happy for you'.

Really glad, such a relief to be actually talking about it, and what a lovely thing to say smile [tears up a bit like Bertiebassettsbelly]

MrsBW Mon 14-Oct-13 19:58:17

AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is all.

Namechangesforthehardstuff Mon 14-Oct-13 20:04:17

Ummmmmmmmmmmmmm...

Why?

Do you need cake or wine?

Happiestinwellybobs Mon 14-Oct-13 20:04:27

You okay MrsBW?

MrsBW Mon 14-Oct-13 20:13:17

Bless you both!

Without getting into too much detail; found out that our panel date has been delayed - for the third time.

I have had lots of wine and wine grin sad

I know, I know - it will be nothing compared with the stress of bringing up binlids. Or, at least that is what I will tell myself tomorrow.

But for tonight, I am most dischuffed; and having a full on pity party.

Happiestinwellybobs Mon 14-Oct-13 20:27:27

wine sounds good. Sorry to hear about the delay - it's crap isn't it, when this kind of thing happens. Hopefully you have a new date soon.

It will all be worth it - that's what I told myself when we faced delays (due to DD's SW cocking up!). You will get there in the end, and wine will help in the meantime smile

Namechangesforthehardstuff Mon 14-Oct-13 21:24:47

How unbelievably frustrating for you.

And not great practise for having kids.

Great practise for that would be if your SW came round and said 'Want you to go to panel' and you said 'OK then.' and she said 'NO NO NO! WON'T GO TO PANEL!' and then lay on the ground screaming and sobbing. grin

MrsBW Mon 14-Oct-13 21:50:43

^ haha... The image of that has cheered me right up!!

Unfortunately, blame can be laid squarely at SW's door... Would be 'easier' if it were something we'd done as we couldn't get as cross.

But the SW thrashing on the floor screaming 'NO PANEL!!!!' will see me through the coming days/weeks/months, so thank you! grin

mrsbw that's horrible for you. Must be so frustrating. We've got a break from the course today. Back on Thursday and then the lady day in Dec. It's going well but I don't think I've concentrated so much in my life! had a day of separation, loss,abuse and attachment disorders yesterday which although I knew, was still very difficult when you think that your own child has suffered.
also met an adopter and foster carer too which was good.
People we are on with are 4 other couples. Two are really nice but one has opinions that I find quite difficult. I suppose this happens with any group of people you meet though. And I'm tired so I'm winey!
hope everyone else is ok.

Choccyjules Wed 16-Oct-13 11:06:45

The course is very draining, you're bound to be tired. Most training doesn't take such toll on the emotions, eh?

SW coming round later to see rest of our paperwork so can do all her checks. I guess Stage One is a lot of waiting for others to send stuff off!

MrsBW don't stress if it is social workers fault they can fix it. It will just take time. Deep breathe and listen to this... you can do it!

with words

I know it doesn't feel like it, but there is time.

I first wanted to have a family in 1992 (yes 21 years ago). I first thought about adoption as a single person (and realised I was too young and had no ability to do it) in 1994 (yes almost 20 years ago!). Talked to my then husband-to-be about adoption in 1999 (15 years ago), I first rang our county council about this in 2006 (7 years ago) and now I feel 2014 will be my year to adopt! I am bracing everything and knowing

with pictures

Or if you prefer a bit of bond... you guessed it still time - my favourite

Choccyjules Sat 19-Oct-13 16:00:00

Membership pack from Adoption UK has arrived, is it wrong to be so excited?!

hi choccy we get free subscription when we've been approved at panel.
sw coming tomorrow to (hopefully) set up dates for stage two. Have promised myself that when she does I will relax and start looking forward to things (rather than being a stressy nervous wreck! )
hope everyone else is ok

we are tgrough to stage two! Got all our meetings booked in and will be going to panel end Jan beginning of February! !!!!

Choccyjules Fri 25-Oct-13 19:39:19

Wahey! All zooming along for you :-)

Meita Sun 27-Oct-13 15:19:43

Yay Inthebeginning! It must all be starting to feel very real now!

Thanks both Yes it is! dh yaa been at work all weekend as we aee going on hols this week so I've written up a chunk (7200 words! ) of our par to send off to our sw worker. How is everybody else? We are going away for a very adulty few days with much wine and shop wandering. Can't wait!

Choccyjules Sun 27-Oct-13 23:42:41

Ooh enjoy!

Hi everyone, how are things going? We are back from our hols and ready to crack on. Sw seeing us 6times between now and Christmas and I'm going to get a bit more of our par done. I do like being able to do it as it gives me control over something.

just had a meeting with our social worker and we have got our panel date through for the end of January! arrrrgggghhhhh!
Feel excited nervous and scared!

How is everyone else?

x x x

Inthebeginining HOOORAY! Hope all goes well.

prumarth Fri 08-Nov-13 22:32:24

Fantastic - a big milestone to reach inthebeginning, well done

32flavours Sat 09-Nov-13 10:37:26

Hi, how's everyone's adoption journeys going? Just wanted to thank you all for the advice and support you've given. Everything seems to be coming together for us now. We've been assigned a sw and she's the same lady who's visited us a few times before. I'm really happy because I feel like we've already built up a bit of a rapport with her and we both really like her. We're moving house next month as we currently live in a flat in the city centre, it's not really a child friendly place as it's very close to all the clubs and pubs. I went to view a house this week and it was perfect! A nice safe area with lots of parks nearby, a lovely little garden and close to a primary school. When I was talking to the landlady I mentioned that we were hoping to adopt hence why we were moving. Turns out she's a sw herself and was really positive about us wanting to adopt. The house has been their family home for many years so I think she really wants to ensure whoever moves in will love their house as much as they do. We've put our application in for the house and are I'm just waiting and crossing my fingers now. I've got my heart set on this house, I can really see us bringing up a family there.

bertiebassettsbelly Sat 09-Nov-13 12:21:57

In that's amazing!!!!!grin Congratulations and fingers crossed that the day is good and comes very quickly for you!
We are half way through stage one now, we have completed all of the initial paperwork, including the mammoth task of our life chronology- that certainly got the old grey cells working overtime! I had my medical yesterday, which was completely fine other than my BMI, but I knew that might be an issue and I have been working on it all year, so it is going down.
32 I will keep everything crossed for you that you get your new house, it sounds lovely and such a good coincidence that the landlady is a social worker.
Hope that everyone else is doing well smile

Choccyjules Sat 09-Nov-13 18:04:57

We've just been asked by the LA to book pur medicals and the GP is apparently going off for a few weeks :-(
So it looks like our Stage one is going to be extended by who knows how long....
There was me thinking we'd go to panel by the end of March. Hahaha.

choccy ours wasn't with our own gp. At our drs they have a certain one to do them. Just a thought?

thank you everyone. we are very excited that we've now got our date. We went into mamas and papas today. First time we have in three years!

Choccyjules Sat 09-Nov-13 19:11:15

That's a thought but we have specifically named the GP who saw me through PND so really would like her to fill the form in.

Choccyjules Sat 09-Nov-13 19:12:18

Excited for your shopping excitement, btw,

namechangesforthehardstuff Sat 09-Nov-13 20:15:56

Hi all <waves>

Lots of exciting things happening here. Inthebeginning you're fast progressing to 'not being a newbie' status. Big congrats smile And 32 fingers crossed for your house. choccyjules surely if the BMI were a big thing they'd have let you know by now?

Prep course for us next week ARRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHH! A bit soon and full on but am looking forward to it. We are on our third social worker which has to be something of a record given that we have only just started Stage 1?

Ooooh and I had an amusing medical where my GP was very apologetic about having to do a breast exam (no idea why - I was cool with it, thought it was saving me a job wink) and at the end she said, in a kind of relieved slightly nervous way 'OK that's all finished now...Beautiful breasts!'

So that's a medical opinion from a trained professional that is. I'm having that on my headstone.

I bet she went out back and banged her head repeatedly on the wall for a few minutes afterwards...

namechangesforthehardstuff how lovely, a medical and a compliment. Good luck.

namechange a compliment indeed! all I got waa "gosh you like text tattoos don't you? ??" I have two small ones, one that is on the top of my thigh so nobody really sees and one on my foot. made it sound like I was covered in writing! !
choccy totally understand your point. I have a dr who helped me through infertility and one who helped me through my anxiety but it's barely even mentioned on the form. Just the dates really. I was lucky tho as Dr I saw I have known for about 20 years. First time dh had met him!
Had a bit of a meltdown last night which was set off by nice Christmas adverts. This time next year we could actually have our child. terrified me, excited me. everything! Feel lots better today though and have butterflies

Daisiemoo Sun 10-Nov-13 22:16:42

Hi we're nearly at stage two. SW says we have to have medicals done before we can be signed off to stage 2. We've done lots of home study (our SW seems lovely) and we have prep group training next week. Very nervous about prep group. Do I need to take tissues?? I seem to have turned into a crier!!

Meita Wed 13-Nov-13 15:05:38

Hi there,
two months later than we intended, but finally we have sent our 'registration' off. Now waiting to hear back from them. A bit nervous that we might have made the wrong decision, but, over all, it probably won't make a huge difference anyway.
Away now to plan childcare for prep course days.

32flavours Wed 13-Nov-13 19:06:30

We got the house! I'm really excited, we have the family home, now we just need the family smile.
Why are you worrying you made the wrong decision meita?