After approval

(57 Posts)
Broodymomma Sat 14-Sep-13 11:32:14

So we were approved 5 days ago and we are starting to think about practical things like doing a bedroom up for our new lo. I am a little scared to tempt fate and just wondered when everyone else started doing things like the bedroom? We are approved for a 0-4 of either sex so we could only do the basics until we have more specifics.

It's only been 5 days but already feel in limbo and desperate to know what the next few months will bring. Do you literally just get a phone call one day from the sw to say they have a child for you to consider or should sw be in touch even to say no news? On average how long do people wait? During hs we were told they had lots of children waiting in our age group and it would not be long for us but I don't know if my version of not long is the same as the sw.

Have this dream of our lo being home for Xmas but as we have only just been approved I doubt that's going to happen.

Broodymomma am in same boat as you and feel in limbo! We have a neutral plain room, we will not start to do anything to it until we know who is coming but to be honest I might wait until we meet them and get to know them to do anything. Like you are age range is big, ours is 0-5. Feel kind of weird and need to get myself motivated!

judybloomers Sat 14-Sep-13 12:19:47

We're in the same boat too - approved in June for 0-2 and waiting for the call. We have got the room all decorated, new carpet, curtain rail etc. and we've started buying books, as you can't really go wrong with those. We'll wait to buy a cot/cotbed/toddler bed, a buggy and a car seat until we know their age and stage.

I don't want to burst your bubble, but we were told that it would be roughly 3 months between hearing about our wee one and placement and that they don't place in December, so I suspect we are all looking at the New Year now.

I hear you re the desperation for 'the call' - I jump each and every time my phone rings.

Lilka Sat 14-Sep-13 14:35:45

I bought a few bigthings post approval both times but nothing else or nothing decorative, and the room was neutral colour. My age ranges were unusually large (firstly a girl aged 3-12, because I didn't want to adopt a baby or a teenager but was pretty open to any older child in between, and second time a girl aged 4-11, I wanted a child who was in primary school). Obviously there was not a lot I could buy with that age range, especially since older kids would want to pick their own colour walls and bedding

I bought - bed, wardrobe, shelves, drawers. All plain I thought if my girl wanted she could get stickers or we could even paint the wardrobe/drawers if she wanted to. Then right before intros another big buying and painting spree after FC's asked what colour they wanted their bedrooms to be! After intros, more buying of little extras and decorations eg. wall stickers (It was special for them because obviously you can't pick all the details of your room in foster care)

I found it fun buying the bed etc! Gave me something to do, made me feel purposeful

Your SW will either call you or email you about profiles. You can email your SW if you see a childs profile yourself in BMP/CWW or elsewhere (if you're doing that).

I remember back to 1995, I really worried about being out and missing the phone call which was the only way my SW could contact me since I didn't own a mobile phone or a computer. Seems a bit crazy nowadays grin

allthingswillpass Sat 14-Sep-13 18:24:21

We had a grotty 16months wait after approval to find our LO.
Limbo indeed. However, I think the new timescales in adoption will mean that that leap goth of wait is a thing of the past.
Read, read and read some more, scare yourself with all the possible scenarios and I can assure you, if you haven't had a child before, you still won't be ready (speaks a woman who's worked with children for 20 years).
Best wishes for matching and placement. X

WarmfeetThicksocks Sat 14-Sep-13 18:29:24

I waited until after we'd been linked. Partly because that was a very short time (9 days), partly because I was dazed post-hs and partly because I didn't know who we were buying for.
We had some assumptions about who were likely to be linked with, based on convos w/ SW, which turned out to be completely wrong.
Also, you need to know what the LOs like/are familiar with. No point doing a dinosaur room for a boy who's obsessed by Thomas the Tank Engine etc
But nothing to stop you 'researching' so you have an idea of what you need when the time comes.
I also divided my shopping list into 'before matching panel' (anything that needed to be in pics in family book) and 'after matching panel' (pushchairs, carseats etc).

And start saving. Really, start saving.

Happiestinwellybobs Sat 14-Sep-13 18:30:57

I was approved at this time of year - 2 years ago. As we were approved for a girl 0-4, it did mean we could buy furniture, and we did buy some clothes - we thought we'd never get a baby, so a couple of 2-3 year dresses were bought, as we knew our SW was really looking for a girl less than 3 years old.

We received THE call in the following new year, after a pretty dire Christmas. We had pinned our hopes on having a DD for Christmas and it was utterly crap that she wasn't with us. I emailed them in November, but didn't receive much from them. However our SW was fab, and stressed to us that we shouldn't feel bad about contacting them.

And when the call did come, it was to tell us about DD who was just a baby. So we made a hasty cot purchase, and the single bed became another place to put all of her toys smile. And she is just about big enough to wear those dresses that we bought.

So we waited 4 months from approval to call, and then 2 months to placement.. I do know of a couple who did have their child placed with them in December.

Lilka Sat 14-Sep-13 18:56:44

I think placement before Christmas is only going to happen if you are linked within the next couple of weeks. I know one couple who did intros in mid December (finished round the 13th or so). They were able to because the baby was very young, around 6 months. They wouldn't place an older child in December for the obvious reasons

TeenAndTween Sat 14-Sep-13 19:06:27

We were approved for 2 children aged 0-7. We waited 15 months from approval to hearing about our girls. My recommendations:

- don't kit out a bedroom (but if it needs it get it painted something neutralish) every time you go in there you will get more anxious about the wait, AND you will have a room out of commission. [You do generally have quite a lot of time between hearing about your child and matching panel]

- if you must buy stuff, buy small generic things eg books, lego, jigsaws. Nothing expensive.

- agree with your SW how often she will contact you, eg every month. If she doesn't then find a reason to contact eg 'we are thinking of booking a holiday for 3 months time, any reason why we shouldn't'. (LAs tend to have meetings every 2 or 4 weeks to discuss children so every month is reasonable)

- if appropriate subscribe to Be My parent and Children Who Wait, at least you will feel you are being proactive

- try not to let it take over your life, it will happen in its own good time. Go on lots of 'last holidays' / mini breaks, do all those DIY jobs etc

WarmfeetThicksocks Sat 14-Sep-13 19:06:42

Linking to matching panel for us was 2.5 months. It was over the summer (this year) so I think it was held up by kids' SW being on holiday for part of that time. (I suspect there was an earlier panel date we missed because of her hols.) So be prepared for a wait after linking too. (Though its a busy wait, full of shopping opportunities!)

Broodymomma Sun 15-Sep-13 10:00:52

Thanks everyone. Lots of useful tips here and I am now prepared for a wait to the new year. The spare room is currently a guest room so we have decided to empty it and paint it a neutral colour and get the basic furniture that we need and wait for the rest. I have a 6 year old ds already so we have lots of books and early stage toys in the loft that can be quickly brought down when needed.

I think I got caught up in all the stories I read of people leaving approval panel and being shown profiles days later. Time to find my inner patience from somewhere!

Doing all the things you are saying I should but!!!! bought a soft toy kangeroo yesterday. It just seemed a lovely image of adoption! It is small, will keep it hidden!

I am not sure but to me the Kangeroo speaks of adoption in a special way!

Happiestinwellybobs Sun 15-Sep-13 19:36:38

I think the kangaroo is a lovely idea. I found it so difficult not to buy anything. I remember my SW asking if I had, and II didn't know whether I should have or not and felt a bit awkward, but she just laughed and told me it was fine.

I managed the wait with an occasional purchase now and again to get it out of my system smile And when we were matched, and DD's FC came to our house, I showed her DD's room, with this small pile of toys and she smiled - and i realised it was okay to have done that smile

I think perhaps that we spend a lot of time worrying about what we should and should not do and say throughout home study. And actually what we should do is what we feel is right for us, whatever helps us get through those weeks and months smile

Thanks, Happiest I will do just that.

Devora Sun 15-Sep-13 23:20:09

I was approved in October and our daughter came home the following August. I have to say I found this period the most taxing and testing part of the adoption process, so I do feel for you.

I moved house during that time, and as I had an older child it was pretty much a case of putting into the new bedroom all my older daughters' stuff. I don't remember buying anything other than a second hand buggy.

Remember that your child may come with a lot of their own stuff, and that you should in preference use that rather than your shiny new gear. Also that the time after linking and before introductions is a lovely time to do your shopping, with a particular child in mind.

Very best of luck to everybody recently approved.

Panadbois Wed 18-Sep-13 13:52:13

Thanks for posting this thread OP. I'm FC whose LO is up for adoption and looking for a match, and although they have explained to me the process, I had forgotten.

Good luck everyone, and if anyone of you get my LO, you'll be the luckiest people alive grin

JammieMummy Wed 18-Sep-13 14:10:06

We were I officially told about our DD in November 2011, we didn't go to panel to be approved as adopters until January 2013. That Christmas we went on a "last" holiday to America, my DH limited me to 2 outfits for her and...we came back with a hold-all full of clothes for her AND a handmade patchwork quilt confused

We were officially given her CPR as we stepped out from being approved at panel and she had moved in less than 2 months later. In hindsight there were lots of hints there, as our SW insisted we had our room completed by the time we went to panel, that was in August before we had heard of DD. we were approved for 1 or 2 children aged 7 and under. So just painted in a very neutral green colour and put in new carpet, I was convinced we would get a 4 year old boy (no idea why!) so bought a small bed. Once we found out it was one DD we sold the bed and bought her a cot, then accessorised the room with white and pink butterflies as that what she loved.

I am probably not the nest advert for restraint but all those things made me very happy and I felt I was being proactive. I also researched school and activity groups.

JammieMummy Wed 18-Sep-13 14:10:52

Sorry January 2012 not 13! That would be a long time

Broodymomma how's it going?

Broodymomma Sun 22-Sep-13 19:19:20

Hey still waiting for the signed minutes from panel to arrive with our sw apparently nothing can happen before that. Just trying to stay patient but its hard and we are not even 2 weeks post approval yet lol.

How is everyone else doing? Any link news this week?

mrsballack Sun 22-Sep-13 19:29:46

Hi. We've been given some details of children to consider.

We are at panel next week and the children's social worker wants to meet us the day after panel.

It's all happened a bit quick tbh and we're desparate for more info about the children so we can decorate. This week I'm stripping the bedroom and painting it neutral.

MuseumOfHam Sun 22-Sep-13 19:45:13

Broodymomma, I remember this being the most frustrating bit. We were also approved for boy or girl 0-4, and our timescales were roughly 4 months approval to getting 'the call', then 4 months to DS coming home. In the meantime, we had slightly more than decoration to do on the room as it was a bit of a renovation project, needed damp proof, replastering etc. Then we painted it yellow, cheery but not gender specific!

Broody we got the letter (yesterday I think) saying it is official, we have been approved. But no word of children yet!

mrsballack that is so fast! details of children already! Wow.

Our area only gives one at a time and we are only adopting one.

I am both nervous and excited!

mrsballack Mon 23-Sep-13 09:29:20

It really is quick. From what we know we are really excited and they seem ideal for us. The social workers have been floating about dates and it seems we may (all being well) be going to matching panel in January. That would be less than a year from first contact to matching.

Broodymomma Wed 25-Sep-13 21:46:12

Wow that is fast and exciting for you. I almost had heart failure when sw called today but it was just to tell me that the official signed papers arrived today so she has started looking for our lo. So excited.

mrsballack wow exciting. We must make it to the pub before you have a full-time job with your new family!

Broodymomma Thu 26-Sep-13 14:07:50

Hmmm our sw has just asked to come round tomorrow for a catch up we are 2.5 weeks post approval. I don't want to get my hopes up that she may have some profiles for us as she did just say catch up. What is there to catch up on though as we have just finished months of home study. I am desperate to see if she has someone in mind for us. Did anyone else get a visit after panel?

Moomoomie Thu 26-Sep-13 17:26:13

Sounds like she may have a profile for you to look at.
Best wishes, stay cool.

Broody wow, yipee, I am jelaous!!! Good luck. Keep us posted.

ColdFeetNoSocks Thu 26-Sep-13 23:03:16

My first post-approval visit had profiles in it. smile

Good luck x

Broodymomma Fri 27-Sep-13 11:43:45

I am keeping my fingers crossed can't see why she would come for just a catch up so soon after panel. I think I may be disappointed though but we shall see. 2hrs17mins to wait!!!

judybloomers Fri 27-Sep-13 13:30:03

Fingers crossed! Ours has been to see us since panel, but why would there be the whole 'next day' urgency if there wasn't some potential good news?

allthingswillpass Fri 27-Sep-13 13:36:37

We didn't get any visits after panel so remain positive, hope for the best, prepare for a large glass of wine if she has no profiles.
Fingers crossed for you here. Xxxx

NanaNina Fri 27-Sep-13 15:11:01

Hi to all you lovely people - my social work career spanned some 30 years (now retired) and the last 15 years I was a manager of a fostering & adoption team. I just want to mention (although you may already know) that it is the child's social worker who makes the choice about the adopted family, together with his/her team manager. In an ideal situation the child's sw and the fsw work in collaboration when it comes to making this important decision. When you are waiting for a young child (0-5) there will almost certainly be more than one family for consideration. The usual practice is for the child's sw to read the Form F and then do a joint visit with the fsw, and they may be doing visits to other approved adoptors. They won't always tell you this (but sometimes your fsw will tell you) and of course that increases the tension, but that's the way it is I'm afraid.

A lot depends on the experience of the social worker to be honest, as for some it will be the first time they have been involved in adoption, and then they are more likely to be "led" by the fsw! If they're both inexperienced I would hope that the team managers would step in to help. I certainly did this when necessary.

The other thing is I notice that there is mention of looking in the journals "Be My Parent" and "Adoption UK" (think they are still called that) and of course the children featured need an adoptive home, but be aware that these are the children who have been unable to be placed in their "home" LA on a national basis. By definition therefore they are usually going to be children with significant difficulties, and of course children with disabilities and large sibling groups. Many of these children will have been sexually abused and that can cause problems for the child to a greater or lesser extent through their lifetime.

We used to hold "hard to place" days and the profiles of all the children would be up on boards for everyone to see. The social workers for the children used to come and give talks to the adopters though I can't recall if we did in fact place any of these children successfully.

You will almost certainly wait longer for a single child 0 -5 as most children come with siblings, and there is a need for middle years aged children, those with disabilities and sibling groups. Having said that, I recall that we placed significant numbers of children in the 0 -5 age range.

My advice is to stop worrying about the room and as someone has said read all you can, especially about attachment theory as I believe this is the single most important issue for adopters. Many of the children will have insecure attachment issues related to their experiences with the birthparents. Also it has to be said, foster carers vary hugely (like anyone else in society) and some children awaiting adoption will have had better foster carers than others. I think most LAs do cover "attachment difficulties" but maybe only briefly. BAAF and Adoption UK and Fostering Network should have books on Attachment and I recommend you get them and read them.

I won't say good luck, because successful placements aren't built on "luck" - they are built on adoptive parents having the understanding of how the child's past affects his future and how he/she can be helped to learn to trust adults again. They are built on adoptive parents who can be patient and resilient in the early days, weeks and months when the child may be particularly stressful, although there is often a "honeymoon period" when the child first moves in. A good book is Vera Falberg "A child's Journey through Placement" but I think it's costly, not sure. I'm sure Amazon have books on Attachment.




However sometimes the child's sw has his/her own very definite ideas and the

allthingswillpass Fri 27-Sep-13 18:12:01

I must add to Nananinas post that it isn't always the case the children on the NAR are "hard to place" for reasons mentioned above.
Some children are on there for mainly geographical reasons where the placing authority is So Miniscule that it would be impossible to place them locally (IME).
Our LO was on the NAR and is bright, resilient and doing amazingly well.
Don't discount the NAR - instead be very clear about what you think you can cope with.
Sorry if it sounds like a rant - not meant to.

NanaNina Fri 27-Sep-13 18:32:54

Of course your post doesn't sound like a rant, and I think it's important that you made this point, and I think I am a bit behind the times. The NAR was just coming into being as I retired. I'm not even sure children are shown in the journals that I mentioned. So glad that your LO is doing so well.

Broodymomma Fri 27-Sep-13 19:37:25

Thanks for all your advise and well wishes. I am delighted to say they had a lo in mind for us all through the process. We got his form e today and he just sounds so like our birth ds.
No other families are being considered and he has been with 1 foster cater since he was removed as a baby. He seems perfect for our family. His social worker is coming to meet us next week. Certainly be reading our attachment books again. Can't believe how quick it has all happened.

wafflingworrier Fri 27-Sep-13 19:45:30

wow! congratulations!
I have been following with interest, thank you for sharing the journey with us and keep posting!

and thanks nananina for the helpful advice about reading material

Devora Fri 27-Sep-13 23:09:05

Brilliant news, Broody - you must be so excited!

And for others: I agree with allthingswillpass about the NAR. Our dd came to us as a beautiful 10 month old NT baby girl from the NAR. I think she was on there because she couldn't be ethnically matched locally.

Broody fab, great news.

Devora what is NT baby? Sorry to be dumb!

Lilka Sat 28-Sep-13 00:29:30

NT = Neurotypical smile

Lilka Sat 28-Sep-13 00:30:48

Broody - Fantastic, congratulations grin

Choccyjules Sat 28-Sep-13 10:56:39

Broody so happy for you, hope everything goes smoothly, exciting stuff!

judybloomers Sat 28-Sep-13 11:51:37

Broody - so exciting! That is wonderful news. Keep us posted.

Moomoomie Sat 28-Sep-13 13:54:20

Exciting news. So pleased for you.
Hope all goes smoothly.

Happiestinwellybobs Sat 28-Sep-13 20:40:11

Very exciting news smile fabulous!

Happiestinwellybobs Sat 28-Sep-13 20:40:23

Very exciting news smile fabulous!

Broodymomma Sat 28-Sep-13 21:01:07

Thanks everyone. It's starting to sink in now it's just all happened so fast we have not been approved 3 weeks yet but as I said they have had lo in mind for us for a while. We have kind of fallen for him and there is nothing in his form e that puts us off. Do people really go with the first child shown to them without viewing other children? I just can't see a reason why we would say no but it's I'm my mind before approval everyone said don't just jump at the first profile you see. However he feels so right with our heads and our hearts.

Maiyakat Sun 29-Sep-13 12:01:41

All very exciting! smile

Re: seeing other profiles, I saw about 10 profiles before I found DD, however I knew as soon as I saw hers that she was my DD. I don't think that was as a result of seeing other profiles, it would have happened if her's was the first or the hundredth that I'd seen. If it feels right and there are no issues you feel you can't deal with then it probably is!

What you could do if you wanted to see some other profiles to help you be sure is sign up for Be My Parent online (costs about £7 for a month).

It's so exciting and so hard at the same time, the weight of the decision you are making not just for you but for this little boy is huge. Hopefully when you've met LO's SW it will be even clearer.

Good luck!!

broody just read this whole thread hoping you got some news. I had butterflies in my tummy! fantastic news! grin grin

Moomoomie Sun 29-Sep-13 20:56:00

It just shows that the SW's think he is a good match, they have done their job well.
We only saw the profiles of our girls, no others.
If he feels the right match and the SW thinks so too, there is no need to look at other profiles.

Happiestinwellybobs Tue 01-Oct-13 06:18:52

We went with the first profile. I felt like I 'should' look at other profiles, but didn't want to at all. The minute I read DD's details I knew she was meant to be with us.

We took a few days to let it sink in, but actually I didn't even need that. I was adamant from the start she was ours smile

Good luck smile

Broodymomma Tue 01-Oct-13 19:59:16

Well it's all going full steam ahead. His sw is coming to see us on Friday and if all goes well we are getting a matching panel date. He is the one!!

so so happy for you!

mrsballack Tue 01-Oct-13 22:55:50

Wow great news broody.

We are meeting with our potential children's social worker tomorrow. Our approval panel has been delayed due to some paperwork not being ready and we had a brief panic that 'our' children would be given to someone else but all the social workers are keen to get us to matching panel before Christmas.

Just want to be approved at least, I'm not sure I'll cope if it all goes wrong.

Happiestinwellybobs Wed 02-Oct-13 06:01:13

Fabulous news Broody smile

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