Talk

Advanced search

Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.

Matching panel next week but help / advice needed!

(19 Posts)
ck72 Mon 08-Dec-14 16:33:50

Sorry in advance - I have a feeling this is going to turn into an epistle! We feel so unprepared as its been a struggle to keep communication up with both or SW and the family finder for the LA we are adopting from. We've had little input as to what to bring with us to panel even though we are having the planning meeting straight after panel and then intro scheduled to start on the 5th of Jan.

I just chased up both social workers again to ask about transitional items as they had been mentioned previously and we had been told that we would get some suggestions in time for us to prepare them.

Today our SW has told us to go onto amazon and buy the Tomy forget me not photo book (we can't because (a) it's been discontinued by Tomy and (b) even the few Shylocks who have triple priced ones on eBay can't guarantee we'll get it in time to fill it out for panel date! So I'm looking for a substitute and found a lamaze butterfly album which takes 4 photo's and lets you record short messages. I can pick one up from toysRus which is good.

Now my questions smile

Should I get two of the butterfly albums so that we can do more pictures / recordings?
Apart from photo's of me and my partner, should we add other pictures of our families (they don't live with us) and pets (2 cats)
Should we refers to ourselves as "mummy" and "daddy" in the voice recordings?
What sort of things should we say in the recordings?
Any other creative / tried and tested ideas of things we could do?

Sorry to ask so many questions, if we could have a decent conversation with our Social Worker (who is lovely but extremely scatty) I would have put this all to her. We been trying to stay chilled and just prepare for this huge new step in our lives, but I'm now getting quite stressed as I hate not being organised!

Thanks in advance, I'd really appreciate any suggestions and hopefully I'll be able to hang on to my sanity until after panel wink

wonderpants Mon 08-Dec-14 16:49:55

I'm a foster carer (disclaimer)

When our LO's mummy and daddy went to panel they sent a book with photos of themselves and their DC only, with all of their voices recorded.

They also sent laminated photos of themselves. These were much loved by LO.

They also sent a cuddle toy, which only went in the cot. LO wasn't that interested!

We had lots of communication between matching panel and intro week, we sent lots of photos and videos, and they sent videos of their DC for LO to watch.

It really all went brilliantly and I don't think there was anything else we needed. LO was 10 months!

Jameme Mon 08-Dec-14 17:12:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ck72 Mon 08-Dec-14 17:28:48

LO is 18 months and will be 19 going on 20 month at the start of intros. I see your point about age relevance - Perhaps we will just get one of the photobook thingy.

wonderpants it's really good to hear the POV of a foster carer smile We have had our numbers passed to the FC last week and were told we would get regular updates to help with bonding before we meet him, but we haven't heard anything from her yet. Trying to stay patient smile

What sort of things did the parents say in the book they recorded - just stuff like "Hello xyz, I'm mummy"? Like a lot of people, I really don't like hearing my voice played back so I think it's contributing to me drawing a blank here!

wonderpants Mon 08-Dec-14 17:48:08

The voices went...

Hello xxx, I'm your mummy
Hello xxx, I'm your daddy
And this is your older sibling xxx (hello in their voice)
Can't wait to meet you
Love from mummy and daddy

Ha ha still etched into my brain we heard it that many times!!

ck72 Mon 08-Dec-14 17:51:53

Ha ha! I can imagine it could become a bit of an earwig! Thanks so much this has really helped. I'm feeling a lot calmer now.

Italiangreyhound Mon 08-Dec-14 18:23:00

Hi CK

CONGRATULATIONS.

Fabulous news grin

Try not to feel too stressed as any sense of disorganisation/lack of communication. It seems to be par for the course even in very good adoption agencies.

You asked Should I get two of the butterfly albums so that we can do more pictures / recordings?

Your call, I would because I tend to go overboard on everything, but I think I would only introduce one at this stage, a later one with other family members prior to meeting them may be nice. If you want two and can afford it get them now, you will have other things to worry about later but I would agree with Jameme two are not necessary.

We also did a scrap book and included stickers and random big and small pictures of Peppa Pig and Thomas the Tank (as he liked them) - which is harder to include in an album - as well as photos.

Re Apart from photo's of me and my partner, should we add other pictures of our families (they don't live with us) and pets (2 cats)

Yes, you and you partner and cats, not other family members who do not live with you at this stage.

We had photos of us all as a family (birth dd, then 9), then individual photos and also our cat, garden, local park and house. We got 8 photos, so you could cut down on park/outside of house and garden and just go for their room, you two, the cat and one other thing or you both with cat, you each separately and then the bedroom etc. Your call! of course! smile

We (me and dh voiced different pages) said stuff like 'I'm Italian, I'm your new mummy', and ended with 'We can't wait to meet you.'

Yes wonderpants etched on my memory still and little one (now 4) still listens to it.

Re Should we refers to ourselves as "mummy" and "daddy" in the voice recordings?

yes, we said new mummy and daddy but also gave our names.

Re What sort of things should we say in the recordings?

I said stuff like 'I like takewan-do' and my hubby said something like 'I like SCUBA divining'.

Re*Any other creative / tried and tested ideas of things we could do?*

DH bought a blanket with ds's name and date of birth on and I slept in bed with the blanket for a week or two before we passed it on to the social worker to give to ds (then 3).

Our dd directed a dvd and my hubby filmed it. Ds watched it a lot. It included our cat and lots of walking about, going to the park and eating sausages!

We also took a teddy and a book and a toy but that was because we wanted our dd to bring a gift. We spread the gifts out over 8 days of intros. For a baby I would limit it to one or two items only.

Re Sorry to ask so many questions, if we could have a decent conversation with our Social Worker (who is lovely but extremely scatty) I would have put this all to her. We been trying to stay chilled and just prepare for this huge new step in our lives, but I'm now getting quite stressed as I hate not being organised!

STOP stressing, your social worker might be full of ideas or not. But you have us. wink Also, really this is all prep but it is fun. Just think of all the options, make a list decide what you can do (photo book of 4) and cross out what is out of your control (photo book of 8) so make the photo book count by choosing the best photos and remember you may not like your voice but your new child will grow to love it.

If you want to do a blanket or snuggly get it in time for meeting and offer to post it off once you have slept with it for smell if not time to do before. Smell is more important for babies than older kids, I think. If you wear a distinctive perfume it is easier, I do not! I smell of soap and tea!!

We also took a teddy on the first day and said to ds, please look after this teddy until we see you tomorrow. We asked foster carer which teddy to buy.

So we did talking photobook, scrapbook, dvd and blanket before meeting; during intros we took teddy and a book and our dd bought a toy for ds too.

ck72 Mon 08-Dec-14 18:54:49

Italian thanks a million for taking the time out to respond. I don't know why I didn't come on here to ask a week ago! I'd probably have a few less grey hairs!

So I'm going to get one of the photobooks (I've reserved it at toysrus) and then I'll have a look around for other options after panel when we aren't so pressed for time.

LO loves cars and trucks and isn't so much into cuddly toys according to his FC. We've bought him a toy truck for Christmas but might get a small car and pose with it in the photographs then give it to him at intros

Incidentally the family finding sw just emailed me (her ears must have been burning because she doesn't actually work Mondays!), so at least I know what sort of photo's they want us to bring with us aside from the photo book. She wants us to wear bright clothes and then wear the same outfits when we first meet him!

I like the video idea too. I'll talk to OH about doing one and see if he's game.

...Now off to go figure out what I might possibly want to wear in a months time so that I can get photo of myself in the same outfit hmm

FamiliesShareGerms Mon 08-Dec-14 19:06:30

Sorry the communication is so poor - but what an exciting Christmas you are going to have!

We did an old fashioned album with those hard pages and plastic covers that almost laminate the pictures in place (do you know what I mean? I'm not describing them well!) We had pictures of our family, house and pets along with a short sentence or two about us and the sort of things we like.

ck72 Mon 08-Dec-14 19:17:29

Yep, I know the ones you mean! I was thinking of looking for those but ones that are ring bound so the pages can be taken out. The SW has said we should email her the photos and she'll laminate then for us though so if we do one it'll just be as an extra to (the the sw's words) saturate him with our faces!

dimples76 Mon 08-Dec-14 19:48:04

Hi

I started intros today with a 17 month year old. I got the Lamaze butterfly and the FC said it was the best talking album she had seen for that age group. When I met him this afternoon he was actually playing with it when I walked in and he looked from me to the album and back again a few times. I am a single adopter and I just did 3 photos of me and one of the house.

The photos are quite small so I also got A4 photos of me laminated - I did get a funny look from the guy in the shop! They are stuck up in his bedroom at FCs - poor lad!

I was getting stressed out before panel as I received the APR the day before it was due to be sent to panel members and then none of the sw I had been working with came to panel but I still got a unanimous yes I am sure you will too but it is a very challenging time.

ck72 Mon 08-Dec-14 20:00:23

Wow! Congrats dimples It must has been an emotional day for you today!

Good to hear first hand experience of the lamaze butterfly too!

Can I ask how long your intro plan is? I think our will probably be similar due to the ages. We are about an hour train ride away from the LA we're adopting from so we'll be away from home for a few days at least I think.

Italiangreyhound Mon 08-Dec-14 22:00:04

Congratulations Dimples fabulous news.

Oh CK Yes, I forgot, you said "O loves cars and trucks and isn't so much into cuddly toys according to his FC. We've bought him a toy truck for Christmas but might get a small car and pose with it in the photographs then give it to him at intros"

We bought a toy and it appeared in photos, and was waiting for him when he came to us. And we got another small toy, actually we went a but mad!

And yes, I wore the same top in some photos and on intros I had forgotten!!!

Nothing too big and bulky as your first meeting will probably be in doors so even if weather is cold you will be layering down! Good luck. Excited for you!

dimples76 Mon 08-Dec-14 22:11:27

Ck72, the intros are planned to last a week and there really isn't any room for manoeuvre as FC are going on holiday next Tuesday. They are really lovely but it's weird being in a virtual stranger's house like that.

Italian, will be definitely be layering it tomorrow as house is v warm and LO and I are going out on a little walk together.

I think my best idea re clothes today was really tactile fabrics and a shiny, chunky necklace which tempted him to come closer to me.

Think I am going to have to take myself off to bed

islurpmyspaghetti Mon 08-Dec-14 22:12:11

ck72, our DS is a big cars and trucks fan and not really into teddies but he loves the small teddy we gave him when we first met him. I am no expert but during our introductions, I thought it was helpful that we left a toy behind. He's now a treasured part of the family.

GirlsWhoWearGlasses Tue 09-Dec-14 04:42:01

We used two albums. A talking one with just us and a cloth one with all the extended family. We sent the talking one to the FCs and kept the other for when she was home.

We did find the extended one useful for preparing her for meeting people the first few times.

A year on, DD still looks at both regularly. I think they were a great buy.

GirlsWhoWearGlasses Tue 09-Dec-14 04:42:03

We used two albums. A talking one with just us and a cloth one with all the extended family. We sent the talking one to the FCs and kept the other for when she was home.

We did find the extended one useful for preparing her for meeting people the first few times.

A year on, DD still looks at both regularly. I think they were a great buy.

GirlsWhoWearGlasses Tue 09-Dec-14 04:42:57

Whoops, sorry about that!

Italiangreyhound Tue 09-Dec-14 09:26:31

We were told to take copies of the photos from the talking album in a small album or on a card or lose. I advise this too! This is because, I was told, the panel looking at the talking album can be distracting! Easier if they can all look at the photos without listening to your voice each time. I was told our panel chair didn't like to listen to the talking album again and again (makes him sound grumpy, he was not, he was lovely!). grin

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now