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Stage one(15 Posts)
We heard yesterday that the VA are accepting us onto stage one. Very excited, nervous but already thinking about the future: lots of random things - education, blackout binds, fans, sorting out stuff. Ensuring quality time for DH and I. What will our children (hoping for siblings!)be like....??
Medical- do the VA prompt you to book it or should I just go ahead and book it with GP? Re training I have dropped to 3 days per week to make space for these preparation things, but of course the date we have been sent us not on one of my dats off, grr. Sods law!
Any help with what to focus on appreciated! (goes off to unscramble brain)
You are quite excited aren't you
Take it one step at a time at this stage.
First step- focus on getting to the training course-can you get some sort of special leave for the training-one adopter I know got leave in the same category as a friend who was undergoing IVF, so it may be worth talking to HR.
Read read read
Primal Wound -Maybe save this one until last
The Boy Who was Raised as a Dog-Really good
Why Love Matters -Really Good
What Every Parent Needs to Know- I think every parent should read this one, but they wont!
As for the medical you will be prompted and there is a special form to fill in that the SWs will give you, it costs around £100, most LAs don't refund the cost.
It isn't always an easy ride but welcome aboard!
That's great news
Focus on learning as much as possible about the background of adoptable kids and how these affect their and your lives after placement .
So it's one thing to say " I realise that a child might have been affected pre natally by alcohol " . It's another to learn about the affect of this on the child and how that might affect your lives too. Forever .
Eg if a child has been sexually abused, how might that affect them , their sense of themselves and how they relate to others and vice versa. How might they act that out ? How would you care for them safely ? How would you deal with your feelings about this ? What about your extended family and friends ? How would that impact on your lives ?
Think very long and hard about what kind of child you can parent , the risks you can and cannot accept . About the child's background but also legal uncertainly . Ditto re contact . What level of SN can you cope with ? Educate yourselves about the risks of adopting a younger vs older child, siblings vs singles .
You might be expecting the SW to work out what kind of child you want. They won't . Their job is to place the kids they have. A good worker will help you with this, but it's like choosing who to marry - it's up to you , you are the ones who will love with the consequences .
Forget about blinds, fans , sorting out stuff and having quality time as a couple . Stuff can be bought online in 24 hours. You will get quality time as a couple when you kids leave home .
Personally I would put my hours back up again and save the extra income . In case one of you has to stay at home full time for years . And for a lawyer .
Sorry should have added that we have spent the last 18 months researching and reading about adopted children, those with SN, abuse and the long term impact. So feel reasonably prepared but know I could do more. Thankyou for your responses.
I was a bit shocked to read the comment -"you can have quality time with DH when children have left home." I absolutely disagree! I believe if we are to be effective, engaged parents, we need to ensure we stay strong and connected. That might meet scheduling a sanity saving 5 mins every day/ monthly night out (obviously once children have settled) This has been upheld by every real life account of adoptive parents I have read.... Or am I missing something....
5 mins every day sounds realistic
A night out a month sounds ambitious , unless you child/ ren go to bed earlyand never wake during the evening. And are beautifully behaved so you have lots of willing babysitters who can be police checked ( not sure if every agency requires this ) .
And you have the energy. Most adopters I know collapse onto the sofa with a drink / coffee after the kids have gone to bed. Then talk about the kids for half an hour before falling asleep
But it's a great goal to have and I wish you good luck
Sorted on the babysitter- Would be fine to police check them. Am determined to do the once a month thing as I will be a better parent for it!
You might need to be flexible to meet your child's needs. Especially in the first year when you are funnelling .
I agree it's a great Aim to have
Our LA only let us leave DD with one of two named people other than us before the adoption order went through, and they had to see copies of DBS checks in order to agree the names...
Anyway, back to the OP: I would start thinking about what are your firm red lines (eg ours were life-limiting conditions; child born from incest); what are things you think you can cope with but would need significant additional support (eg deafness); what are things you are relaxed about (eg facial deformities). And yes - you will need to complete a tick list along these lines, possibly the worst part of the process for us, we just hadn't thought in quite such harsh, black and white terms...
I personally wouldn't have reduced my working days just yet: it is good to build up a pot of money to give you options after placement re working; it is good to keep busy; it could be quite some time before you are matched. And I thought that there was a recent legal change to allow prospective adopters paid time off to attend training? (Assuming you want to tell work that this is what you are doing, of course)
I would go on holiday and do very child-unfriendly activities, as we have found it possible to do date night type things, but we have only had one holiday in ten years without children in tow. So if you have always wanted to go trekking in the Andes or gambling in Vegas, do it now...
Selly we all have had ideas about how it is going to work out when they move in-and for some adopters it works out and some it doesn't.
My son still wont go to sleep if we aren't back. Just wont. Not in a naughty way but in his understanding of the world it makes sense. It has taken a while for him not to panic if we leave him with a babysitter and when he started school even several weeks in he was convinced I was going to forget all about him and not pick him up
My daughter does do well with babysitters- but like many adopted children there is a payback afterwards.
We have to use our nights out wisely, and they were a long time coming with DS.
So whilst I hope it does work for you-and it can work for adopted children, be prepared that those once a month nights out may not happen for a while.
I will go slightly against the grain here-and suggest you treasure your reduced hours, because actually with adoption it can be quite isolating to be at home when you are used to being at work, especially if you don't go back to work, and I found it was helpful to be out of the habit of FT work before DS was placed.
Yes of course we would be flexible around the needs of the children eg. In the case of the boy who didn't sleep / other children who were highly anxious we would go out very locally for only an hour and before their settling into bed routine -We are lucky to live 5 mins walk to a dozen or so options for a quick bite and a 5pm meal would be fine! Think that it is important that we do it
I think you're absolutely right Selly to go in with this attitude. Anyone who thinks the opposite going in is going to have problems as you need to be thinking about your relationship, not just yours with the children. I was exactly the same as you and I should imagine many posters were too.
HOWEVER it was 7 months in before we left them. Our children have few needs if you compare them to most adopted children really, but there was no way it would have happened before that. And the prep we did for that was insane. What I would say is that need for quality time needs to be focused on something housebound. I.e. Instead of collapsing tonight after they've gone to bed let's have a take away with candles or rent a movie or something. Also, prior to placement, I focused on going out with all my friends, figuring we'd been together for more than a decade so we'd had plenty of time. I wish I'd done the opposite. I got more down time with my friends because after about 3/4 months I could go out with them after kids were in bed as DH was there.
Also for any newbies reading this thread while researching adoption... be wary of non adopter advice. The number of people who told me about how their children were just the same and cry when they leave but 10 mins after you leave they're over it. That you just have to do it, you need you time and they're more resilient than you think etc. etc.
...yes but your children have never been left and then have had you not return (or something worse while you're away or when they return) So yes, you're not going to scar your children but mine already bear the scars that I'm trying to undo (I said in my head as I smiled sweetly and walked away...)
And back to you Selly, you sound far more prepared than I was at same stage and there is some really good advice on reading and things to think about. If I could do it all again I'd read more. You can't read enough really and after placement you can't read enough because basically you'll fall asleep too quickly lol! Good luck Selly...The roller coaster is about to begin, fasten your seat belt!
Good advice from iwish. I don't think you can plan in detail this far in advance how you and DH will find time to unwind, though I completely agree that it is necessary to keep your relationship strong too.
DD was a great sleeper (down at 7am, twelve hours solid) from the outset, so going out wasn't an issue if either of the approved people were around to babysit. There's no way we could have gone out before bedtime - the time between 4pm and 7pm is known as witching hour in our house, and the time we try to avoid anyone other than very very close family or friends looking after the DC, as it is so stressful. And it took DD a long time to be comfortable that we would always come back - many months in fact, especially if we both went out together.
The other thing that you can't anticipate is how you will actually feel yourself. I surprised myself by being quite territorial about DD: I didn't really want anyone else looking after her, and wanted to be with her to make sure that she was safe and well. I didn't have that with DS (with him /I was bf, so reasonably tied to him anyway). Long meals out weren't relaxing for me, as I wanted to be back with DD (even when she was asleep).
I don't feel like this now, BTW! I'm v happy to leave both the DC and go out!! But it took time to get to the point where it was the right thing for both DD and me to be apart.
Can I just say...I'm so glad I'm not the only one with a witching hour (or 2/3)!!!! The tears, meltdowns, sibling fighting over everything and need to be attached to my leg all start at 4:30 and continue until bath time. I thought it was just me lol....
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