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concerns regarding the match.

(34 Posts)
jimbob1 Thu 18-Aug-16 18:36:05

I am a regular but frequent name changer.

Today we met with our SW and were told that Lo's SW had expressed that we "do not seem that excited about the match".
sigh I really do not know what they expect from us. We met SW for about 40 minutes, showed her round and asked some questions about parents and foster carer, how lo was doing etc. Most practical questions we had were for the medical advisor and foster carer and we didn't see the point in bringing them up. We talked about what we like to do as a family - they had no questions for us.
How were we meant to behave? Should we be bursting with excitement when we open the door? Surely most people are a little apprehensive at having strangers in their home scrutinising them constantly.
We have assured them as best we can that we are excited and have started preparing but to be honest we are exhausted by the whole process now. We have our birth child so need to keep things normal and are both working full time whilst undergoing all this. What more do they want as I feel we are reaching our emotional limits?!

greenandblackssurvivalkit Thu 18-Aug-16 19:23:27

We had this. It was code for "appears annoyed we keep messing them about". It was code for "asks awkward questions". I have few emotions left, it's like going through a mangle. I bet if you were over emotional, that would be bad too.

jimbob1 Thu 18-Aug-16 19:54:55

Exactly! Others on our prep training have been told the are over emotional. You can't win. How can two opposing messages come from the same team.

UnderTheNameOfSanders Thu 18-Aug-16 20:23:43

By the time we had had 4 near misses with matches we got less excited too. You may need to rev up a gear, as LO's SW will want to really feel that you are keen and want it to work.

You may like to think about what you have said above about being exhausted and reaching your emotional limits though. That doesn't seem like a good way to be before intros and placement.

No chance you can go away to recharge your batteries?

jimbob1 Thu 18-Aug-16 20:26:58

We are taking DS away for a weekend the week before matching panel.

Hopefully we will come back feeling refreshed and excitement renewed. Their negative comments certainly don't help me feel more excited although we feel very connected to our match and can very much see them as part of our family.

greenandblackssurvivalkit Thu 18-Aug-16 21:13:53

We ended up in a slight downward spiral, with sws making life difficult, us subsequently expressing some dissatisfaction with that, them then expressing concern about excitement levels, and saying throwaway remarks about if the match broke down... Meaning we felt more guarded, and less excited, causing more concern.

Smile. Practice saying "such a exciting time, isn't it?!" In the mirror. With the smile. But don't smile too much, lest they think you're not taking the child's needs seriously.

The number of times I've smiled and nodded to Sws saying "it's all about the child, though isn't it?" While they make the most stupid plans that are, in fact, all about the social worker. "Hmm, of course, all about the child. Such an exciting time!"

My face ached.

Those of us who're introverted, I think social workers are a special form of torture. Worth it. Such an exciting time!

tldr Thu 18-Aug-16 21:19:30

Until we actually met the LOs we didn't believe it was happening, so our actual excitement levels were low, but we presented a more excitable front to SW.

I felt like I was on a game show or a particularly shit reality TV show. flowers

Such an exciting time though! wink

TearingDownTheWall Thu 18-Aug-16 21:21:57

I agree with green, as hard as it can be, smile and nod.
I don't want to stress you but there has been instances in the past where links broke down because sw' s haven't felt the potential adopters are excited. I know that sounds bizarre but for easier to place babies for example, they know there are more adopters than children so can afford to be picky. If the child's sw is using their "gut" on this, the best thing would be to let them see your pleasure and excitement to head off any problems.

TearingDownTheWall Thu 18-Aug-16 21:26:39

Tldr grin
Someone here told me to treat every meeting like a job interview - ie NEVER let your guard down totally! Be excited but not too excited lest you be classed as "overly emotional"...

jimbob1 Thu 18-Aug-16 21:49:26

Thanks all. We don't have any more meetings set up with sw before panel. How do we show we are excited when we probably won't see them again?
We spent some time with them today after they mentioned the lack of excitement and tried to express excitement whilst discussing lo. After receiving minutes of our meeting this afternoon I responded saying we were going clothes shopping for lo with a smiley face.
Without any face to face contact I don't know how to show them how we feel!

TearingDownTheWall Thu 18-Aug-16 22:02:11

Jimbob, you must stand outside the office wooping every time a sw pops out for a cigarette break.
Only joking - think you've done everything you can and if you are going to panel soon, maybe just practice some "were excited but not jumping the gun" facial expressions...

tldr Thu 18-Aug-16 23:26:12

Going shopping/smiley face message is perfect.

Italiangreyhound Fri 19-Aug-16 00:10:59

jimbob I really hope all will be well.

We adopted with a birth child and there is some element of keeping life normal for them, so I know what you mean.

I am sure you may not ever have used the same words in your exchanges with social workers as you have here but your words here show a frustration with the system which may not be doing you any favours.

As mentioned above by Sanders words like exhausted and reaching emotional limit suggest you are done in. Are you just done in with the process of preparing to adopt or will you also feel this way when a new (and probably quite demanding child) arrives on the scene? I'm sure it is the former but remember social workers are not there 24/7; but your new child will be. They will be demanding your time and attention in a way social workers have not! Being Kern and enthusiastic is really important (IMHO).

You mention

Italiangreyhound Fri 19-Aug-16 00:23:24

Sorry... Being keen..

You mention strangers constantly scrutinizing in your home, or words to get affect. They may be strangers as in not previously known to you but they are people doing a job, for you. They are more like guests on that you have invited them in so they can access you to adopt. And I expect they are not at all constantly scrutinizing even when they are with you.

I can only imagine the frustration and if you just came on for a vent, I totally get it. But if you want some constructive criticism then I wonder if social workers are picking up on a negative attitude from you?

We are over two years into the adoption of our son. our birth dd is speeding towards being a teenagers. I've done at least 9 parenting courses and having a quite difficult birth child I could feel tempted to say I know loads..... But... Parenting an adopted child is different, it does sometimes drain you. Maybe social workers just want to see you have that initial enthusiasm to get you through the early days.

Maybe, it would help to just see it from their side. I don't know that many adopters but I do know an adoption that broke down and the attitude of the adoptive parents was quite negative about the process. So maybe social workers are super sensitive about things.

My husband is pretty introvert and I guess I was more of the enthusiastic one. Sometimes one person just will be.

I a sure you are NOT doing anything wrong but I am just saying what I think (as an adopter and NOT a social worker).

Be yourself, be enthusiastic and I wish you all the very best

If what I am saying makes no sense, please ignore it

jimbob1 Fri 19-Aug-16 06:58:55

Thank you all. I am very welcoming when they come, talk about our plans for the future and always make them a brew.
I genuinely think the lack of questions we had for them was a problem as it meant we had little to say. We did mention that we had alot for medical advisor and foster carer. We saw FC yesterday and she showed us more photos and even a video. I am hoping our reaction to the video was enough to convince them how we feel. We did say we didn't think that they could have found a better match and that we already feel they are part of our family.
We have never told them how we feel but it is the process we are exhausted with. IT was all going really well until after approval and since then we have felt quite annoyed by many things. Of course we never express things. We agree to everything and smile sweetly, agree when they ask "is that okay".
I actually really like our SW. Fingers crossed we have done enough.

MooseyMouse Fri 19-Aug-16 07:08:51

I complete understand where you're coming from. I hated the voyeurism of some social workers. Watching our faces in every potentially-emotional moment. Sitting in a row on a settee watching us lay eyes on our child etc. There's no privacy and no space. Your emotions are public property.

I hated that we had to write a side of A4 on "why this baby is right for us" when the honest answer was "we haven't met him. On paper he matches our criteria". But of course that's the wrong answer.

It might be worth dropping them an email saying "Thanks for the feedback. We are very pleased about this match and sorry if it didn't come across like that. We were trying to save the right questions for the right people and it looks like we came across as a bit flat. We're very excited about welcoming X into the family".

I found it quite hard to relax and bond with our new child and I think some of that was down to finding "the process" so unpleasant. I didn't feel allowed to claim him, or to have any hopes for him ("remember an adopted child may never be able to do X, Y or Z") and I felt a bit numb. I didn't even start to bond with him until a good while after we'd closed the door on the final social worker.

It's mixed messages throughout the process "be honest with us" (but don't admit you're tired or fed up of the process), "be enthusiastic" (but not too much or too little), "be assertive so you can advocate for your child" (but don't be assertive with us when we mess something up).

I've met some fantastic and skilled social workers who have been great at their jobs and who let us be human. But the main ones we had contact with during assessment were not so good.

Hang in there. You're on the home straight.

jimbob1 Fri 19-Aug-16 07:38:31

Thanks Mooseymouse, that is exactly how contradictory it has been. We are committed though so will keep our heads down and push forward.
We were thinking of sending an email with a mind map of "why that child" as they have asked us already to start thinking about it.

marmalade999 Fri 19-Aug-16 08:11:12

I've pm'd you

Italiangreyhound Fri 19-Aug-16 10:01:48

It sounds like you 've everything right so hope all will be fine.

I guess we were very lucky, we were not made to feel uncomfortable at all. Only one time did a social worker ask anything strange to my ears. She asked if our child was not keen on us adopting because she did not jump up from tv watching to speak to an adult she didn't know (ie our new social worker/herself). I felt that showed a lack of awareness about kids (most love tv and have little interest, at 9, in chatting to unknown adults!).

Anyway, I think we wee lucky we did n't feel the scrutiny was inappropriate and the process was quite smooth. I think it really does vary and it sounds jimbob like tger'be given you rather a hated time.

Likewise moosey.

Good luck OP and do keep us posted.


Italiangreyhound Fri 19-Aug-16 10:28:04

moosey were the social workers there when you met your child? Or did you mean when yu saw a photo?

It was just is and foster carer when we met ds.

JustHappy3 Fri 19-Aug-16 13:40:40

I felt that thing of being on display and expected to emote - i shut up shop and just nodded politely while fc thrust photo after photo of dd under our noses that he'd taken 15 mins earlier (mat was still warm where she'd lain before whisking her next door to relative's while we visited). It took all my self restraint not to leap on that mat and sniff her scent!! I couldn't see point in asking what routine a 7 month baby had as it would be 2+ months til we got her. Luckily our lovely social worker listened to me rave!

TearingDownTheWall Fri 19-Aug-16 14:17:09

I hated that we had to write a side of A4 on "why this baby is right for us" when the honest answer was "we haven't met him. On paper he matches our criteria". But of course that's the wrong answer.

I found that hard too moosey. We came up with some reasons around family fit that sounded like bullshit to us but our LO' s sw raved about at panel. I remember mentioning in passing about looking at slings and whether LO had used them in foster care - the sw was thrilled and it even came up in matching panel about my commitment. I found that surreal.

MypocketsarelikeNarnia Fri 19-Aug-16 15:43:30

I hate all this bullshit. I had a lot of 'how did you feel when you first saw his photo?' crap from our sw.

Seriously - does anyone think a lifelong commitment to a child comes from this kind of Esther Rantzen ITV Prime Time emoting?

When I saw his photo I thought 'nice looking baby' with an overlay of 'I'm not feeling very much! Should I be feeling more?' Clearly that has very little to do with how I feel about him now.

It's just such fucking bollocks. Why are social services so crap? What else can you think about a child you have never met?

jimbob1 Fri 19-Aug-16 17:34:36

I am glad I am not alone,I feel better tonight than when we returned from yesterday's meeting.

SpookyRachel Fri 19-Aug-16 17:58:34

This thread is making me laugh - and cringe for you, jimbob. It's such an exhausting, stressful time - I just felt numb, closed down, for at least six months.

Italian, the SW was very much there when we met our baby. Two social workers, in fact, plus a cast of fc's extended family. We had turned up at 10am as planned, only to find that fc had taken dd on a 'last holiday' and was still driving back. 40 minutes later she arrived, with various family and our exhausted, overwhelmed dd. We all piled into a packed sitting room and everyone sat round and watched as we met our child. I was aware of how very overwhelmed she must be feeling, so wanting to give her some space to settle back in - while also very aware of all eyes upon me. Hideous. And fc later told SW that she didn't think I was bonding with dd. Well, I wonder why...

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