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Introductions review meeting

(34 Posts)
ClarindaDazzle Thu 01-Jun-17 22:29:18

Help! I'm just over a week into introductions with a 4yr old and I have a 7 yr old BC. Single adopter. I thought it was going well, new siblings getting on well when we are out of the Foster Carers house but less so when we are in their home. Nothing I'm concerned about it's just that BC is looking for attention when all adult eyes are on AC, low level, certainly not constant and fairly normal I would have thought. It's an unusual and stressful situation to be in as an adult, let alone for a child. Anyway, I thought I was on the home stretch, visits have moved to my house, placement day within touching distance and today I am told that there are concerns about me bonding with AC and concerns over the jealousy of BC to AC. It's come as a bit of a bolt out of the blue and it's not how I thought it was going. I've now got a review meeting looming and the prospect of a delayed placement day but I'm not sure what they are expecting to happen differently if introductions are extended and the moving in day is delayed. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do anymore! Do I smile and wave and or stand my ground and say what I think - which is that everything is going well and the quicker placement day can come, the better?

donquixotedelamancha Thu 01-Jun-17 23:24:40

I've done intros while having a child already, but they were both much younger, so take my opinion with a big pinch of salt:

Stand yer ground. By which I mean:
-Value you own instinct and feelings, ultimately this all ends up on your head.
-Ask questions. Who is concerned? Why precisely? Have they been through similar intros? Do they have a reason to think this is more than normal issues.
-Ask for the rationale behind delays. I can't see any obvious advantage.
- Consider that you might be wrong. Listen to the SW and FCs thoughts and weigh them against your own.

From experience I can say that even siblings who get on really well and didn't have to go through meeting this way still get jealous. I can also attest that sometimes SW with little relevant experience will speak as if they are experts in child development and make strong judgments from little data. When you challenge SWs be really smiley and positive, but firm and clear about the outcome you want.

P.S. Very impressed you are taking on two as a singleton. Good luck with the rest of intros- this is the easy bit :-)

B1rdonawire Fri 02-Jun-17 09:28:16

Above advice is really good. I would go into the meeting with lots of questions, rather than statements: "Can you help me to understand how prolonging this period will help AC's stability?" "Is there anything you think we haven't considered about helping both children through this initial time?" and as PP said, be willing to hear the answers. You can also do some (more, as I'm sure you've already done this) thinking about how you're going to make sure your BC still gets 1:1 time with you, and how to help both children begin to manage their feelings. I would also use this as an opportunity to ask THEM what post-placement support they will be putting in place for you as a family, to help you with this - get the answers in writing if you can. As for the "not bonding" thing mentioned - I did not "bond" in intros, I survived them, and was terrified most of the time. Growing a bond and love for a child takes more than a week or two!

(I disagree that intros are the easy bit though - it was a different kind of hard I suppose! The being in limbo, feeling watched, having the very early encounters with a child who's a complete stranger... not easy, and such looooooooong days. Once LO was home, it was far from smooth sailing, but being on home ground definitely helped.)

Rainatnight Fri 02-Jun-17 10:31:09

You've already had good advice here. I'd also add that you could ask what they specifically want you to do differently. SWs sometimes just like having a moan. You have the right to hear what they want to actually happen.

Rainatnight Fri 02-Jun-17 10:31:48

And YYY to not bonding during intros. It's completely mad to expect that.

Haffdonga Fri 02-Jun-17 11:33:46

Is the FC supportive or finding letting LO go difficult?

donquixotedelamancha Fri 02-Jun-17 14:22:01

"I disagree that intros are the easy bit though"

Yeah, actually you are quite correct- intros is really intense. I (slightly facetiously) meant to indicate that the whole adoption process feels hard at the time and it seems like when you get the kids home you are reaching the end of a tough few years, in fact that's when the hard work begins

B1rdonawire Fri 02-Jun-17 17:20:34

True!

ClarindaDazzle Fri 02-Jun-17 21:39:24

Thank you for the good advice, had the meeting today and some of the concerns I was told about yesterday were raised, some weren't mentioned at all and some new ones thrown in. Vocal SW yesterday was silent today. Upshot is that intros are now put on hold until there is a managers meeting on Monday so they can plan what should happen next.
I'm tired, gutted and very confused. It will be a long weekend I think. I'm just frustrated that nothing was mentioned to me until yesterday and now the whole placement feels in doubt. Thank you all for your wise words.

B1rdonawire Fri 02-Jun-17 22:35:41

That's an incredibly shitty thing to do to you, especially then to keep you in limbo over a weekend. Try and keep some notes of just how poorly this has been handled - one day when you're out the other side in calmer waters, there may be things you want to raise...

I am so, so sorry you've been put in this situation. I hope you manage to have some rest and re-grouping this weekend, and that you get some sensible support on Monday flowers brew

nellytheelephant21 Fri 02-Jun-17 23:18:16

flowersSeconding haffhonga's question....

ClarindaDazzle Fri 02-Jun-17 23:27:37

I thought FC were being supportive until I was told about the concerns they raised in the daily phone calls to their SW. It feels like there are a few agendas on the go.

Italiangreyhound Sat 03-Jun-17 00:44:32

ClarindaDazzle sorry to hear this, I hope all will work out well. Stay strong.

OlennasWimple Mon 05-Jun-17 07:04:50

Sorry to hear about this - it sounds a bit of a mess

I had to bear in mind throughout the whole process that SW don't really care about our BC. Obviously they want them to be happy in the extended family, but there are a lot of people with an interest in making sure that the AC is doing OK but no-one on that side of the fence whose job it is to look out for BC. If you look at the situation through that prism, does it change what you think has been happening?

flapjackfairy Mon 05-Jun-17 09:01:01

Thinkingof you today. Hope managers meeting goes well x

nellytheelephant21 Mon 05-Jun-17 21:22:05

Really hope today has gone well; please don't give up the fight x

flapjackfairy Wed 07-Jun-17 07:32:49

Any news? Thinking of you x

ClarindaDazzle Thu 08-Jun-17 22:08:40

I think I've just had the longest week ever. Last Friday intros were stopped, I've not seen LO for a week, lots of doubt over whether or not the placement would continue. Lots of meetings, lots of 'issues', dealing with different people's agendas, distraught BC, but the short story is that it's not being stopped and we are back on! Second intro planning meeting next week and we start intros again after that. I am so, so, so relieved. A weekend to recover and regroup and then roll on Monday!

itsbeenaverylongweek Thu 08-Jun-17 22:12:56

Great news Clarinda, so pleased that you're continuing. Hope it all goes well!

OlennasWimple Thu 08-Jun-17 22:16:37

Good news, and good luck for next week flowers

Italiangreyhound Thu 08-Jun-17 22:23:21

ClarindaDazzle sanity reigns. Hooray.

thanks

nellytheelephant21 Thu 08-Jun-17 22:41:20

flowersAm so pleased for you. A dreadful experience for you and both your children. Wishing you loads of luck 🍀 and sending big hug 🤗

flapjackfairy Fri 09-Jun-17 07:29:11

Oh i am delighted to hear it!
I have looked every day for your update so lovely to have such a positive one x

ClarindaDazzle Tue 27-Jun-17 20:15:45

5 WEEKS ago I started introductions. It was stopped, started, paused, there were issues, concerns, sooooo many meetings. After tears, arguments, professional discussions, really helpful SW and really unhelpful ones, finally, finally my LO is home. Sound asleep! It's been a long time getting here but I'm so happy and so relieved!

CantThinkOfAUserNameThatILike Tue 27-Jun-17 20:30:57

That's great news. Well done and enjoy your new family xxflowersflowers

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