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Celebration hearing - did you or didn't you?

(17 Posts)
Highandmightyfine Thu 31-May-18 01:07:33

Would love to hear from anyone their reasons for deciding on whether or not to attend the celebration hearing. I'm really in two minds about it!

I hate the thought that we might regret not doing it. But OTOH it doesn't really seem to 'mean' anything IYKWIM? It is at a different court to where the adoption was formalised so we won't meet anyone involved in the actual decision-making,and we've had an awful time with professionals so won't be reliving wonderful memories with any of them! hmm so whilst we might invite close family, we could have a celebration without the fuss of court.

Would love to hear a range of experiences as to whether you did/didn't go and whether you were happy with that decision later, if people are happy to share!

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Ted27 Thu 31-May-18 07:46:52

its what you make of it. My son was older, nearly 9 at the time of the hearing. He was very aware of the court processes, he wanted his day in court, he needed to see it for himself and it had quite a profound impact on him. For him it was also quite clearly the end of SWs, even though we had nice SWs, he wanted a goodbye. We didnt have lots of people there, had a lunch with grandparents and then out for pizza with his friends in the evening. He had a party at school the next day.
It meant a lot to him and still does. We have the photos and certificate on the living room wall

clairedelalune Thu 31-May-18 08:23:30

We went, just me, child, grandparents and two social workers; it was as much for the social workers as anyone else as there had been many tears getting to that point. Went for coffee afterwards, then lunch with grandparents. I saved party celebration for another time (I don't think court day is the time for that, particularly when you are there on happy occasion but others are in waiting room for less happy court decisions).

clairedelalune Thu 31-May-18 08:24:56

Oh and I went because it was the final piece of the jigsaw and it felt important to do.

Highandmightyfine Thu 31-May-18 08:41:37

Thanks both. I think what you've said about your DS being involved in the process is another factor for me - DS has no idea what's been going on. When the AO went through we told him that the judge had signed a piece of paper meant he knew DS was safe and happy and we could get on with being a family without the SWs needing to visit. He seemed happy but hasn't mentioned it since, and no real issue for name etc as we've used his adopted name since he arrived. I think that, combined with the fact I just feel relieved that all the interaction with professionals is over, is what's making me lean towards not going. But I'm also a bit worried I might regret it later - either for myself or on his behalf!

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Rainatnight Fri 01-Jun-18 16:00:31

We went and enjoyed it. DD was too young (18 months) to have much of an idea what was going on. We brought close friends who'd really helped us along the way out for (early!) dinner that evening to celebrate and say thank you. So that was one reason.

The other was, basically, for DD's eventual life story. We wanted a celebratory milestone to be able to say, then we went to see the judge and she said how happy she was we were a family. Etc.

hidinginthenightgarden Fri 01-Jun-18 20:15:29

I think had we known it would be so short, we wouldn't have bothered. IT was nice in that foster family, grandparents, SW and siblings came and we all celebrated afterwards but a little speech and a toast would have done the same job.

Glad we didn't go to the court that handled the case as it is 90 minutes away which would have been way too much for a ten minute ceremony.

mamoosh Fri 01-Jun-18 21:04:39

We went and had a little lunch with a few friends afterwards. It felt important for us to mark the occasion and the end of that part of the journey. I also unexpectedly found it cathartic to have our parenthood recognised in court. Our son was too young to get it but he enjoyed singing into the witness microphone and a juice afterwards.

PoppyStellar Fri 01-Jun-18 22:01:51

I’m glad I attended DD’s. It’s been really helpful to have photos of the day (with the judge) as part of life story work as she’s got older.

On the day itself the judge made a huge fuss of her (which she loved even if she probably didn’t have much idea what was going on) and she got a really sweet keepsake gift and card from the court (which apparently they give to all kids). It was a nice touch.

flapjackfairy Sat 02-Jun-18 11:25:30

We made a big thing of ours with about 30 there. Family, friends and sw came along and although the court bit was brief we got lovely photos .
We then booked a light buffet at a near by coffee shop and had a couple of hrs of food , chatting etc.
It cemented in my head that it was final at last . I wasnt expecting to feel any different but the next day i felt ridiculously proud wheeling him along and like he was finally all ours.
So i am glad we did ours for sure but just do whatever makes you happy High and congratulations x

Mightywease Sat 02-Jun-18 21:04:07

We went as it represented the end of the process, iyswim, and we wanted to celebrate that.

We invited immediate family, went for a drink then fish and chips afterwards then had an 'at home' party for more family and friends the day after.

It is short. I think we were in and out in 20 minutes but the judge we had made a really lovely speech and our LO was old enough to enjoy it (especially the soft toy he was given). Plus it is something for his life story book.

More than anything I think it represented a big sigh of relief that the process which at times we never thought, after nearly three years, we would get through, or indeed that we'd be successful, was over!

SherbertLemon2011 Sat 02-Jun-18 21:18:17

We were invited to one. Our friends have adopted 2dc.the judge was lovely. Gave a little speech (although hadn't met them had obviously done her research) , let them try on her wig and sit in her chair (photo opportunity) and gave them a Teddy and card each plus a certificate made like a scroll 📜.

mountainbarr Sun 03-Jun-18 23:11:30

We did it, kept it low key, just family.

LO's SW had a massive tantrum over not being invited, and withheld LO's life story in response, and created a lot of problems.

It was at a new court, and the judge telling us our life, having never met us, was just another massive reminder of what public property our lives had become.

LO was very distressed by the whole thing, and really struggled, being too young to know why we'd had to go through a scanner etc to go into this very stuffy building.

But the Judge said how much he enjoys doing them, so that's what counts, eh?

We got a photo for the life story book.

Thebluedog Fri 08-Jun-18 17:19:43

I went with my two Dds, grandparents and a few family members. Very shirt and excuse to go for cake and ice cream afterwards.’y dd was 2, nearly 3 at the time so didn’t know what it was all about.

dibly Fri 08-Jun-18 18:35:07

We had a bit of a time with SWs so asked court not to invite them. LO was 3 and it's helped her make sense of her story and reassured her that this is her forever home. I was v cynical, but it was a lovely low key event, and I'm glad we did it and had a small celebration with close family after.

mollymollymoo Mon 11-Jun-18 11:56:39

we didn't go to ours. It didnt seem to mean anything to us.
Our son (nearly 4) was unaware of any of the legal side - as far as we were all concerned he was ours from the day he came home.
We didnt want to let him know there had ever been any doubt he'd be staying with us.

Highandmightyfine Mon 11-Jun-18 14:37:40

Wow, a real range of experiences. Thanks for sharing everyone.

We've decided not to go in the end - we mentioned it to DC and they seemed totally disinterested, and we're pleased to finally be at the end (for a while at least) with engaging with professionals about our children/family that I think we'll just go out for the day ourselves!

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