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Coping with the matching wait

20 replies

Fakinit03 · 01/11/2020 09:15

Hi everyone we were approved 7 weeks ago and so far have not heard anything about any potential matches yet. We are approved for under 2 years (due to existing bc) and we're quite open with our criteria. Deep down I knew it could take time because of the slow movement through court due to covid and also I know relatively speaking 7 weeks is no time at all. But its so hard when there was teeny tiny hopeful part of me who thought we might have heard something by now. I think I'm finding it especially frustrating because our social worker said normally outside of covid she would've expected us to be matched very quickly.
Not sure what I'm looking for other then to vent my frustration and maybe some suggestions as to how other people have dealt with the wait?
(Hoping I don't sound like a spoilt child too, I know others have waited a whole lot longer than 7 weeks)

OP posts:
Ted27 · 01/11/2020 10:43

Yes its frustrating, matching is by far the worst part I think

normally I’d say pack in all the things you won’t be able to do when you have a child - holidays, theatre, cinema, dinners out etc etc

hmmm, maybe not then

but I suppose the principle holds good - keep busy, long walks battling the elements, final declutter of the house......

MeringueCloud · 01/11/2020 11:43

It's difficult to wait, but that phonecall/email with a match could come at any time!

DeegeeDee · 01/11/2020 12:08

It's a rubbish wait, hated it but with hindsight could have done much more with our time.

Worth giving up your SW a call tomorrow? As BoJos new lockdown measures may mean revised timescales, could be an idea time to check in and get their thoughts Grin

Jellycatspyjamas · 01/11/2020 12:48

It is frustrating, after 12 weeks you should go onto Linkmaker which widens the net significantly though it feels a bit like a market place with lots of kids profiles. You may also find that the permanence process is slowed down considerably meaning there are fewer children freed for adoption. I’d echo what others have said, keep yourself busy and start speaking to your social worker about Linkmaker so there’s not a delay when you reach the 12 week mark.

We found our two on Linkmaker about 5 weeks after going on there - the matching process was slow for various reasons but we identified them in March and they moved in at the beginning of August. Sometimes it’s quicker and sometimes slower but just wanted to give you an idea of possible timescales even once you have a child in mind.

sunshineandskyscrapers · 01/11/2020 22:19

I remember being told by a social worker that approval panel is not the finishing line but the starting line. It might not be what you want to hear when you've been so much to get to this point but matching even in non-covid times is not just a simple add on at the end. It can take as long or longer than the approval process and can be so much more frustrating as there are no guaranteed or even implied timescales. Seven weeks is early days. At this stage you are probably still looking at in house but you can start asking your social worker about how to cast your net wider and when it's appropriate to do so. As a previous poster said, likely to be 12 weeks but he/she might agree to earlier if there is not much movement locally. Apart from that try to occupy your time with getting everything you can ready, given that nights out and holidays aren't possible right now. Declutter and get all your DIY done around the home.

HIPPYCHICK74 · 01/11/2020 23:14

I was approved 1yr ago had a few matches that were not right for one reason or another , then chosen family for one but put on hold due to birth parent contesting. Then covid lockdown. Patience is the key. Even though it's hard. I've just started to look on adoption link maker, but since another lockdown I'm guessing will be a while. We spend so much time going through the process thinking approval is the end when in reality it can be just the beginning of another long process of decision making and being hopeful. It's not easy is it.

veejayteekay · 03/11/2020 06:25

I completely feel you on this front. I thought I'd forget about it one year on but when I think back to that matching period I can still feel that knot of anxiety in many stomach. It doesn't matter how long is "normal", or how long others have waited, or whatever your logical brain says. When it's you, there's nothing much that's going to genuinely help you forget about the wait. And the added complication of Coco's must feel such an anticlimax.

My practical advice would be to ask given the circumstances that you can be allowed access to linkmaker early. They may or may not say yes but you can but ask right? My agency allowed national search straight away so I didn't have a local only period but I imagine this must feel really frustrating. As others have said, anything you can do to make sure your social worker has everything primed for that time will help and certainly well within your rights to request a conversation about how covid is going to affect your search so at least you can adjust your expectations.

Ppl have mixed reviews of linkmaker. My view is that it was strange and a bit of an uncomfortable thought but also that it is a far more efficient (hate that word but can't think it anything better) system for matching (though competitive). It's its own thing to get your head around but when you get the hang of it and accept it for what it is, you'll get used to how to do things. I had a broken match first but it took in both instances around a month and a half to find a match. This is unusually fast and it's a bit how long is a piece of string but anecdotally ppl in my cohort were mostly being matched within around 3ms (I suspect this will be longer in these times). What others have said about matching only being the start really is true but I think it make a massive difference to how you feel to have a real specific child in mind, something keeps you going better in that mind state

I know you will be thinking every minute but as others say any of the things you can do around house to pass the time will help. Read adoption books, watch some documentaries focusing on the matching and transition process, Def declutter (my biggest practical regret post child lol) and albeit not face to face find some time to connect with family and friends as you'll find the first few months after placement (and all the matching meetings leading up to it) quite consuming

All the best xxx

veejayteekay · 03/11/2020 06:27

Oh sorry also just to say the waiting time is a good time to put more thought in to your matching criteria. Revisit them from the early stages of your assessment, see if they still hold true for you x

Bouncydoog · 04/11/2020 11:18

I wasn’t prepared at all for a wait for matching, I had in my mind that they say there is a shortage of adopters and our criteria is really wide, so Its been hard. We’ve been approved and waiting since end of June, and have had one link meeting in September which we decided wasn’t right for us. Half our prep group were matched within 3 months and half are still waiting. The general consensus is that courts and the related assessments are delayed due to COVID. We are using linkmaker. To give you an idea of timescales, we expressed interest in children in September and their SW opened a discussion and the initial meeting with the SW is being arranged now (two months wait).

What has helped includes, talking to my support network to those who listen and avoiding getting into discussions with those who get angry on my behalf (eg is your SW doing anything!!! Why is it taking so long!! ) which raises my anxiety, walking, visualising future with kids, decluttering, decorating, reading adoption stories and A to Z of therapeutic parenting in connection with potential issues and thinking how that might be.
Also being proactive in family finding, booking a monthly review with our SW, reviewing our linkmaker profile, and setting up automatic new profile notifications for linkmaker as well as setting times to review linkmaker profiles at set times.
As someone recently said to me which made me feel warm and fuzzy “the right one will shine through”. Keep on going x

mahrezzy · 04/11/2020 14:05

I found this the hardest part. I matched six month after approval and he came home six months after that (Christmas & personal issues & not being able to get a matching panel slot (?!?) & Covid delayed things for us) .

I remember thinking it was never going to happen. I met a couple who had been waiting TWO YEARS for a match and they were just about to give up when they got approached by a SW. Their daughter has been home for five months now, my son home for six.

7 weeks is no time at all. Hang in there x

UnderTheNameOfSanders · 04/11/2020 14:24

We waiting 15 months (many years ago).

Use the time to be proactive, you won't have time afterwards. Lots of 1-1 with your BC, all those jobs around the house you didn't do in lockdown#1 etc.

Jellycatspyjamas · 04/11/2020 15:26

Oh sorry also just to say the waiting time is a good time to put more thought in to your matching criteria. Revisit them from the early stages of your assessment, see if they still hold true for you x

This is a really good suggestion - in the craziness of waiting you can find yourself thinking “maybe we could deal with x” revisiting your matching criteria can help reinforce what you’re ok to manage and can stop your heart ruling yourself head too much.

Fakinit03 · 04/11/2020 15:44

Thanks everyone this all very helpful. I have spoken to the social worker who has said that there was a possibility but that child has gone to someone else, she has said the children are coming through slowly but steadily and that she's hopeful it won't take too long. (Not sure that her idea and my idea of what soon is are the same Hmm) Trying to look at things from another angle that Xmas with a newly adopted child is probably too much for everyone involved so will look at giving our 4yr old his last Xmas as an only child with all the attention! I feel for him as it feels so much longer for him, he's asking more and more when his brother or sister will come. It's so hard to get the balance right between preparing them and not getting his hopes up too early!
@veejayteekay and @Jellycatspyjamas I have definitely had moments of thinking maybe we could relax our criteria a bit etc but I know deep down that's not right and luckily for me I have a very patient and relaxed and level headed husband who talks me down when I start losing perspective!

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ZigZagCat · 19/11/2020 10:16

I'll echo those who mention "Get everything out of the way while you can" as, having had our three year old move in about 4 months ago, we can barely have a poo in peace.

It's also weird knowing some little body is sleeping away in the room next door and preparations for Christmas are different.

Covid did put the brakes on our adoption a little, with our ideal of siblings not coming through, but we ended up with a wonderful, boisterous little 3 year old boy.

Trust your social worker(s). They are there to make things as compatible as possible and have the child's interests at heart.

Fakinit03 · 19/11/2020 10:39

We have been put forward for a match today!! There's possibly one other couple being put forward too but our social worker is very optimistic about our chances! I have definitely come to see the positives of not having a placement before Xmas now. We will give our birth son one last Xmas where he gets 100% of the attention and then look forward to hopefully meeting our little one in the new year!

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Adoptodad · 19/11/2020 11:32

If you use link maker when expressing an interest in a child our social worker did this part for us as they wrote an almost CV explaining why we would be a good fit for that child in particular rather than just asking for more info.

So even when we did not get matched we got thought out responses. I think this made the difference. It helps to stand out from the crowd and do some of the pre work for them.

Moominmammaatsea · 21/11/2020 09:14

I adopted in the Jurassic period (well, I’m not really THAT old, obviously 😀) and Linkmaker was not a ‘thing’ so I can’t advise on that but I would concur with everyone else that it’s probably the worst part of the process (it’s the how-long-is-a-piece of string conundrum and the total loss of control). What I would say is maybe try to reframe (there will be much reframing once you’ve been placed) so try to view this time as a positive to help you be the most match-ready you can be: source as many picture books about adoption to help your four-year-old understand the reality of an adopted sibling joining your family, ask your SW to put you in touch with other adopters with bc who have gone on to adopt so they can share their lived experiences, read as much as possible (you can borrow adoption-related books for free from AdoptionUK if you’re a member), join relevant forums ie Therapeuting Parenting (?) and soak up as much of the experience and expertise the very generous folk who’ve trodden the path before you are willing to share.

Sending you my very best wishes for positive news very soon.

Moominmammaatsea · 21/11/2020 09:15

Don’t know what happened to the paragraphs in my previous post; I can do punctuation, honest!

Fakinit03 · 21/11/2020 09:38

Thank you @Moominmammaatsea we have some books for our 4 year old but we haven't read them in a while so will definitely get them back out again. We have been put forward for a baby girl who they've already told us a lot about due to some health issues she has had. Her social worker is on holiday next week so we have to wait 2 weeks now to hear if she picks us! Our social worker has been very optimistic that we will be picked which I kind of wish she hadn't because I'm trying not to get too excited! I hadn't wanted to know when we were put forward until we were actually chosen but this was a unique situation we hadn't discussed during the asessment process. But having all that information it's so hard not to get invested! This will be such a long two weeks!!

OP posts:
CedricSniggory · 21/11/2020 10:16

I feel your pain.
We're recently approved and all the way through our SW was telling us that she didn't think we'd be waiting long. Now we're being told due to COVID and lockdown the courts are postponing dates etc. and it's meaning they have no updates for us.

I hope you get good news from your potential match!

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