I have several reasons for writing this blog. I want to be able to connect with other families going through the process, particularly LGBT adopters and I want to be able to share experiences with them. But I also want to be able to empty my head of the thoughts, feelings and emotions that will no doubt clog my brain for the next six months and beyond. It’s kind of like a journal, that others can read as well.
From the title of the blog you’ll have probably guessed that my wife and I are at the beginning of the process, and there is already so much to think about. We have had our home visit, officially signed the stage one agreement and attended two days of preparation group.
The home visit was a dream (the second time around), Yep, we had one previously that was an absolute disaster. The agency that we chose sent their social worker to visit. She was nice enough at first, but I didn’t warm to her and I could tell from my wife’s body language that she didn’t either. As the meeting went on it became fairly clear that despite their literature she was borderline homophobic, not a great start! We endured her probing and questioning for almost two hours. During that time I quickly made up my mind that we wouldn’t be proceeding with that particular agency. Gut instinct told me it wasn’t a good fit for us. When she swatted at my cat for having a curious sniff that was game over!
So on to agency number two we went. what a contrast! The home visit went really well, they put us at ease and answered all of our questions, worries and concerns. I knew we should continue with them once our youngest cat climbed into the social worker’s handbag and she found it as amusing as we did. So my advice for any new starters would be to meet with more than one agency, they all work slightly differently and you will need one that suits you and your family, and vice versa. They need to get a good feeling about you too.
Things progressed fairly quickly from there. We were lucky that the preparation group training was scheduled for two weeks after the home visit. This was a fairly nerve wrecking experience to begin with. We had no idea how many people would be there, whether there would there be any other LGBT couples, whether people would judge us and would there be anyone who was homophobic. As it turned out there were four other couples, varying age ranges all equally as anxious my wife and I. Being a work day my wife and I had planned on making the most of being off work – we thought about attending the session followed by dinner and a movie afterwards. That never happened! We seriously under estimated how emotionally tiring the preparation group would be. By the end of the two days (two more are scheduled next week) we were both ready to drop!
The training has so far provided us with so much food for thought. There is so much to learn about attachment and identity. I am truly astounded by what children in care go through emotionally. It’s a minefield, and at the moment I’m not yet capable of putting that into words. My brain is not retaining the information very well and I’m pretty sure that over the weekend I will have my head in a book recommended by the social worker. It’s Thursday today, two days since the training and I’m exhausted. Everything my wife and I had discussed and agreed about the child we want to adopt has completely been blown out of the water. I now have no idea and am open to anything!
Next week’s training we get into the really hard stuff, abuse. I know for a fact that I will need to offload about that. Already writing this blog my brain feels a little clearer. Check back for my second blog next week!