Our journey like many others, started with a very painful event; Infertility, IVF and a period of mourning.
From the moment we both met, we both knew we wanted children together. So, to be told that we now had very little hope of that happening was a tremendous blow.
We had talked about adopting during the IVF process, and so, when we had given ourselves enough time to mourn the loss of our chances of conceiving a birth child, we did some research on adoption and who to go to for help.
St. David’s stood out from the very outset. From the very first phone call which Claire made in August; she was put through to Joy. We were Instantly put at ease, and given all the right information, not so much that you felt swamped, but enough to want to find out more.
We arranged our first social worker visit within a few weeks, which was one of the most nerve-wracking things I have ever done. But within two minutes of Joy sitting down, we were chatting like old friends and any nerves had disappeared. She guided us through the whole process from training to meeting our forever family. She made us feel so excited for the future.
We started reading some of the books which are recommended, this really helped us to understand how the children have been affected by their early experiences.
We joined Mary’s training course in November, (we should have attended in September, but we had booked our first holiday for a few years for the same dates. Typical). You will hear a lot about Mary, and all for the best of reasons. Her training is AMAZING. For me it was like a massive lightbulb moment; she made sense of what we had previously read, giving practical and real-world examples and she really encourages and guides you into this very different method of parenting; she effectively brought the pages of the books to life. We honestly believe that Every parent should attend training like this, as it is so invaluable.
We filled out the required pre assessment forms shortly afterwards. The main application form was then sent to us, which was a bit more detailed and took a bit of thinking through.
In January we were assigned our social worker, Jodi. Now Jodi is one of the nicest, and easiest people to talk to, you could ever wish to meet! If like me you tend to be a little on the shy or quiet side, this is an absolute godsend. We were given our Homework (yes you get homework lol), and then talked about it during our meetings, not in an interview-y way, but an informal way, which forms part of your assessment. However, don’t worry, even though obviously it is your social workers job to asses you and find out if you are suitable to adopt, it certainly doesn’t feel like you are being tested all the time!
Now I must stress at this point, if you Embrace everything that is given to you, and are open minded and open hearted, the whole journey is a very enlightening and rewarding experience. Some of the homework you are given, will ask you about Your past, and how you have felt in different situations; which may feel uncomfortable or be upsetting at times. But, and it’s a big BUT, it is all designed to get you thinking about your identity and how you have become the person you are through experiences and nurturing. This is another lightbulb moment, because we take for granted so much when you’ve had a loving family around you, that you don’t realise what impact being loved has had on you. Conversely, you then imagine how that now affects a child who is not loved or has a chaotic start to life. Don’t worry though, about being able to write or articulate these feelings, your social worker is there to help you every step of the way.
As I write this at the end of May, we are looking to go to Panel for approval by the end of June, having had our midpoint review in March. We are one of the class of 2020, and so we have had lockdown to deal with for part of the process. But Jodi and St. David’s have been amazing, and we have completed some of our meetings Via Skype and Zoom. Different times eh…?
We are only waiting for medicals now, hopefully in the next week or so!! Covid19 and its awful effects both health wise and lockdown wise, has thankfully not affected us too badly with our adoption journey, as it has given us the time to read more, learn more, get the house child ready and ultimately talk more about it. We are right on schedule, and are as excited as ever!
For us because St. David’s offer so much, from support groups, coffee mornings (Virtual now), seminars, and blogs; we have felt totally involved and never left waiting or wanting for anything, so the last few months have flown by. We have honestly felt a part of the Society that is St. David’s.
We can’t wait for the next steps of matching and meeting our children, we don’t know who they are yet, but we love them already!
We look forward to updating our journey soon…