Last night watching my twitter feed, I saw a photo of a group of people who had been recognised at the national adoption week awards for the work they do, and it flung me back several years.
8 years ago this month, having passed our approval with one social worker, we got a new social worker. Both of these social workers are brilliant, they were then and they are now. The first of these social workers came back into our lives when we approached the agency again and I still contact her when I need an external think about a variety of adoption issues; the second got a promotion and I have regular contact with her because of what she does (and what I do – in terms of adopter support).
It was 8 years ago this month we first heard of a 18 month old boy who was in foster care. It was 8 years ago this month, we heard about a boy who was active, loved being outside, slept well (the agency told all my adopter friends the same thing) and was well attached. We heard that there might be learning difficulties. We heard a story of a birthmum whose upbringing was far from ideal. We heard about older children, removed, returned, removed. We heard about about a birthdad. We agreed to move forward and meet his social worker.
And then we waited. Adoption is after all an exercise in patience. We communicated with our SW, she communicated with his and we waited. Eventually weeks later, his social worker agreed to visit us; declared our lounge too small for this active child (comically we later found out he was fostered in a much smaller house, with a much smaller back garden). We set out to prove her wrong. She went away to talk to her manager and after more waiting, it was agreed we were linked and could meet his foster parents and medical adviser and supervisor from contact visits.
8 years ago, we moved a step closer. 8 years ago, we thought we understood. 8 years ago we didn’t understand the lifelong affects of trauma.