Sunday, 8 April 2012

Still chugging along

We're still in the process. Social worker visits were going well, then we hit a snag as our social worker was taken seriously ill on the day we were expecting another visit. Obviously we're concerned about her since we got on very well and had built up a very good working relationship with her, but it's also set us back a few weeks. This came after we had been shown the details of a child who's on the books of the local authority. It may have been too early in our process, but we were immediately smitten by this kid. The details had a picture of a really happy, pleasant looking boy. The life story didn't hold any obvious problems from our point of view, though there were possible allusion to some issues so we requested the full report. We also asked if we could see the details of another boy on the local list who also matched our (for want of a better term) requirements. This was just so we could get an idea of what might be said and, more importantly, what might be omitted and let us read between the lines. This was a useful thing to do since we saw immediately why he wasn't a suitable chld for us and we certainly didn't get the instant affinity for him that we did with the first one.

The full report on the boy we first saw the details on makes for horrendous reading. Not so much for this boy(though at his young age he has seen and exerienced far more trauma than he should have), but his parents' stories also show that these things are clearly a cycle that goes round every generation and that by going to adopt a child we might be able to make a difference and actually stop it happening again to that little person and give them a real chance in life
A couple of weeks later we resumed with a new social worker. We had been progressing nicely and had covered a lot of ground in the homework we had to do, but she still insisted on going over the same stuff again.

We heard that we originally would have had our panel date some time in June (this is the date when you go before a group of people who decide that you are suitable to be adoptive parents) but this is now towards the end of July so adding between 4 and 6 weeks. We don't know at the moment where we stand with the child we were shown the details of earlier on, whether the delay we're having means socil servies will be loking elsehwhere for a family for him, but we live in hope. If we don't get matched with him, sad to say, there is no shortage of children waiting for their "forever mummy and daddy" in the local area or further afield

Monday, 2 April 2012

Let's see who you could have won

Paddington is out there somewhere (as I've mentioned numerous times already). I could go on like astupidly twee Google advert about what their life might have been like up until they arrive and how they won't have to go through any more of the stuff they've been through again, but that's not really my style. What I really want to know is who will they turn out to be. I don't mean what there name is, as such, but will their personality be like some child from off of the telly. Let's look at some possible scenarios.

South Park
Stan and Kyle are reasonable kids, normal and quite well balanced so they would be OK. Kenny would be a problem because of the speech thing (speech therapy is a long, drawn out process) and the snorkel jacket that seems to be grafted to his skin. Then, not forgetting the fact that he seems to die an awful lot which I think would contribute to some serious issues. However, you'd really hope that they'd be like Butters, though you'd always be worried they might end up as Eric Cartman. This is of course the worst-case scenario: a fat, selfish kid

Family Guy
Chris is a bit dumb, Meg a bit morose. Stewie would be fun, provided it was Stewie from the later series when he was more rounded and not trying to kill Lois. Could develop personality problems through things like time travel and occasional abandonment and being raised for large parts of his life by a dog that vaguely resembles Snoopy

The Simpsons
Bart might be a handful, but I could work with Lisa. I think her geekish tendencies would compliment my own. Maggie is too young to know what trouble might be geting stored up for her in later life

William Brown (from the Richmal Crompton Just William books)
This boy has clear attachment issues, probably due to parents who seem to hold the Victorian idea of kids being seen and not hurt and that he's best looked after by the servants. He'd be a nightmare

Kids on Coronation St and Eastenders
Children in soap operas almost invariably tend to be born on Christmas Day which means you could stand to save a good deal of cash in present buying. On the other hand, they often arise as a result of some sort of extra-marital affair/underage sex and one of their parents usually ending up to be a murederer or dead (or both). I'd be inclined to avoid adopting any child from Weatherfield or Albert Square on this basis

Monday, 12 March 2012

10 reasons to adopt that social workers don't want to hear you say

Obviously we want to have a child because of the joy it brings and stuf, but there are reasons you might think of that you probably wouldn't actually want to tell a social worker

1: I want a child so I can justify getting a dog

2: I'm doing it so I get shit loads of karma Nectar points. After this I'm sure to come back as something really cool like a dolphin and be a good half way along the route to Nirvana (if you're into that stuff)

3: Someone's got to look after me when I'm old and decrepit

4: An adoptive child might be more attractive than my own and may get sort of lucrative child modelling contract. It sounds cruel, but with some of the thinking of our current government and some of the ideas floating around the Republican candidates in the US, any of whom who could be leader of the "free" world, it's got to be better than making them clean chimneys.

5: Lurking round Toys R Us, playing with toys I want and not looking like a paedophile*

6: I can't be arsed to demolish the child's play house we have in our garden

7: It's going to force me to curb my potty mouth around the house

8: I eventually get someone to do chores round the house. After a few short years I need never pick up a lawnmower again

9: Hot chocolate at bedtime, seeing 3D Pixar films, getting all sorts of stupid kids cable channels, cartoons and sweets. Lots and lots of sweets. Real sweets like sherbet lemons, Kola Kubes, and Matlow's finest like Swizzles, Refreshers and Drumsticks. Not sure what the kid's going to have, mind

10: Christmas, Hallowe'en, Bonfire Night, Easter, birthdays. Actually, sod it, since one of the things we have to be is how sensitive to multiculturalism we are as a family, we'll also celebrate Eid, Divali, Hannukah, Chinese New Year, St George's, Patrick's, David's and Andrew's Days American Independence Day, Singapore National Day and May Day. Basically, any excuse to eat shit loads, give presents and have a good time.

*The "P" word is definitely one that I think will set off alarm bells in social worker's heads, whatever the context

Monday, 5 March 2012

Wanted on voyage?

As the adoption process trundles on, it's difficult not to find it's become the whole focus of your life. Before we started there was just us, two adults doing what we do: going to the pub at the drop of a hat; going on holidays with lots of travelling between destinations and doing things like spending three hours in art galleries; going to fitness weekends and going out to restaurants whenever we felt like it. Now, though, the changes that the adoption will bring start to become more tangible. The thing is, we are aware of it and still can't wait. I have daydreams of taking Paddington on holiday to places with great beaches or to theme parks or to where they have places like great zoos and other attractions that are child orientated. I would be thrilled to give them the chance to try all sorts of foods, and trying to instill in them the genuine wonder at the world in nature and the people and cultures of the world that I feel.

Now, I know there are a lot of similarities to getting a child the usual way, and that every prospective parent has the same hopes and fears, but there is a major difference. Paddington is already out there, biding for his or her time until their new "forever mummy and daddy" brings them home. They already have their own personality and their own likes and dislikes. We might not be able to get them used to things like foods that we enjoy or (God forbid) they wouldn't like travelling by plane, say, for long trips. Our own biological child would have the same genes as we do and you wonder if that means they would have had the same tastes. On the other hand, where does nature stop and nurture take over? How much will we imprint our own lifestyles or (for want of a better word) culture on the new little member of our family? How much will we even want to? As I said, Paddington has his or her own developing personality which makes them unique and not a little clone of either of us and it's always going to be difficult to tread the fine line between giving them the opportunities and all the support and encouragement they need to be who they can be and over-egging the pudding or, more aptly, overbearing the Paddington, by being pushy and expecting too much. It looks like we've got a lot of playing things by ear and plenty of trial and error over the next few years

Sunday, 26 February 2012

"While a generation digests high-fibre ignorance...."

Apologies for the delay since the last post. We've had so much stuff to complete for the social worker once the regular meetings began. Our first meeting lasted about 90 minutes and covered our support network. We then agreed to have meetings every fortnight, at least for the beginning. On this first time we were given homework to do to cover all of our addresses, education, work history and significant life events as well as a family tree. It is quite fun when you really get into it, I suppose, working over your past life and digging up memories that you'd not realised you'd remembered. If nothing else it reawakened my liking for old Marillion which I now can't get out of my head several weeks later. This is awkward because the intellectual snob in me thinks the lyrics are pretentious nonsense where Fish uses too many words he probably doesn't actually know the meaning of. Still, here's a version of Fugazi from Youtube, for no other reason than the fact that this blog doesn't have any pictures or stuff to make it look nice

Thing is we now feel like we are making pogress so Paddington starts to look like a more realisitic thing though at this stage he or she was still a vague, almost abstract idea.