We've met our social worker... and she seems nice. She arrived early this morning, which I think is a positive sign, I'd hate to have been waiting around for her.
Started off with general chit - chat. We talked about the things that are involved in the home study, and had to dig out passports, driving licences, birth and marriage certificates to show her - luckily we could lay our hands on them straight away.
We talked about how we had found the prep group, and what else we'd like more information about. We talked about the reading that I've been doing and what she suggested a couple more books to look at, Primal Wound and Theraplay, both of which I've looked at, but the library doesn't have and they're not cheap! We discussed the birth mother and the adopted adult (not related) that we met on the prep course and how their stories had impacted us.
We talked about the child/ren that we would like to adopt. She seemed delighted that we didn't necessarily want a tiny baby and the fact that we had rationalised this out. Our argument is that we can't actually have a baby, adoption (from foster care) is different, and therefore we want to acknowledge the difference rather than hide it. We talked about birth families, and that there will always be a child shaped hole in the birth family, and a birth family shaped hole in the child/ren's lives.
We obviously covered lots more than this! General topics included attachment, adoption stories of people that we know (both adopted and adoptees). Stories about children I know through school - i.e. how parenting can have an impact. We talked about schools - she said that she is presently working with a family whose child is in reception and has been excluded from school before they are 5. It's a fantastic school - at least by ofsted measures. I said that I know that a good school might not know how to deal with 'difficult' children, citing where I work compared to the schools just up the road!
We talked for about 2 hours, but this did include about 30 mins trying to sort out the next 6 sessions! After that she will be meeting our families (those that it is possible to) and some of our referees. As she only works part time, she admitted it might take her longer than normal to write up our report for panel, but that we should be approved before Christmas. Then they would hope to match us up with a child/ren within the next year.
I'm relieved that the first meeting is over - and feel happy that we are making progress. She seemed happy that we talk and have talked about adoption issues, and are starting to think about how to parent an adopted child!
Are We Really Unhappy?
6 hours ago