In Feb 2011 we went to matching panel; my post from that day simply says 'Hurrah.... we're going to be parents! Now to wait to meet our son...'. Because of some ot the sensitive detail that was discussed in panel, I'm not going to repeat what was said, it's not part of our story, but part of the boy's story..not mine to share.
A week later, we started introductions - and that week was hard. It coinsided with half term, which meant I had nore time that I needed to think and deal on things. However, I seem to have filled it okay, spending time with my friends. What followed was two weeks of closely planned (but intense) time with our son.
We went to the adoption agency offices this morning to plan out the next couple of weeks. We had some formal stuff to go through, and promises of reports and life story book came from boy-o's social worker, but both us and his foster mum wonder whether it will actually happen. We have planned our meetings with boy-o until next Tues. We are having a review meeting next Tues, and then will plan from that point!
Having done that this morning, this afternoon we actually meet our boy. He started off shy, and not at all happy, but gradually he started to come round a bit. After about 20mins, he ended up looking at the book I made whilst sitting on my lap - which I have to say was a truly amazing experience, not having a little boy sitting on my lap, but the fact that this is our little son.
We built towers of stacking cups and knocked them down. He spent time emptying my handbag. He spent time with M, again sitting on his lap looking at the book, but also playing with other toys. We looked at the photo of our dog, and decided that dogs go 'woof'.
We've had his toy box emptied all over the floor today, and played with all sorts of things that he has. He also emptied the other little boy's toy box, and climbed in and on. He wants to explore and is full of confidence, but isn't dangerous with it. Having said that, M and I both wonder how long it will be before he ends up at A&E with broken bones.
We had a morning to ourselves - which we filled with exciting activities such as going to the bank to talk about the mortgage, cleaning the fish tank, as well as doing all the usual fun stuff like walking the dog!
We headed to the foster carers after lunch. I got boy up from his nap, and he didn't protest at all. He was a little jittery, but apparently he's always that way. He came downstairs with me, saw his foster carer, and wanted to sit with her for a minute, but that's all it took before he came to us.
We played the afternoon away, and had a lovely time. When he was told 'no' he burst into a world-ending cry! When his foster mum said 'no' he came to me, when I said 'no' he went to his foster mum!
We stayed through tea and bath. I feed him his tea, which he eat really well. Then he played for a little longer - manic half hour is how his foster carer describes it. Then he had his bath, which we observed, and played with him for a bit in the bath. When he was ready for bed, we left for this evening, because we'd spent a lot of time together, he was tired and we thought he'd settle better for his foster carer.
Next Two Days
Yesterday, we went just after breakfast and stopped through lunch. Boy didn't want to go down for his nap, and therefore we ended up stopping longer. When we arrived he was looking out of the window and waved at us. When we left we got hugs!
Today, we went late afternoon, played, feed him tea, and gave him his bath. We got him ready for bed; although his foster mum put him to bed. He came to us as soon as we arrived, and wouldn't let the other toddler who is being fostered there come anywhere near us. He is starting to realised that we are his, and he is ours.
Sat - we took boy out with his foster mum and other foslings to the soft play centre in the morning... he had loads of fun sliding, and climbing and chasing. Lunch there then walk back with all children in pushchairs for a nap.... After the nap, we stayed, we played we did tea, and put him to bed with foster mum.
Sun - we took boy out for our first solo visit. Ended up at local countryside estate, fed ducks, did some walking, played on swings and slides. We had a picnic; then took him back to his foster carers for lunch.
Mon - was supposed to be a day out.... morning was fine, but after lunch we decided to go for ride in car, as we couldn't go for walk in the area that we were in. Boy slept for about 45 mins, before waking up and throwing up all over the carseat and his clothes. We headed straight back to foster carers - once we'd cleaned him up. He threw up twice more on the way back. We took him in, got him cleaned up. Then he sat quietly for a hour or so, before perking up a little. We don't know if it was car sickness or a virus. He didn't sleep well last night, but was okay today.
Today was busy - we got him up this morning, gave him breakfast, had first social worker visit of the day. Followed this with walk into town for speech therapy (which he is now signed off from). Home, for lunch and nap - during which we had second social worker visit of the day (to arrange rest of intros). Following that we went to a park and played on swings for a little while - but had to get back for nurse to visit to get update on him. Following that, tea, play and bed.
First Visit to home
We spent an hour playing and looking over the house, and then back to the fosterers for lunch and a nap. Boy was a little unsure about our dog, infact on first meeting he screamed!
The following day we went and picked up boy and his foster mum mid morning, and brought them back to our house. We played a bit, fed him lunch, put him to bed for a nap (and held our breaths). He went down with only one re-visit, but there really was a lot of breath holding and sitting on the edge of seats. When we were all convinced he'd gone, M took foster mum home! When boy woke up we walked the dog, played, had tea and gave him a bath, all before taking him back to foster carers.
The next day the foster carers had a party for him, so that their family and friends could say goodbye to him. We have photos - they had a good time. And as it's his birthday this coming week - he got presents.
Yesterday we went to pick him up in the morning, and spent the day at our house. Again we got him ready for bed before taking him back to his foster carers... then today we picked him up for the last time, he's asleep upstairs in his cot right now (it's 7.45pm)!
His foster carers gave us a pile of things yesterday, we have his memory box with all sorts of firsts in it; both from them, his previous foster carers and his birth family. There are all his first birthday cards in there... we will have to get another box to put his adoption cards and his second birthday cards in. I spent time yesterday evening, labelling who gave him what in the box, and who different people are (because I will forget). We got a USB stick full of photos, we've got his first shoes.
We decided we needed to do more than the nice photo frame that we'd brought. So we hunted down a Will.owtree Figure called 'heart of gold' which is a little boy holding a golden heart! We gave them that yesterday evening as well. It meant this morning, we could get in and out fast; we were all nearly in tears, but couldn't let boy see that!