It’s funny how life turns out sometimes. Some people believe in fate and that things happen for a reason. I tend to be one of those believers. I think we were always destined to be parents to our daughter. We were never meant to have a birth child. If we had, we’d never have met our beautiful little girl.
For a number of reasons, the assessment for us to be approved for little sister has been far from smooth. Suffice it to say it has been incredibly stressful. We were due to go to approval panel last week, but our DBS checks have still not come back so the plan has had to change.
We were initially told an additional panel would be convened so we could do approval before matching. I don’t know whether it’s because of the summer holidays, but that plan has been scrapped. Summer holidays meant our eldest came home a month or so later than she could have, so it would seem that fate is influencing things this time around too.
So, we’re now in the unenviable position of having to do approval and matching at the same panel. And then introductions starting a week or so later. On paper, it shouldn’t be a problem. We’re parents to our eldest and have been for over 3 years. There are no concerns about her or our parenting.
We’re only being assessed as parents for her baby sister. Surely the local authority wouldn’t do things this way unless they were sure we’d be approved? I can’t put my finger on why, but this week I’ve started to worry that we’re not going to be approved.
In the lead up to approval panel last time, I was really nervous in case something had been missed and we weren’t approved. We didn’t do anything to the nursery in case we were tempting fate. This time though, we can’t do that. It’s just not possible to do the work needed on the house in the time between panel and introductions. Creating her bedroom involves doing work on two or three other rooms to move everything round.
I didn’t let myself start to get excited and buy things for our eldest until we’d met everyone involved in her care. This time with about seven weeks to go before introductions are due to start, we haven’t read anything about baby sister, spoken to anyone involved in her care or seen a photo of her.
We’ve had to start her room and start buying things for her. I can’t help feeling that by doing this, everything will go wrong and we won’t be approved or matched.
I know that’s completely ridiculous. Adoption panels don’t work on fate and chance. They make decisions based on facts and evidence. Our agency wouldn’t be wasting their time and resources on us if there was any doubt about us being approved and matched.
We’re giving baby sister and our eldest the chance to grow up together. We’re good parents (even though we are most definitely winging it most of the time). Baby sister’s social worker knows all about us. She’s told birth parents that the plan is for baby sister to live with her big sister. She wouldn’t have told them if there was any doubt about our suitability.
So, I’m trying to push the doubts and concerns to the back of my mind and enjoy the preparations. We won’t have this time again. Our eldest won’t experience preparing to be a big sister again.
Preparing to be a parent, however it happens, is a rollercoaster. I’m sure everyone has doubts and concerns. I just have to take a deep breath and have faith that we’re good enough.
Care and placement orders were made weeks ago so whatever happens, little sister can’t live with her birth family. Fingers and toes crossed she’ll be coming to live with her big sister.
First published August 2018