In Ep 2, I hinted that there was something holding us back from wanting to progress with our adoption journey. We hadn’t been happy for quite a long while, we’d sat down numerous times, trying to come up with an action plan on how this wouldn’t affect us sailing through the adoption process. We did plenty of researching online; to see if other families were having the same issues as us and how we would get out of this rut. We came to the conclusion that we both needed to call it a day and take drastic action. Only things weren’t that simple as our Local Authority were pressuring us to get started with Stage One…
Yes, I’m still going to keep you hanging a short while.
A few weeks after my initial phone call, our LA (local authority) had contacted to let us know that we were being appointed a social worker to carry out a home visit! They were extremely keen for her to come around and do our first official ‘informal’ home visit. It hardly sounds informal when they throw official in-front of it! We agreed on a date, and both of us began to get really excited at the prospect of really getting stuck into our adoption journey. …All whilst trying to get our side issues sorted before we had to notify our LA and potentially bring it all to a big halt.
I’ve really hammed this ‘issue’ up, it’s not even that big of a deal. So don’t expect massive drama guys!
First Official ‘Informal’ (Formal) Home Visit.
For the purpose of this blog we will call the first social worker we met ‘Jenny’, by now it’s September 2015. Our registration of interest form had arrived via email a week (or so) previous to the home visit, we had only completed about a quarter of the form and was anxious that Jenny was coming to check up on how we were getting on. A few emails later and we were told her mission for our initial meeting was to educate us in what to expect in Stage One, as well as a few extra bits to do with our identification and checks.
The meeting went quite alright (I suppose), she asked about our history and had a tour of the house. We were told that our gravel was too sharp (WTF) for a child and it would need replacing. This was annoying, but also funny because as she was molesting the ground for sharp gravel she picked the exact spot our dog liked to shit and pee! She also commented on the size of the house and said that there was room for a maximum of 2 children. We struggled to believe this as we thought we would just about manage to fit in one child. She disagreed and was ready to offload two on us and briefly mentioned a case of two boys in which she was currently working on. Our hearts instantly melted and we were ready to welcome them both in instantly.
This did give us butterflies, the idea of having two children; however, once the sensibility crept back in and having previously discussed our wants and needs together we had planned that we would take one child at a time. When I reflect on this, I’m so glad we stuck to our guns on this; as lovely as two additions to the family would have been, both in one go would be too much! Anyway, I’ve diverted, She sat us down and explained the ‘Two-Stage Adoption Process’ and basically told us we would be extremely lucky to be placed with a child under 4, so if we were set on an age younger than that we should start thinking of the possibilities of adopting a child 4+.
A few formalities later and she was off!
So what should you expect from a typical initial home visit?
Usually, the visit is carried out by an experienced social worker (Not saying Jenny wasn’t). It’s an opportunity for them to go through your queries with you and to look at your individual circumstances. I would say it’s pretty normal to be pretty anxious about this visit, we made sure our house was spotless and had 3 different biscuit types in to impress Jenny (she was a digestive woman). The social worker will then discuss checks, recruitment criteria and the needs of the children they are currently finding families for at this visit.
We felt this meeting was to let us know that it really isn’t a simple process. To not get all our hopes and dreams set on a newborn and to be realistic in the type of children they have in care and the extra needs that go in hand with them. This is when she introduced us to the information evening. All applicants have to attend this evening, so she was eager to get us booked onto the next one.
Furthermore to the above; Jenny explained that we would be opening our hearts to her and that she would be delving into our pasts and asking some real personal questions. Which we were completely fine with when heading into the process. However, something didn’t quite feel right about her. We felt that she didn’t quite get us, maybe because we were gay or maybe because she seemed like a bit of a stiff! We couldn’t see ourselves warming to her and having read how vital it is that your strike a real connection with your social worker, we doubted we would be successful in the process; We panned her a little later on in the process don’t worry!
Now back to the reason for the first delay in the process, a week or two after our home visit both Mark and I had some news in regards to those issues. Of course, we weren’t having these issues with each-other, SILLY, we were having issues with our stale jobs! Between getting told we were being considered as adopters to actually being assigned a social worker, both Mark and I had focussed on securing new roles to provide stability and comfort for our future family. We were both successful!
So upon handing in our resignations I also sent Jenny the following email.
I have good and bad news, the good is that we have just been given a new jobs and that myself and mark are looking to move to a bigger house.
The bad is that we think it’s for the best that we delay the adoption process for a year or so until we are secure. Sorry for any inconvenience but we will need to cancel the training. The last week has been a whirlwind and I didn’t want to cancel until hearing back from this job.
Again sorry if it seems we have messed the process around, we are still wanting to adopt but think we need to be more secure beforehand.
Thanks for helping, Would we need to reapply from scratch next year?
Thanks, Kaden & Mark
Hi Kaden and Mark
Thank you for your email and apologies for the late reply. Thank you for letting me know that you wish to withdraw your adoption enquiry. I will cancel your place on the adoption preparation course.
When you are ready to re-look at adoption, please contact our duty officer on 0800 123 4567.
You will need to start the process again but if you let the duty worker know that you have enquired previously then they will be able to find your record and update the details.
Good luck with the new job and we hope to hear from you again in the future. Best wishes Jenny
And that marked the end of our journey with Jenny! After attaching our adult heads and having sensible chats we thought it would be best to just wait to settle in our new roles and pause the adoption process. We were both young (those were the days), with plenty of time to have children and felt the need to commit to our new roles before our lives got even more complicated. So that’s what we did!