All is not as it seems!
Here’s the Sitch
We are living on cloud 9 right now. Both of us, over the moon and totally in love with our son; and every day we spend with him our bond with him gets stronger and stronger. Yet why is there an anxious feeling at the bottom of our stomachs? Why is it that when he does the cutest of things we feel extreme happiness, but also slight sadness?
This is because he’s not ours yet!
I’m writing this as friends and family don’t quite understand the adoption process and the stage in which we are at now, and it gets somewhat awkward when they find out our son isn’t ours yet. A lot of people believe it’s as simple as having a child placed with you then job done. I assure you it’s not.
If you read my post ‘Letter to our son’ you will learn that we took our son in on a ‘foster to adopt’ placement. This means we only had foster parent rights for our son, which carried a significant risk that he could have been taken off us at any point. Many factors come into this; such as birth parents being able to meet his needs and therefore our son could have been rehomed back to them, our local authority finding a better family for him to move in with and a few others. Luckily and thankfully we were allowed to process to adoption panel with him after a couple of weeks of having him and we were successful!
Again, this doesn’t mean he’s ours. He is referred as a ‘looked after child’; In order for our son to be completely ours, we need it to go to court. You are allowed to apply for family court after 10 weeks of your child being placed with you for adoption. This is the stage where Mark and I are currently at.
We have filled in the (confusing, long-winded and laborious – but worth it) paperwork, paid the costs (Yes, the authority in which we applied through don’t cover any costs) and are awaiting a court date. Whilst we wait nervously, his birth family is notified and invited to court. In which we don’t attend in order to keep us anonymous, this doesn’t mean we cant send a friend or family member to spy!
The birth family can then contest and appeal against the adoption being approved. Which can delay the proceedings 4 weeks at a time. We have been warned that with our case that’s likely to happen! (Aren’t we lucky) Our social workers, who still visit every 6 weeks or less, have told us that it’s highly unlikely that our son would be taken away from us as he is so settled, content and happy.
We can’t even contemplate it going the other way, as it would be heartbreaking!
Hopefully with this post I’ve managed to explain our situation a little, basically at the moment we are stuck in limbo. We are falling further in love with our son with every day, hour, second, but can’t shake off the unknown dread of what to expect next year when it goes to court! Luckily we have our hopefully first of many Christmas as a family in a couple of days to take our mind off it!
Wish us luck! I’ll no doubt go into further detail with this in future episodes of ‘Our Adoption Story’.
Have a lovely Christmas!