Our Adoption Story – Episode Nine
Waiting On a Placement Order
A couple weeks have passed since finding out about our potential son and by this point we were literally itching for news. During this time, we managed to get a fair few Ikea trips in and got the basics of a nursery sorted; this involved a full weekend of building furniture, such a treat! I’m being serious, I absolutely love building Ikea furniture.
Sally kept in touch to let us know of any news (or lack of), she did let us know that behind the scenes they were arranging for us to meet his (let’s call him Pickle) foster parents. Other than that, we wouldn’t receive any news on a move in date for a while. It was really surreal to think that Pickle was already on his second set of parents, but also, that they might be getting to see all of his first milestones. Sally informed us that there was pressure for us to get him as soon a possible, they were just waiting on a placement order to be granted, which was highly likely to happen within the week.
A Placement Order:
- Gives your child’s social worker permission to go ahead with the adoption plan.
- Means the social worker can arrange for your child to go and live with a prospective adoptive family (if one has been matched as being suitable to meet your child’s needs). This is called being placed for adoption.
- Means you share parental responsibility for your child with Children’s Services (and the adoptive family – if your child has been placed for adoption). But Children’s Services can limit the things you can decide about your child.
We’ve Got News!
Whilst we awaited the news of the placement order we decided to tell our friends and family about Pickle. We’d kept them in the loop the entire process, however, no one was expecting us to be placed with a child so soon. I think the news shocked a few family members as they really expected us to have at least another year of child-free fun. They were all happy for us of course, but we had the “Are you guys ready?” “Do you realise how a child is going to change your life?” questions. We felt we were ready, granted it was a shock for us also that a match had been made so soon; but we didn’t want to imagine a life where we turned down what seemed like the most perfect little boy. So we didn’t.
We shared the images sent from Sally with close friends and family and everyone agreed, he was beautiful. We had so many comments that he looked like both of us, and this made us so excited to meet him. Sharing the news that we had been matched with Pickle was truly exciting, we both got butterflies during every opportunity we got to speak about him (which there were many). Whilst boasting about Pickle to everyone we did have a slight worry as to what was currently happening behind the scenes, honestly we didn’t know much about the court proceedings; but luckily for us the placement order was granted. The nerves kicked in again at the thought of meeting his foster parents, we felt like we were stealing him away from them; plus, it didn’t help that Sally had let it slip that Pickles foster parents were really attached to him.
Gotta Tell Work
It was then arranged that we would be meeting them the following week! At this point I decided it was time to inform work, I was dreading doing this. The staff at my store were so excited for me, it had sunk in that I was leaving and to be honest all cares that I had for that store slowly vanished. I called my area manager up and he was surprisingly cool with it; I suppose he had to be or else it would have been discriminating, but anyway, he said congratulations and he told me to inform HR.
A phone call later and HR had been informed, all I had to do was forward on my matching certificate with the date my bridging would start, of course, I didn’t know what date this would be at this point. I ended up getting slightly fucked over by work, I’ll tell you about this in a couple of blogs time.
Before we knew it, it was the day before meeting the foster parents! Oh my we were nervous. You meet the foster parents prior to meeting the child up for adoption. This is done in order to find out more information about the child and also find out what measures you need to put in place. We were really prepared as I had compiled an extra long spreadsheet of questions we wanted/needed to ask. Little did I know then that this list would be completely thrown out of the window!
Sally called us the day before to make sure we were all set to meet the foster parents, she wouldn’t be attending but we were due to meet Pickle’s temporary social worker the following day before meeting the foster parents (Pickles actual social worker was on holiday). She also dropped the bombshell that we will be starting the bridging process within just 2 weeks. Bridging is the transition period between the child living with the foster parents and moving into their new forever home, a couple meetings would take place over the next few days after meeting the foster parents in order to plan how it would go. At this point we still didn’t know if we were adopting him as there was no mention of the matching panel (I’ll talk about this in the next blog). I asked Sally what the plan was and she said she would get back to me ASAP.
But We Thought We Were Adopting?
The day of the foster parent meeting had arrived, we were all prepped and ready to meet then when Sally called us again. This time the news wasn’t overly welcomed, she told us that we would be ‘obtaining’ Pickle on a foster to adopt placement. Basically, with a foster to adopt placement, there is still a risk that the child could be taken away from you at any moment. The entire journey we told Sally we didn’t want to go down this route as it was risky. So in our minds we didn’t have to even contemplate a foster to adopt placement. As Sally told us our hearts sank a little, she could tell we were concerned and continued to explain that as Pickle had a placement order the risk was minimised a bit, but a risk nonetheless. We had a brief conversation about it together, but decided we were past the point of return; we had our hearts set on Pickle.
We hung up from Sally after discussing our nerves about meeting the foster parents and jumped in the car. We were due to meet them at a family centre at midday, right after having a quick chat with Pickles social worker. We arrived at the building early. We thought it would be a nice idea to buy the foster mother some flowers as clearly she was an amazing person. We sat in the centre waiting for the social workers arrival.
We were literally quaking with nerves that we were about to meet the foster parents; I still don’t know why we were extremely nervous to meet them, I think there was a lot a guilt felt as we were about to plan how we would be taking away their foster child. Which was silly of course as that is the whole point of them being foster parents.
The Day We Met 2 Amazing Humans
Time was passing by and still the social worker still hadn’t arrived. But then a couple turned up, it was Pickles foster parents.