A couple of weeks have gone by since our successful approval panel, work is busy for both me and Mark; so by now little time has been spent thinking or discussing our future adoption. Sally warned us right after being approved that our high from the relief and excitement from panel will disappear and essentially we were entering the next stage of the adoption process… limbo.
It wasn’t until a couple of weeks after that we started twiddling our thumbs, do we just wait for Sally to find us our future child or shall we be proactive? I’m a member of a group on facebook for prospective adopters and had seen several conversations similar to the thoughts on our minds. Some members were being extremely proactive, calling their social workers every other day; some, like us, just took a back seat.
The Great Baby Shortage of 2017
A member posted about a website called Link Maker, with the rumours that there were no babies coming into care this seemed to be an increasingly popular option for panicking members. Those who were open to the idea of adopting children at a slightly older age were making profiles and seeking matches on there. I spoke to Sally about Link Maker, she didn’t seem too keen for us to sign up. I had a feeling that she believed she would find us a ‘better’ child and to just trust her.
A couple days pass, and I find myself signing us up for Link Maker, not quite knowing what to expect; I entered all our details and authorised the website to contact the local authority we were adopting through to clarify that we had passed approval panel.
The next day Sally called, ‘So I see you have chosen to sign up to Link Maker’. She was fine but warned us not to get too attached.
Basically, Link Maker is like a social media website but instead of the regular profiles you are presented with profiles of children in care. You can then choose to enquire about them and submit interest, or the social workers of the children listed can actively reach to you to see if you are interested. It’s quite an odd concept and I found myself getting quite emotional scrolling through the hundreds of profiles and reading about these poor childrens stories in care.
If anything I would recommend Link Maker, not to find yourself a child; but to prepare yourself for what you may be offered. Some of the stories on there were heartbreaking and I forgot to mention, the site includes images of the children. My heart was literally being pulled in all directions.
I found myself logging into Link Maker a couple of times a day, to look at the latest profiles uploaded, to ensure I didn’t miss out on any children. At this point it seemed like we had passed approval panel ages ago, but in fact, it was less than 3 weeks that had passed.
Then one day this little boy had been uploaded, he was beautiful. Big brown eyes, cheeky smile and looked really happy. My thoughts instantly started getting carried away, next minute I’m thinking about how I’m going to decorate his room. Mark had a look and agreed, we were going to enquire about him!
I submitted our interest to his social worker and eagerly waited on a reply. That evening Mark and I discussed the nursery and when we would decorate it, I spent about an hour scrolling through inspiration on pinterest and had practically planned our future childs room; all with this little boy in the back of my mind.
I went to work with a buzz, adrenaline and excitement running through my body; at the thought that we would hear about the little boy we enquired about the previous night. On my lunch break, I signed into Link Maker to see if they had replied. They hadn’t which was a slight disappointment, so I searched for the little boy to see if his profile had been updated, it had, it was deleted.
Honestly, I felt so foolish, it had only been 3 weeks since we passed approval panel and I was already letting my mind run wild over a child we were highly unlikely to be placed with. After this, I didn’t log into Link Maker again.
The little boy we had found was 3 year old, it was never our plan to adopt a child past the age of two. This proved that looking through the profiles and looking at all their beautiful faces wasn’t a good idea for us. After deleting Link Maker we decided to stick to our guns and only be open to a child less than 2 years of age and preferably a little boy and to not rush the process. We reassured ourselves, being matched with a child was probably not going to happen this year, maybe not even by next Christmas!
One Month Passed.
A few days later, now a month since approval panel, I feel my phone vibrating in my pocket; 1 message, 2 message, 3 message… 4.
I rushed upstairs to see who was messaging me and what about (Not allowed to use phones for personal use on the shop floor) I sit myself in the manager’s office and take a look.
‘OMg OMg OMG’
‘Sally has just called me’
‘She’s matched us with a little boy’
‘Call me NOW!!!@!!!’
First of all apologies, In Ep 6 I made out I would be talking about the matching process next but I totally forgot about Link Maker so I got a bit ahead of myself. I felt the need to include this as a bit of a warning, using sites like Link Maker can be great but can also make you feel like shit like it did us.
Again I recommend it for reading up on profiles and preparing yourself for the profiles you may receive. Just remember that when using Link Maker, there are hundreds of potential parents on there, don’t get upset if you don’t get the result you are after.
Comment below if you have any questions or feedback! & Check back soon for Episode 8 where I finally get on to being matched with our beautiful boy!