Archive for July, 2013

The Medical

Friday, July 19th, 2013

Now, I’m not opposed to anything like this if it’s absolutely necessary, but I had a real issue with one aspect of this. 

Not the medical in it’s entirety, even though the doctor I saw (and the doctor my Husband saw) said they thought it was “over the top”. The first thing I have a major issue with is that it cost us £100 each!

They took my weight, height, BMI, blood pressure, listened to my chest, checked my reflexes (yep, getting a tad ridiculous now) looking down my throat, in to my ears, in to my eyes, feeling my stomach….you can see where this is going…..and it didn’t bother me to do a urine sample while I was at the surgery (diabetes)

But  the next ‘check’ had both the doctor and myself baffled. As she shuffled through her papers and started making “”Ummming” noises I wondered what was coming next…I should have known. She explained that the medical required her to take a look at me “down there”. The thing is, I wasn’t surprised. I’d been joking with my husband that they would make him do the ‘cough’ test “like in the 1950’s” *bursts out laughing* But who was laughing now? Not me, that’s for sure! I actually felt like I’d stepped back in time. Even the doctor couldn’t work out what she was supposed to be looking for and, having spoken to numerous doctor friends since who have all looked at me gone out when I’ve told them about it, I still can’t really see what they’d be looking for.

Keeping in mind that I’d only just gone through IVF I’m assuming that the doctors and specialists were looking in the right place…..*thinks* Ooooh, maybe that’s why it didn’t work!

Anyway, I did refuse to have it done. Just that one aspect, nothing else. In the entire adoption process I have not refused to do anything but this just felt wrong. We weren’t told we’d have to have that done, we weren’t told why and the doctor couldn’t shed any light on it either and was just as confused.

Only one person couldn’t understand why I’d refused (and got oddly cross about it) and that was an ex GP who said they’d have been “looking for life threatening illnesses”. But that doesn’t add up either. If they were then surely they’d be asking for blood tests, X-rays, scans, mammograms. Even an extra smear test appointment would have made more sense.

If I’m honest I was quite nervous about refusing that one thing because I don’t want a silly thing like that to get in the way of us having our own family. But that’s the point isn’t it. If they can base a decision on something like that then there’s a whole heap of wrong about that.

I have often joked that the adoption process “wants your blood”…..but it appears that they actually don’t.

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Keep Calm and Carry On

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

We’ve worked out it’s taken over 67 hours so far to complete everything.

Taking in to account all the homestudy meetings with our social worker, ‘homework’, prep meetings, activity day and nursery visits (to gain ‘experience’ with children *rolls eyes*) and other bits and pieces along the way, it’s taken us that long to get everything completed to become approved adopters. That doesn’t even take in to account, I now realise as I’m typing this up, the approval panel, reading 78 page long reports (that took us 2 hours!) meetings with the social workers, meetings with the foster carer, the drives to and from these meetings (it’s a long way!) and the life appreciation day we’ve just been on which was an 8 hour day. We are very easily up to the 100 hour mark right now and we still have our matching panel, placement planning meeting and introductions to do yet. I look back now and wonder how on earth we got through it, working normally, socialising like nothing was happening. But that’s us. That’s how we cope. We just keep calm and carry on. That doesn’t mean it hasn’t been hard. I remember one particularly bad moment in time where I was treading water and felt very very low but trying to carry on and be as positive as I could at the time when someone turned to me and actually said “oh, stop trying to be so positive”. You could, quite literally, have knocked me over with a feather. I was so shocked I sobbed all the way home in my car to be greeted by a rather horrified husband who thought someone had died. That’s what I mean by the emotional bit. You can have one person say something like that to you (and actually it’s just rude!) and the whole emotional floor beneath you gives way and you’re free falling in to devastation.

I discovered, when we were going through the IVF process, that you have to have a VERY thick skin to deal with some of the utterly ridiculous and insensitive things people say. I’ve heard some corkers along the way! And you also have to have a very thick skin and keep calm when you’re being asked about everything, in detail, about your life to the social workers.

It’s bloody tough, but we’ve nearly made it….we’re nearly there. I just remind myself that there are other people in far more devastating situations than we are and that, at the end of this, we are going to end up with a beautiful little person in our lives.

And breeeeeeath.

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In The Beginning

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

On the 5th August 2012 we made the decision to contact our chosen adoption agency by email.

A careful, honest and considered email that resulted in them contacting us the very next day and arranging our initial meeting a week later. (Eeeek, too quick!?) If I’m honest now, looking back, I wasn’t really ready but because we knew the process was a long one I knew I had time to get used to it and get prepared for it mentally, emotionally and, just as importantly, physically. I needed to feel fit for this process and I’m glad we walk for an hour and a half every day now! It’s really helped.

But, in fact, it’s worked out really well. Starting before I was ready wasn’t such a big deal. If we’d have waited until I was totally ready we may even not have started now, never mind be very nearly adopting!

Our initial meeting went very well. We were really nervous and I’d cleaned like mad. Actually, not particularly because the social worker was coming round but because Monday is my day off and that’s when I usually blitz the house from top to bottom! She’d even said “don’t worry about cleaning, I’m not going to judge you on that” but that, in a way, made it worse because then I didn’t know whether to leave it or clean like I normally do! I decided in the end to do the latter and then left a couple of mugs on the kitchen top.

‘hash tag notfoolinganybody’

The social worker was with us for about an hour and a half asking us all sorts of questions about what had brought us to the decision of adopting, what sort of child we wanted (age, sex, background etc) and (slightly more offensive) questions like “why has it taken you so long to decide to have children”? Yes, we really were asked that question in ‘that’ way! Fortunately, because we know why we’ve waited (not “decided”) this long (we were both 36) we were able to answer the question without flinching and told her, without hesitation, that it was because we felt ready to provide for someone else, we’d done our going out and holidaying, we’d paid quite a bit of the mortgage off through sheer hard work and determination and that we had savings which would see us through emergencies. Not that you can’t go out or go on holidays when you have a child but, going through this process sometimes makes you feel that’s never going to possible!

So, having had her sit there for an hour and a half asking us all these questions and us answering them in full (we didn’t have a clue that those questions were the tip of the iceberg!) she made the decision there and then that we could go through the process.

That came as a bit of a shock as we hadn’t realised that we’d be judged so soon and that there was a risk that they wouldn’t take us on, but I’m glad I didn’t know that beforehand because I’d have been petrified and probably wouldn’t have left those cups out on the kitchen worktop! *twirls finger at side of head*

So, on Monday 13th August we knew we were on the (very long) way to adopting….



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Starting in the Middle

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

I’ve been meaning to start this blog for ages now. Well, since we started our adoption process, a whole year ago!

I have been making notes along the way but I’ve not actually sat and written it all down properly and, I realise, the longer I leave it and with a child it’s going to get even more difficult to recall, correctly, how this process has been for us and what, exactly, has happened.

Part of me feels like this year has flown by. The other part feels like its dragged so badly I just want it all over with, and have done several times along the (frustrating) way.

My original reason for wanting to start an online blog was because when we first considered adoption and started looking in to it I couldn’t find any blogs or diaries anywhere which started, in detail, right at the beginning of the journey which would give us a good idea of what the process was exactly like. Of course, we found websites like BAAF who give brilliant advice and information, but we wanted the emotion and reality of what happens, how it feels and what order things happen in. But we couldn’t find anything. Everyone’s blogs seemed to start either just before they were about to adopt (obviously written after they’d actually adopted and settled in) or way after they’d adopted. So all the info about what happens before you actually adopt seemed to be basic info much like on the official websites or talked about very briefly and lightly which sounded like people couldn’t (didn’t really want to) remember what it was like. We wanted stories, anecdotes, realism, feelings, emotions, the nitty gritty!

So, when we started down the path of adoption, I decided I would write a blow by blow account of what was happening on a weekly, if not daily, basis….but guess what….it never happened! I now understand why everyone’s blogs appeared to start after the adoption. It is, by far, the most draining, exhausting, emotional, frustrating, intrusive, involving process we have ever been through. I just, simply, didn’t have the energy or time for it. After every meeting, group, interview, piece of homework and our own conversations the last thing I wanted to do was type it all out and go over and over it again.

We’d had IVF before we started the adoption process but that experience (for us) pales in to insignificance (and we only had one cycle) compared to the adoption process. The most obtrusive question we were asked about our private lives were whether we smoked or not. And at least I was asked to *drop my pants for a reason for the IVF!


*more on that ridiculous note later!


Anyway, I am here now, starting in the middle, going back to the start and, hopefully, finishing with the beginning. And if you can understand that then adoption is definitely for you!

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