We had the first day of our (four day) pre-assessment adoption course on Saturday. We are not far from the agency so we decided to go by bus. The bus we were looking for arrived at the bus stop just after we did! On board we had that brief moment of worry you get sometimes when you think that (for once) you are running the danger of being extremely early. That worry evaporated soon enough when we realised we had not spotted any of the landmarks that were around the agency, and that we had now gone into a whole other area of London.* We got off the bus and started running back in the direction we had come from. We stopped and tried to get an A-Z road map a couple of times, but with no success (and, of course, argued about why we hadn’t brought one of our maps with us, as we ran panting through the streets). Did I mention I was wearing high heels? (to me inch-and-a-half heels are high) I kept looking at the maps at bus stops trying to work out which route to follow. In the end we got to the agency. In good time. Slightly out of breath. And sweaty. And found out that parking there is free on Saturdays (it is £2 per hour for a maximum of 4 hours on weekdays!).
Anyhow, the day was well planned. The three social workers who were presenting the day were nice and friendly, and clearly have a real heart for the children and adoptive parents. We have now met four of the agency’s staff and we have had this impression with all of them. They seemed to be concerned not to find fault with us all, but to truly help all of us try to discern whether adoption is the right route for us, and to enable us all to be the best adoptive parents we can be. The group is quite large – 18 prospective adopters – and to my surprise we are all heterosexual couples, no singles. There were presentations, a bit of small group work, and a very encouraging talk by a couple who are adoptive parents. For me the really hard part of the day was writing up the (lengthy) feedback form at the end of the day when we got back home. That took me almost 2 hours. That is an obligatory part of the course – each of us has to do a separate form. I really hate filling in any kind of form, and agonise over even the smallest detail. Overall it was a very interesting, informative and encouraging day. Our next day is this Thursday, and, as we will be going into details of the backgrounds many children come from, will be hard going.
Simon and I came away from the day each feeling confirmed that this is what God wants us to be doing now. We feel quite excited!
*we have since discovered that the bus route was changed recently. . .