Both our students leave on Saturday, and I have no more bookings so I really have a feeling that I am winding down at the moment – almost getting “demob happy”! In the meantime everything is pretty busy, though, with the added excitement of a visit from Simon’s birth brother. I find it fascinating to watch them together, and to look at the similarities and differences in appearance. (Our own adoption application is progressing slowly, our social worker cancelled our meeting a fortnight ago, our next one is this Thursday. We are probably looking at going to panel in January/ February.)
Simon, on the other hand, is about as far removed from winding down as is possible. He has three funerals this week, one of a baby. He also had a funeral of a baby last week, as well. Heart wrenching. He had only ever had one baby funeral before, these being less common nowadays, happily, and more usually are handled by hospital chaplains who have had contact with the families on the ward.
On a much happier note, we have been booking our holiday for October – one week on the Isle of Harris (Outer Hebrides) off Scotland, and one week on (the Isle of) Skye, Lord willing. We umm-ed and ah-ed about camping but finally went for the more comfortable option of cottages for both weeks. My father-in-law will stay in the house and look after the cat, and will have younger cousin come to stay with him for company.
Simon had his interview on his own with the social worker – it took them 2 hours to go through his life story. I have another interview with her this week to go through my life-story from 17 which is as far as we got during my 3-hour interview a couple of weeks ago!
We had our medicals with our doctor last week. We still didn’t know exactly how much we would have to pay when we arrived (we’d been quoted £75 to £90 each). At the end of the medicals I got out the cheque-book and the doctor very kindly said “Oh, no. No, I won’t take money for this.” We were very touched and very grateful. What a blessing!
Our Criminal Records Bureau (police) checks have all come through much faster than usual (just over 2 weeks, instead of the 2 months it took last time mine was run), but the agency have decided that they need to try to check out the year and a half from when I was 16 to 17 (and a half) when I was still living in Turkish Cyprus. Considering that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus isn’t even recognized by the British government this will be a little tricky and will certainly slow everything down.
We saw our social worker for a quick chat and for her to check all our identification papers before we went on holiday. Then, this week, I had my personal interview with her. The purpose of the personal interviews is to cover our childhoods and past before we became a couple. My session went on for almost 3 hours (we’d only planned for and hour and a half) and we got up to when I was 17 (Simon said “You only got half-way through your life?!”), so I will have another interview in a fortnight’s time to cover the remaining 10 years before we married. Simon is being interviewed next week. We also have to see our doctor for our medicals at the end of next week. So, things are moving forward, albeit very slowly. May God’s will for us,whatever that is, be done.
I think the title says it all! We posted the forms yesterday.
In our post today, as well as the adoption application forms, was a letter from Simon’s birth mother. Coincidence?!
We have just heard back from the adoption agency, and we have been approved to proceed with our application. And the social worker we have been allocated is one of the ones we had taken a liking to, an older black lady with lots of experience. I’m thrilled, but Simon doesn’t know about this yet as he is in Church – I’ll go round and tell him as soon as the service he is taking is over. We now have what looks like a huge form to fill in which is our official application to adopt. In reality the form is not as daunting as it first appears, as it consists mainly of our personal details, addresses that we have lived at during the past ten years, details of others living in our home, doctor’s details, and details of referees. Of the three referees needed for each of us, one should be a relative who has known us since childhood (that narrows it down to my mother in my case!), the other two should not be related to us and at least one of them should know us as a couple. We also need to get together a variety of proof of identity documents (standard for CRB, i.e., Criminal Records Bureau, checks). I’d never thought about this before, but I am interested to note that a certificate of adoption does not appear on the list of acceptable documents. Hmm.
I’m off to tell Simon the good news. I’ll be back later to tell you what else I’ve been up to.
The social worker who did our preliminary interviews came to our home this afternoon to do a pre-assessment interview and to have a look at the house. She talked with us for two hours. She will discuss our case with the other social workers at their weekly meeting on Tuesday, then, if they all agree that we should go forward (and she suggested that would be the case) we will be sent a formal application form. In the meantime we are to have a think about who we will ask to be referees for us – we need six in total, three each!