It has been about 2 weeks since my last post and of the three things that I said we expected to happen in that time have happened. For the most part at least.
We received the draft copy of the PAR. For those of you unfamiliar with what a PAR is, it is basically all the information that our social worker has gleaned from us and our references since the assessment process began written up into a report. We don’t get to see what our references have said about us only what we’ve said about ourselves and what has been observed about us (so there shouldn’t be many surprises!).
We didn’t manage to find very many mistakes in it, there were a few minor factual errors but nothing which we would consider ‘material facts’ (i.e. ones that would affect our ability to be parents). There were a couple of minor negatives about me, but definitely nothing I could disagree with! Overall though it was well written and, actually, a very positive summary of us as a couple. I would go as far as saying it was a glowing recommendation for us to be approved as adopters.
On Saturday we went to a ‘Communicating & Connecting’ training session, which provided us with a host of information about speech and language development in infants and how a lack of engagement and communication with a child at a young age can lead to behavioural problems later on. We were also shown a variety of methods to engage with a child that doesn’t like to (or can’t) communicate verbally. Overall it was very interesting and incredibly worthwhile.
The most difficult part of the the last two weeks was when we received further information about one of the profiles we enquired about. The dawn of realisation that we wouldn’t be able to provide all the needs for the child in the profile hit us both quite hard. We felt a real connection with the original profile and then, after seeing more information, having to say no felt absolutely horrible; like we were personally rejecting this child, which in a way we were.
It’s impossible to look at children’s profiles without allowing yourself to become emotionally involved, in fact it’s a necessity if we are going to be their parents, but at the same time we need to keep ourselves in check. The assessment process was a piece of cake compared to this.
We have heard a little bit more about one of the other profiles that we enquired about too, and that one is still a possibility. Our social worker has also provided some information about another sibling group and that too sounds promising.
We aren’t pursuing these too hard just yet, we want to get approved first. Our panel is two weeks on Monday and after that we’ll be able to pursue the profiles with some chance of getting a proper response. There are a lot of already-approved adopters waiting for children and all other things being equal they should be considered before newly approved ones.
So, connections are important and can be hard to let go of. We are learning as we go, and it certainly isn’t plain sailing!