Friday 13th…. hoping that doesn’t come again in a hurry!

So Friday 13th was not a good day for me. Work was busy (I run a transport depot of 15) and in amongst all of that was a webinar I forgot I’d been signed up to on Maternity policy. I thought it may be interesting given the adoption leave I plan to be taking next year, I was mistaken. Apparently adoption will be covered with paternity. Not sure who decided adoption warranted the same session as Paternity rather than maternity – and a session that isn’t planned to happen for at least another 6 months – way to make a woman looking at adoption rather than maternity feel a little worse than she already does about her body not doing the norm!

So I logged into the webinar thinking it would be fine and a lot of the general info would probably apply to adoption leave too. I was so wrong. The start was ok, they ran through the maternity leave entitlements, pay, time off etc. We got about 15 minutes in and then it started to go downhill. I’m not stupid, I knew it was a maternity webinar but I hadn’t expected it to go into quite so much detail on H&S policies surrounding expectant mothers, time off for scans, notification timings of pregnant women informing work etc etc etc. I tried so hard to hold it together but the more I listened to the more it hit me how much I will not be experiencing. On the whole I find this fine – no morning sickness, no stretch marks, no fighting to make clothes fit me, no feeling like a beached whale. But I lost it, I text the hubby to tell him what I was doing and that I wasn’t coping on it and then dropped the phone and legged it to the loo to cry. 5 minutes later I came back to my desk having had a good cry and wiped my eyes, my admin looked at me quizzically as I picked up the phone again to rejoin – I was on mute, it was all HR talking so no one had missed me, and tried again to listen. It didn’t work, I felt the tears coming back. So I spent the next hour with my phone sat on the desk vaguely aware of a voice talking through it and I minimised the internet windows with the slideshow I should have been watching. I’ll sign the training document to say I attended and might fess up to my manager that I was there but not there as it hit me like a tonne of bricks how much I won’t get to experience whilst creating our family. On Friday it hurt, it hurt a lot. But today, its ok, its ok because I may not get that experience of creating a family but I shall have an experience, mine will be one that is harder fought to get to the same place as all of those pregnant women the webinar was about, my emotional scars of the process will be just as valuable as the stretch mark scars of any birth mom.

I’ve got this. Hubby and I have got this. I know this because I know I’m a great Aunt who already loves 2 small people who are not mine, I would throw myself in front of a bus for my nieces if I needed too and I know I shall do the same for my children. I know we have this as whilst I am still a little reluctant to shout from the rooftops that we shall be a family next year because we are adopting to anyone who will listen (I’d like to be a little further into the process than we are) my Hubby doesn’t have that issue and tells everyone – my Uncle he barely knows but we saw Saturday evening – I heard him discussing our house we moved to 3 years ago but my Uncle didn’t know and how we have 2 spare bedrooms that next year won’t be spare because we plan to adopt. This is how I know we’ve got this. We know our experience won’t be the norm and we know it won’t be easy but it will be worth it. Bring on the adoption webinar.

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I got impatient

Good news! I got impatient at the wait until we could email the adoption agency again so decided to email them anyway! The social worker is coming out in 2 weeks time to see us and hopefully start the ball rolling. And just in case she doesn’t start the ballon rolling officially we contacted another adoption agency and have started talking to them too. Next year is THE year – with one adoption agency or another, this time next year there should be a small person or 2 in our home.

The second agency was actually quite interesting to talk to, she talked more about Foster to adopt and made me look at it a way I hadn’t before. I’d been so worried that we would go that route, fall in love with a small person and then loose them that I had al;most written off that idea. But there has to be a high percentage of belief that the child will be put into the adoption system before they go that path. The woman explained the advantage of them ‘foster’ side and I have to say I’m liking it. I’ve already been wondering how I would tackle the ‘what’s my birth mum like’ questions as I dont believe we would know much about the birth parents, the ‘advantage’ of foster to adopt is you normally meet the parents, they have supervised visits. I like the idea of being able to tell my children that I met their birth parents and could see what they have inherited from them – be it a beautiful smile or something else. To be able to tell my children something about their time together sounds good. I may not be able to plug many gaps for my child/children but I’d like to be able to grab any chance no matter how small to give them something – even though I’m sure it will break my heart in the process. I hope the birth mother would see it the same sort of way, a small chink of relief to know who is looking after their baby.

I must confess I’ve been shopping for small people. I haven’t bought much, its a little difficult when you aren’t going the conventional ways so dont know what age your family will be when its complete. But I like to think I’ve made a couple of purchases that will be ok. The most important is an adoption book – one that I can document all the firsts in like you would in a baby book but it also covers from now until adoption, so its a record our children can keep to see how loved they were before they even joined us. I also bought a wooden stacking animal game and a little bag you put letters to Father Christmas in, both are gender neutral and can be grown into or used straight away.

Roll on 23rd July, I have a good feeling about the social worker visit, fingers crossed she brings the paperwork to officially declare our interest and start the visits/training/assessments

Father’s Day

It’s Father’s Day today, I’m cooking lunch for 9 as has become the new tradition in our house for both Mother’s day and Father’s Day. My dad will have myself and my 2 brothers, my father in law will have his son and his daughter will FaceTime later, my brother will have his daughters, my husband will have no one. I don’t think this bothers him though, he doesn’t think about Father’s Day the way I do, I doubt he’s thought about how Father’s Day will change for him from next year. I have. I think about how Mother’s Day will change too, I think about the future filled with handmade ‘gifts’ that I can’t wait to display/wear with pride.

My fridge is full of food for today but my heart is a little empty, there’s a space where our child/children should be but it’s ok, I know that space shouldn’t be there for much longer.

I’ve been toying with emailing the adoption agency early, bring us closer to our children sooner, it can’t hurt, the worst they can say is no.

I found myself on eBay yesterday looking at outdoor play sets, sand pits and Wendy houses, as I watered our garden I was mentally placing the climbing frame etc and imagining running around after our small people. I considered starting to stock up on Lego so my Husband and our child/children can build it together, he works away for a few days a week, I thought it might be nice for them to build a piece together each weekend, it doesn’t have to be big, just something for our children to look forward to, something they know Daddy is coming home to help them with.

I digress – Father’s Day. A day for dads, the men in our lives who we can rely on no matter what, who will always have our back and be there for us. Who has my child’s back currently? I hope someone has, I hope there is a foster dad out there currently who has my baby’s back and is doing all those things my Husband and I can’t do for them yet but I promise we soon will be doing. That man has my heart today too alongside my Dad and father in law. To that man – thank you for keeping my baby safe.

This morning I saw you

This morning I saw her, well I thought I did and I can’t shake the feeling. By her I mean our future daughter. I was perusing facebook as I do when I wake up and a post popped up from one of the adoption pages I follow. They have been posting a lot lately – or maybe I am just more aware lately, I don’t know. Anyway, in my area there are 8% more children this year than last year in need of a forever home. That wasn’t this mornings post – that was yesterday. This morning a picture of the most beautiful baby girl filled my iPhone screen, her name is Thea. She is learning to eat solid foods, so far her favourite thing to eat is fruit – and peoples fingers. My heart leaped, she has the most beautiful big blue eyes, I could so easily see her as our daughter, I’m pretty sure as I saw the photo my mind shouted ‘thats my daughter’ and now I’m crying as I write this as I know she won’t be my daughter as our process has barely started. By the time we are approved and ready to adopt she will be gone – she deserves to be gone, she deserves her forever home now and not to wait until it could be here with us, but I can’t help crying. Something about her has hit me like a tonne of bricks – I’m sure there will be others who hit me like a tonne of bricks but she is the first, and my heart so desperately wants to call that gorgeous child with the swimming pool eyes my daughter. I screenshot her and sent her to my husband but he didn’t quite get it – to him there was no internal voice screaming that’s my daughter.

Counting down the days until I can kickstart our adoption journey again – it’s 9 weeks and 1 day until I can send the ‘hello, we are still here and eager to pick up’ email.

Negotiation skills are not my forte

So my Husband wanted a HomePod (he’s a true Apple geek) I said no. 48 hours later (actually less than 48 hours, I’m trying to make myself feel better there!) guess what? We have a HomePod.

It started off as a discussion Saturday morning in bed, my answer was no. It was £319 that could be better used elsewhere and I knew he didn’t just want one, he wanted 4. When we got to parkrun he was eyeing it up online at Argos, I again said no, but added that we would talk about it when we got back from our holiday next week. I finished parkrun, apparently the car wanted to turn towards the shops, I said no so we went home. He started to wear me down. By the time we were home I was thinking about it, within an hour I had highlighted 4 jobs from our to do list that we have shared via notes on all gadgets Apple. I sent him the list and told him if he cleared the 4 jobs then he could have it – I was accused of blackmail. I saw it more as a negotiation! By 10am Sunday morning we are stood in Argos picking up HomePod with 2 1/2, maybe 3 of the jobs done. Wow. Our kids are going to get away with a lot, my negotiating skills are lousy!

In an attempt not to blog every thought that comes into my head as a separate post I’ve been noting them down to gather them together, adoption is in my thoughts for most of the day every day, I’m always wondering something about it – whether its the process or what life will be like once our family is complete. I have a Pinterest board where I throw in cute playroom and bedroom ideas, I keep it hidden so the world isn’t in on my growing collection of inspiration, it’s my ‘little people’ board but just in case my little people aren’t so little when they arrive there are also bigger people ideas in it too – like desk set ups for homework, ideas to help them tidy up their toys etc. I also eye up baby clothes, there’s a facebook page I like for a baby clothes website, I have been tempted so many times to buy from it but unlike a conventional parent in waiting I don’t know what age to buy, I don’t know if my child will grow into the clothes or if when they arrive they will be too big for them, I don’t know if I get the newborn start that I had always expected I would have.

But I don’t mind, (too much) my family comes a different route and that’s fine. It may not be biology that makes us but it will be an awful lot of love, whilst my family tree may not genetically be their family tree they will be their family, every person in my tree has shaped me, as has every person in my husbands, he and I will then help to shape our children. It isn’t just biology that makes a family.

My family’s oldest generation is my Nannie, she is 91 this year. She has 4 children, 9 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. Unfortunately she doesn’t see a great deal of her grandchildren or great grandchildren, this makes me really sad as she was a prominent part of my, J1 and J2s childhood. I can’t wait to be able to walk to hers for her to spend time with our children, I strongly believe the older generation need the interaction with children, there was a great documentary about a play school being set up within a care home, everyone benefitted.

You got this far…

Congratulations! You got through my Hi Baby posts. They go back over a few years.

I woke up this morning to a follower (Hi!) a like (thank you) and a comment (thank you again) I’d expected to be talking to myself for several years at least.

So, I’ve taken names out of my posts as its not fair for me to advertise others names, they don’t know about my blog so it’s unfair to name them out in the big wide world. There is also the whole GDPR thing – it’s been everywhere! So I’ll not name anyone (unless I mess up!)

I’ll clarify the whole J thing for you though – J1 is the older of my little brothers (he’s 31) J2 is the younger of my little brothers (nearly 23)

I’m 34 btw, as is my hubby – well nearly, he’s 2 weeks off of 34 and loves to remind me he’s younger.

I’m writing this mornings post in bed with the hubby looking over my shoulder, he’s making me really self conscious and I keep trying to tell him to go away – and yet I’m writing a blog, to people who I have never met. Ironic.

It is currently 11 weeks until time to email the adoption agency and kick start everything again. I still don’t see why we needed to wait 6 months (given the agency said many people take a 6 month break between stage 1 and 2) but we are waiting. I’m one of those ‘don’t rock the boat’ people who will suck up the instruction (but grumble to the husband about it)

So here we are, completely up to date and currently really hungry so I’m off to find some breakfast before ParkRun this morning.

Hi Baby 1st June 2018

I started a blog today, all about our journey to you. I’d toyed with it for a while, had this niggle in the back of my mind so decided whist it was quiet at work today to do it.

You are in my mind a lot (not surprising really)

I’m counting down the days till we can get back in touch with the agency and restart our journey to you. Did you know that given when we hope you are joining our family (march 2019) and the age group we are looking at (birth to 4) it means that you exist right now? Somewhere in the world you are there, you might still be cushioned inside your birth mothers tummy or you might be out there. Isn’t that a strange thought? You – our child, probably are already here in some way. I wonder if your sibling already exists too? We want 2 of you! I think its important that you have another person who is yours by DNA, someone who can help you understand the parts of you that I wont be able to help you with.

I love you already.

Oh – it turns out what was best for you is to stay in my current job. It may be long term less money than I could have been earning but they gave me a payrise to stay and all the adoption benefits are better if I stay put. First mum decision made!

Daddy and I are taking your Uncle J(2) and Aunty E on holiday in October – it will be our last holiday without you, last one before you arrive and our world changes for the better