Despite my misgivings, the counselling sessions gave me to opportunity to recognise that I had come to terms with my losses. This, in turn, gave me the confidence to believe that we could (can) withstand this process.
Cara’s feedback was that she needed to be more open – again, something which doesn’t come naturally to her (who exactly does relish exposing their innermost feelings to strangers??), but something tangible and achievable.
We had begun volunteering at a local nursery, as despite working daily with 11-18 year old’s with additional needs, our experience with younger children was limited. So we’d got lots of nose wiping, story telling and general daftness with 0-4 YO’s under our belts.
So we were back to the drawing board, but feeling positive.
A little online research threw up another Ofsted Outstanding rated agency, this time a charity, with a great track record of supporting same sex couples. So off we trotted to another information evening and were pleasantly impressed by presentation and delighted to hear from another adopter first hand.
Again, we submitted an expression of interest and waited with baited breath.
We needn’t have worried, an email arrived quickly clearly outlining the process:
“The next step would be for us to arrange a date/time for either myself or one of my colleagues to call you and run through our eligibility criteria questions (which can either be done with one or both of you present). All being well with your eligibility your enquiry would then be referred to management who would make a decision as to whether they would like to invite you in to our office for an initial interview which is the first step towards possible starting the adoption process with us.”
As Cara was away with work, I spoke to a very nice chap and furnished him with all of the required details. The sticking point?…the bloody counselling! The agency has a policy stating that anyone undergoing therapy cannot proceed. I swiftly assured him I was no longer going, and it was purely to ensure that I had come to terms with losing my parents and ensuring my well being/resilience throughout the process. He said that he would need to chat with his manager who would likely give me a call to discuss.
A few days later I spoke to a lovely woman, who felt sufficiently reassured and gave us the green light for our initial interview. Huzzah.
Well, what a breath of fresh air that meeting was. The Social Worker interviewing us was fab – friendly, kind and approachable. We chatted way beyond our allotted time, and she repeatedly assured me that my orphan status was not a ‘red flag’, but a difficult experience that has helped shape me and could be massively helpful to a child experiencing the same sense of loss. Phew. There weren’t any biscuits, but we didn’t mind.