The adoption profile meeting: making it real

Our journey to adoption (forgive me for using the J-word) has been a funny mixture of reality and theory. Our desire to adopt was largely kicked off by meeting a very real little boy in a very real orphanage in Asia one morning in February 2008 and thinking that it would be wrong to swan off and procreate when there are children like him in the world who need people like us to parent them. (Yes, we looked into international adoption before deciding to go for adoption within the UK instead. Long story. I’ll tell it sometime.)

Back in Britain, the adoption system works in such a way that you don’t meet your child(ren) until you already know everything about them. We have filled in so many forms that we have lost count, had numerous meetings and training sessions and workshops and emails, and generally fought to keep a normal life going on the surface, while behind closed doors, our world has revolved around the adoption process for 18 months. But with the volume of paperwork and information and the process of it all, we have been feeling increasingly detached from the business of actually becoming parents. To real children. You know, who’ll come and live in our house and stuff.

So yesterday it was a very pleasant surprise to have an email from our social worker, inviting us to a ‘profile meeting’ where we’ll be able to read the profiles of all the children in our local authority’s care who are currently waiting for families. In four weeks’ time. FOUR WEEKS! It’s very surreal to think we could be reading about our children just a month from now. Suddenly things stop being hypothetical and all the paperwork and waiting and bedroom-decorating translates into a situation that is tangible and meaningful to us. We could soon be reading information about the two little people who will be ours. We don’t even go to panel until June. We’ve been telling ourselves we have months to finish the decorating. Eeek. And it might all suddenly start to happen soon. We might know their names. If I think about this too much it starts to make my head explode.

It would be churlish at this point to complain that we went to a workshop on matching and introductions just last month and the local authority trainers didn’t mention the possibility of going to a profile meeting AT ALL. Nope, we were told that the social workers did the matching and we just got to say yes or no at various points along the way. So this isn’t a complaint. It’s a hooray that we get to express our views on the subject. Because after all, these little people are going to be the focus of so much of what we do from now on that we’d like to have a little bit of input into saying that they’re the right ones for us.

Hooray. I feel a little countdown-chart-making coming on…

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