Yesterday (March 2010) we met Katie for the first time. We didn't really know what to expect when we drove up to her Foster Carer's house (very early for once! Anyone who knows us knows that we can never get anywhere on time!) on a totally beautifully sunny March day. The rain had finally stopped and the sun shone for our meeting with our daughter! We arrived along with Katie's Social Worker and went in to meet our daughter for the first time. Her Foster Carer (known as Grandma by Katie but whom we have asked to stay in Katie's life as her Grandma) opened the door and warned us that she had a) just woken up and b) had developed a cold today so she wasn't sure what to expect. Katie initially hid behind her Grandma's legs so I bent down and said hello and shook her hand. We all then went into the conservatory, which was a huge sunny room at the back of the house overlooking the garden. Grandma asked Katie if she knew who we were and she said it was Mummy and Daddy. Oh that was wonderful to hear!!
Katie initially sat with her Grandma so I went over, crouched down and said hello again and asked if she wanted to meet Upsy Daisy. I took Upsy Daisy out of my hessian Holland and Barrett bag and gave it to her. She lit up. I said that this was the Upsy Daisy that was in her book. Grandma asked Katie if she wanted to show Mummy and Daddy her special book so she ran off to get it and came and sat on my lap and we read the book, over and over again. I showed her the pictures of us and asked who it was. She knew it was Mummy and Daddy so I then showed her the pictures and pointed to us. She got Daddy really well and then realised that I was the person called Mummy in the picture. Daddy had to mend the book in the end with some sellotape because it is so well read. Katie really loved Daddy mending the book and she kept turning the pages and asking him to mend it! She loved the pictures of the cats, particularly Sophie. I think her name is easier to remember than Lindy, our other cat. It was so sweet. We played a game of us all kissing Upsy Daisy which Katie loved. She was beaming at us all the time. We then played with her Wooozit book and srunched up the noisy pages which she absolutely loved doing and was giggling and laughing. By the end of us reading her two books she was identifying that the house was her house and that she was coming to the house.
We then showed her the touch and feel book on Kittens we had brought her and she read that book with Daddy, hopefully learning how to gently stroke the fur! I rather suspect that we will be doing a lot of "gently's" with Katie when she meets the cats for the first time! Katie then wanted to put her books and Upsy Daisy back in the Holland and Barrett bag and was carrying it all over the place with her. It was as heavy as she is so it was quite comical seeing her trying to lift it up. We decided to leave the bag for her to play with and keep her things in from Mummy and Daddy.
As it was such a beautiful sunny day we went out to play in the garden and had a wonderful time bouncing on the trampoline, falling over and pretending to be asleep! We played on the swing and Katie had a wonderful game going with Daddy where she pushed her sit in car down the drive way. Because it is quite sloped the car shoots off down the drive. Daddy had to run to rescue the car, then he and Katie would push it back up again. This was a wonderful game - who needs the gym?
The first visit was supposed to last between 30 minutes and an hour. Because it was going so well both Grandma and Katie's Social Worker agreed that we could stay on. We arrived at 2pm and decided after 3 hours at 5pm that it was time to leave. Katie was still really happy to be with us but we were aware that she had a cold, her poor nose was leaking like a tap all afternoon, and didn't want to over-tire her. We thought it would be good to leave whilst everyone was happy so she would be keen for us to return.
Katie walked us to the front door and I crouched down to say goodbye. Katie walked over to me and kissed me on the lips. I couldn't believe it!!! She then went to Daddy and we all had a little huggle. Katie and Grandma walked down to the car with us and waved us goodbye. We will be back on Monday to start all our intros properly. Grandma said to me that she felt the visit had gone remarkably well and she didn't think there would be any problems with Katie bonding to us and she felt that she would be home with us much quicker than they initially predicted. We will wait to see how things go next week!!
I had an email with some pictures from Grandma this morning which was lovely. She said that Katie was showing her book to some of Grandma's grandchildren last night and telling them all about Mummy and Daddy. I think all I can think of to say is "WOW"