Sending off the papers and National Adoption Week....
Well, we didn't get the paperwork to send off to start the process as quickly as I'd hoped in my last post. I think there was a little bit of mis-communication. I'm a big believer in things happening when they're supposed to though so I'm not too stressed or annoyed about it. It did make me laugh that the form and accompanying paperwork that arrived was exactly the same as we received when we started the process last time round. A real sense of deja-vu. It would be a nice touch however if there was a different letter for second timers.
With National Adoption Week coming up at the end of the month I was discussing with my friend what could be done to make the process quicker and more effective. This question was being asked today in the media. We decided that, in an ideal world, the process from application to panel should take no longer than a full term pregnancy - 9 months. Those months of pregnancy are important for growing a little human but also to help with the transition to becoming a parent. Adoption is no different. You need time to take on board that you are going to be a parent but not so much time that you become too introspective, and the adoption process does make you very introspective. For me, after 15 years of infertility, becoming a parent was an enormous transition. I had given up hope of ever becoming a parent at that point. Being approved at panel was one of the most emotional moments of my life. To be validated that I could be a parent; a mother, meant everything to me. Losing baby after baby had made me question whether the universe was saying that I was unfit to be a mother. Now I know that I was being prepared to be a mother to the most wonderful human being ever. My daughter is amazing. I am the luckiest mummy in the world I think. Do I care that she didn't grow in my womb? No I don't. I am proud of everything about her.
I feel very strongly now about adoption and have signed up to become an Adoption Champion with the BAAF http://www.nationaladoptionweek.org.uk/champions . I also belong to an online group. We are a group of adopters who all met on a website called Babyworld and formed a social group. We meet up with our husbands and all the children at least once a year (which is a major event to organise because we live the length and breadth of the country) and have daily communication via Facebook and phone. This is a private group that is not visible to ensure our discussions remain secure. We support each other through every aspect of our parenting lives and the children regularly spend time with other adopted children. The children love this and it is wonderful to see them all together. Several of us are now going through the adoption process for a second time and are comparing notes on our experiences. We are all excited about how many children will be at our next meet up. We suspect our group is very unique and wonder how many other adopters have access to such wealth of support and communication? We would love to shout how positively we all feel about adoption from the rooftops. Even on our difficult days, the days when you question your sanity and are experiencing challenging behaviour, we know that there is a friend at the end of the telephone or the computer who will make you feel supported and will help you come up with a plan to manage whatever problem you are experiencing. How amazing is that?
Well I have to sign off now as my little Tinks has fallen asleep with Daddy whilst watching TV so I'm going to sneak her off to bed quick quick.