Saturday, 11 August 2012

It's all go....

.....In more ways than one at the moment in our house. 

The school holidays are intense; fun; exhausting; never-ending and I'm getting barely any time to write. I miss the writing. I find it therapeutic; it keeps me grounded and it helps me reflect on things that are going on.  We are keeping so busy at the moment though that we're too busy living life to write about it. I have been glued to the 2012 Olympics, particularly the gymnastics, which has been brilliant and a big well done to all the gymnasts in Team GB!

We had our first home visit today to mark the start of our home study for adoption number 2. I was Mrs Bleeping Stresshead cleaning the house (because the worthiness of my parenting abilities are obviously assessed by how messy clean my house is....duh!). The house has felt like a total tip over the holidays thus far because my motto is "keep the child happy (and out of the house and active as much as possible) and don't worry overly about the housework". The house is messy five seconds after I've cleaned and tidied it anyway. It's quite demoralising!  This theory works fine until I can no longer handle the mess in the house and then I become Mrs Grumpy Stresshead. She's not nice to meet. I'm sure Daddy will testify to this.  She's a bit of a cowbag if I'm honest.  I found myself moaning to Katie that I'm fed up of clearing up after her and Daddy. She just looks at me with a disinterested look in her eyes.  She doesn't care. When asked last night who was going to clear up the ridiculous amount of dressing up clothes strewn all over her playroom floor, she pointed at me and said "you Mummy". I need to address this situation and quickly before I become a doormat to 2 children; 3 cats and a husband (poor Daddy is at the end of the list bless him).  I think we might start bringing in tidy up time before tea-time (just as Katie is starting to get to the grumpiest time of the day - is that likely to work?).  On second thoughts, maybe it's easier to tidy it up myself?

So, despite the fact that I'd barely stopped sweating like a pig perspiring after the whirling dervish of cleaning this morning (and Daddy was almost still covered in grass cuttings), the home visit went very well. Our new Social Worker seems very nice and positive, quite lovely in fact. The meeting felt very relaxed.  We have a date for panel in December (although these things do get moved so I won't be holding my breath on this just yet). Katie entertained the Social Worker with her endless chatter and general nosiness about what was in her bag and also wanting to see inside her car).  The Social Worker commented that she wasn't worried about having her chat with Katie in the next week or so!  Katie did choose today to insist that she actually wants a brother and not a sister. I had to explain to the Social Worker that the reason for this is her ongoing (and never-ending) fascination with parts of little boys anatomy. I don't think this is a good enough reason to have a brother! Thankfully the Social Worker agreed with this so we are looking at Plan A, which is to adopt Katie a little sister.  Katie told the Social Worker all about how she would play with her sister and how she might be too little to go on the trampoline with her. That was so sweet.

The cats also played their part in entertaining our visitor and showing us up by jumping on the tables. I explained that I've always had high expectations of my cats behaviour until I had Maine Coons. They are a law unto themselves so now I just spray the table off before we eat on it. Katie is rarely ill.  The Social Worker commented that a bit of dirt never hurt anyone (I hope she was talking about the cats and not the general state of the house - which was almost shining like a new pin - as much as any house does with a 4 year old around!). I was gutted that she didn't get a Q tip out and test for MRSA!

One thing that I do think is pretty awful really though is the fact that our Social Worker (who is an Agency Social Worker) had not been briefed about us at all prior to her visit. She had no idea that we were second time adopters and had not seen our previous Form F assessment. I'm going to email her my copy of our Form F so she can get up to speed. How ridiculous is that? How can she be expected to do a proper assessment without being given all the paperwork thus far? To any agencies reading this blog I beg of you to please look at your policies around using Agency Social Workers and to understand that they need information about the people they are assessing. It's not fair on the Social Workers to be put in that position (particularly as they are doing home visits on their own) and it's not fair to expect that Prospective Adoptees have to go over all the information that they have already provided to their Local Authority (and in our case a whole previous adoption). It's also not fair to only let Agency Social Workers see the information within the LA building when an assessing Social Worker employed by the LA would be able to take that information home to read.  The Social Worker should have had that information prior to her first visit so that s/he can plan her time and her assessment and know what information s/he needs to find out.

The other downside of having an Agency Social Worker is that they are only involved for the assessment and do not stay on to oversee the matching process. We have requested to be able to have the Social Worker we had during our adoption of Katie again for this part of the process because she knows us as a family. I wonder if that will happen?

So, we now have our meetings booked in and we'll see how it all pans out. Watch this space!


  1. That sounds like it went well. About the cleaning - DD has a friend over to play and I cleaned the house for a 3yo! Usually I'm with you on this, let's just go out and have fun! Good luck with the next bit - whatever that is. I hope things can progress before December!

  2. It all seems like it might happen really quickly from now on!

  3. Sounds like things are moving now for you Gem - really pleased and hope it all goes smoothly xx