Friday, 26 April 2013

Meeting Pip's Foster Carer

Yesterday was a day that took us a step closer to bringing our son home.  We met his Foster Carer.

We were meeting her at 1pm.  I was a bundle of hyperactive energy all morning. It was one of those days when everything that could go wrong, went wrong.  I had a difficult morning with communication generally.  A challenging person and a very challenging computer.  I was writing my
list of questions for the Foster Carer.  I even saved the document.  Then my laptop closed itself down to install some Windows updates.  Usually I spot that these things are going on but, I was so stressed after the challenging person and the need to get the questions written, I totally missed it.  I reassured myself that the document would autosave but when I opened the file, it was totally empty except for the shell of the table I had created.  An hour's work gone.  I took a deep breath and recreated the document, saving it every time I added a question......just to be sure.  I ate some chocolate and had a cup of tea.  I forced a sandwich down.

It was time to leave.  The Sat Nav on my phone was programmed.  I was picking Daddy up en-route.  I got half way to Daddy's office and realised I had left the bag with the two Grobags and blanket on the table.  I turned around, leaving a message for Daddy that I was going to be 15 minutes late.  Thankfully I was well organised (theoretically) and was running early.  Bag collected, I picked Daddy up and we headed off for the 40 minute journey.

We reached our destination, only it wasn't our destination. The Sat Nav had changed the postcode. I know I put the correct one in because I did it twice.  OK no problem, we'll re-enter the postcode.

"

 GPS signal is lost.

We have 10 minutes to get there but we don't know where "there" is.

I'm getting a bit stressy. I need The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy to tell me "DON'T PANIC"

I decide to just drive around the one-way system to pick up the GPS signal again.  Daddy is busy trying to find the address in his IPad.  We have 5 minutes to get there.  Finally, the GPS kicks back in.  We have a route.  It will take us 10 minutes to get there.  I can't believe we're going to be late.  I phone our Social Worker and give her the heads up and apologise profusely.  Of course, she's already there.  She gives us a pointer towards where the house is.  I'm trying to stick to the speed limit.

We arrive. I breathe. We are only 7 minutes late.  We receive a lovely welcome from the Foster Carer (who I actually sort of know from a mutual previous career).  We sit down and we start to ask our questions.

It was great to hear so much about Pip from the person who currently loves and cares for him.  It's clear she totally adores him.  It shone from her eyes and was clear in her smile.  He sounds lovely.  He's currently 6 months old.  He's not quite ready to sit up as he's a bit of a Michelin baby.  He's starting to teethe.  He's inquisitive and likes to be part of the action.  He looks like Katie.  He even sounds like Katie as a baby.  He's really chilled out and takes everything in his stride.

My heart just ached to meet him all the way through the meeting but I tried to stay professional and not let the tears that were threatening, fall.  We learned a lot about our son.  I know his nappy size and lots of practical stuff.  I am get set, ready, GO! to finish off my shopping now.

But all I want to do is to see him.  I want to hold him.  I want to see his smile.

These next few weeks are going to be busy but they are going to be so hard.  Waiting is so tough at this stage.  The administrative stuff has to be done.  We have to return to Matching Panel for the match to be approved and then wait again for the ratification of the decision.  We do have a potential first meeting date though and that is only 25 days away. We have been given permission to tell Katie all about Pip now including the fact that he is her biological brother.  She now knows his real name.  She said that he was "adorable". I'll write more about that conversation separately.

I've got a lot to do over the next few weeks. Jobs I've been putting off since September now have a bit of an urgency attached to them so I might not be blogging so much. I am fond of late night blogging at the moment so I may turn out to be around more than I think.

I thought I would share my list of questions for the Foster Carer in case they are ever of any use to anyone else.  Feel free to copy them.




1.
What is the baby like generally? i.e. tell me all about him

2.
What size nappies is s/he wearing?
Brand used?
Does he suffer from nappy rash?
How many nappies does he generally get through in a day?
Does he like being changed?

3.
What size clothes is he wearing? Sock size?

How many outfits in a day generally?

4.
What milk does he have? How many bottles does he have a day and how many ounces?
Instructions for feeding/winding?
What works well with him? 
What teats are you using?

5.
What is his daytime routine? What time does he generally wake up?
When does he nap?
For how long?
How many naps per day? Does he sleep in his pram at all or just in the cot?
Does he settle easily or put up a protest?

6.
What does he like to do when he is awake? Does he use a baby gym for tummy time?
Does he use a bouncy chair?

7.
Is there anything that makes him sad or anxious?

8.
What makes him smile/giggle?

9.
What is his current weight?

10.
Is he weaning yet and if so what does he like so far?

11.
Is he using a dummy still? If so, which kind?

12.
Does he have any skin sensitivity?

13.
What toiletries/washing products/wipes do you currently use?

14.
What is his bedtime routine? Does he sleep in the dark or with a nightlight? Is he still sleeping through the night? Is he a light or deep sleeper? What does he like to sleep in?

15.
Has he had any illnesses at all?

16.
What injections has he had so far? What was his reaction to them?

17.
How did he cope with contact? How was he afterwards?

18.
How would you describe his attachment to you? Was that effected by contact at all?

19.
Are you using a cot or a cot bed?  Will his mattress be coming with him or do we need to buy one?

20.
What clothes and toys will be coming with him?

21.
What is he like in the car? Is he ok or does he get stressed? Does he sleep in the car? Does he need a baby insert in the car seat still?

22.
Is he using a sippy cup and having tap water yet? If so, what cup is he using?

23.
Is he teething? If so, how many teeth and how is it effecting him?

24.
Is he sitting yet? Rolling over?

25.
Has he been exposed to any pets? Any reaction?

26.
Has he ever been swimming? If so, what was his reaction?

27.
How do you bath him? Big bath? Baby bath?

Does he like bath time? Is he happy in the water?

28.
Is he burbling/making sounds etc?

10 comments:

  1. Ah, that was the thing that you said some people (those in the know) might pick up on. I'm totally surprised but so happy for Katie that you will be bringing her biological brother into the family. How wonderful for them both to be brought up together in the same family. I can hardly bear the waiting either.

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    1. Thank you. I'm not sure how good my cryptic skills are lol. Yes it will be wonderful for them both to have each other and hopefully help with some of the emotions they may have. Xx

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  2. very exciting news - I am pleased I guessed right from your clues earlier - and really hope that matching panel and the decision maker say yes as a lot is at stake!

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    1. Clever lady! You get the prize! Yes there is so much at stake and it does worry me. I can't see why they would say No at panel but that element of doubt is horrible. Xx

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  3. I am sure the time will fly by for you and your son will be in your arms before you know it.

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    1. Well I'm certainly distracting myself well, that much I can say. Xxx

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  4. What a stressful start but how exciting! Best of luck, how wonderful it will be to bring your son home :)

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    1. I'm sure the universe knows I write this blog and likes to give me plenty to write about lol. Thank you though. Not long now I hope xx

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  5. Thanks for posting your list of questions. I am going to meet NB's new mummy next week, and it's the first adoption transition I've done, so I'm pretty nervous about it! Now at least I have an idea of how she'll be feeling and the sort of questions she'll be asking :)

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    1. Thank you for letting me know that as it's always great to know how others in the process are feeling. You'd make NBs new mummy's day by giving her a sheet with all this info on. I took my answer sheet shopping with me. Good luck or have you already had the meeting now? Xx

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