It’s been a while since I last blogged. Things are really busy what with looking after LO and going to work. As LO’s local authority is out of town, we could arrange another celebration hearing near to where we live. The big day finally came and we all dressed up. We were nervous and excited but it was very strange walking into a court during a weekday when there were people going to court for commiting crimes! Even though our hearing was at 9.30am, the judge was running late by 30 – 45 minutes and poor LO was getting bored. We had to find different ways to entertain her in a small waiting room so she wouldn’t get annoyed. We were finally met by the judge’s PA and followed him into the court. The judge was very nice and gave LO a teddy bear. She asked some questions and we had our photo taken with the judge which we will put in LO’s lifestory book later. The judge asked if we wanted to say anything extra to mark the occasion but we declined as we felt it was occasion enough. After 10 minutes, we had left the court and LO was firmly in our lives. It was a great moment and at the same time, a muted understated moment. After years of yearning, struggling, battling with awful social workers and feeling extreme highs and lows, we finally found our little child. To us, it was a momentous occasion and LO had no idea what was going on. I think to her, she got a teddy bear from a woman in a big room and then we went to lunch and that’s how it should be I suppose.
Richard managed to get all the paper work into the court by their deadline. We were so grateful that he managed to do all the work on his own and completely annoyed that our agency let us down again. Days passed and the first court date came. It didn’t dominate the day but it was definitely in the back of our minds. We went to a soft play centre with LO and met with friends. On the way back home on the bus, my beloved received a phone call from Richard. With LO sitting on my lap, I waited with bated breath as I watched my beloved’s serious face as Richard talked to her and then suddenly, her face beamed and she gave me the thumbs up. I felt extremely relieved but had to wait until she got off the phone to get the confirmation. Apparently, birth mum did turn up at the court intending to contest but thought better of it. The judge granted the Adoption Order there and then so we didn’t have to wait for a second court date! I was over the moon. At last! After all jumping through so many hoops, feeling a range of highs and lows, our little girl was finally ours. I couldn’t describe the feeling. It had been a long haul but we finally became a family.
So life is ticking on as LO becomes more settled into her new family. Everyday I am greeted with a big smile from LO when I get her out of her cot. She makes me laugh and smile, and forget about all the trivial things that stress me out. She has given me so much joy and had ended years of yearning for me. For years I yearned for a career and then I yearned for a child. It isn’t like my career has been successful as such, it’s just that my priorities have changed over the years. When I was young, I wanted to ‘be’ something and spent years unsuccessfully chasing a career I thought I wanted. Years later, I changed tack and moved into an office job and then wanted a challenge so I got a more senior job which meant long hours and being on call at weekends and working for a maniac. After this stressful job, I realised that it doesn’t really matter any more. All I wanted is a job that I could leave at work and not work ridiculous hours, particularly as we were in the adoption process. So now LO is in our lives, my new priority is to enjoy being with her!
The weird thing is, that I wondered if I could stomach changing the nappy of a child who wasn’t biologically mine. I know it sounds stupid but it was a question rather than a concern. Of course, I could and I do it without blinking an eye (unless she’s done a really stinky one!) I also wondered if I could genuinely love a child who wasn’t biologically mine. Again, it’s a stupid thought and again, not a pressing one, but obviously I can. She is a wonder and gives me so much joy. There are so many little things that she does that make me happy. The other day, I came home and LO ran up to me at the front door and said ‘hi!’. It was the best way to be welcomed home.
So here we are again without a social worker for the 3rd time. Fortunately, we have LO and LO’s social worker, Richard who is keen to keep things moving. Our LAC review was set and unfortunately, I had to be at work due to an event that took place on the same day but Richard said it was fine for my beloved to meet him on her own. However, as the day drew nearer, I realised that maybe my beloved shouldn’t be on her own to contend with a child and three unknown adults in our small home (LO’s social worker, the IRO and ‘our’ social worker). Luckily our friend who is great with kids was free and she came to look after LO whilst my beloved talked to the adults. I’m glad that our friend did come over because it sounded like there was a lot of talking involved. Our LA sent a duty worker to stand in as our social worker. She apparently asked my beloved about the safety gate and she was satisfied with the safety measures we already have in place and thought that a gate wasn’t necessary.
LO behaved really well with our friend in LO’s bedroom. Our friend is a really close friend who has met LO many times before so we both felt that LO would be fine with her. Our friend was well briefed about LO and what the visit meant, so she didn’t come out of the bedroom as she didn’t want to break the spell of LO being okay. She also didn’t want to change LO’s nappy when she did a poo as she didn’t know how LO would react to her changing her nappy, but she also didn’t want to interrupt my beloved, so our poor friend sat in a room filled with the overwhelming stench of poo. Now that’s loyalty for you!
My beloved fed back that the LAC review went very well. The IRO has known LO for most of her life and he said he could see we are doing a great job and that he would not hesitate to recommend that we adopt LO. It was such a relief that the first LAC review went well!