Days are going by and things are getting a little easier. Family have been brilliant and really supportive even though they are disappointed too. I’ve been going to work and realised that my colleagues don’t really know how much I’ve been affected by the match falling through. This is completely down to me as I compartmentalise my emotions so I am normal when I’m at work and then feel sad when I’m alone. It’s an old habit from my childhood to hide how I really felt. I’m not too sure that I want to get rid of this habit as it has helped me to get on with things as long as I give space and time for my true emotions.
Anyway, before we heard about James’ match falling through, I booked myself on a course about Life story work. Life story work is something you do with your adopted child to help them understand and process what has happened to them. I was a bit wobbly at first but I managed to control my emotions and got on with the course. The course was really informative and the people were really nice. Life story work is really important to do with an adopted child so they can make sense of their life journey so far. In the UK, adopted children come with a life story book already and the adoptive parents should continue their story book and add other elements as the child gets older as well as add present day items too. Present day things such as accomplishments or the child’s favourite things helps the child to feel validated in their life and gives them a sense of self. I’ve found a really good website called Life Story works that helps with difficult issues such as mental health or drug problems.
So life goes on and hopefully we will soon feel stronger to being our journey again.
I stupidly looked at Children Who Wait again for children’s profiles and my heart sank at the realisation that I am back at this stage. Only a couple of days ago, I had imagined having James in our lives and now I’m back to looking for a child. It’s really depressing and upsetting and clearly far too soon to start looking again.
I remember reading in someone else’s blog that you need time to ‘mourn’ that child when things like this happen. They are right. I need time to mourn the loss of our hopes and dreams about becoming a parent to James. Just like when someone dies, life goes on and you have to get on with things. Then as you get into the swing of things, you forget and suddenly, you remember and it hits you all over again.
Our families and friends have been fantastic. They have done what we asked and let us come to terms with this we contacting us directly. I know it must be hard for them too as they started getting excited too. I know people mean well but at times like this, I can’t face hearing statements like ‘it’s not fair that you have to go through time when someone can get pregnant’ etc. Our family and friends are showing their solidarity and support through getting annoyed by the process but it can get tiring hearing their annoyance when we are feeling quite vulnerable and insecure about the process too.
Hopefully time will make things better but at the moment, I’m feeling really low.
We travelled to see James’ foster carer and medical advisor near where he lives. It was very strange to think that our potential son is somewhere nearby. It is also strange to think that all these adults are thinking and talking about him, and we are getting emotionally attached to the idea of him and he has no idea that we exist or that any of this is happening.
Our train was delayed by a couple of hours on the way there and it was most frustrating, particularly as I argued about the appointment going ahead in the morning. It felt like we were never going to get there but we did in the end. The foster carers were lovely enough to wait for us and they talked non-stop about him for 2.5 hours. They clearly adored him and they knew it was going to be emotionally hard for them to give him up. We learnt a lot more about him, his routine, his likes/dislikes and we could really picture him.
Afterwards, we went to meet the Medical Advisor. Unfortunately, she was not as lovely. She was quite flippant and arrogant and talked more in general terms about medical conditions, rather than about James. However, we couldn’t deny the fact that there were some concerns she had about him and regardless of what we thought of her and her over-diagnosis of things, there are potentially some issues that we need to think about. Now we have to go away and think about all we have heard and come to a decision about whether we want to proceed. What a crazy day.
The day before our visit to meet the foster carers and the medical advisor, I receive a phone call from Denise to say that James’ social worker talked to her manager and thought that as some new medical information has come to light, that we should meet the medical advisor first. They then decided to cancel the meeting with the foster carers! I was livid. The meeting was in our diaries for more than 3 weeks and with less than 24 hours to go, they wanted to cancel the meeting. We had booked time off work, paid for our train tickets and generally got ready for these visits. Denise also thought the cancellation was unusual and the order of getting the information didn’t really matter as we would still need all of this information to decide about whether we can take on James. I let my thoughts known to Denise who was going to relay it to James’ social worker. Denise rang me back to let me know that the foster carer’s visit will still be going ahead. That was a close shave!