This is it. The moment we have been working to and a moment that felt so real, so important and so special. Today we received a unanimous approval from the matching panel to proceed with the adoption of the two wonderful boys!!!
Today, we both woke with an excited anticipation, trying to keep busy all morning and trying to focus on what was an important and life-chaging day.
The weekend prior has been manic to say the least. Not only have we been finishing the boys bedrooms but we have also been manically trying to finish their individual welcome books and a welcome video. This all took a lot more planning and time than we had anticipated, especially with one of us being physically impaired as Mr F still has a leg infection. We worked solidly all weekend and what we achieved was outstanding.
When making the books and video I kept on putting myself in the boys shoes. What would they like to see? What would make them laugh? What can help make this difficult transition and anxiety just that little bit less for them? Cue me jumping out from behind beds and slides at the park and basically allowing my inner child to come out. ( It doesn’t take much!) To be honest I don’t care what the adults or professionals think of me, so long as the boys laugh and see what love and fun we have to welcome them into their forever home.
We entered final matching panel day naturally nervous, but not nervous over the decision being negative but simply due to the fact that this really was the last big final decision that will change the boys lives and ours forever. I don’t want to sound arrogant saying this, as nothing was a given, but we and everyone have all put so much work, love and focus into this process that today really felt like the final culmination of all of this coming together.
Since we saw the boys profile we have known these were our boys and we have lived, breathed and thought about them constantly, every waking hour.
We drove to the venue, quietly apprehensive but also realising just how massive the day will be. Anxiety and concerns came in waves, combined with excitement and a strong desire to really do ourselves and the boys proud. At times I was chilled. At other times I was feeling like this was the most important interview of my life.
Waiting to be called in we simply wanted to be able prove and demonstrate what and who we are. What makes and builds our family unit. We are just us and we hoped they could see what we have to offer. We were all called in to the panel all at once – us, the social workers and the foster carer. Questions were asked to the others and we quietly sat and absorbed what was being said. When the social workers were asked why this match is right, we were bowled over by their responses around how they knew the minute they saw our profile this was exactly what the boys needed and and they needed something special and that something special was Mr F and I. Our eyes filled up and it was hard to not show emotion. To hear professionals talk about us, our relationship, what we can offer and how lucky they were that we were in this process was so moving. We are just after all, us.
The truth of the matter is we WE are the lucky ones that a) we came into this process at the right time to meet the boys and b) we have had the best social workers possible. They have been so supportive, so caring, so professional and encouraging but at the base of it all we are all in it for the same reason – to provide these boys with the best life they deserve!
Then it came to us for questions. We were asked; Why we felt this match was right? What care and support we believe we needed? Had we experienced any discrimination or bad feeling through being a single sex couple? How would we help the boys deal with such situations? What additional support do we think we need from the onset? We responded by just being ourselves. Speaking form the heart, sharing and demonstrating the immense connection and love we have for these boys , each other and how this is just right. No, not just right but perfect.
We were then asked to leave the room for 10 minutes and we sat in the waiting room with both social workers. The chairperson then came in and told us it had been a unanimous decision that they totally approve this match. (Cue the first set of tears. Not just from me, but Mr F, as well as our social worker and the boys social worker.)
The chairperson then proceeded to say the most amazing words that I will never forget. She said how they too had seen such a strong match and a couple that was really ready for this and who could really offer this wonderful life to two boys who had faced a challenging start in life. They had all been so impressed with what we have put into this, who we are naturally and what we have to offer, combined with the hard work and focus we have put into this process. They echoed how lucky the boy were that we came into this process at a time when they were in it. I again couldn’t help but think ‘ NO, we are the lucky ones!’
To hear someone speak about us and what we have in this way was something I will never forget. Never. They had,in a few words, reaffirmed our suitability to these boys but also recognised just what we have as a couple.
More kind words were passed and really heartfelt and they left the room. (Cue tears number 2 and reality strong tears and hugs all round.) This day and decision meant so much to us but just think what it meant to the boys social worker. She has been living , breathing and doing everything in her might and soul to find the boys a great home and for her this had been achieved and ratified by other professionals. Think what it meant for our social worker who herself had worked so hard with us from the start and has been on each and every roller coaster hill and drop with us and who equally had seen the boys and knew, as in her words, ” They are your boys.”
So we are approved. We are over the moon, we are speechless an we know that this adventure starts now. It will be a bigger roller coaster but one that boy are we ready to ride.
The picture attached is a print that a very dear friend bought us. Our support network has been critical throughout this process and will be even critical more moving forward. More on that in another post soon.
Celebrations all round and then more planning and life appreciation day meetings this week. But for now we are going to enjoy this moment, cry, smile and share the massive importance of this wonderful day, life-changing, dream-making day.