The Panel Chair came in and sat down opposite us. It was nice to hear that she was sorry that our interview had taken so long, and that it was a little sticky....... bit of an understatement to us, but never the less, we were pleased she had mentioned it, well looking back we were, I am not too sure it would have come across at the time!
She went on to say that whilst the interview had been tricky that they had come to a decision, and the decision was that Panel thought we would make fantastic Adoptive Parents, and that we had been approved as Prospective Adopters!!!!!!!!
WE HAD MADE IT!!!!!!!
There were so many thoughts running through our head in the time we had left the interview and then the moment she said those words. I thought that we did not stand a snowballs chance in hell, but we had proved to ourselves that we could, and that we would!
Kelly and Sally both appeared delighted, and Kelly gave us huge hugs. There were tears, from both of us this time!!
The Panel Chair explained that their approval would be sanctioned/overruled by the Agency Decision Maker in a few days time, and from that we would receive written confirmation from them with the Decision Makers final decision and any points that would be written into our status, for example, the age of child we could adopt, etc etc.
So that was it, all of this time and we were finally Prospective Adopters.
We should have felt delighted and on cloud 9, but we didn't. We felt empty, angry and most of all, hurt. How could anyone ask those questions of us, and think that we would never have the guts to stick up for our children? Well, looking back the answer is simple. They did not know us, and in reality we were viewed as information on a piece of paper. These guys were professionals, they knew there stuff, but I still think they were a little mean.
We should have gone home and celebrated! Instead, we went to HomeBase, and bought a new door we needed for the Lounge! When we got home we had a cup of tea. We were pleased, don't get me wrong, but we were very deflated. We just could not bring ourselves to feel how we imagined we would feel.
We had previously decided not to ring the family and tell them instead, we would go and visit, so that afternoon we drove the 60 miles to Tris's parents to break the news. They were delighted for us and of course wanted to know the next steps!
Well, as such there were no "next steps". Once Approved it is suggested that you take at least 4 weeks to let it all sink in and get over the assessment process, before you start the matching process. As we had Christmas coming up, it fitted in just fine. Kelly told us that as we had now been approved she would be handing us over to Sally, and her Supervisor, as Sally was a Student Social Worker. She would organise a meeting for the 5 of us in the middle of January and do the handover then.
So we now had our decision, and of course Christmas round the corner. We would be on our own again this Christmas, but potentially, next year we could have a child with us! Wow - what a thought.......
I had sent a text to my dearest friend to give me a ring so I could tell her what had happened. She was 9 and a half months pregnant, and I knew that she had to go into hospital that day as a precaution, as she had had a lot of problems through her pregnancy. The baby had been on it's way several times, including once when the four of us had been to a Robbie Williams concert (!!) and now, it did not want to go anywhere!!
We were at Tris's Dads, and my phone rang, it was a recorded message saying that Neeve wanted me to call her on the following number in the hospital. I immediately rang, and she said she was fine, and wanted to know all about it. I spent the next 45 minutes telling her all about what had happened that day, and of course the outcome. She was delighted, as was Garry, her partner.
Neeve had told me before going into Hospital that she thought they would try and induce her, but they had done that with her other child, and nothing happened, so she was sure that it would be the same this time. I asked Neeve how she was going, and she said, yes, it was all going fine. Baby just having her bottle now!!!!!!!!!! WHAT?!?!??!!
Neeve had been admitted at 9am, been induced at 10am, and had gone through a relatively easy labour. At 6pm her waters broke and by 7pm she had had a big girl at 8lb 9oz! Wow!!! She was on the phone to me an hour later!
Once she had told me all about that a photo picture appeared on my phone, of my second god daughter, born on the same day we found out we were going to become parents, 18th December 2006........... You don't have much better days than that..........................