To say that we were shocked by the fact that we had the same selection at the top of all our lists was an understatement! It took our breathe away, however, with all we had been through so far, we were wary of it going any further.
Sally told us the next steps...... she would be ringing the Social Worker involved for further details, and also to provde the Social Worker with some information about us, from there, if the Social Worker was interested we would be sent the Child Permanence Report (CPR) for the child, which should detail all of the information known about the children. The children's Social Worker would also be sent our Form F (now known as Prospective Adopters Report or PAR) so that she could read about our histories and find out more about us. From there, if we still wanted to proceed and the children's Social Worker still wanted to proceed then arrangement would be made for us, Sally, and the children's Social Worker to meet. She did not tell us anything past this point, as it was important we did not think too far ahead at that stage, which we thought was really fair, to be honest. Our hopes were up enough!
So Sally did just that, she rung up to enquire about the children. Obvosuly we were not party to that conversation, so we are now going on the information provided to us by Sally, however, she has told us that the Children's Social Worker, Tammy, explained that they had had a number of enquiries about the children. The best thing she could suggest at this stage was that Sally email over our "brief" that had been sent to the National Adoption Register, and she would keep in touch with Sally to advise her of any progress. We wondered how long all this would take, and were now concerned there would be even more delays, so we had to sit back and wait!
The next day Sally rang, to let us know that she had heard back from Tammy, and it was good news! Tammy and her Manager had gone through the briefs they had received, and ours was the only one that would be a potential match. We are not too sure who many others there were, if any come to that, but we were now back on track and excited again! Tammy told Sally she would send us the CPR's for the children, and that we should read them thoroughly and highlight any areas where we had queries, questions, worries etc, and Sally explained that she had a duty to do the same.
This was where the difficult work began for us, because, believe it or not, we had fallen in love with the picture that we had of these Children, and we were now very worried that we would read something that was going to put us off, or even worse, that Sally would read something that held up a red flag and would not support us any further with this link. It was tense, and even more tense when we started reading all about these children. We sat with a cup of tea with the PC plugged through the television on the large screen so that we could both read them at the same time. It was one of the most surreal things we have ever done. We dared to dream whether we or not there children could become ours!
After about 2 hours reading the CPRs we had goggle eyes. We did have some questions, but no worries, which was strange as we felt we should have felt some worries, but to us, they seemed perfect. We printed off the CPRs and got our highlighter out, ready to highlight the areas we had discussed and put an email together for Sally to send with any questions she had to Tammy. We wondered how many questions Sally would have, and were shocked to see she had hardly any! She was still keeping her distance though, and made it clear that this did not quantify Sally and the Team's support at this early stage, a lot more fact finding would have to be done!
Our list of questions was sent to Sally for the next morning, and she added hers to the email. We expected to wait a few days to receive the reply, but low and behold, the answers were there in the afternoon. This, to us, proved hos positive this was, as Tammy was obviously keen! The answers were good, and we were both getting more and more excited.
After all of the questions had been answered Sally rang me to ask when would be convenient for them all to come round and talk with us........ however, Tammy was going on holiday for a week, so it would either have to be the next day or two weeks time..... of course, we went for the next day, as we felt that delays were the last thing we needed at this point.
An anxious few hours went by while Sally found out if this was ok with Tammy. To our surprise, she said yes, and that she would cancel all of her plans for the next day, and was coming to see us with Jane who had been doing some life story work with the Children. She actually knew them better than Tammy, so it made sense for her to come with her.
After all of this time, we were actually going to meet a Child's Social Worker about a Child, surely it was not going to be this easy?