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A roller coaster ride through the process

Published: 01.05.14 by SingleAdopter

Whilst I’m prepared for a bumpy journey, I hadn’t anticipated how quickly the highs & lows would come – time to fasten my seat belt, even though I’ve just sat down in the cart; at least now I’ll be prepared, or as much as I can be, for when I go through the loop-to-loops!

Recently I faced another day when a low was shortly followed by a high - better that way round I guess - I called my Social Worker (SW) as I haven’t seen or spoken to her for nearly two month as I have been waiting for my DBS to be approved, another example of a high & low which I’ll talk about later, as I am eagerly waiting a move into stage two. After we got the pleasantries out of the way, I soon asked, with great excitement, that as my DBS has now been approved, “can I move into stage 2?” The response wasn’t quite what I expected “that’s great, but I need to see you, for you to sign a form, before you can formally move into stage two”, so far, so good, & then the bombshell came, “but I can’t see you until mid May”. Ouch. My heart sank, that would be over three months & as far as I could see without making any progress. But like I said as soon as it can sink it can just as easily go back up again & so it did, my SW reassured me that it wouldn’t hold up the process & she anticipates that I should be ready for the August panel. Yay, now my heart was in my mouth. Yippee!

As I mentioned, another example has been in applying for my DBS. I was frustrated as my LA forgot to let me know that I needed to apply for one, so I didn’t receive the application from until two months into the journey, but I’m quite philosophical & thought oh well, just one of those things. I duly filled it out as soon as I got it, including stating that during my year off I spent four months travelling around South America, doing some voluntary work & spending time with my nieces, during which time I stayed at my sisters & with friends for different lengths of time. Surely they didn’t need to know the minutiae? Wrong! Or at least wrong, depending on to whom you spoke to at the DBS. I didn’t realise you were able to track its progress online at the time of sending off my application so I called after a couple of weeks I called them to check on its progress. It was a short call: my application had been rejected. “Why?” I asked, feeling all of a sudden very nervous - my mind recalling the time I sat in a Peru police station being finger printed: to set the record straight, I had stuff stolen out of my bag but they insisted on finger printing me – anyway I digress, she couldn’t/wouldn’t tell me anymore other than saying my history of where I lived over the last five years was incomplete & that I needed to speak to my SW. This is when another low hit. My SW, through no fault of her own I guess, I can say that in hindsight, said that I would need to get a police check done for each of the six countries I visited when I was in South America. My immediate thought was how. She suggested I contact the local embassy for each country to find out how to go about it. Argh. Really? I duly trawled through the internet into the wee hours in search of answers – if you have ever been onto an embassy website you will know they aren’t immediately forthcoming – so in frustration I went back onto the DBS website & found a section which outlined what to do in different scenarios, including travelling. Phew, another obstacle overcome.

And, whilst I’m at it I just have to quickly mention the highs & lows in choosing a LA/agency to go through the process with. After having made the decision to adopt, following a visit to the Alternative Parenting Show last year, I naively contacted my own LA thinking they would all be the same. Wrong. I attending their information evening, signed a form expressing my interest, spent 3 hours being interviewed by one of their SWs & waited for them to let me know if they thought I would be suitable for them or not. I waited & waited & waited a bit more & then finally after me chasing them, I got a phone call 3 weeks later to say, thanks but no thanks. My needs & the needs of their children didn’t match. I felt rejected. To be fair to them they said I could still go through the process with them if I hadn’t found an alternative agency by January, but I knew they wouldn’t give me the time I needed. So Monday morning I phoned around & must have spoken to another 8 agencies before choosing one that I thought was right for me. Time wasted, maybe, but then again maybe I should have done my homework!

Anyway the journey continues, so hold on tight & join me on the ride.