Monday, 18 April 2016

Cathing up 5: Meeting the Foster Carer and School - with a sneak peek

After a lovely Christmas we got a call from our SW that in mid January we can (should) meet the FC. Enough to say we were a bit nervous. Her house was full of photos on the wall and social workers on the sofa: our SW, the Foster Carer's SW, the children's SW and the children's new SW - because the current one was leaving soon.

She did such a wonderful job bringing the children to life by telling us stories, their likes and dislikes, she showed us lots of photos and you could just tell that she adores them already! We felt a constant connection to her and I hope this good relationship will continue.

I really had to bite my tongue a few times not to say what I wanted to; I so desperately wanted to tell her how grateful I was for her looking after our future children so well! But I couldn't possibly say any of that. It wouldn't have been appropriate. In all honesty, I don't have any rights whatsoever to claim any feelings towards these children. Except that I know every single detail about their life, their terrible history and the challenges they currently present.

So I kept quiet and tried to record every singe word the FC told us about them. We were let into their room and I could almost see them playing with their toys or sleeping in their beds. In a sense it felt like we are violating their trust by being in their room without them. But again, I would feel violated myself if somebody knew this much about me or my life... This is one of those imbalances that follows the entire adoption process!

After this meeting we set off to visit their school to speak to their teachers. It didn't even cross my mind that we could see the children until our SW mentioned it on the way in as a slight possibility. As you can imagine my mind went into overdrive and I really struggled to pay attention to what was said. As far as I remember they shared some the concerns that were mentioned in the CAMHS assessment, which was good news in a sense that they both had the same diagnosis. That both boys are completely OK in their heads, and 'all is there', but due to their adverse history they are not able to function at their expected levels. This much we knew and expected. What we didn't expect is the head teacher's openness and willingness to grant my request at the end of the meeting.

The children's SW came with us but she decided to stay in the little room as they kids would have recognised her. Our SW came with us since she has not seen the kids before either. As we walked through the corridors my heart was pounding in my head so loud I didn't hear a word the teacher said.

I read blogs about THE first meeting; when parents meet their children (at birth or later) and pretty much all said the same: it is love at first sight! They all described how every single detail burnt into their memory and I was so full of anticipation that I almost missed it! We walked into a PE class and tiny boys in identical clothes were running around the room. The teacher asked me after a few minutes if I spotted him and I started to panic! No, I have no idea which of them is my future son!!!

Thank God she took pity on me and tried her best to point him out to me... As you would have it, our future son was the one standing closest to me! I could have touched his head, brush his face, but I guess it would have been super creepy and highly inappropriate. To him, we were just some random adults who got a tour of the school! His face was red from the running, his attention focused on the ball and his smile just captured my heart from that moment on!

It was too soon before we had to leave them to walk towards the other classroom. I think I was better prepared the second time to meet his brother. All the children in the room were focused on the board following closely what the teacher was saying. All but one! My little champion was struggling to cope and was sulking in his chair! He buried his head into his hands and looked miserable. And cute! So incredibly cute that all of us had to turn towards the door not to burst out laughing right there. The teacher asked if we spotted him and all we could do was nod with misty eyes.

In that very moment I knew that I AM FEELING MUM ALREADY! :)

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