Who knows! But it can be pretty overwhelming to look back over how many have come in and out you lives during this process.
At present we are in the process of taking that final step toward becoming a ‘forever family’. Barring needing a couple of details from social services and my hands not completely curling up with cramp from filling in each application for the boys in triplicate – we should be in a position to submit the forms very soon.
Despite the fact that we will be submitting the AO paperwork very soon, the boys have recently met yet another new social worker, bringing the total to 5 (although really number 3 shouldn’t be counted as they met her one day and she left the next).
Bumble and I have been lucky enough to have kept the same social worker throughout our adoption journey and both she and our PASW have been godsends, although I know there have been times when it won’t have felt like it to them. I have been grateful for their support. We are one of the lucky ones – we have SWs we can work with.
Recently during one of the many meetings I needed to attend for one or other of my boys, the topic of support ‘post adoption’ came up.
Currently we are lucky enough to have a myriad of support from several different sources and we have always been aware that there will come a time when this support is lost, simply because the boys’ legal status will change (hooray!!!!).
But, this has got me thinking! Exactly how many professionals to date, have the four of us come into contact with since Bumble and I decided to make our first enquiry to adopt and the boys were taken into care?
3 IROs (Independent reviewing officers)
5 health visitors
5 CAMHS therapists
1 PACT advisor
4 Adoption support workers
12 foster carers (at least) including the boys carers and ones we’ve met through respite
4 Educational Psychologists
2 Behavioural support workers
1 Virtual schools officer (thankfully same person for both boys)
6 LEA statement reviewing officers
16 Social Workers (well probably more but my best estimate) (again includes when we have offered respite)
6 crisis support workers from local care agency
Wow, scary! I am sure that I have missed off some many people and this list does not even include schools, nursery, GPs, Dentists, opticians etc.
I cannot tell a lie: it will be a relief not to feel like we are permanently living under an oversized microscope, but I understand people’s concerns. At this moment in time it is hard to imagine what it will feel like, when so many of these people have been part of our lives for several years now. They are like our annoying, nosey, frustrating, interfering, caring, supportive and thoughtful, distant family members. You know the ones! You can’t live with them, but it will feel weird without them.
That is not to say the moment the Judge signs the papers everyone will spontaneously disappear in a puff of smoke. We know there will still be support out there for us when we need it. Where will we get that support from? Well, I guess that will depend on our needs. Maybe it will simply come from our family and friends, or maybe we will need to seek more experienced support from Post Adoption Support or the ‘wise old owls’ at the monthly Attachment Support Group.
No matter where it comes from, the most important for me to remember is, no matter what has happened in the past, I must never be afraid to ask for help if we need it (and pray that we don’t have to fight too much to get the support we need).