Sadly for me, during the week I am up and out before they open an eye, but weekends or special days it’s normally a decibel-busting “DADDYYYYYY” followed by the sounds of feet padding on the wooden floor and I’m sure I can hear some grumbling noises from a over-large teddy about being dragged from bed, across the floor and up the stairs to our room.
We felt we had such a lot of joy in our lives that it would be good to share that with children who perhaps didn’t; I never felt an overwhelming need to be a biological parent.
From start of assessment to bringing your child home how long did the process take?
I think over two and a half years but it’s a bit of a blur now!
How could it be improved?
Assessment could easily be condensed into two or three months; if it were funded properly, some of the “phsychological” profiling could be done by experts in 2 or 3 two-hour sessions, rather than being spread out over 6 months or more. The process could be also sped up by having the admin requirements (finances, police checks etc.) done up front before we even went to the initial assessment course.
What has been the biggest surprise?
Falling in love on first meeting; how that love keeps growing when I thought it was already as big as it could be.
How was the assessment process?
Too slow. But can I change this to Introductions? We had quite literally no preparation for this most crucial aspect; it was a one-hour meeting the day before which was about timetables, but nothing about how we might feel and the best approaches – there should be a session dedicated to that with time set aside to hear adopters’ and foster carers’ perspectives.
What’s your favourite thing to do together?
Holding hands while having ‘conversations’ at bedtime and doing magic tricks that aren’t but appear so to a three-year old.
What makes you and your family laugh?
On good days, everything; on not-so-good days, almost everything.
The best thing about being a parent?
Watching her grow, and learn, make friends and play; feeling that something we have done, the love we give or the environment we have created has made a difference. And the pressure of being loved and trusted unconditionally!
The hardest thing about being a parent?
Berating myself for the lack of patience I always thought I had but clearly don’t. Making time for the two of us now that there are three.
The piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child?
Life is really the search for joy; embrace things and people that bring that into your life. Laugh as much as you can.
What time do you go to sleep? “Sometimes around 8pm in the chair next to her bed!