Questions #8 A peek into how we do family.

Photo by Lili Gooch

Photo by Lili Gooch

How and when does your child/children wake you in the morning?
If we are lucky, we wake him.
Why adoption?
Because of personal circumstance and we wanted to have a family.
Because it is great to be able to give a child a safe, loving, stable
home they might not otherwise have had. Because it is a fascinating
journey and one that makes you understand and appreciate life more
fully.
From start of assessment to bringing your child home how long did the
process take?
2 years.
How could it be improved?

It is less about the speed and more about the right match. Permanency plans should be (continued to be) considered for any child considered at risk as early as possible.
What has been the biggest surprise?
The physical challenge.

How was the assessment process?
Long. At times difficult and frustrating. Thorough.
What’s your favourite thing to do together?
Read. Play. Sitting on a beach with child between us, having a snack.
What makes you and your family laugh?
A lot of little things.
The best thing about being a parent?
Getting a spontaneous kiss or cuddle.
The hardest thing about being a parent?
Lack of sleep.
The piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child?
Don’t judge your parents too harshly until you have children of your own.
What time do you go to bed?
11pm.

The Questions #5 A peek into how we do family.

Photo by Lili Gooch

Photo by Lili Gooch

How and when does your child/children wake you in the morning?

Our 18 month old sleeps in her own room. We used to wake to her chatting to herself in her cot bed, but more recently she has been less patient or possibly more anxious. In any case, she now tends to cry out for us in the morning. We go to get her up and either get up for breakfast or, if it’s still too early, bring her into our bed for snuggles and sometimes a bit more sleep before we all get up.

Why adoption?

For us adoption seemed right for a number of reasons. Firstly, as a same sex couple we would not be able to conceive a child naturally and if one of us were to have insemination then we felt this may create an imbalance with the non-biological parent in the couple. Neither of us have ever felt a strong urge to be pregnant or to pass on our genes. We did, however, really want a family and we felt we could love a child who is not biologically ours. With so many children needing a loving home in this country, it seemed a good choice.

From start of assessment to bringing your child home how long did the process take?

2 years

How could it be improved?

So many ways!! We had four different social workers and there were a lot of delays and very poor communication from our agency throughout. More coherent management of our ‘case’ would certainly have reduced the delays and reduced our stress.

What has been the biggest surprise?

I guess how easily we have bonded as a family.

How was the assessment process?

Fine. Could have been a bit quicker and more coherent but was ok.

What’s your favourite thing to do together?

Explore the outdoors!

What makes you and your family laugh?

Chasing, tickling, dancing, being silly in general.

The best thing about being a parent?

Innocence and wonder.

The hardest thing about being a parent?

Backache!

The piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child?

Be yourself.

What time do you go to bed?

Between 10-11pm.

The Questions #2 A peek into how we do family.

20130330_111946How and when does your child/children wake you in the morning

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.

Why adoption?

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!