8. Preparation for preparation and Preparation

WSM and I had a lovely evening with easy conversation and Lebanese food: nice dippy, sharey things lent to the atmosphere of openness. It was a lovely evening, leaving me feeling a) full of chickpeas and b) happy and optimistic about the future.

Last week saw the first of our ‘Preparation Courses’ in London. Prior to this we had been insanely Googling ‘preparation for adoption preparation’, frantically reading endless blogs and therapeutic parenting books. Needless to say, we need not have worried.

We are currently travelling back from day 2 of the course and the most challenging aspect thus far has been public transport. Frugal beavers we are, we cannily bypassed using the train, costing £58.50 per person for 4 days, totally an eye-watering £468, opting  for a 12 journey pass on the Oxford Tube (which is confusingly a coach), costing a thrifty 75 quid #smugbuswankers

We neglected to consider traffic. Sweet lord, what a horrific waste of life travelling into London is. Day 1 saw us leaving the house at 6am to travel 60 miles in 3.5 hours. By 7.30am we had to abandon the coach as it as clear we weren’t going to make it and hop on the underground. Day 2, we left the house before 5am and arrived 2 HOURS EARLY. Next week I’m tempted to walk.

With regards to the course itself, the facilitators (two social workers) and other participants are wonderful. With a same sex male couple; mixed race couple; single adopter, white British couple and us, we are ticking some major inclusivity  boxes for PACT – slide in a wheelchair user and we’ll be front page of next year’s brochure.

However, I am struggling a little with the content and delivery style/speed. It is very slow, plus Cara and I have covered the majority of topics already. I don’t mean that to sound in any way conceited or arrogant, but since beginning the process we’ve been trying to learn all we can, so we’ve read up on loss, attachment, re-parenting, theraplay etc. already, and whilst I recognise the benefits of role play/ice breakers/visual prompts etc. I find them horribly embarrassing and cliched. Throwing balls of wool at strangers and identifying family members as pieces of Lego is plain awkward. I’m just glad that Cara and I are adopting as a couple, otherwise we would have been massaging a social worker with E45 cream rather than each other. All that aside, having the opportunity to meet other people embarking on this process is invaluable.

Next week there is training on two consecutive days, so we are staying over. We have booked a budget hotel, a budget hotel who proudly display the below photo on their website. We can’t wait. no bed-room

We have also now been allocated a Social Worker and have a home visit booked for next Friday, where we will hopefully get the dates for our Home Study penciled in (providing, of course, we are not murdered in our beds at Bates Motel). If her emails are anything to go by, she seems very pleasant and is a good speller.

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