A week or so ago we received the draft of our PAR – Prospective Adopters Report – which is essentially a bizarre biography, written by a Social Worker, who doesn’t really know us. It also includes pieces written by Cara and I and submitted as ‘homework’, which have been newly transcribed in third person. It’s a little odd to say the least.
In an attempt to make the report feel ‘personalised and real’ N has included some choice snippets of our conversations…..”Cara remembers a floor mat at her Nana’s house that she used to play on with cars” “Anna’s father put shaving foam on her nose as he got ready to go out”….which seem incongruous and a little mad in a formal document.
The report is peppered with glorious typos and inaccuracies (N frequently refers to our ‘Open Pan’ home) A personal favourite excerpt “…the couple will continue to have BBQ’s which will be therapeutic for the children”, now I love a sausage as much as the next person, but I wouldn’t consider the charring of food therapeutic. Also, unbeknownst to ourselves, we’ve become ‘keen cyclists’. For the final few paragraphs I am referred to as Amy.
We trawled through the 62 page document and amended the most audacious errors and realised just how tedious reading about ones own life is!
We were asked to submit a photo for the front and reached the frightening conclusion that we don’t own any photos of us where we a) aren’t holding a glass of wine, b) I’m not gurning or c) wearing fancy dress. Pissed up Jedward on St Patrick’s day isn’t going to endear us to the Social Work team. We submitted a few and N selected a sensible selfie in the garden.
We headed to Reading for two consecutive days of Moving on to Placement training, fondly known as MOP. This training could only be described as ‘more of the same’. Delivered by the same chap who facilitated our Prep Course. He is friendly, informed and kind, but oh so SINCERE. We covered largely the same topics, watched the same videos, but rather than massage our partners with E45 cream, we wrapped our arms in tinfoil. Apparently Robocop re-enactment is popular in the adoption world.
A highlight however, was meeting a Mum of three adopted children, who, aside from being lovely, could talk about the practicalities of having multiple children (at once) and extol the virtues of a large family.
And here we are: two adoption agencies, one counsellor, a clinical psychologist, 42 hours of face to face training, 6 home visits, 6 referees, countless hours of paperwork, reading and conversation – we face panel tomorrow.
On the whole we feel positive, everything we’ve read suggests that Social Workers don’t take adopters to panel if they don’t feel they are ready. Regardless, we’re both going to be a little jittery tomorrow.
Then there’s the pressing issue of what to wear, it’s #biscuitgate all over again!
Wish us luck.
*Henry is our sincere trainers go to child name, e.g. “I’m wondering Henry, if you’d like to be gently entombed in tinfoil….”