So it’s been a good month since we sent off our adoption application form. We thought we’d hear back pretty quickly so we’ve been getting a bit despondent. We filled in our form as soon as we got it, spending a fair amount of time agonising over our personal statement. It’s difficult to sum up your life history on a side of A4, even if it’s been largely uneventful. We chose our references – another agonising process. Who to choose? We’re lucky to be in a situation where we’re spoilt for choice. In the end, we opted for a good balance: 2 sisters, 2 boys (one gay, one straight), 2 girls (both with kids). It seemed like a good balance, providing none of them come down with an unfortunate case of tourettes. Anyway, we got it all sorted and then…radio silence.
Until last week, when we got a reassuring email citing “administrative issues.” Fair enough. Then yesterday, we got email invites to create a profile for a secure encryption system. Surely they wouldn’t make us create laborious online profiles just to unlock an email bearing bad news? No. I mean, they might, but it wasn’t bad news in this case. Honestly, the weeks leading up to the email have largely been spent lurching between thinking the worst and sweeping the worst under the carpet. So when I opened that email, my first feeling was genuine elation. It was the first hurdle, hurdled.
Then I felt like someone was sitting on my chest – it’s really happening! The most scary thing of all was that they seem to be rushing the application through. Apparently, they are going to start the assessment prior to our April preparation group. We were told it wouldn’t start until afterwards, giving us a panel date of October. Panel is now July! I have to decorate the new house! The garden is a building site! The new allotment is unprepared! I’m training for an endurance event! We haven’t saved as much money as we wanted! Hence the chest.
My mum told me it would always feel like that. That you’re never ready. That you never get everything done. Spoken by one true control freak to another, I begrudgingly admit she might be right.
The only real fly in the ointment is that the new timings also mean that I had to choose between endangering the application and a once-in-a-lifetime trip with work. With a heavy heart, I pulled out of the trip. It’s the first of many responsible compromises, no doubt. For a child I don’t even know yet. But, child I don’t even know yet, I will choose you every time.