Something strange has happened. We were just settling into our limbo time – in fact we were on the M6 on the way to a big charity trek I was taking part in – when we got a cryptic message from a social worker on our voicemail. “Check your email, there’s an individual you might be interested in.” OMG. I checked my email. And there, in a somewhat unorthodox fashion, was the case history and details of a little person. It was a bolt out of the blue, we didn’t know how excited we should be. To say it was unexpected is a wild understatement. It’s not supposed to happen like this – we weren’t even approved yet.
In fact, we still aren’t. But we’ve just had our social worker, the child’s social worker and a family finder round to discuss a potential placement. Right now, I’m waiting for a phone call to tell me whether they want to put us forward for the match. We’re currently on a shortlist of one.
We haven’t had a lot of time to process this. The little person is everything we could have hoped for. Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve stored their photo on my phone. I’m not a sentimental person and I never imagined this stage would affect me like it is. I thought I could keep it all in perspective. And I do try to keep holding back. But when I was trekking through the night last weekend, it was that picture that kept popping into my head. It’s that face I imagine as I peruse ‘Confident Toddler Care’. And it’s that little person who I really, really hope will be moving into bedroom number two, just before their second birthday.
We even went to Mothercare on Saturday, to look at all the age appropriate toys that might fit with the little we know of their personality. So we could then reference knowledge of said toys today. We bought a few plug protectors and door locks. I’m sure no-one even noticed.
In essence, I am running before I am walking. I don’t think I’ve been as nervous throughout this whole process as I was today. When people are judging your ability to parent a child with a name and a face, there is just so much more riding on it. The advice we got was just, ‘present yourselves as mums’. Ok. But we’re not mums, how do we do that? I baked brownies. Only two were eaten but they got the point – I bake, like a mum. We tried to answer all their questions as best as we could but it all passed in a blur. How do you think her story would impact her as she grows up? How would you encourage a positive attachment with you? etc. We took them on a tour of the house. We cracked jokes. Probably too many.
Will it all pay off? I don’t know. My phone is glued to me, as it will be all day, poised for that all-important phone call. All the social workers keep saying is how unusual this is – well, is that good or bad? Everyone feels like it has the potential to be a strong link… Time will tell. But I hope they hurry up and call – there are only so many brownies one person can eat.