An Emotional End..

To the Prep Group Days that is.

Sorry I haven't posted for what seems like ages.. everything hsa started happening at once and finding the time has been a bit of a challenge but I'm back!

The last 2 days of the Prep Group were a real drain. Amazing still but challenging emotionally. Yes more blubbing sorry!

Day 3 was all about loss. We had to reflect on our own loss and how we may have or are dealing with it as a way of seeing what the children may be going through. That may not make sense initially but the reality is that these children are likely to have been taken from parents, grandparents and siblings. And later perhaps other people that they have formed some kind of a attachment to such as a foster carer. Whether any of those people hurt them or not.. they would still suffer in a similar way to other losses, like bereavement.

As well as general losses, for some of the couples on the group the day was also about babies they may have miscarried. And for all of us, the day was about coming to terms with children we may never have. For me, there is still a very good chance I could conceive a child of my own if I wanted to one day and had met someone. There is also a good chance I might not find someone. For others on the group, they will have known it would never happen for them. One of the exercises we had to do, was to draw or sculpt the child may have had in our heads when we think about "my daughter". I understand why they did it and I know that as part of the assessment they are keen to ensure that you HAVE come to terms with what may not be possible in order to be sure you're ready for what is - adoption. At the same time though, I thought it was a little cruel.

On top of that we had to do a timeline of significant events from birth, which dredged up a lot of bad memories for me and by the time we got to our last tea break before the end of the session I was not in great shape! Actually.. I thought I had gotten through it all fine and then.. something just snapped in me. Everyone had gotten up to stretch their legs and I guess I was staring into space. One of the girls on the course, that I've become friends with asked if I was alright and I started by nodding my head and ended up bursting into tears! I don't think I've ever cried so much as I've done since I started down this process :-)

She was lovely and she gave me a big hug. As well as saddened by my memories of Sam and my childhood, I was angry. Angry at myself for being in the position I am in - alone, having wasted valuable time on idiots frankly. And it was wasted time because although I've learnt a lot, about myself and friendship and life and love in general.. it's lead me to know. And on the plus side.. that may mean it's lead me to my Lily but I couldn't help feeling upset at that point that I couldn't be going through this process with someone. Basically.. I was feeling sorry for myself! Which I knew and which annoyed me more. And then I felt guilty, because I know some of the couples in that room have gone through years of miscarriages and IVF - failed hopes and dreams and it made me feel like a bit of an interloper.

All in all, none of those feelings I'd been expecting to land on me on that day and I went home utterly shattered!

The last day was emotional for a different reason.

We watched a video - a dramatisation of a girl interacting with her adoptive mother (arguing). We discussed why both people were reacting a certain way and then watched the video of the girl interacting with her birth mother. Straight away you could see why she had acted in certain ways which may or may not have been known to her new mother. Both were taken from real accounts of events and people and it was quite shocking after the lightheartedness of the session up to that point.

We also had visitors. A foster couple came in to talk about a boy they had fostered long term. They (for some reason) had not adopted him but they did apply for special guardianship which is almost the same thing. We were able to ask them questions, etc. but what upset me in the end was hearing about his sister. His sister who was 3/4 years younger was still at home with her birth mother. The son had been taken away from his mother because she was unable to look after him and yet incredibly the daughter was being looked after "just enough" to skirt under the net. I was horrified. The foster carers will often help the mother by looking after the daughter too and the son is treated horribly by her and yet not enough boxes are ticked for the daughter to be taken into care too!

I understand that we don't have the capacity to protect every child out there and there have to be limits. If your friend was about to marry someone that treated them cruelly, or with indifference or just selfishness.. would you be satisfied if she said "well.. he doesn't hit me"?? Course not! I started to talk to the SW that was part of the session afterwards about it and I couldn't help myself!

Still, despite the rollercoaster it ended in a great way. I was a little saddened that it was over as I had met some lovely people but then we all agreed to keep in contact and form our own NCT group! Most of us went to the pub for a drink afterwards and everyone gave me their contacts details so I could set up a Facebook group. We have our fist VA BBQ at the end of June and we've already heard the best news... one of the couples went to panel last week and they were approved!

(If anyone wants more info on other things we covered, drop me a mail)

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