The Missing Link..

Wow.. seems ages since I've posted and so much has happened it's ridiculous. I'll try to break it into a few posts so you don't drift off into a coma. 
Some of you will come here from a link I posted on a few of the forums. Or some that saw the post and commented may be wondering where it's gone. Through some good advice in the comments left I decided to remove the post whilst I was in the middle of things, just in case it was seen by anyone at the agency. Thank you though to everyone that did comment, some heated debate :-) but I was grateful to everyone that took the time. I still have the post and everyone's comments and when the dust settles may re-publish it. In the meantime, I'll try to summarise the kink that appeared on the road to mum-dom. 

On 16th June, I had a meeting with my SW. She turned up some half an hour early which was fine but put me on edge slightly as I was super busy with work and had timed various meetings around her visit. I had to stop what I was in the middle of to start the session but luckily it was ok. We went through my identity documents, passport, lease agreement etc.  We spent time looking around my home and agreed on its suitability for a child, that I have adequate space in and am in a good location for the facilities we may need – which I have been investigating since the Information Evening in January. We discussed the things that would be needed for the next session and about the Health & Safety report that was some 6 pages long. 

After 2 and a half hours of what I believed to be a good meeting, I was then advised that she had some concerns regarding my suitability as an adoptive parent and that she planned to discuss it with VA Director 4 days later. As you can imagine, I was somewhat taken aback having had a positive meeting over a long session to be then faced with a list of concerns that had already been decided upon following our previous exchanges.

I was told they were worried about my ability to provide a stable home because I had lived in 4 places in the last 5 years, not been in my current job that long, etc. Also my lack of strong family ties came up. Clearly I was distraught and despite attempting to challenge these comments at the time, she ended up just walking out and leaving me in a blubbering mess to wait some 4 days to find out what the agency said.

I never was very patient so I emailed the SW and the Director of the VA that night (thank you SO much for my VA friend who came straight round and helped me to write the email!) with a valid response to each of their issues. Okay when I say "emailed".. I mean.. I went a bit mental and pretty much chewed the SWs head off. Well.. what did they expect!? During the Information Evening and the Interview I asked about my single status, discussed my background and family issues. At no point did anyone say that these things were showstoppers. In fact apparently they were potentially considered positive - that some children may benefit from a single parent; or that my upbringing would allow me to identify with the needs of a child that will have had similar experiences.

So to be accused of being unstable at that point for things they already knew about, after coming so far and being pepped all the way AND after spending 2 and a half hours discussing my house and the next session! Anyway.. I was mad. And upset. And I made it clear. Possibly a bit too emotionally but this is an emotive subject. 

Eventually, after the SW had met with the Director I got a reply informing me that they in fact weren't her only concerns. In addition the outcome of the meeting had been that based on her information the Director felt that even if the SW was willing to take me forward I would unlikely be approved at panel. The next stage was for me to be able to go in and meet with them both to discuss it all. Her other concerns included the quality of my relationships with friends, my financial situation (whatever that meant), my identity issues(didn't know I had any), my understanding of feelings about my real dad(I don't have any).. the list went on.

At this point, all the information she has judged me on was written in 2 "reports". The ones I was asked to do a the beginning of the assessment with the idea (or so I thought) that we would then discuss them in detail the sessions. I was asked to write about what it was like growing up in my family up to 18 and then from 18 to now. I was asked to do so in around 2 pages. Everyone that has read the rest of this blog will know my life story doesn't fit into 4 bits of A4. So I was succinct to say the least. To my detriment it would seem because that meant I "minimalised" the abuse I had witnessed and received. If you read something someone writes down before you know them, how they speak the language and way they have of expressing themselves - you will of course make snap judgments. But then when you learn to read the person, the written word can take new meaning and should be reassessed - not be used as evidence for a hanging! In addition - despite being accused of not having quality friendships and making "poor attachments" myself - none of my references have been spoken to at this point. In fact only one had even made it in and it hadn't been reviewed yet because the lady that receives them was on holiday!

Angry and upset are not the words to describe how I felt. To open yourself up to strangers - to pass yourself to be judged and then to be judged in that way, left me quite number. I made the decision not to talk to my mother for solid reasons which no one that knows me would argue with and frankly wonders why I didn't long ago. I've spent my whole life working out why people made the choices they made and have done the things they've done. I made peace with quite a lot of it, understood and acknowledged others and forgave some. So to be told actually.. you're a bit too mental to be able to look after a traumatised child.. harsh.

1 comment:

  1. Just found your blog via the Britmums Adoption and Fostering Round-Up for this month. Interesting blog, and I look forward to reading more...