Now we had met the wee man, the next part of the adoption process was the introductions.
In the UK, or indeed any part of the world, the adoption process is not an exact science. Asking how long the adoption introductions should take, is not only asking how long you want the piece of string, but also the colour and texture of it.
We knew how long we had planned for them to take, but introductions are dynamic; they can change – we just wanted to get through quickly but effectively.
Essentially over a period of about ten days (as I said, it will vary) we slowly introduce ourselves to the child, becoming more involved with his routine, until by the end of the introductions we are effectively caring for him full time, then he finally moves in on the last day.
Introductions are absolutely exhausting, but that is the adoption process in a nutshell really – exhausting.
Typically, children waiting for adoption are placed with foster carers, and so we were well aware of the need to get on with the foster carer, and more importantly that she had done a good job with our boy!
Well we needn’t had worried. Mother Theresa can rest easy now, her replacement is well bedded down in the UK.
That sounds sarcastic, it isn’t. We had dubbed our child’s foster carer ‘Supermum’ by the end of the ten days. She is as loving as she is animated, and with a thoroughly charming family by her side, I can safely say that getting to know her and her family was one of the biggest pleasures we have had during the rocky process that is adoption.
Her routine, advice, kindness, and most of all, her cooking, made what could have been a nerve-wracking experience, into a wonderful and heart-warming ten days. This part of the adoption process has been vastly improved because of her tenacity.
The same may not be said for us, as we besieged her home on a daily basis, ensuring she had two more mouths to feed at the table, but if she was tired, or frustrated with us, she didn’t let on.
As a result of our fortune with the foster carer, the introductions were as easy as they could possibly have been; a great amount of our time was spent simply enjoying that time with our son.
The last night of our introductions was a strange feeling. It had occurred to us that our ‘safety net’ of the foster carer would no longer be there, and so the nerves did rear their ugly head, albeit later than predicted.
Late that night as my slumber failed to show up, I switched the X-box on for a momentous ‘last time’, but my heart wasn’t in it. It was no longer the buzz I craved; hardly surprising really…
…tomorrow I would become a father.
About the Author: Andrew McDougallAndrew is an adoptive father, and stay at home dad. Having adopted his son in January 2013, he is a new adoptive parent, but well versed in the adoption process. He is a married, coffee drinker, Xbox addict, and a graduate of Marketing. Andrew McDougall is an alias he uses to protect the identity of his adopted son.
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- Adoptive children and the risk of routine change | theonehandman | April 14, 2013