People react differently in certain situations, denial, anger, sadness. When we heard the news, inside I went on a rampage, tearing up the council offices and demanding better treatment, in reality we reacted in perhaps, a less than conventional manner.
We spent money; literally, and metaphorically.
The afternoon we received the letter we decided to splash out on an expensive meal in a local restaurant with a reputation that matched it’s prices. As we sat there dining on the finest steaks in the county, utterly out of place, we set out our future plans.
We were to holiday in the US, taking in New York and San Francisco. We planned another trip to Dubai, a new car, new kitchen, bathroom, and wardrobe – the whole shooting match. By the time the dessert menu arrived we had emblematically spent around £45,000.
We knew of course, we would do none of this, but to plan, to distract from our immediate problem was the only way we could handle the news. Desperate for this not to be the end, we put events in our future, so we could at least have something to look forward to.
So upset was my wife, that she could no longer face the prospect of even talking about adoption, or children, I feared she had been pushed a little too far this time.
However, giving up was not an option – my wife simply needed a break, so I took the reins, and pressed on. From the list of other agencies that our local one had provided, I started ringing around.
Two appointments were made, but we were advised to advance with only one, as many agencies want almost an exclusive right to have you as prospective adopters.
Initially I didn’t understand this, but as someone pointed out – if everyone would hedge their bets with agencies, at what point do you ask someone to commit. It could cause havoc for social workers, and perhaps more pertinently for the children in care. We had to be in or out.
What I learned about local authority agencies in the UK was the difference between county councils and city councils.
County councils will only take prospective adopters who reside within their county. City councils do the opposite – actively seek adopters outside their city limits so as to reduce the security risks when children are placed.
After an open evening that was conveniently held the week after I phoned, we were due a visit from this particular city council’s social worker.
A good social worker
When the social worker arrived, not only did she drink a reasonable amount of tea, but she ate my wife’s home made cake without counting the exits.
What a refreshing change to be treated like human beings, and how uplifting it was to see that she wasn’t wasting our time, nor her employers, and reassuring that it did indeed only take one person to do one person’s job.
People should rely on their gut instincts a lot more I think. With the previous duo of social workers, my gut’s alarm was chiming like Big Ben at midday, with this social worker, I was more relaxed, barely a sound.
Still apprehensive however, we were now a lot less complacent, and explained that we wanted to know if they could take us on, as quickly as she could possibly tell us. Having explained our previous experience, she was very sympathetic about our position, but it is what she did when she left, that reassured us that adoption was the right path for us.
Less than two hours later our phone rang, it was the social worker.
She imparted news that reignited the light in my wife’s eyes. They would take us on.
It turns out that she rang her manager immediately after our meeting to brief her of our situation. We were grateful it took the pair of them less than two hours to agree that they would take our case forward, and invite us to the next adoption groups.
The peaks and troughs of our particular little ride had once again turned for the good, and we were on a crest, but this time we treaded carefully. Our enthusiasm was not dampened, but we knew better than to assume we would not face any more setbacks.
We knew we could afford a little indulgence however. So this time under better circumstances, we went back to our favourite restaurant, and spent another fortune.