Approval Ratings

3 06 2009

We met the social workers at the appointed time outside the ornate council offices. We were there first, GM insisting we allow plenty of time. Shortly after we arrived our social worker turned up followed closely by Little Sis’s social worker.

We made a our way to the reception area, which was cavernous, and sat there waiting. After 10 minutes or so the chair of the panel came out and introduced herself and asked us to follow her down the long corridor.

The room was full of people all willing to make eye contact and offer reassuring smiles. After a round of introductions the first question was aimed at Little Sis’s SW. ‘Why’, the panel had wanted to know, ‘had it taken so long to get to this stage.’

‘Oh, this is going to be fun’ thought CD to himself.

The SW gave a hesitant response which sort of covered the bases but left out the fact that this was her first child protection case that has become an adoption and she floundered about with it because of a lack of support from the city’s adoption team.

The rest of the questions were nowhere near as interesting. The panel asked about how GM and CD were going to manage introductions. How they were going to manage without either of them owning a driving license, never mind a car. How they were preparing Little Miss Loud and what were Big Sis’s plans (a question they’ve asked themselves a number of times!)

The best question came from a panel member who asked, ‘How did they manage the complicated contact arrangements with LML’s and Little Sis’s siblings. CD stated that it wasn’t complicated at all, we see LML’s full siblings once a month and we saw the half siblings twice last year. That we have plans to meet up again soon. We just organise it amongst ourselves informally.

Then, in what seemed like no time at all, it was over. We were asked to go and sit the cavernous reception area, an area where people were coming and going and were there was no privacy. The SW’s were asked to stay in the meeting and followed us a few minutes later.

After only a few minutes the chair of the panel arrived and sat with us. She said that the panel were very impressed by how calm we were and that we had clearly thought about the implications of adopting a second child and she stated, “It is with great pleasure that we approve the match.”

And that was it. A bit of a debrief with the SW’s and a review of our next steps and it was all over.

Little Sis is coming home to us.

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