Our family puzzle – find the four corners and now fill in the rest….
It’s been ten agonising weeks since we met the boys, having felt like we had formed the four corners of the puzzle and that these four corners, representing each of the four of us were solid and firm. We are now full steam ahead with starting to fill in the rest of the picture and this is only driving our desire, hunger, excitement and feelings that this was meant to happen with these boys and that the end is in sight.
As mentioned earlier, we were linked back in November with the boys, after what felt like forever, anxiously waiting for any news or glimmer of hope that their social worker and carers felt and saw what we felt on that magical day. To get the feedback that they believe we would be the perfect dad’s for these boys and that we are exactly what they need was the most empowering, encouraging and re-affirming comments we have received in all of this process. To be told how happy and excited the professionals are that we came into this process at the time that we did and at the time that the boys were here was just the best thing since Star Wars.
The reality is quite the opposite. WE are the ones who are grateful, WE are the ones who are blessed and so overjoyed that we were able to come into the process at this time and to have had the opportunity to meet the boys and to be matched with them. WE are the lucky ones and I will never forget this feeling.
So in the last two weeks we have had lots of meetings to start filling in the picture and building out the complex puzzle of the boys and their lives. We are like sponges and want to soak up all that we can. After weeks of no information and a CPR that lacked current updates it has been so wonderful to hear current up to date progress reports from all parties.
A snapshot of the meetings to date:
Their social worker and her manager – this was mentioned previously and was amazing. Not only to continue to build the relationship we had previously with her but also to really get into the details about us and the boys. To have that positive affirmation that the match was right and that we were good for the boys really lit a fire and meant so much.
Foster carer – along with both sets of social workers – We have been desperate to hear how the boys have been doing since the activity day, how they were progressing, how they were feeling and generally to get an up to date picture of their lives. This meeting was amazing. We had prepared a 100 or so questions about them, their routine, their likes, dislikes and trigger points as well as any hints and tips for what can be tricky or stressful situations. Rather than machine gunning the foster carer with these we just talked. Bit by bit, slowly but surely, we started to get a picture of how they are now. The deeper we go in this process and the more we find out the more these feels 100% right! They seem to be really doing well with the foster carers who have been amazing at instilling a routine, boundaries, a sense of security and also the love and attention these boys need. Nothing we heard scared us. In fact it made us more hungry for this to happen. We can’t wait to meet with them further to really fill in the blanks some small but important areas. Answering questions like, what do they call they main mealtimes? What do they like for certain meals? Anything they detest? How do they demonstrate anxiety or feelings? The list goes on and on forever and I won’t bore you now. But if you are in this process and want to see a list message me and I will gladly share the list!
Their current school, teacher, previous teach and SENCO officer – along with both sets of social workers – To hear the progress the older child has made in school, what he likes, how he behaves and any challenges has been great this week. The teachers spoke of him with such a level of detail, love and passion it was heart-warming and so encouraging. Yes he has challenges, yes he needs certain techniques to ensure his attention or focus is there and yes he needs some interventions around certain areas of his development but to be honest considering his background and his life to date this is no surprise. Again, everything we heard didn’t scare us off but in fact made us more determined to make this work. Hearing some key techniques that work with him, visual planning of the day head, no surprises, simple 3 goal setting ideas per day and allowing him to commit to certain goals are so invaluable and critical to enable us to continue this approach that works with him.
Next up it is the stress or concern about getting the school applications in and hoping the virtual heads mean what they say when they state they will help argue our case to have the boys attend the school of our choice. We have assessed four in the local area and one stands out by a mile. More on schools and selection in a future post.
Following this we have a meeting with the Early Attachment Team and this feedback will serve to further add another piece to the puzzle and piece by piece, day by day, we are building the picture and history of these boys that will enable the transition to work well. We are getting closer to the full picture!
One final thought. Throughout this process we have been in awe and so pleasantly surprised by just how detailed, caring and focused everyone in their care has been. I can’t begin to imagine how hard everyone works and just how much compassion they show for this to work. It is really something that takes my breath away….
I would say we have started to now fill in the middle of the puzzle and the coming weeks will allow for the final pieces to be put in place. Excited doesn’t come close to expressing how I feel!