We’d talked about taking a holiday before introductions started but Lee was working, so I arranged to go away for a week with my sister to prepare me for the coming months ahead. It was Friday we were flying home in a few hours. I was just reading the last few pages of my book when the phone rang it was our social worker, I was a little surprised to see it was her.
‘Can you hear me?’
‘Yes, is everything OK?’
‘No, I am sorry to tell you this but you will not be meeting him on Monday.’
‘The blood tests have not been completed.’
She was referring to the tests that were agreed should be done over two months ago. As they had not been completed and the results available we could not start introductions.
‘It’s all going to have to be postponed.’ she said
I was shaking I told my sister she was speechless. I was in complete disbelief, I called Lee and he was furious. How could this have happened there was plenty of time to get this organised, it was just total incompetence. I arrived home from my holiday more stressed out than when I’d left. I had cancelled all my work and Lee had freed up his schedule so that he would be around for the whole of the first two weeks once we had brought him home. Social workers have no understanding of self-employed people it’s so hard to keep everything going when you have to turn down work unnecessarily. It was supposed to be a happy time now it just felt tainted. I grew suspicious, was there something they were not telling us? I didn’t trust these people one bit, not after the experience we had had the year before when they told us to get our room ready and then decided to give the child to another couple. It happens a lot apparently.
Lee and I were so unhappy about this and I really resented the way this had affected our emotions. Then out of the blue I got a call from the foster-mother.
She was so frustrated that they had cocked this up and I think she was worried about the little one because she had been getting him ready to meet us. She invited us to meet him before they went on their holiday. Or course we jumped at the chance to meet him so we arranged to go along in two days time, we all agreed that we would not inform the social workers.
The morning we drove over to her house I remember feeling really happy, not nervous or apprehensive. It all felt really good.
I will never forget the first time we saw him. She opened the door and he was hiding behind her dress.
“Look it’s Mummy and Daddy”
It felt pretty weird being called that considering that we’d never even met before. We had given the foster-mother the butterfly book. This book is specially designed for the introductions process. It has a voice recording facility so that the child can get used to hearing your voice. We filled the book with photos of us our house, his new room, Betty the cat, so that he could see where this all was before we took him there. She had been getting him to look at the book everyday for the last two weeks in order to familiarize him with his new surrounding and of course they used Mummy and Daddy when referring to us so that he would do the same. We had also given them a Rabbit called Biggie. My lovely neighbour who was a fashion designer helped me make it.
She took us into the front room where we sat down and just let him take a look at us and then he came out from behind her and after about 10 minutes he took an apple from the fruit bowl and started eating it. He then came over to Lee and handed it to him to take a bite, I could see that Lee was blown away by this. Not long after that he was sitting between my legs on the couch. He was such a beautiful little boy and I totally fell in love with him. I felt like I knew him, it was the same as when I saw his photo for the first time. Someone once told me that children pick their parents even before they’re born.
Then the foster-mother said something that I will never forget.
‘Are you happy with him?
‘Good, I am so relieved!’
I was sort of shocked by that.
‘Why did you ask that?’
‘It’s not always the case I have had couples come in the past and then leave and change their minds.’
‘What, but they’ve already been matched?’
‘It doesn’t matter, people change their minds, sometimes they see the child and then they realize that they can’t go through with it.’
This had never occurred to me and no one mentioned this on the course.
We said our goodbyes and as we got back into the car Lee turned to me and said.
‘That’s your Son right?’
‘Yes he is!’
We drove home, now we could get the room ready! Off to Ikea!!! I’d seen some really cute quilt sets on-line, one had a little woodland scene, I though it would be perfect seeing as we lived very close to Richmond park.
Lee didn’t seem in the mood when we got to Ikea. We argued a bit, such a cliché! Considering where we were. Buying a duvet cover is a serious business!
We bought some other things to fill the room, a rug with a racing track on it, some wooden toys and a stool so that he could reach the sink. It felt very surreal shopping for this little guy we’d only just met.
The next few weeks we just got on with our daily lives. I tried not to worry but it was still stressful as the test results might raise something. I wasn’t worried but I knew that Lee has some trepidation. I was adamant that it would matter to me, but what if there was something that showed up?
Finally the test results came through, nothing detected he was absolutely fine. To think we could have had him come home with us weeks ago. I was still really angry that this had occurred, all due to the fact that people were so incompetent. In a few days time we would be starting our Introductions and at the end of that time, he would be coming home with us forever!