Wednesday, 10 December 2008
It's an anniversary
How on earth could I have forgotten? Twelve months ago, we sat in front of the judge and he declared us a family, declared Little Fish and I to be mother and daughter forever and irrevocably!
I started looking into adoption twelve years earlier, it was definitely not a speedy process. I was turned down by several adoption agencies "Too young" (despite being legally old enough), "Too inexperienced" (despite working with children with profound disabilities), "Too single" (not sure what I could do about that one!) "Too weird" (for wanting to adopt a child with disabilities).
Eventually I started fostering. Not instead of adoption, not as a second best at all, but whereas initially I had thought I would adopt and then foster, I decided to stop waiting, and to foster first. And I carried on applying to adopt, now and again, when a child caught my interest. Some social workers were interested, others were put off by the complexities of placing a child for adoption with someone who was already fostering, others were put off by the perceived problems without checking the answers.
And then, finally, there was Little Fish.
Now by the time I got to meet her she was a little bit larger
And by the time she moved in, she was bigger yet
And now here we are, a year after Adoption Day, and I find myself arguing with her over whether or not she grew in my tummy (thank you Sunday School for planting that one in her head!).
I've written my first ever Letterbox Letter, a letter to her birth parents telling them about her year. I've signed my first ever medical consent form (and a number of them since then), rather than having to wait for a social worker to do so. I'm still learning to trust my own judgement without having to second guess other concerned parties. And I'm loving the lack of statutory reviews, the ability to go away overnight without having to inform social workers in writing, the ability to go abroad without a special written letter of consent, and most of all, the fact that I don't have to correct people when they refer to me as Mother.
Happy Anniversary, Little Fish!