As part of National Adoption Week we’re serialising one adoptive families journey through the adoption process. Here Helen talks about the first home visit.
Bonzo likes to bark. Bonzo likes to bark loudly. He particular likes to bark when people come to the door. Today was not a day for Bonzo to display this behaviour so it was decided I would wait upstairs with Bonzo and Lee would wait downstairs to greet our visitor. Somehow in all the nervous tension, it ended up with all three of us waiting anxiously upstairs, Bonzo poised to bark, us poised to stop him. We needed to make a good first impression. Our front gate creaked open, Bonzo was alerted and took an intake of breath, panic over took us and we both simultaneously rugby tackled him. There we lay, in a tangled heap, two adults, one Labrador, and outside our social worker was waiting. This was the start of our adoption assessment.
Without much warning on that first day, the ‘assessment’ began, although it never really felt like that. Yes we got asked questions but you never felt tested, just listened too.
In the first couple of sessions, I would spend a good day or two after, analysing my responses, body language, wondering did I say the right thing , was the house clean enough? It’s a surreal experience having a complete stranger in your house and it took a couple of weeks for me to really feel comfortable and actually enjoy it.
Why the change? Because you soon realise that this is an interview for the most important job of your life- to be a parent. You are learning and realising just how many life skills and experiences, you never realised you had, have already shaped you to become a good parent.
You can find out more about adoption here: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/adopt4leeds/Pages/default.aspx or come along to Trinity Leeds on 24 Oct between 10am and 4pm to talk to one of our team in confidence.
There’s also a Q&A session on Twitter tomorrow, 20 Oct 2:00pm -3:00pm from @child_leeds using #adopt4leeds