We received a unanimous YES!! Happy dance 🙂
I was filled with a mix of excitement and nerves in the run up to Matching Panel. Mr R was calm as always, and adopted a ‘what will be, will be’ attitude. We arrived at Panel and were shown to the kitchen where the social workers (ours and Lily’s) and their managers were waiting for us. Queue lots of awkward silence! The Chair came to fetch us and we all went into Panel together (apparently the SWs usually go in first).
As per Approval Panel, all the Panel members introduced themselves. Then they asked a question of the SWs and in that moment, based on past experience of this particular Panel, I felt like it was all over (a box was ticked that shouldn’t have been and a report which transpired doesn’t exist was missing). However, they seemed happy with the answers from Lily’s SW and Panel continued. After that ALL the questions were directed at us. We were later told by our SW that was very unusual as normally the prospective Adopters are asked a couple questions and the rest are directed to the SWs. Not this time!
They wanted to know the following:
How would we handle the uncertainty in her ‘story’ and any questions she may have in the future?
How we would handle any health issues that arise from the uncertainty (although she is currently in full health with no concerns for the future, and she is meeting all her milestones).
What our plans are regarding work.
If we’d had any childcare experience of children of Lily’s age (she’s one).
A couple of questions that didn’t really make sense to either of us (we think our previous SW (who’s still off sick) had noted something on our file that wasn’t actually about us…) but we answered them as best we could, though I still can’t fathom what they were actually asking!
There were more questions than those above but I can’t remember what they were.
We left the room and went back to the kitchen with the SWs and their managers. I’m sure we were only waiting for 5 minutes but it felt much longer, but then it felt like we’d been in Panel for an hour when in actual fact it was only about 20 minutes! The Chair came in with the Panel Adviser and he delivered their verdict – a unanimous yes. After that I haven’t a clue what he said. As soon as they’d left the room Mr R and I looked at each other and I promptly burst into tears. I think it was a release of the past few years; all the miscarriages, the ectopic, and most recently the anxiety the adoption process has given me.
We’ve still a long road ahead, but for now I’m just going to revel in the fact that after 10 long years on our journey to parenthood we’re about to be parents. We’re going to have a daughter.