Esmeralda and I are finding that time is really dragging at the moment. Fostering is not for the impatient, we've spent many weeks waiting for various things - waiting for panel, waiting for the decision to be ratified after panel, waiting for our first placement... but this is one of the hardest waiting periods of all - we're waiting to meet Jack-Jack's adoptive family so that they can get to know him and his routine, and then take him home. They've been through their matching panel and are waiting for the decision to be ratified until he is officially their son. I'm sure their wait is very hard too, but there is a world of difference between waiting for something wonderful and exciting, and waiting for something inevitable and awful. That's not to say we're not happy for them, we've received a photo album of pictures to look through with Jack-Jack, and they look like a lovely family for him. We're looking forward to meeting them and showing them what a wonderful little boy Jack-Jack is.
That said, the process isn't over yet and we already feel horrendously unsupported. We are new carers still in our first year, Jack-Jack was our first placement and sometimes carers foster for many years before going through adoption introductions with a foster child. The LA consider our social worker to be enough support for us. We like our social worker Jane very much, but we're not sure how she can support us through this as she's never been through it herself. Even aside from this, as it's summer she's been on annual leave over the period spanning Jack-Jack's matching panel, our first telephone contact with his adopters etc. and we had no one to call to talk through questions that we had.
I'm sure there are those who would disagree, but we feel that it would be more appropriate to talk to someone who has really been through it - who knows the process, can help us to work through our feelings, and above all understands how much we love these children who are not our own. In our minds, this has to be another foster carer. As we've asked to be put in touch with other foster carers before and nothing has been done, we're not going to mention this to Jane until our next supervision session, which will be after Jack-Jack has moved on, but we really hope a scheme can be put in place to help new carers in the future.
As we've said many, many times over the past year and a half, we're so glad we have each other for support and we're not doing this as single parents.