Placement day, or the day that the adoption takes place and the kids moved in with us, was simultaneously the most exciting and terrifying day of our entire adoption journey.
It’s the day where you leave the protective bubble of the foster carers and go it alone. That’s it, they’re ours! Scary or what? Time for me to
completely mess this up start nailing it!
The lead up to placement day
Social services worked really hard to get us as prepared as possible prior to placement. This consisted of a week of “bump in to” sessions (where we spent a relatively short amount of time talking to, and playing with, our kids) followed by a further 2 weeks of introductions.
I think we were very lucky, as the kids had a very experienced foster carer who made the whole thing go really smoothly. But no matter how much reading, training, and time with foster carer we had, nothing could settle our nerves on placement day.
The big adoption day
My wife and I headed off to the foster carer’s really early. Like really early (which turned out to be fine as it prepared us for the regular 05:30 wake up calls we get from our youngest every morning). The day prior, the foster carer told us in no uncertain terms to keep the goodbye brief – get in, get out. Otherwise people get upset and it’s not good for the kids.
I think the goodbyes went as well as could be expected – there were only a few tears, but none from the kids surprisingly. We got them home safely and reality kicked in like a sledgehammer to the gut – it was just my wife, me, the dog, the cat…and two kids!
To be honest, we shouldn’t have worried, as we quickly realised that we were so ready for this to happen that everything just fell into place. The kids were so excited to finally be using their new beds, that they wanted to go to bed early!
I’m happy to report that both the kids slept though their first night and popped into our bedroom at 05:30 the next morning wide awake and rearing to go.
The next few days
We’re now a few days into the placement, and I think for the most part my wife and I are doing pretty well, all things considered. The house is a tip, and we’re both absolutely shattered, but the kids are safe, well and settling into their new routine – which is what’s most important.
We have had some challenges with the older child constantly pushing the boundaries to see what they can get away with, but we expected this to happen and have been trying to use therapeutic parenting techniques to help them identify their feelings.
I’m happy to say that so far
we haven’t had any significant meltdowns yes we have, but they are missing their foster carer so one may be imminent as they miss them more.
Right then, the kids are in bed – time to tidy the play room, kitchen, back garden and walk the dog. Oh, I suppose I’d better eat too!
I’m not sure when I will get half an hour to write something again, but I intend to write these post fairly regularly…twice a year counts as regular, right?
Until next time – Dad, out.