Journey to a Forever Family (UK) – We Have a Daughter!

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The Matching Process

A month after we were approved by the panel we had another meeting with our social worker. We chatted about how we were then all of a sudden out of nowhere she announced that we had been selected for a child!! She gave a brief description and handed us the ‘child permanence report’ (over 80pages long) to read through and decide if we wanted to accept. There were no photos and little information on the child; it was mainly information on the birth parents -their upbringing, current lifestyle, issues and meetings with Social Services. It made for grim reading but there was nothing in there to worry us so we emailed the social worker and accepted!

We were so excited and very overwhelmed as we had expected to wait at least 6 months. We told our close family but didn’t mention too much as it was not confirmed.  The only details we said were that it was a little girl and that she would be 15 months old when she arrived. They were also very excited and it was hard not to push us for more information but they understood why.

The next stage was a meeting with the child’s social worker to discuss her details. The visit was fine but was mainly paperwork, though we did find out that she’s teething, sleeps well, is curious and sometimes stubborn and loves food, children’s TV and music. We also got to see photos of her that had been taken 3 months beforehand which was amazing…I relate it to seeing a first ultrasound scan as we actually got to see our prospective daughter!  We called her LiddleMissGorgeous (LMG) from then on. The best thing was she looked so much like us, my hubby’s eyes and my nose!

We also got more reading material and were given questions to answer about how we would meet her needs (as outlined in the report).

The next visit was a couple of weeks later when we had a visit from her social worker and foster carer. We found out more bits and pieces like her routines, her height/weight, her likes and dislikes. We got more pictures at this stage but they were still from a couple of months previous. The best bit was that the foster carer encouraged us to buy a Christmas present for our prospective daughter which we could play with on our first visit in January. The foster carer loved the nursery we had decorated and our house in general. She told us that we had her full support and to call her if we needed anything.

A fortnight later we visited the child’s Doctor for a brief visit explaining the pregnancy, her birth, her birth height and weight along with an update as to how her first 12 months had been. We also discussed the parents’ health as it was known and whether there was anything we should be aware of.

The final stage in the process of matching was another approval panel, just over two months after the approval panel. My hubby was calm and relaxed about this panel as he saw it as a done deal but I was SO nervous. We had attached ourselves so much to LMG just from the photos and information we had on her. It would have been heart-breaking if we had been turned down.

This was same structure as the approval panel, but a lot longer. They asked about things like how we would prepare to make the transition from foster carer to our family easier on the child and how we would manage if I was ill etc. There was then a very, very, very long nerve wracking half-hour wait but then the match was confirmed and the introductions were set for the New Year. We were over the moon and so very happy! We could look forward to our last Christmas as a couple knowing that we would meet our new daughter in 2013!

Read the final part of our story here…