…and breath. For a second, then reality hits and it’s like BOOM. You’re about to become a corporate parent to 3 kids.
Today was panel. The day we’ve (kind of) been building up to for the last year. It arrived, I felt nervous, my hubby felt sleepy (not such a morning person and he had to walk the dog whilst I dashed off to take a friends’ kids to school last minute). We drove to the council building, prayed, went in, and waited.
Thinking about it and remembering the waiting room brings back all the nerves! I wasn’t a wreck or anything, but quietly, excitedly nervous. We were on the top floor, and had a view of the miserable day outside. Literally, so grey and SO wet. Thanks Storm Angus 😉 we wondered why the football stadium is named after a city in America, watched the scrapyard do some welding, and chatted a bit to our social worker. When she was called in to talk to panel, we played Rock, Paper Scissors (for all of 30 seconds) then waited.
Another group came in, a lady who was in for her review. She really calmed my nerves and her social worker and daughter reassured us that we’re not completely mad to take on 3 kids at once…!
Then our social worker came back, and in we went.
There were about 9 people sitting in a U-shape and we sat with our social worker facing them all. I found myself constantly trying to ‘read the room’ and try to figure them out. Not all of them asked us questions, in the end we were only in there for 15 minutes, or less even. They asked us why we wanted to foster, then asked my hubby about how he would find the continuation of work at home (he’s a social worker), then seemed to be a little worried that we’re quite young and approving us for up to 3 children is a big thing. Not really sure how we answered that one, but we were ushered out and they chatted for probably only 5 minutes but it felt like a while. It was at this point that our social worker told us that they could approve us, but for less than 3 kids. !!!!!. Actually quite glad we hadn’t known that beforehand…!
Back in we went where they told us that they were recommending us for approval to foster up to 3 children between the ages of 0 and 18, with a preference for 0-7s. And that was that. It still has to go to someone called the Agency Decision Maker who gives it their stamp of approval, THEN it will be official and we can actually be allowed to meet the three that will be our first placement. NOW it feels real. Almost.