Matching Panel took place last week. I am still shaking. But the reason is different now.
We were told the usuals: ‘we wouldn’t take you to panel if we weren’t confident it will be OK’; ‘this is now just paperwork’; ‘we just need to cross every t-s’ and such. It was the same when birth mum was contesting: rationally you know it is going to be OK, nevertheless you are super nervous and you worry yourself sick. I couldn’t sleep or when I did I had nightmares (mostly about rejection or approval but then epic fails and rejection from the boys during intros).
Panel was debating our case for about an hour before we were called in. By then I could hardly walk. We went in, I looked at the Chair and before I sat down I heard myself asking her directly. She was all smiles, said the magical YES and asked me again to sit down. She was supposed to give us the reasons for the recommendation, but she only said that panel ‘had a good feel about us’. She admitted this wasn’t very professional and I do wonder how these were recorded in the panel minutes…
Apparently they weren’t even debating us, rather the boys’ past and the reasons why their first adoption failed. They asked if we felt we were fully informed about everything. Well… ‘Can I please know exactly why their previous adoption broke down for starters???’ I did ask a few more questions and of course we also discussed the post adoption support package, which is undoubtedly robust, but only time can tell how well it will work for us, and more importantly, if it will be enough!
We handed over the This is Your New Mum and Dad DVD we filmed a few days before. (We had asked a friend to film us as we walk around the street and the house before we sit in the sofa and talk directly to the camera. The entire filming was all a good laugh until I had to utter the words to the camera ‘Hello boys, I am your new Mummy’. And then my entire composure fell apart… The gravity of the situation has hit me there and then!)
The SW will meet the boys to show it to them ‘tomorrow’.
So we wait. Tomorrow is almost here. But then we get an email from the SW saying ‘after careful deliberations we think we should NOT rush this whole thing!’ Until now they kept on saying ‘since the boys are older once they hear the news things will go fast because, frankly, why wait?’ It made perfect sense to us back then.
But suddenly the goalpost started moving…
We started the entire process in November 2014 and we have waited patiently, we complied with all their requests and we relied completely on their words and expertise. I appreciate that this is a long process, but when you are so close to the finish line even a silly little thing like postponing a meeting for a few days makes a huge difference and upsets the delicate balance that is in our heart!
Luckily it’s only a few days; first they will share the news with the boys, then the SW will return a day after to see how the boys are taking the news and if it’s all OK she will share the DVD with them. And then we can start thinking about having a planning meeting, which will hopefully push us out of this hard place of waiting…