They say ‘sometimes what you’re looking for, comes when you’re not looking at all’ and I’m beginning to wonder if there could be some truth in the matter. Still counting down the weeks to our adoption approval panel, true to my word, I refused to revisit Link Maker to peruse the children’s profiles. For me, it was just too overwhelming and with so many to view, our dilemma remained the same, how could we possibly pick?
Surprisingly, despite attempting to turn our sights to other things our account continued to generate interest. I’m not sure if it had anything to do with the ridiculous profile picture of us dressed as Disney’s Mr and Mrs Incredible (taken at at charity event), which seemed like a good idea at the time to make us stand out from the crowd.
Another notification bounced into our inbox and a wave of excitement saw me dropping everything to take a look.
Hi J & D
Great pictures, would you consider M?
Now M’s profile saw me researching a condition so rare that only a tiny portion of the population would ever be diagnosed with it. Turning to Google for assistance I trawled through what felt like endless pages of information which all painted a similar picture. The words….sepsis, infection and fatality jumped off the page and my heart sank at the prospect of sending yet another email of rejection. Tears streamed down my face as I penned the following response.
I’m so sorry, It appears we are not as Incredible as we look. We wish you the absolute best in finding M the right family.
This one hit me hard and made me turn my thoughts to the difficult task many family finders are faced with. The cold harsh reality is some of them truly are searching for a Mr and Mrs Incredible. Were we fraudsters? Perhaps it was time for the super hero’s to make a quick change?
Nothing quite prepares you for the emotional roller coaster ride you can face during the matching stage. I still remember the heartache (during our first process) of connecting with a child’s profile, feeling like he ‘was the one’ only to be told weeks later that we had just been pipped to the post by another couple out of the fifteen who applied. This of course was at a time when there were lower numbers of children in care and Adoptive parents were in abundance (allowing social workers to take their pick). Whilst I’m sure this still happens, things feel very different since the introduction of internet profiles. At least ‘back in the day’ our social worker was able to filter the profiles we viewed and could manage the timing of when they were introduced. With everything now at the click of a button I have found myself happily going about my day and then ‘ping’ a profile lands and quite literally messes with my head.
Amazingly, I didn’t have time to contemplate the change of profile picture for long as within a mere forty eight hours after the previous one another notification of interest had hit. Shooing the kids into the car after the school run I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket alerting me of the new message. Despite the continual disappointment up until this point, the excitement still bubbled within me and I couldn’t help but take a quick sneaky peek. …………And Boom there she was my chunka munka, baldy baby staring back at me with her big blue eyes. With her lack of locks and her pixi like ears she was totally passable as Mr and Mrs Incredible’s baby Jack-Jack attack (not sure she’ll love me for that when she’s older). My heart skipped a beat, could she be the one? Momentarily the squabbling from the back of the car ceased….’Mum, are we going home or what’? Turning the key in the ignition the engine fired up, finding out about Jack Jack’s special powers would have to wait.
Fast forward one month and the big panel day was finally upon us, after the worst nights sleep EVER I woke up looking like something out of Night of the living dead. I say ‘woke up’, I’m not sure I actually slept as I tossed and turned through the night with Laid back Larry snoring in my ear hole! During the wee hours of the morning different scenarios played on a loop in my head, so much so it reminded me of one of those books I used to read when I was younger, you know the ones with multiple endings? Turn to page 55 to slay the dragon or turn to page 60 to run screaming in the direction of the forest. War paint on and in the car our wait was finally over…..
Twenty trips to the toilet and some nervous banter with our social worker later, we were summonsed through what I can only describe as a door for Giants….
Turn to page 77 to battle the Giant or turn to page 89 to run to the hills of Gargon to find safety.
Entering the room we took our seats and my mouth instantly became dry. Searching for water my hands shook slightly and as the water danced in the cup it reminded me of the Jurassic park scene where the T Rex approaches………. Sh*t am I going to get eaten alive?
Now I consider myself to be be quite an articulate person but when I’m nervous man can I waffle some toot. If it wasn’t for Laid Back Larry being so calm and the fabulous guy at the end of the panel who flashed his pearly whites at me every time I said something relatively normal, I’m not sure I would have made it through. Questions over and the power was in their hands…. ‘no likey no lighty’.
Whilst the panel convened to make their decision we were guided through some windy corridors to a tiny room (seriously why is there always a tiny room?) Thankfully this time, in what felt like no time at all the panel chair arrived in his high waisted trousers and open shirt to deliver the verdict. I mean nobody pressed the golden buzzer or anything but incredibly they didn’t like us……they loved us and we were through to the next stage.
With Jack Jack still waiting in the wings a week later we met with her social workers to discuss things further and needless to say she was just as incredible as we had hoped. In my heart I knew she was the one but again during the meeting I felt my nerves got the better of me and it ended with me feeling like I didn’t do myself justice. Yet another sleepless night of scenarios on a loop…..
Turn to page page 110 for the final steps before finally reaching your happy ever after or turn to page three to embark on the arduous journey across the desert….again.
The reader has turned to page 110 (cue dum dum dum music) the penultimate chapter.
To all the beautiful little people we have viewed profiles for, we hope and pray that your ‘incredible family’ is just a click away.