I shouted down the stairs to my husband, ‘Do you know where the letter is with the details on for the course tomorrow.’ ‘No’, came back the reply. So the search began. The house was turned upside down. I could not believe that I had been so silly, to have misplaced such an important letter. I thought I knew where the course was due to take place and most meetings start at 9:45am, following coffee and registration 15 minutes prior. So there was nothing we could do other than turn up and hope I was right. Well it turns out I wasn’t right about the venue. After making contact with someone in the adoption team, we eventually made it to the right venue with 10 minutes to spare – phew!
Walking into the training room, I felt a mixture of excitement and nervous. What would everyone be like? Would people be friendly? Would the course be informative? Would we enjoy it? What impression would the Social Workers have of us? While all these thoughts were going through my head, I was excited to be completing the course, as this was another big and necessary step closer to us becoming parents.
During the training course we touched on various subjects, including abuse, attachment, identity, contact and the various types of support available. There was plenty of paperwork, discussions and group work. During the end of the course, adopters came and spoke to us about their experiences parenting adopted children. This exercise was both helpful and interesting, especially as an adopter of 3 came and spoke to us and shared her everyday reality.
However, what I found to be invaluable was some of the relationships I formed whilst on the course. We all seemed to gel well from the beginning, however what seemed to cement it all, was a group activity. We were asked to bring in an item to describe ourselves, one that said something about us. I’m an emotional person at the best of times, but oh my goodness I couldn’t stop the tears from rolling. As members of the group shared their stories, I felt the lump forming in the back of my throat. As I looked around the room, others too were trying to hide their tears. That was it. I was gone! As I tried to explain why I had brought with me a baking book, I couldn’t help but cry. Due to my embarrassment, through tears and half a smile, I remember explaining that I wasn’t crying over my cupcake book, but over what other people had shared.
Once we had dabbed our eyes, we decided that a group hug right there and then in the middle of the toilet was required. I am still in touch with most of the group and some of us have met up since. It is great to support one another through our adoptions. I believe that as a group we shared something quite personal and unique on that day, something that would be virtually impossible to re-create.