I’ve always been quite house-proud, but there’s no cleaning incentive like knowing a social worker is coming to your home! On the other hand, I didn’t want the house to look sterile and unfriendly to a child! Before every social worker visit, I overthought the tidying, to the extent that I once got some of my daughter’s toys back out again after I had tidied them away! During one meeting that felt particularly important, I was so excited that I used my excess energy to do a litter pick down the road for the last 300m that the social workers would see as they drove up to our home.
For the first social worker visit, however, I barely had time to prepare. It was the day after my daughter’s 3rd birthday party and the living room was literally full of balloons. My daughter’s actual birthday was a few days later, so I had promised we could keep the balloons for a while, so they were hastily shoved into the playroom after I dropped her off at the grandparents’ house. Two social workers were greeted with “Happy Birthday” banners that I had also promised to keep up until after her actual birthday. But it wasn’t the warm reception I had hoped to provide, because our heating had broken the night before and the temperature was below freezing! We all huddled round the fireplace, which broke the ice, in more ways than one!
Two social workers had come for this meeting – apparently standard protocol for a first visit. We all chatted about our reasons for wanting to adopt, and one of the social workers gave us an overview of the process. Then we gave the social workers a tour of the house to see where we were proposing would be our adopted child’s bedroom, and to check that it seemed generally safe and suitable for a child. They didn’t have any concerns, so she told me they’d be in touch once she had completed the paperwork required to confirm that she thought we should proceed to Stage One!