Project Scotland is slowing shaping up.

We called few Local Authorities and Agencies, enquired about Fostering and checked what they had to offer in terms of training and post-placement support, and made our choice.
Few phone calls later, and yesterday we met with the Supervising Social Worker for a screening interview.

I was strangely calm. I remember how worried I was when we had to meet with our Social Worker at the beginning of the adoption process. I kept thinking that we weren’t good enough to adopt, that the house was a mess, that we didn’t have enough experience with children, and that we didn’t know what we were putting ourselves into.

I realise now how naive we were, and how little we knew about adoption then, and everything that comes with it. The adoption training barely scratched the surface of adoption and all its complexity, and the post-adoption support seemed to be at times non-existent. Our adoption social worker was very quick in sending us an email explaining that, now that the adoption was finalised, she was going to file our paperwork and release herself from been our social worker. Before soon we were left alone.

Now we are more appreciative, better informed, and more prepared. We have found wonderful blogs of families telling their stories, sharing their daily life. That is more inspirational and helpful than any training we ever had before!

We are not taking the decision to foster lightly, and we know it’s going to be hard, stressful and draining. We also want to believe it can be fantastically rewarding.

Yesterday ‘s meeting went well, and the social worker went away saying she will definitely progress our application.

She asked few general questions about us as a couple, our financial situation, about Ben. Nothing in too much depth, the real drilling will come later. I’m not looking forward to it. It has been less than 3 years since we had our adoption home study, and the idea of doing it all over again doesn’t appeal.

The Supervising Social Worker is there to assess whether you have any idea of what fostering is, and why you are considering it. She is there to answer any question you may have too, but be very mindful of the kind of questions you ask, because they will be part of your initial assessment too. Opening with “how much do I get paid” for example, may not put you in the best of light.

She is also there to make sure you have enough room for an extra child in your house, to ask whether you have any religious/race/gender preference, the age range you would consider, and whether you would be willing to foster siblings. I couldn’t fail noticing how closely all these questions matched the ones we got asked during our adoption interview; I’m almost sure their order was the same too!

Now that Project Scotland is getting more real, I’m also getting increasingly worried. Can we actually do it? How will Ben cope with it? Will we be getting enough support from our chosen LA? How will we handle children leaving us for their adoptive family?
I’m glad that we still have few more months of training, few more months to get ready for it, and to explain Ben what will be happening.

When the screening meeting was almost over, the social worker looked at Diego and she said “I like your wife, she has a mama vibe”. I found it so funny, it was meant to be a compliment, but in my mind that sounded a bit like “I like your wife, you, not so much”. Over dinner I couldn’t stop myself from teasing Diego, who luckily has got a good sense of humour, and was happy to laugh about it.

Between you and me, hearing a stranger saying that I have a “Mama Vibe”, made me feel good about myself. It’s like receiving a pat on the shoulder with a friendly “you’re doing a good job with Ben”. And that’s for sure the best compliment anyone can pay me.

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