S/w emailed yesterday with the final version of the PAR, and saying she wanted to meet with us before panel for a discussion about panel.

I wasn’t able to read the PAR as it was a busy work day, of course. After checking with Hubby, I suggested that we could meet either Friday (i.e., the same day), Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon. She said she could meet with us yesterday afternoon.

S/W had been on duty, so ended up leaving late and didn’t get to us until around 6:15. She brought a hard-copy of our PAR, and asked us to sign a page so she could take it back to add to the copies of the PAR that have alredady been given to the panel members.

She explained to us the anticipated panel members. Evidently, there will be 4 panel members. S/W said that there are normally more than that, but there have been a lot of ‘apologies’ received. Evidently 4 is a quorum, so it sounds like the panel will go ahead. In addition to the panel, our social worker and her manager will be there. The s/w who did our main training course will be there as a ‘panel advisor’. And finally there will be the administrative person who will take the minutes of the panel.

We know that our s/w is very supportive of our application, as is her boss. If you’ve read from the beginning, you might know that the manager, T, was the manager at the LA (local authority) where we had a failed attempt to be approved as prospective adopters. The trainer, according to our s/w, seemed to like us a lot. Unfortunately, these 3 people don’t vote!

So s/w talked through all of the things that could be ‘issues’. There was nothing surprising there. It was mostly that we need to be sure that we relate our answers to things we’ve been trained about, beging sure to bring in PACE and comments about attachment.

I asked if at the end we should ask a question. You know, when you have an interview for a job, they always ask you at the end if you have any questions? S/W indicated that it’s extremely unusual that prospective adopters ask questions, so we don’t need to do that.

The worrying thing about this whole process is that we’ve been here before, 7 years ago, and been rejected. It was incredibly painful. It took me a long time to get over. It took a year for me to even accept how deeply I was affected, and that’s when I could finally start healing. I do believe that I got over the trauma, which is what allowed me to even consider doing this again.

So the s/w said that *this* panel will be nervous to approve us, given that we weren’t approved before by the LA, as well as by the IRM (independent review mechanism) panel, which suggested that we try fostering! S/W has read our old PAR (it was called an F1 at the time). She thinks that there was an underlying feeling in the F1 that we were inflexible. Therefore, she has tried every hard to make our PAR show how flexible we really are and that we can cope with an adopted child.

This discussion brought me back to the question of a question at the end of panel. I suggeted that we might use it as an opportunity to “sell” ourselves and show them just how much we’ve learned and how flexible we are, etc. Hubby and I plan to think about the points we need to make so we can make them pithily.

Then Hubby and I had a tasty Thai dinner.