Once we had the official approval, we got on with the real preparations. Collating pictures of ourselves and our immediate family for memory and transition books and aids. There are some fantastic resources out there. Toys, teddies and books that can record your voice messages. We did a video for our second child. I walked around our house talking to teddy bears and reading stories to toys – I looked like I was doing an audition for a CBeebies presenter! I absolutely loved it and there is no doubt that these things significantly helped with recognition and familiarisation in the lead up to introductions.
It was really lovely for our families to start playing a key part. To make them feel more involved. Although they met our social worker, a lot of the assessment process was just about us. Generally, I think it’s hard for family to feel part of it all until this point. Part of this was down to us though. Well me really. Not wanting to get their hopes up. Not wanting to give them extra stress. Not wanting to let them down (again) if we weren’t approved. We should have given them far more credit. They have been incredibly supportive throughout our adoption journey.
We got on with decorating too. Giving our spare room an overhaul to become our child’s bedroom. It’s funny how at this point, I had firmly put the years of heartache and disappointment to the back of my mind. I hardly thought about the losses or feelings of despair. The emptiness. There was so much to do and so much to focus on. I got brochures from all the baby and child stores and spent my evenings circling things we’d need. Writing list upon list of what we needed to buy.
I chose cute animal prints for the nursery. I’ll never forget catching a glimpse of all the bedding and blankets dancing around in the wind on the washing line. My heart melted. A priceless memory. Those things were for our child. Our son or daughter. It probably sounds a bit cheesy, but I felt like I already loved them. I was going to be a mum. Hopefully very soon.