Nothing could prepare us for Little Man’s Life Appreciation Day.
This is a large meeting where the adopter/s meet all the professional who have met and worked with the child throughout their time in care. Some of these professionals would have been involved in the removal of the child, so can often give a clear account of how the child was at the time through to the present day.
We were ushered into a room which would normally fit 6 people in comfortably. However as you will gather from reading on, there were far more in the room. 16 people to be precise. Yes, 16! Weirdly it didn’t feel cramped but rather cosy - there were people all around the room, some seated and some standing. Some even shared their seated time with others! It was obvious Little Man had such a positive effect on so many people. We even had one person who had come in on their day off to share their account. We were truly humbled and touched they took time our of their day to meet us.
His Foster Carers had beautifully created a montage of photos, these spanning all the way from his first moments with foster carers, to a photograph taken a week earlier with us both with Little Man. Again, we felt so lucky to have met such amazing people who had gone to great lengths for this day and every day since Little Man had met them.
Over the next few hours we listened to each person about their experience of Little Man. We heard from social workers, nursery workers, medical professionals and his foster carers. We were very emotional hearing about his time when he was first moved into foster care. It wasn’t at all easy hearing difficult news, but slowly as each person spoke, we learned how being with foster carers had significant and profound effects on him. We were soon hearing about all the positive moments and memories made. So much had changed in his life and it was clear he was now in a secure, loving environment.
At times we were lost for words because we saw everybody in the room was so happy that we had been selected as adoptive parents. There were tears, hugs, sadness and laughter throughout. We never expected to be so moved. We both came away from his appreciation day knowing so much more about him and from those who has witnessed those significant changes in him too.
We knew we would gain and absorb a lot of information that day, but it was both heart wrenching and warming to hear Little Man’s life story. This little fella had encountered so much already, but now his life would change forever as we get closer to him being placed with us.
The next and final milestone we encounter is Matching Panel - so we will soon share our experience about this day.