Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Rush Rush Rush

We went out early-ish this morning as we had a LOT to get done. LMS needed to pick up a Temporary Resident form from our GPs as she needs to see him, but is now registered in her University Town! Then we had more shopping to do for our holidays, even though we aren't supposed to be taking THAT much stuff and buying lots while we are away!! My favourite sunglasses (gorgeous Disney ones with a diamante Mickey on) have broken and I can't find any I like in the shops - they are all HUGE "I'm a Celebrity" style ones and they don't suit me!! As Little Prince had been so good around the shops we took him to the local indoor play centre, had some lunch and then let him run around for an hour or so. I expected the place to be packed, but there was barely anyone there!! Little Prince seemed to prefer it that way and played really well with the other two kids in there with him, its probably as it wasn't as overwhelming as it is when its FULL!! After a while a younger girl came in to play too. And after she had been in for a while, she came to the edge and held onto the netting enclosure and said very plaintively "Mummy I can't get out" Poor mite. After her mum had tried for a couple of minutes to direct the tot out, I asked Little Prince to go and find her and lead her out with him. He lived up to his Little Prince name and tried his chivalrous best to help the little girl :-) She followed him (while being encouraged along by Little Prince to "Follow me") right up until they got to the big slide to the lower levels. Little Prince slid down, trying to persuade the tot to follow him but she was too scared :-( He went back and tried to show her another way down. I was so proud of him and how gentle and kind he was with the little girl :-) He is going to make a fantastic big brother one day :-)

Local Authority Offices

I was at the LA Offices this morning to pick up our CRB and Medical forms. I parked the car just as the Admin Lady was coming out of the building to go to the local eaterie. Before I'd even got out of the car she waved and ran back in to get the forms I needed :-) Another car pulled up and out popped LMS's Friend's Mum (the one who had the 19th birthday party at weekend) who came over and started to discuss our mutual daughter's Pole Dancing exploits!!! OMG!!!!! Then Team Leader comes out of the office too WHILE we are discussing POLE DANCING!!!!! By that point I am ready to have a nervous breakdown!!!!! It doesn't seem to bother anyone else though, and Team Leader even said how positive everything is looking and asked us when we were going on our hols!!! Once we safely had the forms and were driving away I couldn't stop saying "We were talking about Pole Dancing at the Social Worker's offices!!!!" in a high, squeaky and panicky voice!!!!!

CRBs and Medicals

LA's Team Leader was, yet again, in a meeting when I tried to speak to her this morning. However, I did manage to speak to the helpful Admin Lady and have arranged to pick up the CRB and Medical forms later today while we are out shopping. We also had an email from our SW saying that Team Leader's concerns were around Little Prince's emerging difficulties, but that she (SW) was fully supportive of our abilities to cope with both his issues and any that our future child brings to the family. After speaking with the Occupational Therapist last week and hearing her very optimistic views on progress she feels Little Prince will make, I think that many of his issues will have been addressed before our new Little One enters our family.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Heard from LA

I spent all day playing Telephone Tag with our LA's Team Leader! Eventually I was told that the meeting she probably wouldn't get out of her current meeting until after the office closed. So we gave up and went to the shop to pick up a new camera thingie that Mr Messy had ordered. We also called in at the Supermarket to get lots of bits and bobs that we need for our holidays. When I checked the answer machine when we got home, Team Leader had rung!! About half an hour after we went out!! Aargh!!! But the fabulous thing is that her message said that she and our SW would be meeting next week, and they were looking at a September Panel date!!!! I had to listen to the message two or three times to make sure she really said that!!! The last two times we've been to Approval Panel it has been after MONTHS of delays - not immediately!!!! OMG!!!!!! Can it really be true?!?! I've got fingers, toes and everything crossed that it will happen :-) I'm going to try and speak to Team Leader again tomorrow to arrange to pick up new CRB and Medical forms, as our current ones are out of date. I can get the CRB forms filled in and returned to our LA before we set off on holiday, and get appointments for our medicals as soon as we get back from holiday. Then all we need for our dossier is proof of Life Insurance and a letter from both our Accountant and our Bank. I think it is currently taking DCSF about 6 months to process papers and get them out to Ethiopia, but referrals are arriving very quickly after papers are received in Addis Ababa. OMG we could have news about our new Little One in 8 months time!!!!!! WOW!!!!!!!

Completely forgot to post about this!!!

Naughty Mummy!! I completely forgot to blog about Little Prince's first riding lesson!! It was last week after his last day of school, perhaps not that great timing looking back on it!! We arrived a little early at the stables so that Little Prince could be fitted with a hat, luckily they had one in his size (000 1/2!!). He was then introduced to both his instructor and the girl who would be leading the pony, and they introduced him to the pony Ellie. He had a private lesson on his own with the instructor and leader for this first time, and within minutes I could tell that he wasn't going to be that co-operative for them!! They were both a similar age to LMS and he could have done with someone older and with a bit more authority behind them!! The lesson was conducted in the enclosed Sand School and consisted mainly of being led round in a circle and being show how to make the horse turn, stop, go and trot. The instructor also got Little Prince to let go of the reins and touch his head, shoulders and knees, first while stood still and then while the pony was moving. This held Little Prince's interest for a while, but soon they were back to the walking round the arena! Little Prince said he wanted to jump over things, he'd spied the jumps set up in the field next door. He was mightily disappointed that he was only allowed to walk over poles placed on the ground!! And once again back to walking round and round! For a child with attention difficulties it must have been excrutiatingly boring!! As demonstrated by Little Prince yelling "Trot on Ellie! Trot on!" as he continuely tried to get the poor pony to go faster! After about 15 minutes it was obvious that he had had enough, the girls gamely persuaded him to last another five minutes but that was all he could manage. They gave up when he started to pull his feet out of the stirrups and try to get off while they were still walking round!! So Little Prince's first formal riding lesson didn't go as well as I'd hoped! I'm going to contact the stables after we return from our holidays and see if they can devise a more interesting lesson for him, if not I think riding will have to wait until he is a little older and his attention span has improved somewhat!!

New Washing Machine

My old washer (well not old I've only had it about 3 years or so) had started making the most horrendous clunking noises in the last week or so, but I ignored it and hoped it would go away!! Well yesterday Mr Messy heard it and declared it 'broken' and told me to stop using it and get the repair man in. Urgh!! As if I don't have enough to do getting ready to go on holiday next week!!! Well I rang my usual repair man and described the problem and told him what make it was, he said the bearings had gone and it was a common fault with Creda machines. He also said that modern appliances are only made to last about 5 years, and with the hammering my washer gets (at least one wash per day!) it probably wasn't worth repairing! This man is very honest and has been repairing my washers for years now, and always tells me if its worth getting them repaired or if they are ready for the scrap heap, so I trust him. He also supplies new washing machines and so I ordered a new one, I can't be without my washer!! Luckily he is very local and could come and deliver and install it TODAY :-) So I am now the proud owner of a brand new Hoover washing machine, which was in use within minutes of the repair man leaving the house lol.

Monday, 28 July 2008


Many many congratulations to S & T who are in China now and met their new, gorgeous little girl today :-) I have been obsessively checking their blog all day and cried when I finally saw they had met their little girl, and then cried even more when I saw the beautiful photos they posted :-)

Some More Catching Up!!

Friday: I spent the morning bullying anyone who stood still long enough, into helping me tidy up ready for some more HOST students arriving just after lunchtime. We managed to get quite a lot done, and the house didn't look too bad. I went off early to pick the students (whole family - Mum, Dad and two kids) so that I could call in the supermarket on the way and get some suitable food, as they are vegetarians. By the time I got to the station the family were already there waiting, so we got straight into the car and headed off home. It was very hot and stuffy in the car and the 4 year old little girl did not enjoy the trip at all. By the time we got out of the car she was hot, sweaty and very grumpy! We showed the family straight to their room as they wanted to get the little girl changed into some cooler clothes. Ten minutes later she came downstairs on her own, and sat silently ignoring all our questions, until she noticed the TV (hard to miss a whopping great 52" screen lol) and exclaimed "Jetix" and then "Power Rangers" that was it, she and Little Prince hit it off and spent a while playing with his Power Rangers and then his Disney Cars. When her parents appeared she went all shy again for a few minutes before recovering. She really was a little sweetie :-) Her older brother was an extremely quiet and shy young man, and charming in his own way too :-) After we had chatted for a while the parents went out for a walk round the village, leaving the children behind. Once Mr Messy came home we all ate together and chatted about the differences between England and Turkey. We carried on chatting until quite late, when we all decided we'd better go to bed as the children were bound to wake us up early the next morning!
Saturday: The HOST children weren't very impressed with being given toast with chocolate spread for breakfast and neither of them ate very much at all. We were at a bit of a loss as we didn't know where the parents were, we think they had gone for another walk! They reappeared and announced they had received a phone call from their home town in the UK and would have to return immediately!! We were very shocked by this, and I was quite worried that we had somehow done something to offend the family!! But we dutifully got everything stowed back into the car and I drove them back to the station. The little girl fared even worse on this trip, and we had to stop part way there as she was going to be sick, poor little mite. Luckily after that stop we managed to make it to the station without her getting too much worse. I hope she was OK on the train journey home again, we don't know as the students haven't answered my email asking if they got home OK. Which makes me suspect that we DID do something to upset them :-( This is the first time we've had HOST students that we didn't get a photograph of, or to write in our Student Guest Book :-(
Saturday: I finally got to speak to the Occupational Therapist who assessed Little Prince recently (she had gone on holiday straight after we received her report). I was very (VERY VERY) relieved to finally get to speak to her, and be reassured that despite the seemingly extreme difficulties Little Prince has, that, with her input and our support he will come on in leaps and bounds. We spent ages chatting on the phone about different things that could help him and different ways we can support this. She was extremely honest, and said there is no point having weekly sessions with her, as Little Prince's attention difficulties will make it very hard for him to respond to that. It would be much better if she visited monthly or so, gave us ideas on how to work with him and let us do the activities with him for short periods of time each day and her review his progress each month and suggest new ways to work with him if he needs it. She also asked if it would be possible to speak to his teacher for next year too, and I said I would try my best to arrange for her to be here when the therapist visits next Saturday. One huge advantage of living in a tiny village - you know everyone and everyone supports each other (Mr Messy fixes Teacher's computer - Teacher is very supportive and has agreed to come and meet with the Therapist to get her advice). I was so thrilled by this and feel that a huge weight has been taken off my shoulders :-) I'm not sure how Little Prince will cope with having the Therapist and Miss Teacher at his house lol.
In the evening I had to drop LMS off at one of her friend's house for friend's 18th birthday party. It was a fancy dress party and LMS was dressed as a Can Can Girl from the film Moulin Rouge - see her social networking site for pictures if you know who she is :-) She looked gorgeous as usual :-)
It was fairly late once I'd dropped her (and three other friends I'd had to pick up on the way) off so I decided to nip into a supermarket on the way home and pick up a newspaper and a snack to have for my tea. It isn't my usual supermarket so it took me ages to find the snack I wanted (white chocolate cookies YUM) and by the time I got to the tills there were queues at all of them, although there were only about 3 or 4 open. I had stood in the queue for about five minutes when the cashier announced she was closing and we would have to go to a different queue! I thought cashiers finished the queue and THEN closed the till?! So me and another shopper dutifully moved to the next open till, and again we stood there for about 5 minutes when the second cashier made the same announcement!!! The shopper in front of me asked where she suggested we go, she just shrugged and repeated that she was finishing at 8 O'Clock! I just dumped my stuff and stormed out!!! I had a fast food meal at the next door McDonalds instead and chuntered crossly on the phone to Mr Messy about cr*p customer service!!
Sunday: Drama Teen spent the day getting her bag packed for her annual adventure camp. Apart from when she dragged Mr Messy to the shops to get her some stuff she still needed - suncream, bug repellant and water shoes! She packed all her things herself and didn't want me to check her bags, which I've got to admit drove me a bit nuts - what if she's forgotten something!! But she is right she is old enough now to take the consequences if she has, and I'm proud of her independance :-)
Monday: Mr Messy worked from home today, so that he could drive Drama Teen to her camp coach pick up point. I don't envy them the drive at all in this weather!! Little Prince cried and cried when they left and has made comments about missing Drama Teen all day since. Mr Messy rang up not long after lunch to say they had successfully met up with the coach and after waiting a while for latecomers, Drama Teen was safely on her way. I hope she has a fantastic time, I'm sure she will :-) There are so many activities planned for the kids to do, she won't have time to not have fun lol. We haven't really done much today, its been too hot lol. Although this evening one of Little Prince's friends rang up to see if he would come to the village park to play, well the friend's parent rang up lol. So we spent an hour or so sat on a park bench chatting with the various other Mum's there while the kids ran around and got all hot and bothered. Next time I'll remember to take a drink for Little Prince!!

Possible Panel Date ALREADY!!!

As we are on holiday soon for two weeks, I thought I'd send our Social Worker a quick email and ask if our Local Authority was happy with our report or if they felt we needed to do some more work on it. I got the most unexpected reply back - Team Leader is happy with the report and is considering a September Panel!!!!! OMG!!!! Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that we could get to Panel THAT soon!!!! I've just sent an email to Team Leader to hopefully get confirmation of this fabulous news, and if she does we will have to get CRB forms from her and fill them in and send them off before we go away, as they have to be less than 6 months old when they reach DCSF and the ones from our China Application will be too old. I can't quite believe this is really happening!! Pinch me!! Pinch me!!!!!

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Bye Bye Fraulein :-(

Today was the day I'd been dreading and pretending wasn't happening. Fraulein returned home again after her visit, and this time sadly it felt more permanent. We have had so much fun with Fraulein while she has been here with us, and she will ALWAYS be a special part of our family. Miss you Fraulein
UPDATE I got a text late last night to say that Fraulein had arrived safely home in Germany, with an unexplained detour to Poland on the way!! Have a lovely Summer Holiday with your family Fraulein, and hope the driving lessons go well :-)

Wednesday, 23 July 2008


Yesterday we all noticed a strange smell in the dining room, but couldn't work out what it was or where it was coming from - fairly worrying!! Until we went into the Utility Room that is! The plug socket for the extension that my washing machine and tumble drier plug into had blown - and melted and burnt out some of the plastic (which made the funny smell!!). Urgh!!! I can't be without my washing machine and tumble drier - I've a Little Prince who gets mucky as only little boys can!! Luckily my friendly, neighbourhood handyman was able to get hold of a new face plate for the socket and had time to come round and fix it :-) The inside of the socket showed signs of damp - which is very annoying as we had a brand new damp course put in throughout the house when we moved here! How long are those things supposed to last for?! I thought that once they were done, that was it the house would be damp proof forever - apparently not!! To try and catch up with the washing/drying I had both machines running at once, something I do regularly. Obviously my new socket isn't happy with that idea, and the fuse in the extension blew! So now I've got washing and drying piling up and can only use one machine at once! Urgh!! Drama Teen goes on her annual activity holiday next week, and I need to get her stuff washing, dried and ironed (to top it all my ironing lady is on holiday and I have to iron my own stuff!!!!). Drama Teen comes back (no doubt with every single thing she took needing washing) the Friday before we go on holiday on the Monday - so I NEED my washer and drier to be working!!!

Kitties :-)

Here is a new picture of Wolfie (all black) and Figaro (black and white). Aren't they cute :-)

Saturday, 19 July 2008

What a Day!

This morning we set off early to drop Fraulein off at the train station, where she was meeting her friend and going shopping for another friend's birthday present. We were almost at the station when Fraulein announced she was shopping in a completely different town, in totally the opposite direction and that would cost her quite a lot to get to by train, but we could have driven her there in 20 mins!! It was too late to do anything about this, and we dropped her off and wished her a happy day with her friend.
UPDATE: Fraulein purchased her train ticket and waited for her friend, and waited and waited and waited!! In this day and age of constant communication and mobile phones, there is no excuse for standing someone up!!! In the end she contacted another friend (who lives in the destination town) and arranged to meet him instead. Her next problem was that the train wasn't running!! Then the bus wasn't running either!! The Train Station Staff offered to get and pay for a taxi for Fraulein's journey, but she, very sensibly, opted to get her money back instead. She then arranged to meet a different friend (the one she should have been buying the birthday present for) and spent time with her instead before coming home on the bus. She was extremely cross with the first friend for treating her like that, and I don't blame her at all!! Then this evening Fraulein and LMS set off back to town to meet both the above friends for a meal. They got part way there when the first (unreliable!!) friend texted to say her parents would give Fraulein a lift - wonder if they felt guilty about leaving Fraulein in the lurch this morning!! I was fuming on Fraulein's behalf - how could this girl do this to her?!?! She has come all the way back from Germany to visit and spend time with these girls, and this is how they treat her!!! Diabolical!!!!! Luckily despite the fact that she was furious with the first friend, they managed to have a nice meal, and first friend's parents dropped Fraulein off here for us too.
We (me, Little Prince, Drama Teen and Mr Messy) then set off to pick up Mr Messy's new camera equipment, extremely expensive professional camera body and lenses that he has invested in for his new business. The camera shop was a couple of hours away and Drama Teen and Little Prince seemed to bicker the whole way there - I'm going to see if I can get a screen (like you see in taxis) fitted between the front seats and back seats!!! Once we reached the camera shop me and Little Prince played in the car, while Mr Messy and Drama Teen went in to collect all the packages - there is way too much expensive camera equipment on show in the shop to allow Little Prince lose in there lol.
Once we had safely stowed all the gear in the boot, we drove round to my parent's house to visit my Mum (Dad had already gone out unfortunately so we missed him). Little Prince played with Grandma's toys (she still has a huge drawer full of toys ready for when the grandchildren visit :-) He was VERY impressed when Grandma gave him a big bag full of Lego to add to his box at home - he even gave her a hug and kiss for that!! We had a chat, got fed some lunch and Mr Messy charged up his new camera battery - did he have an ulterior motive for the visit?!?!
After a lovely visit, we set off for our next destination! A seaside town where we were visiting friends. The main reason for the visit was for Mr Messy to be the 'official event photographer' for his friend and his eldest daughter having their heads shaved! Both have very long hair, although I think the Dad's hair was actually longer than his daughter's!! This was a charity event to raise money for Leukemia Research, which means a lot to their family for personal reasons. I was amazed that the daughter (15 year old image conscious teenage girl) actually went through with it - she is very brave. And then she admitted she still had a few days of school left, which made me think she was even braver!! The trouble was that Little Prince announced he needed the toilet just as the scissors came out!!! So me and him had to run over to a nearby shopping centre to find some toilets and missed the whole thing!!! Luckily we had arranged to all have a meal together afterwards, so we did get to see the 'end result'!! I can't wait to see the photos of the process too lol.
While all this was going on LMS stayed home as we thought she was needed to ferry Fraulein around to her various activities. Which turned out not to be needed, so LMS was quite upset to have missed visiting Grandma, sorry about that LMS - you will definitely have to come next time we go. She also had to act as a nurse to Figaro the kitten most of the day!! Apparently Figaro was limping quite badly and not acting herself. LMS tried to put her in the cat basket to keep her quiet and still, but that seemed to make her much more upset and she started to shake and squeak :-( LMS was very worried, and there wasn't a lot we could do as we were over the other side of the country! In the end I got my (cat mad) best friend to come round and check over Figaro, and her opinion was that she had probably sprained something rather than broken any bones. We are going to keep an eye on poor Figaro and if she's no better on Monday I'll ring the vet, but at the moment she is sleeping peacefully and seems a bit better. Wolfie seems to understand that there is something wrong and hasn't tried to fight with her sister all day - good girl Wolfie :-) And good girl LMS for coping with the kitten crisis on your own, we are very proud of you :-)

Friday, 18 July 2008

Fraulein's Back :-)

Fraulein arrived 'home' (for a visit and to attend a friend's birthday party) late yesterday evening :-) And it is so nice to have her back with us, its like she's never been away :-) Little Prince came into our room this morning wanting to know if he could go and wake Fraulein up, as it was after 7am I let him (it gave me a few more minutes peace lol). He was quite confused that she wasn't going to go to college and suspiciously pointed out that he and Drama Teen still had to go to school.

I deliberately left the dishwasher full for her (it was her job to empty it when she lived here lol) and she has just seamlessly fitted back in with the family :-) She attended Little Prince's school Merit Assembly this afternoon with me and he was so excited to see her there and kept turning round to wave to us both. Then as the children were leaving the hall, he pointed to us and told his teacher "That's my Mummy and the Crazy German"!! Poor Fraulein!!

Nice Comments

Don't you love it when other people (ie not family) make nice comments about your kids? Well I do :-) Little Prince (who can be a handful) has a private swimming lesson on Friday evenings, just him and the teacher. After his lesson the teacher was telling me how well he is coming on and what a joy to teach he is :-) She said that he is just so constantly smiley and happy that you can't help but love him :-) She also said that she'd had to tell him off for splashing her deliberately, and she was very impressed that he'd immediately stopped splashing and apologised to her. Isn't he a lovely boy :-) With all the long term implications of the recent OT and Paediatrician visits, it is so heartening to hear such lovely comments about my precious little man :-) I KNOW he's great, but I'm biased as I'm his Mummy - its lovely to hear others who don't HAVE to like him saying what a great little boy he is :-)

Where have I been lol

I've had a few emails and comments asking if we are all ok as I haven't updated my blog for a while. I just want to let everyone know that we are all fine, just busy with end of term school stuff - not too long to go and then its the Summer Hols :-) I'll try and update again this evening when Little Prince is fast asleep :-)

Its Official!

We got a letter from the DCSF this morning, letting us know that they have contacted the CCAA to tell them officially that we are withdrawing our application, and to request they return our dossier. Even though I am now committed to our Ethiopian adoption and our future child from Ethiopia, I am a little sad and reflective that we have now officially withdrawn from the China adoption programme. Who knew, when we started all excited and full of dreams, that it would end like this? We confidently expected that we would be home with our daughter by now, and here we are still in the process and still waiting. It seems so long ago. But if the wait for a referral from China hadn't lengthened at the astonishing rate that it has for the past few years, we wouldn't now be changing to an Ethiopian adoption. I am sure that once we have our new little one in our arms, that we will see that this is how it was supposed to be and that our new little one is the perfect addition to our family :-)

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Homestudy Update COMPLETE!!!

Our SW arrived this morning, moments after Mr Messy and Little Prince got home from their Boys Day Out to Toys R Us and McDonalds! We were all in the middle of unpacking (and untwiddling all those nightmare wire fasteners) the Star Wars toys Little Prince had chosen. He got such a FABULOUS school report last week, that this was his treat from Daddy :-) Our SW waited patiently while we sorted out all the boxes and Little Prince happily chatted away to her about his trip with Daddy and his new toys. LMS then took him out to the local Indoor Play Centre, to keep him amused while me and Mr Messy talked to the SW, and Drama Teen tidied her bedroom.

We talked for the next four hours!! We went over in detail, our reasons for changing from China to Ethiopia, our reasons for choosing Ethiopia, our plans to keep our future child in touch with her original language and culture and what, if any, special needs we felt we could cope with. We also had to explain the adoption process in Ethiopia and the likely background of children needing to be placed for adoption. We were amazed at how much we got through! We also had to read through the revisions to the report following the SW's visit last Monday.

We also had to go into great detail about Little Prince's emerging difficulties. Although when shown his glowing school report, and his narrowly focussed IEP (concentrates on fine motor control) she agreed that it is nothing to get worried about and that it shouldn't present any great difficulties to us either now or when our new little one joins our family.

At the end of our visit our SW said she was going to go and type up all the information from today and contact our LA's Team Leader to say the updates are all ready. We all think the Team Leader will want to schedule a meeting between herself and our SW to discuss the report, and our SW says she will want to go over it with a fine tooth comb!! So there could be more work to do, but we won't know until SW and Team Leader have had their meeting. Once everyone is happy that the report is complete and that Panel will be happy with it, we will be assigned a Panel date. Once we have a date to work towards we can then schedule our new medicals and apply for new CRB checks. Our SW agrees that this was done (at our LA's insistance) too early last time and that we shouldn't start those until we have a firm date for Panel.

I am completely amazed and stunned, that that was it!!! Despite our LA's insistance that we have a 'whole new homestudy' our pragmatic and practical SW has done what we asked in the first place - updated our existing report!! We've just got to keep our fingers firmly crossed that the new report satisfies our LA Team Leader and that we get to Panel with a minimum of delays - which given how slowly our LA works would be a minor miracle!!

Friday, 11 July 2008

LMS has hurt her wrist

She isn't sure whether it was cooking bolognaise or pole dancing that did it!!! And no I'm not googling pictures for this post!!!!!!!!!

Paediatrician Visit

I took Little Prince to see the Paediatrician this morning. We were with him for about two to two and half hours, even the nurse said we got our money's worth lol. He took extensive birth and developmental history. He observed Little Prince as he played and we talked. He asked lots of searching questions about his behaviour and schooling. The Paediatrician wants Little Prince to have blood tests to see if there is any underlying medical/chemical reason for Little Prince's difficulties, as we have little to no medical history for his birth family. He also wants him to be checked out by a specialist Speech and Language Therapist, to check his understand and comprehension of speech, due to the fact that Little Prince can take things that are said, very literally. He wants Little Prince observed and assessed by the Educational Psychologist and for school to fill in some questionairres about his abilities and behaviour. He took a copy of the Occupational Therapist report, and said it was a very good report. He said that given Little Prince's scores for fine motor control and visual motor integration that there is no quesiton that he has dyspraxia. But that he thinks there is a lot more going on, he is considering ADHD and Aspergers. He does not like to diagnose ADHD before the age of six years, but says that Little Prince has obvious attention and concentration issues. The Aspergers comment was due to Little Prince's penchant for lining up his toys and his very literal interpretations of things that are said to him. We are seeing the Paediatrician again in November after the other tests/investigations have been done, so that he has a more complete idea of Little Prince's areas of difficulties. The Paediatrician checked that we were okay with travelling to that particular hospital as he said Little Prince would probably be under his care for a good few years to come. He mentioned the dreaded medication for ADHD, but said that he does not prescribe this unless the child is given a lot of other support, as the medication just masks the symptoms and does not help the underlying issues. This was quite reassuring as I would hate for a 'chemical cosh' to be used on my bouncy little man.

At the moment I'm quite stunned and overwhelmed by all of this. We have other things going on at the moment that make this quite a difficult time and have some hard thinking and decision making to do. Think of us...

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Occupational Therapist's Report

We got the OT report on Little Prince yesterday. It made very sobering reading. My gorgeous little man is struggling so hard in some areas, that he is in the bottom couple of percent of children his age! I was so shocked. And guilty. Why hadn't we noticed earlier? How have I not seen this? I'm trying to convince myself that the fact that we haven't noticed is a testament to his intelligence and determination, but I am so sad for him. He tries so hard, really really hard, and certain tasks must be impossibly difficult for him - but he still tries. He is still a cheerful, happy, friendly and confident little lad, bless him.

We also got his school report yesterday. Which apart from "boiler plate" text in parts (Mr Messy says school use a computer programme where you tick boxes according to the child's abilities and it squirts out the corresponding text) was very good. He is excelling in his maths, he is a popular member of the class and excels at messy play!! I know - I'm the one who tries to wash his school uniform!! I should buy shares in Vanish!!!

The Occupational Therapist is on holiday for the next couple of weeks, but as soon as she returns we will be talking to her about her working with Little Prince to help him with his difficulties. Despite the difficulties the report makes clear he has, it is also very positive in that there is a LOT we can do to support and help him :-)

Monday, 7 July 2008


I ordered a new handheld mini Dyson vacuum cleaner on the internet over the weekend, to be delivered to my local supermarket. The confirmation said that I could collect my order after 4pm today. I even got a phone call from the store saying that my order had arrived and was ready for collection. So this evening after getting Little Prince settled in bed, checking that Drama Teen and Mr Messy were ok (they've been ill all day) me and LMS set off to the supermarket to collect my new vac. We arrived at the supermarket collection desk at 8.10pm - only to be told by the lady on the next desk that the collection desk closes at 8pm!!! On the dot obviously - there was no one anywhere to be seen!!! WHY couldn't the member of staff who took the trouble to ring me and let me know my order was ready, TELL ME what time the collection desk closed??? For the sake of TEN MINUTES I wasted a 40 minute round trip!!!! AAAAAAARGH!!! I've a good mind to stuff them and go and get it from Argos instead!!!!!

It Begins!

I spent the weekend veering between madly tidying and just being mad (crazy mad not grumpy mad)!! Because our Social Worker visited today to start redoing our homestudy, in preparation for changing countries. Her visit was scheduled for 3pm, so LMS and Mr Messy were dreading spending the day with the Manic Tidying Lady!! However, Mr Messy deftly escaped tidying duties by managing to catch Little Prince's chucking up bug at 5am this morning. And being a man he wasn't quiet and delicate about it, he bellowed and groaned at the toilet for ages waking up the whole house!!! Little Prince decided enough was enough (his bedroom is right next door to the bathoom) and went downstairs to play on the Wii, and I don't blame him!! After getting back to sleep for not very long, I had to wake everyone else up, and it became obvious that Drama Teen was also not a well bunny and would have to stay home from school. So poor LMS was left all alone to cope with an increasingly panicked and manic mother!! Then after a whole day of that, she had to collect Little Prince from school and try to keep him happy and amused in the dining room with the manic kittens rampaging around!! They were swiftly confined to their travel box lol.

Mr Messy manfully coped with our Social Worker's questions, despite being laid on the sofa under a bright pink fleecy blanket!! We managed to plough through loads of updating, I was amazed how much we had actually done in the two years since our last report was written!! Mr Messy excused himself to get some paracetemols and disappeared!!! I found out later that he had felt dizzy and gone for a lie down, and fallen fast asleep!!! I know he was ill, but that didn't stop me being extremely cross with him GRRRR!!! I didn't tell him that though, as he felt bad enough as it was. Me and our Social Worker carried on as much as we could, until we came to the parts she would have to interview us together on and so we had to stop. She then rearranged her Saturday visit to the afternoon, which complicates everything the girls are doing, but I'm sure we'll work it all out.

However, later in the evening I got an email from our Social Worker saying she'd had a rethink and wanted the meeting to be in the morning as originally arranged. Her email said "so that we could try to complete the assessment" WOWOWOWOW COMPLETE THE ASSESSMENT I really really hope that we can get the bulk of the work done this quickly!! I KNOW our Local Authority are going to be extremely slow at processing the next parts of our update, and booking us into Panel, so the quicker we can COMPLETE THE ASSESSMENT the better :-) I'm trying very hard to keep my feet on the ground and not get too excited, but its way to late for that!!! I'm already thinking we could possibly be at Panel in September!!!! Although I keep telling myself that anytime before Christmas would be fantastic, given our Local Authority's lack of speed!!!

Friday, 4 July 2008

Sicky Night and Sleepy Day

Little Prince was spectacularly sick last night and then had a couple more bouts of retching and feeling awful. We were both so tired that we spent most of this afternoon in bed. After restricting him to just clear fluids all morning, I allowed him a couple of dry crackers after he had woken up and he seems to be perking up :-) He is still quite lethargic and doesn't want to run round, and is content to just sit on the sofa and watch TV or play on the Wii, so I know he's not totally recovered. I'm hoping he is recovered enough to allow me and Mr Messy to carry on with our plans to go out for a meal and to the cinema with our friends K and I tonight though. LMS says she is willing to give it a try, and we will have our mobiles with us, so she can get us to come home quickly if needed. Unless he is sick again, I think we will chance it!

Thursday, 3 July 2008


I have just spent a good few hours getting all my research on adopting from Ethiopia printed out. I've also made a list of books we've already got (in addition to the veritable library we already had when we were preparing to adopt from China) and ordered quite a few more from Amazon. All this because our social worker finally starts coming to see us again on Monday!! Its only taken our Local Authority since last FEBRUARY to get this moving!! And I want to ensure that there are no more hold ups or delays, well as much as I can with our VERY VERY slow LA. Me and LMS have been sorting things out around the house so it looks tidier and neater. So I think we are all ready to go!! NOW I'm nervous!!!!

An Ewok for Kate!!!

LMS says "How on earth can you not know what an Ewok is? They are the cutest thing ever invented" But then again she is a Star Wars geek lol.
Anyway just for you Kate THIS is an Ewok :-)

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

It finally happened!

This morning as he was getting ready for school, Little Prince quite matter of factly told me I wasn't his "proper mum." I have to say that the only thing that surprised me was that he said this at such a young age, I had expected it more from a teenage tantrum than from a normal everyday conversation with a 5 year old. I'm not sure how well or badly I handled it, as I just matter of factly told him that "No I'm not your Tummy Mummy, but I am the Mummy who looks after you." I also explained that Mummies have two jobs i) to grow the baby in their tummy and ii) to look after the baby and help them grow up big and strong. And that some Mummies do both jobs for their children, and some Mummies aren't ready to do the second job and social workers and Courts find the children new Mummies who ARE ready. He seemed to accept this and happily carried on getting ready for school.

Any ideas on what else I could have said? I don't want to invalidate what he was obviously thinking and I'm not sure my answer doesn't try to do that! He has also been saying for the last couple of nights that he wishes he was 0 (ie a baby under one) so that he could come out of my tummy. Poor little lad is obviously processing a LOT of adoption related stuff right now.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Educational Psychologist Meeting

Me and Mr Messy met with the Education Psychologist and SENCO this morning. The Ed Psych had already observed Little Prince and made notes on what he had seen. We were there for about half an hour and covered a lot of ground, what issues we thought were most pressing, how we thought he could be better supported in school and his background history. We will receive a copy of the Ed Psych's report once it is ready. We mentioned that we are waiting for an appointment at the local hospital after being referred by our GP, and the Ed Psych knew the centre we could be referred onto from the hospital. We agreed that rather than overload Little Prince with too many assessments we will wait and see if he is referred to the centre, which will assess him. If he isn't referred onto there then the Ed Psych will come and assess Little Prince himself, he will be in contact again in Sept/Oct to decide which way we are progressing. He was very positive that we are supporting and helping Little Prince and that much can be done to address his issues in the future.

This afternoon we had a phone call from the local hospital to check if a week on Friday was a good day for Little Prince to attend. So things are moving forward on that front too :-)


25th May 2009 - See New Child again & Court Date

23rd May 2009 - Fly back to Ethiopia

26th March 2009 - Fly to Ethiopia :-)

3rd March 2009 - Dossier Arrived at Orphanage

26th February 2009 - Dossier sent to Ethiopia

22nd December 2008 - Dossier back at DCSF

28th November 2008 - Certificate of Eligibility ISSUED

6th October 2008 - PASSED Approval Panel

7th July 2008 - Homestudy Update Started

28th Feb 2008 - Told LA we wished to change country


Formally withdrew from the China Adoption Programme 17th July 2008

LID (Logged in Date) with CCAA 16th August 2007

Documents to China 10th August 2007

Passed Approval Panel 5th March 2007

Homestudy started 6th June 2006

First Contact with our LA 1st Jan 2006