Five hours in the car with our two new boys - definitely a baptism of fire!!!!

We stopped at a service station for a break and went to Burger King with the boys.

‘What do you normally eat boys?’ They just stared at us!!! Anyone observing must have thought what an odd family we were. We continued our journey, feeling nervous and apprehensive for the days and weeks ahead.

We arrived home and we just sat there, exhausted, watching these two little boys, just playing on our floor. We were responsible for these boys and we now couldn’t just pop out as and when we pleased. This was going to take some getting used to.

The next few days were a bit of a blur. A constant stream of visitors, family and friends, all wanting to meet the boys. We tried to keep it to a minimum, but people were so excited for us.

these two meant everything to me

Pearl, our social worker was there for us if whenever we needed her. During one visit, after about a month I think, she asked us how we were coping and feeling.

‘I like them’, I said, and ‘I care about them, but I don’t love them’. I felt guilty saying it, but relieved.

Janet said that she felt the same, and had not wanted to say anything.

Pearl just smiled at us and told us not to worry. It was completely natural. She told that we would grow to love them.

Well, believe me, it happened very quickly. I don’t think I could pinpoint the exact moment, but one day I just realised that these two meant everything to me. I was always worried if I would love them as much as if I had had my own - well, having not had my own, I still can’t imagine loving them any more than I do. They are everything and more than we were looking for.

Janet took six months off work, but unfortunately I had to go back to work after two weeks.

It was nice to get back to some sort of normality, but I really did miss the boys. I looked forward to the weekends so much. I took the boys out and it gave Janet a bit of a break.

After a few weeks, we had our first LAC review. This was a review of the boys as Looked After Children involving Janet and me, Pearl, the boys’ social worker, a health visitor and an independent reviewing officer. The review took place in our house and looked at all aspects of how things were going – health, education, any concerns anyone has and how the boys were settling in with us generally. We were a bit nervous, but it all went well and everyone seemed pleased with the boys’ progress.

By the time we were three months in, we truly wondered what we did with our time and money before the boys arrived!

Patrick & Janet's Story - Part VIII