Nervous, did not even come close to describing how we felt!

We seemed to wait around for an eternity, and to add to our anxiety, the panel was running late.

Surely the panel would see that I was too old (47) and too overweight. Why would they want to let us adopt children? Pearl, as ever, was calming and reassuring.

Sitting in front of the Panel was quite daunting. We knew, however, that once we were approved, then we could concentrate on finding the right children to complete our family.

They were actually quite a friendly bunch, and we responded to their questions and concerns fairly well, I thought.

It seemed to be over in a flash, and we waited in an office while they made their decision.

Pearl came in a few minutes later and told us that we had been approved. We felt relieved and extremely happy. Although we knew that there were difficult decisions ahead.

I just wanted to buy a bigger house and adopt them all!

In many ways, family finding was the hardest part of our adoption story so far.

We read so many profiles of different children and groups of siblings, all with their own sad story.

We made one rather important decision quite early though - we wanted to adopt two children, preferably boys.

We were so happy to have both agreed on this decision, although we had been talking about it for a while.

We inquired, through Pearl, about a couple of sets of siblings. It was so hard looking at a picture and reading a profile, and then trying to decide if these ‘strangers’ could possibly be our children. I just wanted to buy a bigger house and adopt them all!!!!

This was a very frustrating time, as we seem to be getting little feedback from the children that we enquired about.

Then, one day, Pearl was contacted by a social worker who had seen our profile, I presumed on a website somewhere, and had forwarded a profile of two little brothers.

We read their details and looked at their picture. We feel an instant attraction. They actually look a little bit like us.

A meeting was arranged with their social worker. We were nervous, but we had a good feeling about this.

We met up at our house and the boys’ social worker showed us a small video clip of the boys playing football.

To see them walking and running and talking just confirmed what we were already feeling. We agreed to leave it for a few days and then decide whether we wanted to take it any further.

Janet was keen straight away, although my natural, prudent approach made me a little bit wary.

The more detailed file on the boys just added to my worries. Their difficult start in life was hard to read, but was like so many of the profiles that we had read.

We found out a few days later that the boys’ social worker was offering the boys to us and we accepted!!!!! How excited were we by this!

All my worries disappeared and we began to focus on our future family.

Of course the timing was not good as Christmas was fast approaching, among other factors, our Matching Panel was set for January.

Patrick & Janet's Story Part IV - Matching Panel & Foster parents