We all get big news from time to time. If you get the job you’ve always wanted or a house sale goes through or you get together with the man or woman of your dreams, things that make you feel brilliant. But I don’t think there is anything in this world that feels as incredible as knowing you’re going to have children. And when you’re approved adopters that phone call could come at any time. There’s no way of knowing when it will be and it’s not like you can eat a bowl of chillies to speed it up.
When you’re waiting for that call you can drive yourself a little bit crazy. You know something major is going to happen in your life but you have no idea when. You can still enjoy hung over lie-ins at the weekend and plan holidays without giving a hoot about term times, but every so often you remember this won’t last. It’s a time I look back on with a certain fondness, even though in reality I was probably unbearable to be around.
You see, I’m a big communicator. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, texting, blogging, emailing or good old-fashioned talking to someone face-to-face, I like to stay in touch and know the news. Waiting for this phone call from our social worker was beginning to make me turn purple. Every time my mobile rang with an unknown number I practically jumped on it. We had been approved for 3 months and were beginning to get fed up of sleeping in and pleasing ourselves. Then one day, it rang.
My partner was in London with work and I was at my desk. It was a normal day. The mobile went. I jumped up and ran into the corridor to answer it. It was our lovely social worker. She asked if I was free to talk and I could feel my palms going sweaty. She said, ‘You’ve been matched’. I felt sick. She told me all about these two little children, a boy and a girl, and said she would come round next week with more information and their photographs. Naturally, the first thing I did was call my other half. Voicemail. I tried again. Voicemail. And again. Voicemail. I shook my phone in frustration. This was killing me. I couldn’t tell another soul in the world what I knew before telling her and this was the biggest news of my life.
Sitting back at my desk I tried to concentrate on writing a piece about sustainable energy for a construction magazine. As if. I was chewing my lips, sweating, sitting on my hands, banging my head on the desk and being very melodramatic. Why couldn’t I get hold of her? A friend asked me if I was okay but all I could do was nod my head with wild eyes. This was very unlike me. Then my phone rang and it was her. My heart felt like it was going to explode.
This time I went outside in the bright sunshine and I finally told her our news. She had been on a broken down tube for half an hour and came out to about 24 missed calls. We talked all about it and I told her what little I knew. We kept saying their names over and over again. I couldn’t believe she was in London and we couldn’t just meet up and talk even more about it. How could I go back to writing a piece on solar panels now? At least I was able to tell other people. I called my mum, our best friends and other adopters who had also been matched. Then I ran in and told my colleagues the news as well. My boss might have wanted me to spend a bit more time doing what I was paid for and less time repeating myself to anyone who would listen but he didn’t let it show. When my other half got home we opened a bottle of champagne and started imagining what our lives would be like.
As I write the girl is drawing a picture of her family on her easel and the boy is out at one of the many parties they get invited to. I’m sat here trying to think of something witty to round off this blog, but I can’t so I’ll go for sentimental instead. Somehow, some way, we were matched with the most brilliant children imaginable. It’s not always easy, I do have the odd ‘fisher-wife’ moment trying to get them out the door, but the social workers got this match absolutely right. I never did go back to my job after taking adoption leave, but I was probably a rubbish employee anyway because I never stopped staring at my phone for those last few months.