In the third of our four-part series, find out how meeting the baby’s birth Mum through Concurrent Planning worked for Christine and Ian
Part Three – Meeting Mum
The next stage for us was probably our most anxious, as we would be meeting Daniel’s birth mum for contact sessions. Up until this point, we had the usual concerns ‘she’ll hate us because we have her child’, ‘what if she finds out where we are and causes trouble’?, ‘how will Daniel react after seeing mum again?’.
For us, meeting mum was actually a massive relief. As is most often the case, mum was more focused on seeing her child, than reacting to who was bringing him in to the contact centre or collecting him. And when we did chat, she was so grateful that he was being looked after. We are now almost four months into the placement and see mum at least three times a week. The relationship is great. We love the fact that we can chat with her and get to know her, because, should Daniel remain with us, we will be able to tell him about his birth mum knowing that we met her, knowing how she interacted with us and Daniel and knowing that she tried her best for him. This knowledge will be so essential for Daniel in his future.
We know that not all contact sessions go as well as ours have, in that sometimes parents don’t turn up or don’t engage with the child, but in our situation, mum has engaged well and loves to bring new clothes for him. Top tip – we separate Daniel’s clothes, so that he generally only ever wears clothes to contact sessions that his mum has bought for him – and her eyes light up when she sees this.
We’re currently still in a time of review for Daniel. Whilst adoption is looking likely for his future, we can’t yet be certain, and we’re genuinely fine with this. The fact that we have a relationship with Daniel’s mum makes it so easy to prepare for any eventuality. If he was to return home, we would be pleased that we were able to give mum the time and space she needed to show that she could care for her child. If Daniel stays with us, then we know that mum tried, and we can share this with Daniel as he gets older. Maybe it’s our Christian attitudes that help us to see this as part of God’s plan, but for us, it actually just seems common sense!
Read more – next time we’ll find out how Christine and Ian overcame challenges in the Concurrent Planning process…
Listen to Christine reading an extract from their story here..