It's all gone quiet over here...
There has been a flurry of fostering-related activity here this week as my annual review is coming up next week. My supervising social worker called unexpectedly yesterday (statutory annual unannounced visit - tick!) to drop off the paperwork for me to sign.
There wasn't much of it. I've only fostered Birdy this year and that placement ended in August when the adoption order went through. None of the requested reports from other professionals have materialised, so there was only my social worker's report to read. Most of it is pretty much the same as last year's. And when I say "the same", I mean lifted word for word, complete with last year's dates. Then there's the paragraph that begins by talking about me, but ends with several sentences about a completely different fostering family. Cut and paste. Hey ho.
I signed it off anyway. I have a strong suspicion that these reports aren't always given the close attention they deserve and all end up in a filing cabinet somewhere. Let's see what the IRO says next week.
All of this has thrown into sharp relief how much quieter things have been around here since I asked for a six-month fostering break about six weeks ago. It's not so much the lack of social worker visits - she comes around once a month, so it's not so onerous. No, it's more the fact that I haven't spent a single moment of the past six weeks jumping when the phone rings, anxiously stretching my finances, and worrying about what will happen if the phone doesn't ring. I have been able to plan things. I have been in control about what will happen this week, next week, next month.
There is a new rhythm to our lives now. We're experiencing an ongoing period of adjustment. OB has voiced his disapproval about some aspects of it but I like this. I much prefer it when he uses words to express his disapproval! We seem to be settling into a routine that works for us for now.
It feels as though our lives belong to us again, and I can't deny that it's a good feeling.