What's In A Name?

I've been thinking a lot about names recently. Not first names.. surnames. And what they mean to someone. What does your surname mean to you?

Is it romantic to think your name means "family"? That it means "where I belong"? And deeper than that, about heritage. I guess it's different for men, because a woman's name changes throughout her life as she takes on her husband's name and becomas part of his family.

I've partly been thinking about it because my husband and I are not yet divorced. He said he was going to file and I believed he needed to do that in defiance of what I'd done and as part of his "closure". Or maybe he just wanted to see how I would react, but he never took it further. I suspect the £450 it costs to file the petition these days had something to do with that though. And that's not me being cynical, it's certainly the reason I haven't done it it. Do you know how many pairs of Christian Louboutins you can get for that!? Well.. okay one but still!

Always My Lily..

Some of you.. if you're even a teensy bit more observant than I am.. will have noticed I've change my Blog display name to "Lily's Mum".

I'm a member of a few forums including the Fertility Friends Adoption & Fostering boards (which I can't recommend enough by the way, if you're looking for info and support) and a few people suggested I want to be a bit more "anonymous" as they are frequently used by SWs and VAs/LAs etc. and you never know do you so.. welcome advice anyway.

Also I don't want anyone stumbling on this accidentally, before I've had chance to tell them myself. Especially colleagues.

You may also be wandering who the hell Lily is! No.. I do not have a lovechild that I am keeping hidden from the world. But Lily is my little girl.

My Dads..

The good news is.. I reconnected with my step dad yesterday. No big dramas or explosions.. it's funny how much harder it gets to contact someone the longer it's been since you last spoke.

Anyway.. it'll be fine. We have lots to talk about but baby steps for now. I'm hoping to visit at the end of March when I take my sister out for her birthday.

And my other dad? Well.. I contacted someone the other day. Through their work email address lol. My super-detective friend found a company owned by someone with my dads name roughly in the area I believe he lived. And a picture of his son playing squash. He also seems to run some kind of cycling club which is interesting as my dad used to work for Raleigh.

A string of coincidences no doubt but I emailed his work address anyway and just asked if he had worked at Raleigh 30ish years ago.

Interview Questions

Here are some of the questions I was asked:
  • About me
    • Why adoption, why now
    • Do I smoke, drink
    • Am I healthy
    • Have I experienced any loss or trauma
    • What is my experience with other children
    • Anyone else living with me
    • Relationships (i.e. about marriages, why they ended)

Step 1: APPROVED!!!

Well.. informally at least :-)

After 2 hugs on my way out of work and advice about not swearing! (I have a bit of a potty mouth when I get going) - Against my nature I turned up 15 minutes early. The offices are professional but not scary, and everyone smiled as they passed by me on the way in/out. No fancy reception or anything, which gave me comfort that they were about the business in hand.

I met the young woman (J) who interviewed me at the Information Evening and already thought she was lovely and she was. Just.. "normal". Like a normal person that has to ask me some questions and wants to help me.

I was there just under 2 hours in the end and she gave me a load of information about the process, the make-up of the team, about the kinds of children they place, etc. In the main though, it was for her to ask me a load of questions. I've listed them seperately (here) to give others an idea in preparation for your own interviews :-)

Step 1: The Interview!

So.. I have my interview tomorrow. 1pm. Right now I'm fine. Tomorrow.. if you say boo to me I will cry or wee myself.
When, I spoke to the VA (Voluntary Agency) on Friday and the date was brought forward from the 16th March to TOMORROW, I was so emotional after the call. It was happening.. I was taking the first step. God only knows what I'll be like tomorrow.

I don't really know what to expect either. I know it'll last about 2 hours and they will want to know who I want to do it alone and now, why adoption, stuff about me and my support network and I guess some general health/lifestyle questions. They should go through the process with me and the next steps, etc.

Random Crazy .1 - Alcoholic??

Like sitting bolt upright in bed after a nightmare, randomly during the course of the day I have started having random "OMG" moments.. Actually I think I always had those, but at least now they're centred around the same topic!

So today's Random Crazy... came to me as I stood on a stage doing a presentation to some business users onsite for a client. Suddenly I wondered if during my assessment they would think I was an alcoholic and not approve me.

That may sound random but I do have an explanation. Which isn't.. that I actually AM an alcoholic, though I'm not sure everyone would be convinced of that ;-)

Finding My Dad

Going through the process of deciding to start my own family finally has made me start to analyse the people in my life.. my friends and most of all my family.

I lost some friends when I split with my husband, some I expected to lose (the ones he had brought to the relationship and had to stay loyal) and others I really didn't expect to take sides at all nevermind the one the chose. Everyones fault and no ones. Mine probably most of all but the ones that stayed with me were my closest then and are my closest still.

My family on the other hand, aren't quite so easy to label. My nan passed away just after my 21st. I always joke that she did it to get out of going to my first wedding.. she didn't agree with my choice. I loved her like a mother and was treated by her like a daughter. Better even, like a favourite granddaughter :-) I lived with her for a time and I will thank the Gods for her till I die.

My Aunty (on my mothers side) has equally had the greatest influence on my life - though I doubt she'd think so. She is brave, determined, steadfast, funny, kind, generous and fiercely loyal to her children. She'd not afraid to admit her mistakes and has the most common sense of anyone I know and I love her with all my heart.

Telling My Friends..

NOT.. as it turns out.. as easy as I thought.

Actually.. I don't think I ever did think it would be easy but I'll admit some reactions did surprise me,

Most of my close friends have been so supportive I could cry. SUCH lovely responses, it has given me the confidence to tell people and not hide what I want. As far as anyone is telling me, they get why I am doing it and support the decision even if they think the donor route would be one they would choose first if they had found themselves in my situation.

IBut..  have had a few less positive reactions.. I know not everyone will agree with what I'm doing for their own personal reasons or because they genuinely don't think it's right for me. But I can't deny it didn't hurt me deeply. I know it's because people care for me. They want me to be living the dream and as a result feel that this decision is about me "giving up" on love.

Taking Matters Into My Own Hands..

Hi everyone..
Thank you for looking at my blog.. I decided to start writing this as a way to keep me sane during the journey I'm about to embark on, as well as hopefully providing a good resource/insight for others also venturing into the daunting world of single motherhood and adoption. And my friends can all keep up-to-date with what I'm up to :-)

I've been waiting so long to start a family of my own. It's something I have always wanted but over the years whenever the time hasn't been "right", I have managed to mask my feelings and convince myself I don't want it, or I'm not ready. Almost anyway..

I married young at 21. Too young (and anyone that's 21 and says it's not too young.. it IS. My friends told me I was too young but I'm the kind of person that has to make my own mistakes. And I did.), to a man 13 years older than me. Everyone told me it was wrong and when it became apparent that he was never going to want to have children, I convinced myself I didn't want them either. But there's something about having something suddenly taken away from you that makes you realise how much you do want it.. even if it's not right now.