So, dear readers, we left you on the tantalising cliff edge of our getting absolutely nowhere! Since then there has been one major development: we met someone competent (cue fireworks, sounds of cheering and a single shooting star traversing the night sky).
Yes, I can confirm that such a person does exist in the world of adoption in the form of Action for Children’s Head of Adoption – we’ll call her Jane. We met her last Wednesday, in a pre-arranged meeting to discuss our recent (and second) complaint regarding Mosaic.
Jane arrived exhausted and out of breath, having struggled to find parking near James’ place of work. Consequently she had walked some distance on crutches and was probably secretly cursing the fact that we didn’t just meet at the Mosaic offices, which is just around the corner. Ethan was worried that going to the offices of the people we were complaining about might make things a bit ‘awks’, though it turns out that the office was near empty on that day so we wouldn’t have seen anyone anyway: but we weren’t to know that.
So I guess the fact that we had forced a decrepit lady in her fifties to struggle was not, perhaps, the most promising start to the meeting. Ho hum.
Anyway, I made her a coffee by way of a peace offering and Ethan, Jane and I got started. What was startling was the way Jane seemed to transform before our very eyes from a breathless invalid to a ball-breaking, straight-talking, no-prisoner-taking boss! What was immediately clear was Jane’s extensive knowledge of adoption systems, processes, legislation in general and of our journey so far in particular. She had clearly taken the time beforehand to familiarise herself with our case, all the notes in our digital ‘file’ and every action that had been taken so far. More impressive still, Jane had looked at all of this information from our perspective, putting herself in our position, living our journey to date. It was so nice to feel like someone was empathising with us and understanding just how bloody difficult it’s been!
She was also able to shed some much needed light in several areas, the most startling of which was this: in her experience, adopters at our stage of the process should have around 20 entries in their digital file. These entries could be updates on checks, logs of all communications, actions taken by administrators, etc.
We had 175.
Jane emphasised that the sheer number of entries was testament to just how complicated our journey has been. Moreover, it indicates that stuff has been happening. The problem is not a lack of action or movement, it’s a lack of communication. This has always been our difficulty with Mosaic – nobody tells us what’s going on. If someone had just explained what was happening and when, our frustration and chagrin could have been cut in half (at least).
Amongst other things, Jane explained that there’s literally nothing that could have been done regarding Ethan’s DBS hold up and that we were actually given his reference number at the earliest possible opportunity. She also explained that Mosaic had actually complained on our behalf to one Local Authority who were very slow in responding. Additionally, she informed us that the office had since bought a new DVD player (HELLO?!) and that Ethan’s therapist, Nell, had actually been contacted by Mosaic, albeit on the very last day of her working for the clinic.
We were both so relieved to discover that all this work had been taking place and that Mosaic had been working on our behalf – all we need now is for someone at Mosaic to actually tell us all of this stuff without us having to resort to complaining to get some feedback! Jane let us know that she would continue her investigation and respond to us in writing soon. We discussed moving forward, and Jane felt it best that we be assigned a new social worker (cue massive guilt over dispatching Trudy: sorry Trudes, we’ll miss you) and even hinted that we may end up with our favourite, Anne (though Ethan maintains this is wishful thinking on my part).
All in all, we left the meeting feeling much lighter and more positive than we did before we entered it. We can only hope that this is the start of a more positive, productive relationship with Mosaic and a smoother, steadier journey going forward on our adoption journey.
Fingers bloody crossed.