I don't think I am a naturally patient person - more impulsive - I love the thrill of the ride - a bit of risk taker - and often the ride of the adventure is as much fun for me as in reaching the destination. So, there have been some rather frustrating times where I have found myself having to learn patience. I am a S-L-O-W learner on this one, so bear with me!
I patiently practised and re-practised scales and tunes on the clarinet and piano to become reasonably proficient - enough to study Music as part of my degree, that's one level of patience I have learned. However, with my focus on love, I wanted to write about patience found in love, found in the things life throws at us, opften in those relationships closest to us. My patience was certainly tested during my abusive marriage - and my friends and family would say,and on reflection I can say of myself, that I had an enduring and long suffering patience - to give my now ex-husband many chances to change and indeed hoped that he would, for our marriage to survive. The marriage didn't survive. He didn't change his ways. I walked a painful road with all of it's twists and turns through an incredibly long and drawn out divorce, it seemed at the time, where my patience was once again tested. Character building, some call it. There are times, where I wish that our lives could be like a tick box system, a bit like in education where a child is considered to have reached a goal, where we could tick the learned patience one and simply move on. Life, isn't like that though is it? Love isn't either. Recently, I have journeyed with patience again. This time through the adoption process. 2 years ago, I was remeniscing with my social worker yesterday, I made my initial enquiry with the Adoption Agency, Families That Last, that took me on. Months earlier, I had made enquiries with my Local Authority and that had been a frustrating few months of waiting, with a dead end at the end of it. When I contacted the Local Authority, I knew that I wanted to adopt. For me, it wasn't so much an enquiry, more of a when. It was frustrating to have to push doors to find the right agency - and I know that many of your adoption journeys have taken considerable time, too. For my part, I moved the process as fast forward as I could. I wrote masses and poured my heart out and worked hard to complete my home study assessments in a few months, working closely and well with my social worker but the waiting for paperwork gathering, references to be collected and waiting for panel dates was really frustrating at times. The most frustrating time, my social worker and I were discussing yesterday, was the 1 month wait before we could meet with the social workers to discuss PJ further to then have an agonising wait between being officially linked with PJ and waiting for a panel date - a wait of 4 months - as it was the earliest matching panel date the Local Authority PJ was from had available. Frustrating enough. Then, a further torturous wait of another 3 weeks for the decision maker to make his decision of yes, before I could meet PJ and start Introductions that lasted 3 weeks before we finally came home. Phew. Yes, my patience has been tested. Sometimes patience and I are not the best of friends. Perhaps the most heartwrenching test of patience is when PJ tells her part of the story. Often we talk about how she came to be with me. her life story work, re-told, simply at her initiation. She will say: why have I got a new Mummy? I will tell her a few key things about why she could no lnger stay with her birth parents. She will then say that she stayed with her foster carers and I will say, for a little while, until you came to live with me. I tell her that I found her and that A, her social worker, found me. She will say: Yes. And I found you. Then she will say: And my waited and my waited and my waited for a real long time for you to find me. I say. It took a long time for all the paperwork. There are many changes in the adoption process that need changing and my social worker says that some changes will come to effect in July 2013. Not sure if it will speed up the process for panel dates and the time children wait in care before being moved to their adoptive families once these families have clearly been identified. In the meantime, I have travelled further with Patience and my daughter has learned an improtant life skill of patience. Yes, love is patient. It is also not stupid.