but very pleasant and normal - that was the social worker, who came for a "chat" last night. She happens to live about 10 minutes walk from us, and the support person who will sort out some of our paperwork lives on the next street. We live in a small town.
I am not going to post masses of detail about interactions with social workers, partly as I know this is not great from the point of view of security. To be honest most of the information about what's involved in the process of being approved as a foster carer or adopter is a) pretty much public domain and b) extremely variable from agency to agency. It's more the kind of answers you "have to give" to be approved that I am going to try and be more cautious about.
Anyway she seemed happy with us, our house, and our motivations - she didn't delve too deeply into our fertility issues, in fact I felt she rather glossed over the miscarriages, but it did prevent me from bursting into tears. It seems unlikely that we'd be doing respite care for real babies, though there are apparently quite a few in foster care, as there's a lot of drug use around even our leafy little city and its bigger run-down seaside neighbour. Under-3s, and especially nursery and primary age, however, seem very possible.
She also agreed with my indignation about my brother and sister-in-law's ideas about bringing up their two (lack of bedtimes and routines especially - the latest however is that the younger one, aged 15 months, is going to be at one set of grandparents' while the older one is at my mum's, for a month, while they are on a course. I have politely suggested they look into the onsite nursery, or a child-minder's, so the younger one doesn't actually forget her parents).
We now have to wait for them to timetable a foster care preparation course. I have to say (I think I have to say a lot of things - it seems to be a phrase I like) that I do think this seems like the right thing for us now, based on the fact that I am not incredibly anxious about the next step, and feeling like I want everything to happen Right Now, nor am I worried about what happens if I get pregnant, or if I don't get pregnant.