Arriving half an hour early, we parked the car in a lay-by just around the corner from Lyall and Richard's foster home. It was a sunny Spring morning and a charming suburb of the city; large bay-fronted houses with pretty front gardens and long driveways lined with daffodils. We'd been to the foster home many times before so we knew their house and foster parents well; a warm, affectionate couple - they'd provided the boys' first real loving home. But until now, we hadn't met Richard and Lyall.
Nervous and emotional, we sat in the car in the lay-by with the radio on quietly, speculating about the worst case scenario. What if Lyall and Richard hate us? What if they don't want a forever family? What if I faint on their front drive? We tried to plan exactly what we thought was going to happen; who would answer the door, what the boys will be doing and what our first words to them will be. In a moment of optimism, I decided that my plan was to relax and let the experience wash over me, rather than get all uptight and make things worse by scrupulously planning something that we have no control over. Oh God, we have five minutes left. Why the hell do they make this process so bloody nerve-racking? Surely it would be better all round if the children had already met us a few times? Jesus. It's time to go.
We drove slowly around the corner and pulled up alongside the pavement at the bottom of the drive. I looked out to see if the boys were up at the bay window at the front, but there wasn't anybody to be seen. Leaning over into the back seats to grab the gifts that we'd chosen for the boys as an ice-breaker, I accidentally leant against the steering wheel, releasing a absurdly long and loud horn. Gagh! I giggled. What a ridiculous situation this is! We smiled, took a deep breath, climbed out of the car and set off along the gravel drive. After a quick squabble about who should ring the door bell and stand in front (of course it's always me, every bloody time) I hesitantly pushed the door bell button and we waited, giving one another a final anxious look.
(Oh God this is jolly serious isn't it... don't worry, part two will be much lighter)