Joshua Peck, Labour Councillor for Bow West, is a very busy man: “Is it ok if I squeeze you in, when going from one meeting to another?”
The first time I met him he was weeding public flowerbeds at St Matthews Church Yard. But now his life is about to change forever, and the man who is always on the run is taking a step back and settling down in Bow to adopt his first child.
“I am very excited, and I am trying to be less impatient.” The tall, brown-eyed politician, whose voice is always so calm and decisive, now sounds almost shaky.
“When they first told us we were approved it was amazing, but also sort of a numb and unreal sensation. When you’ve been through months of evaluations, having people visiting your home, asking about your childhood and reporting on you, the feeling of insecurity grows and you know it can go either way.”
At 9.30 on a Wednesday morning, two weeks ago, the door to the adoption evaluation board opened and Joshua and his partner Laurence were told that they were going to have a child.
But there was no time to stop and take it in for the active councillor – after a quick hug and a couple of texts to their closest friends and family, he hurried back to work. It wasn’t until dinner that evening that reality hit him, and what had been a distant joy all day turned in to relief, impatience and excitement.
“Adoption is such strange thing; it is not a completely joyful process. You lose control of the situation and put yourself in someone else’s hands.” Once again his voice has a slight quiver; filled with a restless happiness just waiting to be released.
“I am trying to just relax in to it. Obviously I am excited, but I am also nervous and anxious. Your child can be someone who has had a very hard start in life. Even though I can’t wait to get him or her home, you can’t be sure what they will feel the day they arrive. It might not be a happy day for them at all. It is a very complex situation.”
As the day’s political matters once again need his attention, his usual calm and decisive self reappears, but his newfound joy doesn’t flinch. “By the time you reach the point where you get to meet your child you’re emotionally prepared for anything. And I just can’t wait, I am happy and eager for this wonderful thing to happen. ”