My Family

My Family

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Trick or Treat

So far I would say tricked.  Let me back up my train of thought on that one.  I am listed on Adopt Us Kids.  It is a pretty decent website.  I would encourage anyone looking into adoption to go on, create a profile, and look at what is available.  In our house we call it "kid shopping".  Or browsing really.  Right now the market is slimmer thanks in part to adoptive parents becoming more proactive, laws changing to get kids out of the system, and some social workers whom I am sure will have very special places in heaven for what they do. 

So I have a profile and not only can I contact others about children, social workers can scope me out.  When they do I tell them one of a few things.  If it is a child I am really interested in following up with I will let them know that I am in the process of the home study and tell them where I am at.  Most social workers are very nice and want their kids to have good homes so they say great, just send in a study when you are done.  We are actively searching and don't want to miss out on a good home for "Billy" or "Jenny", but if they are still available when you are done (and chances are they will be) let us know!  Some are super super nice and just even check in to see how I am holding up through the process and hear about our little man.  Marvin is my adoption testimony=).  I could talk about him for hours. 

So recently, another social worker contacted us about a little girl named Mackenzie.  She is two, has mild Cerebral Palsy, a trachea tube, and is fed by G-tube but is learning to eat.  So I send out my gentle but pat response.  Here is what she wrote back: "You do not have a home study.  You will NOT be considered as a suitable family for Mackenzie.  Your family will not be considered.  You are NOT a match."  Hello????  Was that rude or am I being a bit sensitive here?  Maybe both.  Anyway after I got over the bee sting response I got mad.  I mean really really really unchristainly mad.  This kid is going to rot in the system mad.  The another child looses a possible home mad.  You know someone has to be a voice for these kids.  So I did something I wouldn't have done during Marvin's adoption process.  I wrote back!  Here in a nutshell is what I said: "I am sorry you do not believe we are a match.  As it stated I am in the process.  I can only go as fast as our new agency will allow.  Believe me if I could wave a wand you would have a home study now.  It is a broken system, but it is all we have.  As for this little child that has been made some sort of pawn in your game I feel tragically sorry for her.  I feel that you are being judgemental and unfair and that she is being cheated of all possibilities of a good match.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that same two year old will be on this site until she is 18 and ages out if you are unwilling to look at all possibilities.  You will not find many families like ours.  I can tell you sitting in on my classes that NO ONE WANTED A HANDICAPPED KID!!!!!  They all wanted a nice kid with few or little health problems.  This poor little girl already has so many strikes against her.  Yet you would limit her chances even further is unreal.  In then end we will all reap what we have sown.  Beware of what you sow now. "  

So how did I do?  Within an hour I had gotten an apologetic response of sorts from her.  But I don't feel very victorious.  Mackenzie is still without a home.  So are many others.  It is just not fair.  We are a good family who are up to date on all our shots.  So why does it have to be so hard???? 

Next week we go in for our second interview.  I am pretty prepared.  We also are going to have a celebration.  We will be going to Prince George county to celebrate with families who have been blessed (and cursed) by adoption.  There we will share food, laugh with others, weep with others, and share the greatest gift of all.  Hope.  Hope that in spite of a broken system that there are families out there who won't give in and maybe someday a little one like Mackenzie can look into a woman's eyes and call her mama. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Cheat Sheet

Right now we are in the process of setting up interview number two.  This is a busy week for me coming up but I am hoping that the week after is when the "big" interview happens.  I say big because I was able to get the scoop on some of the questions that will be asked.  I am forever thankful to the "little birdie" who let me in on some of the mysterious process. 

I was told that this is the big interview and critical in the process.  More important than them coming into your home.  No pressure, right?  The questions are pretty intense and as the female there are more demands.  They will delve into my past, present, and future plans.  I am glad I know some of the questions because that will give me time to reflect before I say something stupid.  Let's face it, when caught off guard we don't always give the best responses.  Some people remain cool under pressure, but I tend to not do that hot. 

Unlike Marvin's adoption process I plan to hold the reins a bit more firmly this time around.  It seems like Shannon and I are being put through torture just to add to our family.  This time I plan to be more vocal, more assertive, more true to who I am.  Not what people want me to be.  I refuse to compromise on things that are important to our family.  Period.  Take it or leave it. 

I will keep you all posted on how interview two shapes up.  I've got my boxing gloves out and am ready to get in the ring and duke it out! 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A bug under a microscope

The title just about sums it up.  We made it through our first social worker visit.  I wouldn't say we passed with flying colors, but we definitely didn't bomb out either. 

We met our (teenage) intern.  We are her first family.  She is very nice and has obviously had social worker 101 classes where you learn to nod, smile, and talk about the weather and other very neutral topics.  She even has the mmm-hmm down in all the right parts.  Luckily, she is paired with an experienced worker. 

We met at their office and proceeded to be drilled with many questions such as, "What would you change about your spouse?"  "What do you like about your spouse?"  "Why did you marry your spouse?" and my personal favorite "Would you ever divorce your spouse for any reason?" 

So after an hour plus of very uncomfortable questions all with the reassurance of we just want to find out what kind of child to place with you finally wrapped up I had no idea of what they thought of us.  I am feeling a little discouraged.  Why couldn't they have asked more about children and less about why I might suddenly wake up and dump Shannon. 

The one saving grace was Marvin.  I brought him with me from work and right away he charmed both of the social workers.  He played with them, did all sorts of cutsie things, and I am pretty sure he will be allowed to adopt.  At least he made us look like half-way decent people. 

Shannon says I worry too much and that they were just questions.  I suppose I do worry.  But I really want to do this and not look like a total idiot to people.  The next meeting will be one on one with the social workers.  No Shannon allowed at my meeting and no me at Shannon's meeting.  I suppose they will ask even harder questions.  At least I have an idea about what I am up against and I can be ready for what ever they throw at me.  Getting a kid isn't for wimps and it is a process that can make you or break you.  I refuse to be broken. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Moving Forward!

I think I posted too soon the other day.  After I posted my husband came home and asked if I had gotten the e-mail from the social worker.  I said what e-mail?  Then I checked the inbox and behold it was there!  The e-mail.  Asking for a meeting time.  So now it begins.   

The best way I can explain about what happens is to compare it to something.  Dating.  The first visit or "date" is when we sit down and get to know each other. We describe likes, interests, size each other up.  The second visit is when we decide to become a mutually exclusive couple.  We like each other enough to commit to a long term relationship and are willing to become partners in what happens.  We invite them into our home and let them size up our lives and in turn we ask them for support, assistance in resources, and someone to listen to us.  The third visit is the engagement.  We both agree that we are willing to make a lifelong go of it and become partners in a unique relationship where we both work towards agreed goals and life plans. 

It this relationship there is no "divorce".  Once you go through with the third visit you are in for a long term partner.  Marvin's social worker and our old agency still provide us with resources, tips, support, and some annoyances.  We were told that if you don't like people outside of your family actively involved in your life, don't adopt.  They are not kidding. 

But on the upside, these are some of the people that once you have them in your life you know that they have your back.  Ms. T has been an amazing support to me.  She has cheered me on, encouraged me to think outside of the box, and gave me the most precious gift. Our son.  Lauren let me call her off hours and held me while I cried when we had an adoption fall through.  Katie followed after me and made sure my paperwork was flawless.  They made me feel like I was there only client when I knew how overworked and overburdened they were.  They helped me in dark times and rejoiced with me when Marvin came home. 

It is a relationship that will challenge you, make you sweat, worry, and most importantly grow.  So as I get ready for a new relationship and I brace myself for the first "date"  I find that I am ready for this new relationship and chapter in my life.  I hope they are too.  Bring it on.