O.K. I have a confession to make. Dunring the long winding process we call adoption I have become a website junkie. Not just any website (mind out of gutter please) but the golden children's shopping network. Know to everyday people as Adopt Us Kids.
This website has gathered kids from every state in the U.S. and has put them all at the click of a mouse. It has handy organizational tools that allow me to search specific criteria and organize it all. I am then able to add children to my favorites list and send information to social workers. It also works the other way around as well. Social workers have access to my profile which I keep fresh and current. If I am a match they contact me.
I have also been able to network with other parents and offer tips, support, listening ears, and a shoulder to cry on. Because sometimes you really want to cry after all is said and done. No one gets it like these women and men who slog through this on a daily basis. Believe me we do slog.
The system is not perfect. Often a picture will be posted and you will get one of the following responses. The child is not available at this time. Translation: The child has just gotten their heart stomped on by a family who said that they were going to take this child home, love it, and it would be theirs forever. Then the child has an episode where they test and see if this is true by acting out. The family returs the child saying that it is not a good fit. The child is greiving and needs time and now even more therapy. The other response is that the child is on hold. Translation: The child is in a placement. That is good. I offer congrats and move on. The last reponse is silence. Translation: Crickets chirp and you never hear from this worker and you pray that the child is not rotting in foster care limbo.
Even when I pick a child out and send my info to the worker I still cheer when I see or get the on hold message. We are all on the same team and I enjoy rooting for the trophy holder even if it wasn't me. I know that someday I will be the one people are cheering for. I am content to be on the playing field for the time being.
I have been on the playing field a lot these past couple of weeks. Our teen social worker got back from spring break with promises to get in touch with these leads and get back to me on Wednesday or Thursday last week. Guess what? She didn't. She probably doesn't know that you can't make these types of promises. Social workers are painfully slow due to large case loads and little pay to show for it. But I am still a little irked. It would have been nice to at least leave a little message saying that she wasn't quite ready. I could have lived with that. Silence makes me bonkers!
But I am still busy. I visit Adopt Us Kids on a more regular basis than I care to admit. Today the message boards held no cheer for me. A little boy who was supposed to be placed fell through. His status changed from hold to reviewing all families. My heart broke for the child. The last time I spoke to his worker she sounded so sure that "Mr. D" as she called him, would be placed. I cheered for it. Now she is back to the drawing board. But there are others waiting patiently in the wings who are hoping to help mend little hearts and put the pieces together again. So the social worker will find a remember me e-mail when she checks her inbox on Monday. I am hoping it won't be long before I see a hold status on him. Even if it isn't us.
I know there is a child out there for us. Last night a friend of mine told me that I am such a nice, caring person that she hopes I get exactly what I want. I told her that it wasn't what I wanted that mattered. It was what child needs us the most and is going to benefit from being in our family unit. I find that the items and people I treasure the most are not the ones that I picked out. They are the ones that chose me. So how will I know? I will know the same way I knew when Marvin walked up to me and gave me his hand. He looked at me with somber blue eyes and nodded his head. It was a powerful moment. I had been chosen and my life would never be the same again. So I will know. A mother always does.