Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Saga Continues....

So last we met, I mentioned that we decided to go forward with trying to adopt a child from foster care. This is the reason I should have started the blog back in January. It only took me three posts to get around to explaining myself. I think that might be a record!

Anyway, having had a turbulent adulthood, I was very worried about the home study process. I was worried that I was going to be told that I wasn't good enough. You have tons of hoops to jump through just to prepare for the home study: criminal background check, child abuse background check, proof of insurance, references, medical check-up, basic income and debt information, guardianship agreement, and an anal probe. That last part might not be true. Next, you get grilled about your upbringing, your life, your kids (if you have any), family, significant relationships, employment, religious affiliation, etc, etc. By the time you get done, you think maybe an anal probe might have been easier and less painful!

In the end, though, we were approved for adoption. Huzzah, we thought! Here we go. Next stop: Kid World, where we get to shop for a new kid. Hey, this is better than trying to have your own. They've already been potty-trained, feed themselves, and sleep through the night! You already know what their personalities are going to be like, you know what their hang-ups are, and you have a whole team of experts to help you, unlike having your own newborn baby. I tell my boss, "We're going to be adopting," to prepare him for the time I'm going to need to take off. Coz I'm responsible like that, yo! He says, "When?" I say, "I don't actually know. Probably no sooner than a month." A month! Hah!

Of course it's not that easy. No one tells you that adopting from foster care isn't that easy. You always hear that adoption can be a long process but you think of that in terms of newborn adoption because everyone wants a newborn. But adopting an older child from the foster care system? You get it pounded in your head over and over how badly these kids need permanent homes. And you open your heart and you say, "Hey! We got approved for adoption. We're willing to open our home to these kids." What they don't tell you is that there a plenty of other families trying to adopt these same kids, too. I am not even kidding, there are kids we submitted our home study for that had literally a hundred or more families submitting home studies for them, too! A hundred? Or more? Why didn't anyone tell us this???

On top of that, each state has its own rules/regulations/laws/what-have-you regarding adopting from foster care. Some states will allow prospective families to work directly with caseworkers. Others want you to go through an adoption agency and the caseworkers won't talk directly to the families. Which really makes it hard if you are looking outside your own state for a child to adopt. Particularly, if you live in a state, like we do, that does NOT require families to use an adoption agency. And guess what? *snort* Guess what??? Our state does not have any adoption agencies that work within the foster care system. Ahhahahahhahah awww crap! The difficulty of finding a child just increased exponentially.

So, we just start checking websites with photolistings of kids. We send out inquiries. Sometimes we'd hear back with more info on the kids. Sometimes we heard nothing at all. There are some states that are really horrible about getting back to you but I won't mention any names. *coughcoloradocough* Or we'd hear back and they'd say, "Send your home study!" Which we would do. Only to not hear anything back. So we'd email or call after a month. Sometimes we'd get a response, sometimes we didn't. And I'm thinking, "Why is it so freaking hard?!?" Okay, I get the caseworkers are probably super-duper ultra busy-like. But dude! How hard is it to take an hour or two each day, or an entire day once a week, and freakin' UPDATE people! I dunno. I'm sure that if there were any caseworkers reading this, they'd probably ream me a new one but honestly, I'd really like to know.

Look, I'm busy, too. I'm a mom, a wife, I have a full-time job that has been mega-busy lately. I got tons going on, too. Yet if I can manage to take a few minutes out of my day to shoot off an email and say, "What's up with the kid? Are you finding him/her a home or not", then they should be able to shoot a quick email and say, "We're working on it, Ms. Impatient!" Or, "We don't like you for this kid so just bugger off," or, "We like you for this kid but there's a bunch of other stuff we gotta deal with so just cool your jets." Something like that. Anything. Honestly, I think that's been the hardest part. It's not like we've been at it all that long. It's just the lack of info, the lack of communication, sending out information, talking to people (if you get that lucky), and never hearing back yet still seeing the kids listed on websites as needing a home. All I wanted was someone to tell me what's going on.


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