Archive for January, 2009

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It’s official!

January 29, 2009

Our homestudy is accepted by the state. On Tuesday, our homestudy worker Kate and Ezra’s caseworker (now officially our adoption worker) who doesn’t have a pseudonym yet will come over to our house to transition us into the pre-adoption process. Wow wow wow. More details to follow, obviously.

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snippets / on metaphor

January 28, 2009

I don’t think I said in the last post that Lee’s away at a conference in sunny Florida. In the middle of an ice storm, I’m finding it hard to be too sympathetic that she didn’t think ahead to pack shorts. She should get home tonight, if the airport’s open.

Sometimes even bad things work out in a useful way. Lee’s getting the money for her wrecked car and after paying off what was owed on the car, she’ll have enough left over to put half in our emergency fund (which we definitely want to grow to cover child-related emergencies) and half to pay off her non-mortgage debts in full. Of course then it’s time to start more debt by buying a new car, but her bank has given her a good-sized loan that will cover the car we’re getting and also give us enough money to remodel the bathroom, which needs to be done. So we’ll have not just two cars again but a shower at last! And 20K of debt, but that’s manageable and when it’s done it will be done. We’ve both thought about this a lot and I’m willing to sign off. She’s not doing things exactly the way I would, but she’s not me and I love her for who she is, right?

All the snow/ice outside is making me think about all the snow when we were up north for my grandfather’s funeral. And that made me think about how cliched a snowy funeral is, so I’ve been working on a poem for the first time in ages and ages. Probably it will go nowhere, but I liked the feeling of spark when I started composing.

I think a lot about metaphors and connectedness in my daily mental life. Last night I watched the second part of A Lion in the House, a documentary about children with cancer. The death didn’t trigger or bother me; I was watching it for the doctors and because even though my grandfather wasn’t an oncologist he was the same kind of life-changing surgeon. Even the guy who was sweeping snow off the funeral home steps when I arrived had been a patient of his, showed me his scar and told me how much he appreciated my grandfather’s care. And that’s the word, I was watching this documentary for the care.

I was also watching it because Lee was gone. She wouldn’t have been able to handle seeing children suffer like that, I don’t think. She likes her entertainment to be on the escapist side, though she’s come to really love the documentaries I put on our Netflix queue too, and I think they’re politicizing her.

Yesterday one of my coworkers had to go home early because her husband called to say that their sick son’s problem might be appendicitis. It wasn’t, thank goodness. But it was the first time I saw that happening and felt like a parent, though about what my response would be and how I need to be ready for that. I really can’t articulate this properly.

After watching the cancer documentary, I watched a show on TLC about little little girls (like, one was TWO) in beauty pageants. I think I got more upset by that than by the cancer, though that’s the wrong way to put it too. It was gross and tough to watch in an entirely different way than watching a child die.

Yesterday Mia linked to an adoption facilitator’s blog with a webpage that lists “situations, which is their term for babies they expect to have available for adoption and what those prices are. I’m often surprised people don’t know how much cheaper it is to adopt a black baby than a white one, but seeing it charted out like that was fascinating to me and presumably would be eye-opening for others. These adoption consultants also helpfully claim that any of these black children who aren’t adopted as infants are headed for foster care. I haven’t checked their site for pregnant women to see if they’re as racist and insensitive there.

Oh and I’m such a liar, because I did just look at their site for pregnant womenhttp://hopeforadoption.com/what-to-expect/ and in addition to all the coercive religious commentary about how they know best that these women should place their children for adoption, they also tell these women that their information will be completely confidential. I guess that explains posts like this one?

The other thing I did last night was read Ann Patchett’s Run, recommended by The Sought-After. It’s about Bostonians with a strong Irish Catholic background like mine adopting black children, so while I didn’t exactly identify I certainly had lots of resonance between it and what was bouncing around in my brain. But then in the very last pages there’s a mention of a spleen injury that goes undetected and causes all sorts of problems and that sent me into such a tailspin of hypochondria that I can’t really talk about the interesting stuff right now.

And on that note, it’s time to spend another half hour scraping ice off my car so I can go home and take a nap. Naps are good.

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new year

January 26, 2009

I don’t actually celebrate Chinese New Year (and can’t really say I celebrate the Gregorian calendar New Year) but if in fact today(ish) is the day our homestudy gets filed, it does feel like a big before-and-after life division.

Maybe related to that — and forgive the digressions; this L0rtab pain killer is serious stuff, making me loopy and giving me horrible dreams — is the fact that I always thought I was a monkey in the Chinese calendar, but it actually turns out I’m a sheep and I only realized a few years ago that Chinese New Year happened after my birthday in the year I was born. So all these years I’d been disbelieving characteristics and fortunes that weren’t even about ME! But anyway, I’m a sheep, which means that in two weeks I’ll be 29.

My parents were both 29 when I was born, so I guess that age holds some weight for that reason. They’d been married since college but waited until my dad was finishing his PhD (or, less charitably, until they’d become Catholic enough that they no longer had any interest in birth control) before I came into the picture. So while I can tell from facebook and from general gossip that most of my high school classmates have children by now, I never felt I was particularly old. I still feel kind of young to parent!

But I do also feel ready, committed, and excited. We don’t know yet how long the process of getting to read Ezra’s file, talking to his worker, etc. will be. We don’t really know anything except that we’re in the liminal state between the waiting we’d been doing and the more active preparation and waiting we will be doing once our adoptive worker is on the case.

Lee’s out of town for a few days at a (non-academic) conference. That means I have the pleasure of keeping the tv off or watching something subtitled, eating what I want when I want, going to bed early, taking long uninterrupted baths, but also that I have to take the dog out whenever she goes, that when I wake up with my stupid nightmares making my heart race there will be no one to stroke my arm as I fall asleep again, that just in general I get to feel crummy all on my own.

If Lee hadn’t come into my life when she did, I might well have found myself facing down 29 with my adoption plan going. But as I was thinking about transracial adoption today and feeling a little bit guilty about feeling so comfortable parenting a black child who’s still going to have to explain his white mom (yeah, did I mention this medicine makes me digressive?) I also felt comfortable with what we’re doing and the way we’re doing it. If I were planning to parent solo, I’d still be here and drugged and wanting to go home and curl up and having no one else there to pick up slack, but I like that most nights that’s not true.

Honestly, what I really like about us is that we’re a good team, that we balance each other. I don’t know if it’s a new year thing, but in the last few months so we’ve gotten to a new level of comfort and mutual support as a couple. There was a bit of passive-aggressiveness in how we grieved my grandfather and Lee’s car, but I think that’s normal and we were both very apologetic once we caught ourselves.

I never really thought I was the kind of person who’d end up with a happy ending, which is why I made some of the self-defeating life choices I did at various times. And I’m not saying anything is ending any time soon, but I feel incredibly fortunate to have a time in my life when I am indeed happy. Of course there are always ups and downs, but as we head into our new roles, I’m proud and glad we have such a good start.

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“I am intense, I am in need, I am in pain, I am in love”

January 25, 2009

My spleen seems to be doing just fine, though it will be a while before I get the official read. I’m sore right in the places where my spleen and kidney are, which was kind of scary during the ultrasound process, but the technician thinks I’m just bruised.

I’m also on a megadrug to cut my pain, which is good but leaves me awfully foggy and I think also is the reason I didn’t get to sleep until 3 am but uncharacteristically wasn’t particularly bothered by that.

Part of how I’m feeling is probably my kind of grieving, too. In a crisis situation, I put my head down and plow through what needs to be done. It’s only later, when I’m safe and outside the situation, that I breakdown. So I have a feeling I’m doing some of the breakdown stage about missing my grandfather and about our accident and the pain it’s causing me and maybe even about how overwhelming it is to suddenly have our homestudy approved.

My favorite line from Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar is something like, “If it’s neurotic to believe two mutually exclusive things at once, then I’m neurotic as hell.” And that’s how I feel right now, doing laundry and working on my mundane little things, feeling pressure to get the front bedroom transformed from my study to a child’s room, crying during the inauguration my grandfather didn’t get to see, taking it easy to I don’t exacerbate any of my aches and pains. I need a vacation from myself, I think, though if I can get to sleep tonight that should be enough.

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good news good news

January 23, 2009

Well, the not-great news is that the place my side hurts is where my spleen is, so I’ll have to get an ultrasound tomorrow to be sure there’s nothing wrong. Even if there is something wrong, though, it’s unlikely it would be bad enough to need surgery since I’m not having other symptoms. And after the trauma that was my gall bladder removal, anything that doesn’t require surgery is better than the alternative.

More exciting, though, is that our homestudy worker Kate called. Her manager needed some clarification on whether at age 18 I was hospitalized for post-rape suicidal ideation or an actual suicide attempt because Kate’s notes had been unclear. I was able to say that it was the latter, explain again what went on, and now we’re good to go.

Well, except that in the time since we started the homestudy process and were so diligent about getting our documents in order, Lee’s had to get a new driver’s license we need to photocopy, Thing Two has gotten a re-up on his vaccines (already filed this week), my car insurance has been renewed and needs to be reprinted for them, and we’ve totaled Lee’s car (which just means they’ll need new car info when there is new car), and I just realized we’ve both gotten new medical cards too although we haven’t been asked for them yet. I guess that’s one reason it’s easier to not have the wait that we’ve had.

But we’ll be getting our approvals in the next week, probably, and be assigned our adoption worker. Kate thinks this will be Ezra’s caseworker, since I guess adoption situations it’s not as sketchy as in real estate to have one person working both sides of a “deal.” The worker is going to see Ezra next week for his quarterly review, so we’ll get her evaluation on his very current status and she’ll be able to talk to his foster mom about us if she hasn’t already.

I just talked to Lee and she’s thrilled (though not about the spleen part; we have an understanding after the gallbladder fiasco that there needs to be some kind of safe word if I’m on a m0rphine drip because I really seriously just can’t shut up and she still hasn’t let me live down that one chatty night we spent in the ER) and I am too. This is becoming real so fast! We might actually be getting somewhere.

(We might actually be getting our child. Wow wow wow.)

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sort of a return

January 22, 2009

I got little Thing Two’s vaccination records dropped off with the social worker this morning, which should have been the last thing we needed for our homestudy to be complete (and it had been current when we started the process, but his vaccines expired. Now all animals are set through 2011!) except that it’s not.

When we were leaving to drive back down here the day after my grandfather’s funeral, we were hit by a young guy making a left turn. Lee’s car is probably totaled, though we’ll hear for sure from the insurance people tomorrow. She and I are both shaken and I’m a bit bruised. I’m hoping to see my doctor soon to get the whiplash checked out, though I’m sure my preexisting back problems didn’t help on that front.

I feel so fortunate that we have good insurance that got us a rental car and is taking care of all that needs to be done with Lee’s car. I also feel worn out and overwhelmed. But we had a lot of good adoption conversations with my huge extended family, and I’ll have more stories and more blogging when I come out of the haze of aches and muscle relaxants.

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names and privilege

January 15, 2009

I’m still pretty scattered mentally, on my lunch break at work while I email relatives to see who’s going to be where when, so I apologize if this post is even more all-over-the-place than usual. First of all, I want to say upfront since I didn’t last time that what I’m talking about is my perspective on how Lee and I think about these naming issues. People working in good faith will come up with different answers in their own circumstances, and I don’t want people to feel criticized by what I’m saying here. I’m just talking about us because that’s all I truly know. And when I talk about our child I am assuming six-year-old Ezra, although some of what I say is probably less applicable to other children. It’s just easier to write with this child in mind because that’s how we think and talk to each other, but that doesn’t mean we feel any kind of ownership toward him or that we fully expect this tentative match to work out. What we want is what’s best for him, whether that’s us or someone else.

All that said, Blogger Lee’s comment on my naming post brought up a common criticism of names that code as black and lower-class, that there have been studies suggesting that children with such names are at a disadvantage in school and in the job hunt. I’ve never known what kind of response those studies are supposed to elicit. I’ve read and thought a lot about passive racism/sexism among teachers (namely that some of them expect black boys to be rowdy and inattentive and thus create situations where those attentions are the ones that get black boys noticed) and that’s one of the reasons I think the small private school might be better than the local public school. But do people reading resumes now think, “Oh, right, I should look twice at DeShonte rather than moving right along to Alison” or do they just keep doing what they’re doing?

As far as I’m concerned, that is and isn’t my problem. In some ways, we’re going to be disadvantaging a child by giving him two parents of different races but the same sex, and I know that and accept it. I’ve talked about diversity where we live, but the statistics and anecdotes are pretty clear that when Ezra is in his late teens like my littlest brother is now, Ezra’s going to have a harder time walking around downtown River City than my brother does. Somehow geeky little white boys just don’t ever seem to get accidentally gunned down by the police around here. And that’s reality as I see it; raising Ezra to believe that he won’t face prejudice and fear from others because of his race and gender would be unrealistic to the point of hurtfulness. If he’s a black boy coming out of foster care to live with two moms, only one of whom is black, he’s going to have to deal with all of that successfully.

But I’m not going to not raise a child because I’m worried about the response from people who think lesbian couples shouldn’t be parenting even though it means my child will need to know at some point that such people exist. He’ll need to know that there may be situations where he doesn’t get certain things he wants because someone’s uncomfortable with his “black” name or if he doesn’t use the name now with a black man with a neutral name. Racism and classism exist, and to me it seems foolish to think that the way to deal with this is to make sure my child has superficial privileges that can help him sneak under the radar of prejudiced people. Isn’t that giving them too much power when what I want to do is get them out of power?

But the response I’m afraid of getting is that maybe I’m on my way to being a bad mom, putting my politics ahead of my child’s interests and opportunities. And I guess my response to that is that we’re moving this child into a middle-class home and we know that, we’re aware of that. While we don’t know why he went into foster care and why his parents’ rights were terminated, we know he came out of poverty. And yes, he has a name that marks him as poor because he was born poor. I worry that denying that just because he’s living more comfortably now means giving him the idea that it’s bad to be poor and that he’s better off with us.

In our state, as in many others, the children who come into foster care and then are adopted are disproportionately poor in part because some of the situations that often result in abuse or neglect also often lead to unemployment and poverty (mental illness/addiction) but certainly in part because poorer parents whose children are taken into care may have a harder time getting their lives back on track to be able to avoid having their parental rights terminated than more well-off parents who have cars and paid time off from work and so on. Plus in our state, as in many others, black children go into foster care at a significantly disproportionate rate to their non-black counterparts. Black children are also harder to place in adoption and while obviously there are benefits to not putting a black child into a racist white home, it was always clear to us that this was a good reason to specifically look to parent a black child.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s not inherently a bad thing that Ezra was born into poverty. Probably his parents made some bad choices, though we don’t know the details. Certainly, though, he was born into a society that devalues poverty, particularly poverty among people of color. I don’t want him to think that he was born unlucky or born bad or that he has a bad name (or, gawdforbid, “bad hair”) because he was born a poor black boy. That’s who he is and the injustice involved in all of that is part of his history too.

I feel like I’m not explaining this well. I don’t mean we’ll sit down a six-year-old and lecture him about systematic discrimination and welfare reform. I just mean that I don’t want to take away something that marks him as himself even if it’s not a reflection of me.

Maybe an analogy is that at first Lee really wanted a biracial child (she’s always wanted a boy) because “he would be like both of us” or, I suppose, like neither of us. But we’re not having a birth child; no one would think we could. So to me, there’s no loss involved in not having a child who’s racially similar to me. It’s not a reflection on me at all that he’s black and I’m not, which is not to say that race won’t matter in our family and in our family’s interaction with others. I just don’t feel threatened or cheated that my son wouldn’t look like me and similarly I’m not bothered that his name is not one I would have chosen and not one that has shown up elsewhere on my family tree (though incorporating him means it could in the future, I suppose).

We decided to do foster care adoption for many reasons, one of which was that we couldn’t stomach the price differentials for black and white babies. (Another was that we didn’t feel any need for a baby and didn’t particularly have a desire for a baby, which really made getting away from infant adoption a no-brainer.) But I don’t think that makes our adoption of him more ethical. We’re participating in a system where it’s possible his mom didn’t get a fair shake because she’s poor and black in a country, where it’s possible that her rights were terminated for reasons that I wouldn’t personally consider sufficient. It’s also possible that Ezra was horribly and traumatically abused or that he went into care because both his parents died; there are many different possible scenarios. But I don’t think I’m keeping my hands clean. I just don’t want to be pretending the messy, ugly stuff can be scrubbed away, either.

So that’s one reason we want to keep Ezra’s name, if he wants it and if it’s appropriate and if he becomes our child. I sure do spend a lot of time and words wrestling over some major hypotheticals, huh?

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my family name

January 15, 2009

Yesterday I said I understand wanting to name a new child because I do want to add to Ezra’s name, give him a name that comes down from my grandfather and is carried by my father, my oldest brother, my only male cousin. My father just called to say that grandfather died in the night.

It wasn’t unexpected; he’d been in hospice and Parkinson’s had been taking him farther from us for well over a decade. But he’s the first of my grandparents to die and I feel so lucky that I’ve had so much time with these wonderful people, so fortunate they all got the chance to know and love Lee.

We’ll be heading north into snow country as soon as we find out funeral details. I may or may not be around here much for a while, but thanks for being my invisible computer friends who understand what I think about and are the first people I’ve told.

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naming and renaming

January 14, 2009

I wrote about this to some degree in a comment on Nicole’s post I linked to yesterday, but I’ve been thinking about names and first mothers and parental “rights” and the way all of these work differently in infant adoption and older child adoption.

Ezra’s name isn’t Ezra, of course, since we all have pseudonyms here. I just chose it because it seemed like a big name for a little guy but it’s short and thus easy to type, plus unique as far as I know on the adoption blogs. Ezra’s name is very rare, a phonetic spelling of a name in another language like, say, Jyovonnie. It’s a name we can assume was chosen for its uniqueness, though I’d like to know the story behind it someday. The name and its spelling do make it come across as a “black” name, meaning that a lot of people would assume this was the name of a black boy and probably a lower-class one. At first, that was a big problem for Lee, who worried about the stigma a name like that might bring for a child who’s already going to face societal disadvantages.

Lee and I both have names that are well-known but not common, that don’t raise any eyebrows. She was named for her birthmother (whom I call Leah here for that reason) and her middle name is a tribute to her paternal grandfather, who became her father by adoption. Because she was adopted by paternal relatives who shared her last name, none of her name changed upon adoption.

My first name is unique in my family, but I carry my mother’s name as my middle name, though it’s a variant of a name that was popular in my father’s family too. Each of my three brothers has part of at least one grandfather’s name in his. We’re both from families where names have stories and create connections.

So now here we are looking at this little child whose name at first seemed very strange, certainly not one we would ever choose for a child. I’ve always been adamant that I couldn’t change a name at adoption just because I’d prefer another name. Ezra’s name is his own and part of his identity. Obviously his identity is going to have to change at some level when he moves from a foster home to an adoptive placement, but we want him to still be himself and name seems so inseparable from self.

There are some good reasons to change an older child’s name, like if it turned out that Ezra and his easily googleable self had some sort of violent family member with a dangerous vendetta who’d be looking for a little boy with that name, though luckily I have no reason to believe this would be the case for him. Or we’d be open to change if it’s a name that’s associated with abuse and trauma, like in a situation I want to attribute to Yondalla where a boy named, say, William had been abused by someone named Bill and so he was feeling retraumatized and voiceless when he’d tell people not to call him Bill and they’d do it anyway.

So we’re open to having a new name if Ezra becomes our child AND he thinks he wants a new name and his social worker thinks it’s a good idea and we understand why. I think Lee would be a little bit relieved. I’ve had more time before getting into the adoption process to think about how I’d deal with this situation, so I was already at peace with a name unlike any I’d choose myself.

But we talked about whether to add another name (again, not knowing whether he has one and if so what) or something so that when he gets bigger and does have to send out resumes to employers who might make racist and classist assumptions, he’d have the option of abbreviating the name that marks him if that’s something he chooses to do. We talked a lot about this and talked about potential names, which basically came down to the male version of the name she carries from her bio grandfather and the name of my grandfather. Both are standard Biblical names; either sounds fine with his name. But I really, really want him to get my family name rather than hers.

And I know why it is that I want my family name in the mix. It’s proof that I was there, that I have some claim to this child, that we intended to think of him as part of my family. Lee is going to be the legal parent in the eyes of the state, but if there’s going to be a name addition I want to have something to hold on to as proof of intent to co-parent. Of course I’m only adopting because I think our relationship is stable enough to get through the tough times, but I’m not foolish enough to ignore the fact that I’ll have no legal rights to my child unless we work together piece together those rights out of Lee’s intentions and parenting choices.

Lee has a friend in a state that’s like ours and won’t recognize two legal moms who’s going through a custody battle over a child about Ezra’s age. As I understand it, the friend’s ex-partner and their known donor are suing to keep the friend from having any visitation with the child she helped raise, the child whose bio mother she lived with throughout the pregnancy and first many years of this child’s life. Lee’s friend has gotten permission from a judge to have visitation because the ex-partner’s will made it clear that they had been co-parenting and that in the event of the ex-partner’s death, Lee’s friend would have been sole parent. Now the ex and the known donor are claiming they’d always planned to raise this child with one mom and one dad who just happen to be gay and thus in different relationships, and because they’re in an anti-gay state they may be able to bar Lee’s friend from having any more contact with the child she loves. There are other ways to tell the story, I’m sure, but this one I got from Lee and a friend she cares about breaks my heart.

Of course I don’t think Lee would do that to me. We’re both comfortable with each other’s breakup histories, and having gone through a nasty situation where I was stalked and threatened that’s something that’s important to me. So no, even if we did break up I do believe Lee would still want to do what’s in the best interests of our child. Openness to open adoption (at least in our minds) necessitates a commitment to coparenting in the event of separation. But in the eyes of the courts, if we could point to Ezra’s adoption certificate and show that he has a name from my family that doesn’t occur to hers, that might help. And since I’m hung up on my feelings about not being a legal parent, it would probably help me.

But this just reminds me again how much more privilege I have than a first mother even if I don’t have legal parenting rights. I’m not putting my trust into someone whose profile I’ve read, whom I’ve met a few times, someone I want to trust me immediately and think I’m stable and healthy enough to stay in my child’s life. Instead I get to look into the eyes of the woman I love and talk in detail about our plans and how to make sure our family is supported by every bit of legal wrangling we can manage. I don’t know if these blog posts would amount to much as evidence, but whether I get a piece of myself in Ezra’s name or not I have witnesses and the sort of information that would hold up in a lot of courts if I somehow got shoved out of Ezra’s life.

A first mother doesn’t even have that. All she has is the name she’s giving and promises that are legally unenforceable. To me, this seems potentially tragic. In our case, though, all of this naming conversation might not amount to much. The more we’ve talked about Ezra over these last months, the more “normal” his name has become to our ears. We know his current nickname and like it too, and it would be strange to think of him by any other name than the one he has now. I’m sure over time first mothers similarly get used to calling their children by names chosen by adoptive parents or more rarely adoptive parents grow to love and accept the name their child was given at birth. I know that no naming is destiny, but I don’t want to make things harder than I have to. Everything’s messy enough already.

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best interest & best efforts

January 13, 2009

Carmel had a comment on my last post saying that she’d be frustrated by a wait as long as ours and that the state should be hurrying through adoptive parents. I’ve definitely heard bad stories from bloggers in other states who can’t even get their phone calls returned. However, I’m pretty comfortable with where we are now, and it’s made much easier because we’ve liked and respected the social workers we’ve been working with (and while at this point I wouldn’t want to hang out with the woman who’s sitting on our homestudy, it’s not because I think she’s bad at her job or anything like that) and that makes waiting easier.

Mostly, though, I’m patient because I have to be and because I know they’re doing their best. There’s not enough money allocated by the state to pay the social workers well and they have big caseloads. They’re working under a hiring freeze that won’t even let them replace temporarily replace office workers who are out on maternity leave. All the workers we’ve met seem very committed to the children and families they work with, but there are also only so many hours in the day.

I don’t know to what extent we’re the norm in our state, and I know things differ across the nation. I haven’t heard from anyone else who took the 10-week training class starting in July that they’ve been approved yet. We may well be the first ones, because we’re the only ones who chose to go adoptive-only rather than getting ourselves certified as a foster home. The department’s goal is to find families for children and to preserve the families these children already have whenever possible. I really can’t complain if they’re prioritizing that over reading about the details of our discipline philosophies and cultural competencies.

That said, I’m glad we have a thorough homestudy that’s going to talk about our discipline philosophies and cultural competencies and how comfortable we are with each other and our lesbian identities and the gazillion-page list of special needs diagnoses we did or didn’t think we could handle. It took 8-10 hours of meetings with our worker to get all this data together, but she’s experienced and thoughtful and I believe we’ll end up with a good document because of this even though she wasn’t able to start writing it until two months after our meetings. (Although I’ve heard people’s horror stories about inaccurate homestudies and looked into whether we could see a copy of ours, but we’d have to request a copy from the state and parts might be redacted; that I don’t like.)

From what we know, Ezra’s in a stable foster home right now. If his situation changed, they would let us know. He’s pretty much at the top of their priority list at our local office just because all the workers have a soft spot for him and want to find him someone, but this is definitely not a crisis situation. And with the pressure they’re under now and especially in this economy, I have a feeling the social workers are focusing on the crises.

I don’t know how to explain that I don’t feel impatient because I don’t feel entitled without making myself sound like I’m judging people who would feel impatient in my shoes! So people, this is just me talking. I don’t want kids languishing without good homes — foster, adoptive, or birth — and I do want parents to be appropriately trained. I want the workers to do more than give cursory glances to the information that goes in front of them for approval. But to get what I want, I have to be willing to suffer a wait. I’m not religious, but I do have a very strong and somewhat rigid ethical makeup that makes me happier waiting so things can work smoothly and “rightly” than zipping ahead. This annoys Lee when I’m driving; I feel lucky she’s with me in adoption.

So I really am speaking only for myself, but it’s easy to wait patiently now because as far as I can tell everyone’s working hard and there’s only so much any of us can do. Waiting is our job and I want to leave my workers to do their jobs right. Maybe this makes me some stodgy neo-Victorian complaining about haste making waste, but I hope that’s only part of it. I do believe the only way to serve these kids is to treat them with respect and thoughtful decision-making. Moving quickly to permanency can also be good, but only if the first requirement’s been met. So I wait and hope I’m doing the right thing. At this point, I don’t really have a choice anyway.

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