Who would have thought that Dolly Parton’s classic song would have a lyric that would thoroughly apply to adoption? *laugh* I don’t know that many would call me sane anyway, but this process is pushing me closer to the bonkers edge, that’s for sure.
We met our new Social Worker in person this past Friday and I’m really tickled to have such an awesome SW now. She patiently answered the tons of questions I had come up with since things started going downhill with the previous SW, actually finalized our Home Study so it’s officially legal (it’s those little things that take 9 months and a new worker that makes me happy *laugh*), and was actually really nice. Unlike the previous SW she really liked Kiddo’s room and loves the idea of it being move-in-ready, plus she loves the sayings and encouraging projects I hung or placed around the room. She even liked my label maker obsession, so that Kiddo can find what she wants without having to ask, in case she’s feeling shy or uncomfortable (I can’t tell you how many times I wanted something to drink but was too shy to ask where the glasses were and never want Kiddo to go through that as she adjusts to her new home). Several ticks that were previously against us got changed to strengths that we have, so that really helped me feel better about how we stand as an adopting family.
Unfortunately, just as our expected time frame for prospective child placement was about to come up, it got pushed off by another year. That was a hard one to handle without either crying or wanting to start burning to prevent any anger from building up. It is what it is, but just felt like a hit to the gut that it may be a whole extra year, making it 2.5 years in the process. As usual, it is up to what time brings and see what happens. Some days I get really tired of being “paperwork pregnant”, as many women refer to the adoption process. Always something new to fill out or to read. Thankfully I have all ready read several of the suggested reading “homework” we were given and the fact that I’m learning directly from the blog of what they consider an adoption expert went a long way. And I’ve been blessed with making a new friend through my latest interest in SL photography who turns out to work with IEP and Special Ed children, so if our Kiddo has any educational needs that I’m unsure how to work with, I have a resource ready to provide research and encouragement. So despite it all, there are blessings underneath it all.
All of it opened up some unexpected pathways to us and also helped us make some clear decisions on what we will pursue/not pursue. We’ve been pretty open minded throughout this, except for making sure this is a safe home for the possible adoptee, and this helped us widen our ideal traits list, while ruling out some other options that opened to us (I wouldn’t have made it through figuring out what was best in that possible situation, so thank you Dawn for helping me, if you’re reading this!!). We are now considering tweens instead of strictly teens, which is a big change of thinking in some ways. We actually formally decided to put our hat in the ring on one and they’re even in our state, so the fundraising would be used for school supplies and maybe even a tiny trip to celebrate that allows us some time away to bond as a family, before regular life begins, if we get picked.
We’ve gone to the next step on others before and gotten so hurt that I can’t help but be nervous, plus we have so many out-of-state that are in flux, that I feel like my heart is being pulled in so many directions. And the nice part to a tween is if it takes the year for the process to actually finalize, she won’t be about to graduate without a true chance to bond to become her forever family. *sigh* This process is just mind boggling and frustrating. I just changed my hair color and I bet you within a couple days I’m going to find some white hairs from all of this. *laugh*
In the meantime I’ve stopped the puzzle piece fundraising, especially if it may be a year still, and we have no idea where we stand on the OOS young ladies we’ve been working toward. I just know I’m ready to complete our family and that there are way too many children/teens out there that we, as a society, have turned away from. Hopefully in the next few years Kiddo and I can start a fundraiser to get backpacks or suitcases for kids, and at least eradicate the trash bag scenario within a couple counties near us. If we can help raise some awareness and advocate for these children, maybe the “village” will come back together to help take care of our lost children. For a child to bounce so often that they haven’t had a stable enough living condition to get the grant to get their free braces is a disgrace, or is a grade behind because they didn’t have enough continual days in school since they were in flux for so long; it’s unacceptable that we have allowed the process to become this way. We are mostly just uninformed of how all of this is handled. So hopefully I’ll be able to advocate on several parts and gain enough voices to join mine to get us heard. Anyway, I’ll step off my soap box and put it away for the moment. *smile*
I’ll break my nails holding onto my patience waiting to see what comes our way next, but at least my hope is stronger today. A flashlight in the dark. Or the train getting closer on a circle track, as L commented to me. If the train is coming again, at least I know I can get back up again and dust myself off while I wait for the next step of the path. I survived a lot of things, but for a while I didn’t think I’d survive this process. Right now I am back to the strength I had a year ago and have some hope, so “we’ll see”. *grin*