We actually are going to talk directly to a Case Worker about one of the girls! *happy dance* I’ve exchanged emails with several and actually am going to miss one that taught me a whole lot on how to do the out-of-state (OOS from here on out) social work on my own, but we gave up on one of the girls that she oversees. This time, though, we get to talk to one over the phone! An actual mini-conference call!! We’re still waiting to hear from the Case Worker on the Kansas girl that our Social Worker keeps trying to get hold of, because we are ready to go with the conference call and move on to the BIS to see if we can get matched with her. However, we’ve been burned a lot in this process and kept going with the ones OOS. We actually are seeing some progress. I really needed to know that someone is actually interested in us. It’s an amazing boost during a very difficult time. Anyway, this teen is in MO, which would really help with some of the costs. To top it off another Case Worker for a tween in OH that I really, really like too is interested.
I finally learned from that amazing Case Worker that taught me so much to actual write follow up emails when we don’t get responses after submitting inquiries on the adoption website. At first I was so robotic and intimidated, honestly. It finally clicked that I’m turning in our parenting resume (apparently the system believes we should do away with the accent; sorry!), so now I write inquiry emails that address all of the seldom-mentioned needs and desires we can fulfill that are in the profile, or what things we do that would mesh well with the teen’s personality. I also attach our Home Study, but if I manage to get their attention with the inquiry email letters, they always want another copy. I think it’s to keep a paper trail that they requested and it wasn’t a voluntary submission, but I’m just faking this whole social worker stuff, so got me. *grin* These follow ups have gotten us attention for a couple of girls, so we may actually have a decent chance of adopting now that I’ve learned so much about this. So…go me! *laugh*
It’s no secret I’ve been nesting for well over a year now and I really want her room finished, which would mean that I could also get the gym/storage room done finally, too. (My big wood desk we got when I started my first business will have some surgery and is going from what was my office to her room, and my office will finish the transformation.) We will have an area for Kiddo to be active and exercise in the evening if she’s still feeling energetic or if she needs to burn off some emotions. It’ll also be nice to not have Eddie in the living room and when you turn, before memory kicks in, for a scary moment there’s a really buff dude hanging out in the dark by the window. *laugh* So he will go into the gym and stop startling people. Just yesterday we finally figured out how we want to change the desk after I drew up a variety of hastily made blueprints with different options. So one more decision down.
We also both agreed that we still want to do what we always planned on if I’d gotten pregnant – I’m going to home school. I talked to our Social Worker about it and she provided information later on about the Kansas branch of Connections Academy, which is an online public school that is approved and can work with the mild IEPs our Kiddo may have. The more I read about the curriculum, watch unsolicited user reviews on YouTube, and the built in socialization they brilliantly worked into the program. Attending online classes and working on assignments together (deja vu to my Victim’s Advocacy Certification course *grin*), plus parents can look in the private directory and reach out to those nearby to see about doing extra field trips together or respite or just a teen play date (what do you call those even?!). On top of it, annually they have a set get together for any Academy user families to attend if they’d like, to make connections, assist with more socialization, and even learn from some instructors on ways to handle situations that may arise in schooling (etc.), while the kids and teens get to do some really fun activities led by teachers, like scavenger hunts. We didn’t think that this would be an option since so much is out of our control, but because we have a built in socialization group in our support system with lots of plans for ways to increase her exposure to kids going to the local schools if she wants to get back into standard public schooling at the start of the next school year, plus the socialization built into this school, we get to actually parent one aspect the way we always dreamed of. There are so many subject tie in projects, field trips, and shows that I’ve written out, that I’m actually super excited. *laugh*
Pure nerd, I know. Plus, I originally was either going to be a journalist or a Creative Writing Teacher originally, before my life veered the other direction, and that part of me is so into the thought of planning things out to make sure that Kiddo is at least caught up to her grade if not beyond them, by the time that school year ends. *crossing fingers* Doing this allows me time for extra bonding with Kiddo and to set time aside for us to work through trauma, healthy boundaries, and such, and will help her establish a safe feeling of home and family before facing lots of new people again, which could trigger some of their issues (and I hope that we can decrease that chance at least somewhat). This program has a great success rate with being prepared for college, the workforce, or a military career, with an impressive amount being approved for college that tried. Shoot, we can watch an episode of Warehouse 13 and then research the real mythology or past of the “artifact” from the show! There are SO many learning opportunities and with my mom’s extensive knowledge about St. Joseph, MO’s historical locations, we can even do a history field trip in one day that could bring history alive for Kiddo. That’s exactly what worked for me, when we visited out here while living in CA still. Going into the Pony Express Museum and seeing/reading everything about the gunslingers made it all connect that history is full of real people and lives, not just facts. That light bulb moment. Whatever subject it is in, and however much time and effort it takes, I don’t care, but I really hope to be the one that is there for that transformation. I’m smiling like the proud parent of a newborn just thinking about it. *shaking head at self*
There has been so much pain and waiting that getting back to a point to start making the rest of the decisions is a beautiful thing. And the fact that we can home school as we always dreamed? Language is insufficient for the happiness and excitement it brings me. Although our path wound more than any theme park trail, we get to keep some of the core choices of parenting. I would be an incredibly happy and blessed mom to be able to adopt any of these three girls that are currently an actual possibility. We have other inquiries out, but each of these has something special that others don’t, at least for me. I knew that a person could fall in love with more than one person in their lifetime. I never knew how much the heart could expand to love so many at least a little bit. Or that I could fall in love with these young lives just by reading their life and personality story. Excuse me while I regain my vision after that sudden little rain storm. It’s also a bit weird to think that I’ll have all ready started to love Kiddo before we know it’s even her. And that I still hold a special spot in my heart for each girl who has touched our lives just a bit. I’m really ready to get closer to filling the rest of my heart with Kiddo, though.
And make a few more decisions as soon as possible. 🙂
This is a tough journey, to be sure. I have no words for you (mostly because I know there aren’t any words for the waiting). Hang in there.
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Thank you for the understanding and encouragement!