Second Adoption: Finalization Date

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This is why folks don’t like working with the county: no one knows what anyone else is doing.

We received an email from our daughter’s social worker saying that she needed to come by the house for May’s visit. At the finalization paperwork signing, our adoption worker told us that there would be no more visits from the social worker and that we’d be dealing with her from here on out. In the email, she mentioned that finalization was “around the corner” but we didn’t have a date yet. Huh?

I forwarded the email to our adoption worker. Her reply was that finalization was scheduled and the social worker needed to visit again. My guess is because she’ll be on vacation?

Anyhoo … in a round about way, we found out our finalization date, that she won’t be able to attend (again) and the social worker that I wanted to punch in the face will be there. Ah …  friggin’ … some!

 

 

5 Reasons I Thought We wouldn’t Be Chosen to Adopt

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This is our second time adopting from foster care and if you’d have asked me 5 years ago if we’d pass muster even one time I’d have told you no. When we started on this journey, we had no experience with adoption and didn’t know anyone who had adopted. If you’re wondering if you would be able to adopt, here are some things we thought might stop us …  but didn’t:

#1 We don’t believe in any gods.

Like many people, we were both raised Christian. We both wandered off into Islamic studies and one us of valued the wisdom of the 5 percenters. Eventually, we both ended up realizing that all religion is a sham and became atheists. Many adoption organizations are religious and many adopters seem to be motivated by pleasing some kind of god.

There is a line on the adoption application that asks about religion. We wrote “none” and waited for the questions to start …  they never did.

#2 I am not fond of social workers.

I entered foster care at 13 and “aged out” at 17 (I graduated from high school). Some social workers were cool …  some …  not so cool. I don’t trust them to do what they say they are going to do. I also tend to think that they are always looking for a reason to remove children from the home. That being said …  we dealt with six different folks (1 emergency care worker, 4 social workers, and 1 adoption worker) over the course of the two adoptions. We had two that obviously didn’t care (but weren’t bad, evil, or vindictive) and two that I couldn’t get a bead on (they did the bare minimum the job required). The last two were very involved (though not annoying) and cared a lot about their charges. Overall, it hasn’t been bad.

#3 I’m not fond of people making me do things.

I don’t like being forced to do anything. Any. Thing.

The whole process of adopting is people you don’t know forcing you to do things you think have little merit. You fill out the same information on multiple forms (each set goes to a different agency). You have to have a doctor sign off on your health (we could get hit by a bus tomorrow). You have to let random people into your home to judge how clean your fridge is and how safely your fireplace is covered.

Amazingly, it wasn’t that bad. There were a few times I wanted to quit, but overall …  it really wasn’t that bad.

#4 We don’t own a home.

I used to own a home but I don’t right now. I wasn’t sure if that would automatically disqualify us. We’ve lived in three different rental homes over the five years that it took us to adopt our two children (the bulk being 3 years in one spot and we just moved to a larger place now that we needed another bedroom) and it’s never been a problem. They want loving parents in safe homes. It doesn’t matter if that home is owned or leased.

#5 Our house is rarely tidy.

When it was just us and a 100 lb. pup, our home had a chance of sometimes being clean …  Lol As our family has grown, our home’s cleanliness had steadily gone down. With two toddlers and a pup, our house is “dirty enough to be happy and clean enough to be healthy” as my grandma used to say. Lol

When social workers from the county come over, they don’t seem too worried about our mess. One even told me, “If you have toddlers and you’re house isn’t dirty, I wonder why”. We have to remember that they often have kids too. They understand what normal mess looks like. Lol

I often hear people talking about how hard it was to adopt from foster care, and though I’m sure their stories are true, our story is also true. We were chosen to adopt infants from the county, not once …  but twice …  and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Finalization Paperwork Complete!

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We drove down to our adoption worker’s office (this is our second adoption from foster care) and signed the paperwork. She matched us with both kids and has been around for the last five years. We enjoy her personality and it’s always a pleasure to see her.

We took both the babies. There are rooms that you go into that have tables and chairs, a couch, and toys. I think the rooms might also be used for visitation. Anyhoo … the rooms mean that we don’t have to leave the kids at home when we need to meet with the foster care or adoption people.

At the first signing, we got lots of information about our kid’s family. It was all medical, but we found out how many siblings be had and a little about his mother and grandmother. I was looking forward to learning a bit about our daughter’s family because we know next to nothing.

Disappointment.

There was a huge stack of papers, just like last time but ….  all the slots on the paper said, “unknown”. We did find out that there are siblings, but we don’t know the birthdates or ages. There was no medical information other than her mother has a history of back pain. Most of the pages were from our daughter’s birth and had stuff about her birth. It’s good information to have but ….  I’m a little sad that there wasn’t more.

As usual they asked if our daughter’s mother was to have another baby that came into care, would we want to know about it/be asked to match ….  the adoption worker reminded us that her mother is still young and another baby could be born and placed. We looked at each other …….  we checked “yes”. It doesn’t mean we’d automatically match but we at least have the option. Knowing our child had a siblings out there that she could possibly grow up with ….  whoo …  that’s powerful. I don’t see how we could say that we didn’t at least want the opportunity to see if our home would be a good fit.

Anyhoo …  the paperwork is signed and now we’re just waiting on a finalization date.

=)

Date for Signing Placement Paperwork Set

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This morning we got a call from our adoption worker saying that we have a date to sign our placement paperwork! I was hoping it was going to be this week but it turns out that it’s a few weeks away.

If you’ve adopted from foster care then you know that this is the last thing that has to happen before we can finalize the adoption. Last time, we got a finalization date a few weeks after our signing. We’re hoping that the same thing happens this time.

=)

 

First Adoption Talk With Our Toddler

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Last night I had my first honest-to-goodness talk with our oldest about his adoption and how he has two families. He’s still a toddler, so he didn’t care much (or probably grasp any of it) but they say it’s good to talk with them early so #1 you never have to have The Talk with them because there was never a time they didn’t know and #2 you get to practice and mess up before they can really understand and #3 you get to fortify your heart to explain why they are not living with the family they should be, at least biologically.

I was able to eek out a few sentences then I almost started crying. Having to share with another family AND tell them about it is going to be hard but I have to imagine how hard it will be for them to LIVE it. Ahhhhh … good times. #Adoption

Turns Out We Are NOT Licensed

I missed the call but I read the email: there was a problem with our license and could we please call.

Uh oh …

I called her social worker that told me that they were trying to move baby girl’s case from foster care to adoption but they couldn’t because it turned out that our home wasn’t licensed.  *blank stare*

I called the lady that came out and did our inspection. She told us that we still needed to complete eight hours of training each for our license to be valid. She also gave us thirty days to complete that training. That’s fine but I’m not sure why:

  • She didn’t say that when she came out here and did the inspection.
  • We didn’t receive a letter in the mail saying that we were NOT licensed and what we needed to do to become licensed.

Anyhoo …. it turns out that the free classes from our local community college don’t start up again until mid-January. It also turns out that we could take the classes online. We found a website where you can take classes for $10 each. I completed all eight hours in about 3.5 hours online for $40. Ugh …  if she would have said this a month ago it could have been taken care of a month ago.

I was worried that they were gonna come take baby girl away since our home wasn’t licensed. That was really scary. Thankfully, no one even mentioned that but I still wish licensing would have been upfront and clear from jump so this whole situation could have been avoided.

We Are Licensed!

Background:

We adopted from foster care last year. We were matched again this summer. We moved a month ago …. with a foster care placement that we hope to adopt.

After submitting our application incorrectly and then going up to the office THREE times to turn in paperwork, we are officially licensed to have children in our home again.

The lady was kinda mean on the phone but she was nice when she arrived. She spent about two hours poking around, asking to see things, and waiting while we turned down the heat on our water heater and while He rigged up the fireplace cover so the babies couldn’t get through it.

It was  a bit tense in the beginning but it ended perfectly lovely. I remember the other license person telling us that they really do want to pass you. They are looking for the house to be safe and livably clean, not perfect. We moved about a month ago but we haven’t been home much so boxes are EVERYWHERE. On top of that living with two toddlers and a 100 pound dog means our floors are rarely clean. She was okay with it and even complimented me on putting water in the baby’s juice (do any parents NOT do that?) so as not to give the baby too much sugar and to keep their teeth good (we exchanged stories about how people in Cambodia kept complimenting our baby’s teeth).

All in all it was a good time that ended with is being full licensed ….  again.

=)