Tuesday, 25 August 2015

A non-update

Just an update to say that there is nothing to update.

We heard from our social worker about a month ago. She was asking a question related to our initial application (that should have been destroyed when we filled in a new form following our AEP). This is a question that we've answered at least three times over the years. No one who ever asked the question felt like making a note of it so we keep having to answer it. Over and over.

And that's it.

But wait. Don't feel sad. We're doing just fine. We have children in our lives and we love them and spend time with them. We are taking on some hobbies and also hoping to take a trip next year. When we started the whole adoption journey we really wanted kids. But over the past few years our lives have continued and we've grown and changed and we're not at all sad about where we are right now. We are exactly where we're supposed to be.

We also have a lot of trouble trusting the system. There are great adoption stories and situations that work out wonderfully. There are also times when the lack of information, assistance and safeguards for families and children seem completely overwhelming. Nothing is quite like it was supposed to be. For example, we were told at the AEP that we wouldn't receive pictures or real names in an initial proposal package. As you may have read before we received all that information and more without having to prove who we were. The idea of this lack of privacy for this child makes me feel sick. If something as simple and important as this wasn't taken care of, what other issues might we run into?

Right now our profile is out there and some social worker could consider us as a family and we'd take our time to figure out if we can be that person's parents. We hope to move into a larger but less expensive place in the coming year and plan on doing respite foster care for a while.

I think the biggest thing that I've had to deal with is feeling guilty for being happy where I am. I have felt like a bad person because I'm not actively trying to adopt by checking the bulletins and hounding our social worker. Wouldn't a "good woman" do everything she could to bring home all the abused children she could? Shouldn't I feel ashamed for even thinking that I could be happy and fulfilled if our home just houses the two of us? Letting go of that shame has been difficult but liberating.

I feel bad for all the people who have been following this blog and waiting for all the good stuff... the pictures of our family, the blogging about nightmarish days, the quotes from the kids as they start to create secure attachments. I feel bad for the people who started reading this because they thought it would help to inspire them in their own adoption journey. To all of you folks, I wish you everything that your life is supposed to be but want you to remember that whether you adopt or not, you are still  worthy human beings who can grace the world with love. Non-parents are people too. And they can be damn good people.

We may adopt, we may foster, we may start an animal rescue for a thousand unwanted rodents, we may become religious hermits, we may make a floating home out of pop bottles. We've learned that we don't know and that for now, we can be completely happy and satisfied with not knowing.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

whoa... new people are reading this

Hi new people! 
A lovely blogger re-posted (re-blogged? I don't understand all this) a thing (article? post? essay?) I wrote a long while back for offbeat families. Because of that some new people have become interested in our weird family-making process. 

I forget that while we talk personally with our closest family and friends, all you internet people don't actually hear from me! 

So let's go back to November. In November we were told about an actual, real proposal. We picked up the proposal package in December and read the whole thing. 

This child was older- almost a teenager. We'll call this child "Jo" cause it's gender neutral and we're all about privacy. I had asked some very specific questions about past any past abuse or trauma that Jo might have experienced, about current manifestations of mental health issues and about pre-natal exposure history and assessments. The first red flag was that our worker nor Jo's worker could answer some of these questions. But most of the answers were given a fairly positive spin. 

We picked up the proposal package (a very large binder with medical records, government records, assessments and family history dating back to Jo's birth) and read it very carefully all the way through. The first thing we noticed is that Jo's real, full name was used and we knew the neighbourhood Jo lived in and the school Jo went to. This concerned us because we didn't have to show any ID to get the package and the receptionist who gave us the binder had never met us. We could have been anyone and suddenly had a lot of personal information about a vulnerable young person. 

As we read through all the information we realised that a lot of the questions we had asked had very different answers than what the worker had told us. We also saw over the years where Jo was continually failed and not provided with therapy and counselling because workers and caregivers changed and issues weren't followed up on. 

It broke our hearts but we realised that Jo might have more special needs than we are currently able to handle. We told our social worker we wouldn't proceed with this proposal and she was very understanding. 

So we got to thinking (as we do from time to time) about what it was about adopting Jo that didn't feel right. We both thought that we would have pursued this further if there was some kind of guaranteed assistance for providing therapy for Jo (we don't have a whole lot of money and private therapy can cost over $100 a session). We thought we might have pursued it if we felt like Jo's guardianship worker had known more about Jo's past so that we could have made more informed decisions about helping Jo in the future. Eventually we decided that Jo was a person we could imagine fostering but not adopting due to the legal and financial implications. 

Then we had an Aha! moment. We called our social worker and asked what she thought about us applying to become foster parents and she thought we'd make great foster parents and told us who to call for information. 

So we are still approved to adopt (but no more proposals have come our way). We have taken some time to really consider fostering and all the implications of that choice. We are pursuing more information. We are also considering making some changes to our living arrangement to save money and live in a situation where we would have more community and support around us. 

As always, we're learning and learning and learning. Who knows where we'll end up but we're still enjoying the ride. Also our darling, bonny, braw God-son was born last fall so we are getting plenty of fun time with him and feeling all the love.

PS... I just found the button to justify this post and it looks ten-times nicer and cleaner and more professional. I told you I know nothing about blogging.