Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Bumps Along The Way

The next few days after hearing about these babies were a frustrating, scary whirlwind of emotions, chaos and desperation. The day after getting the call, we called our Case Worker to tell her that we had another situation involving a private adoption. That did not go well. Even though we had been very upfront about our desire to help children that came our way, either through the state or private adoptions, she treated us like criminals. I was really sad about the way that she treated us. Until that moment, we had never had any problems with her. We had loved her through out the whole process. She was always so nice. We had trusted her with the most intimate details of our lives. She had been in our home on many occasions, we talked about wanting to be parents all the time.  All along this path we had known that we were interested in adopting AND fostering. We had always been open about that, in fact I would often ask to make sure that our home study could be used for other states if something like this came up. I was always assured that "yes, once your home study is approved, you can do whatever you want with it." I knew that with our connections in the adoption world we would randomly get calls (like we have for years) and that we would pursue each case as far as we could. She had always said that was ok. Always! Until that Friday. When I called that day to ask for an emailed copy of our homestudy, she snapped at me and said, "This just all seems pretty deceptive to me!" I was blown away! I didn't even know what she was talking about. What had I done that was deceptive? I asked her and she that it was deceptive of us to use DCS to get a "free" homestudy and then use a private adoption agency. I told her that we were not using a private adoption agency, this was something that we heard about the night before and we wanted to be able to adopt if we could. She said, "WELL, I'll email this to you at the end of day. I'm too busy right now!" Well I was mad (and emotional) by that point, so I told her not to bother bc I had a copy at home that I could scan. I was going to do that anyway but time was of the essence and I called assuming that it would be an easy thing for her to do. Monday rolls around and the lawyers office called and said that we needed to get some info changed on our home study, it needed to say specifically that we could adopt up to age 5-6 (something that was supposed to be very easy to do and she offered to do before when she wanted to place older children with us). So I called and left a message. No reply. Then I emailed. No reply. Wednesday rolled around and the lawyers office called me. They needed this info ASAP. So our contact at the lawyers office called our social worker. She told me that our SW was not nice at all and asked her how long we had been working with a private adoption agency. Joy (the case worker for the lawyer) said that as far as she knew we were NOT working with a private adoption agency and this just happened last week. Anyway, Joy called me and told me that I need to call our SW again and tell her that we needed the addendum to the homestudy and our FBI, state and fingerprinting clearances before we could proceed. She said that our SW told her, "You want those? YOU get it!" Again, I am shocked! Our SW has always been nice to us, never would we have expected this! So I called her again, This time she answered and she was spitting mad! She said, "Well I just p*** ** off "Mary Jo" ( or Joy) at "heart for Joy adoptions" (not even the right name) but oh well!" She smugly repeated to me what she told Joy and that basically she didn't have time to do their dirty work for them. Since they were a private adoption agency they could do it themselves. AGAIN, I say, we are NOT dealing with a private adoption agency. We are NOT! We have a friend in another state that has a friend at the lawyer's office. That is all! We are not working with a private adoption agency. Then she told me that what I am doing is fraudulent and that the tax payers in our state aren't paying her so that I can get a free home study to adopt. I reminded her that SHE herself told me that I could do this. I reminded her that Jonathan and I were always very above board when talking about the fact that one day we might get a call like this and we would like to proceed. Instead of agreeing that she had told us numerous times that we could do whatever we wanted with our home study, She said, "Well, I'm new and I didn't know that people commit fraud like this and that people really do just try to use us as a free home study with no intention of ever fostering." I tried to say again that that is not what we are doing. We are not trying to be frauduelent, We are interested in both fostering and adoption. We just want to help kids, in whatever capacity that we are presented with. She wouldn't listen. She told me that the home study approved us for adoption and she could do no more. Several times she asked," What do you want me to do, it says you can adopt?" I told her that it needs to specifically say in so many words instead of saying it in a round about way. And the age needed to be changed. I also told her that we also needed to have our fingerprinting, FBI and state clearances. She told me that was nothing she could do. Our home study did say that we could adopt, I don't know what else your "private adoption agency" wants. She also said, "If you get these three children, then your home will be full and I WILL call you when I get a cute little newborn and you won't be able to take it because your home would be full, and you WON'T have babies!" That was hands down the MOST hateful thing that anyone has ever said to me. I was at a loss. I really didn't know what to do after that. I was an emotional mess. Someone that I thought was on my side had just blasted me. She called me fraudulent and deceptive and absolutely refused to help me and said hateful and hurtful things to me. I called my adoption friend and cried. Not for the first time and not for the last.  Dana told me that I needed to get in my car right then and go to her supervisor asap and tell her what we needed. It was almost 5 and her supervisor's office was over an hour away, so we waited until the next morning. In the meantime I hit my knees and prayed like never before. I wanted to protect these babies and be the Mama that they needed. Oh, how I prayed for those babies that night. The next morning, a Thursday, we left early. Jonathan took off work to go with me. I really needed him. He said he was looking at it like labor and he wanted to be with me if I was in labor! Jonathan and I both kinda wanted to go in guns blazing (not literally, of course!) and tell the whole story about how we were done wrong, but Dana calmed us! She said to go in with a meek and quiet spirit, don't back track, don't give the week's history and see what that does for us. EXCELLENT ADVICE, I must say! Had we not been so emotional, scared and frustrated, we might have thought of it ourselves!  She also told us to be prepared to wait the entire day. Ugh, I was not looking forward to that. We had come across the supervisor before and she was not really an approachable person. We were both pretty intimidated to have to do this, but we weren't quitting if the end result was going to be these kids. I kinda felt like I was headed to the lion's den. I told my sister that maybe God would shut the lion's mouth for me too! We got to the office pretty early the next morning. The secretary had asked who we needed to talk to so we told her. She told us that lady was not there, but she'd give us someone else. So we talked to this other lady for awhile and we were nice and meek and quiet. She did ask why we didn't go to our own social worker and I almost broke down in tears, but I just said that she told us that she wasn't able to help us. Then, she made us wait in the conference room for awhile and she told her boss. I'm not sure if it was our SW's boss's boss or if they were on the same level. Either way, she wasn't as scary (God did shut the lion's mouth for me!) She told us that she could get the home study changed and she called our SW who suddenly could take care of it right away. The FBI and state clearances she could not get. They WERE the property of the state and had to be redone. We tried calling the state to see if we could pay for them since they were already done and we needed them before the close of day Friday, but it was a no go. By the end of a very trying and emotional week, I realized that we COULDN'T get these children. Those clearances just would not be there in time.

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