Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Risky business

So last night was the Friends & Family MAPP class, and it actually went very well. The social workers didn't address the racism and homophobia issues from last week, but they did put together a great panel of adoptive parents and adults who lived through the foster care system as kids. Our Friends & Family were the incomparable Jenny PP and also L&L, and it was so good to have them there. Goodness knows we're going to need the support of all of Hester's aunties and uncles once our homestudy is approved, and especially once Hester comes home!

Perhaps the biggest news from yesterday is that after hearing one couple tell their story, Petunia and I are more willing to consider a high risk adoption placement. The parents who spoke last night talked about their unwavering faith that their kids would end up in the right place, whether that's with their birth parents or with their adoptive parents. In particular, the mom said that she sees raising her children as an honor and a gift, and she thinks that worrying about the children's future takes away from the joy they have now. It was very inspirational, and the parents offered us a way of looking at adoption from a position of hope rather than a position of fear. That's good news, eh?

So we're really thinking about it. It would mean that we'd be open to many more children, and to very young children as well. We could be talking about a straight-from-the-hospital newborn--OOH! That's a lot of incentive right there. And I guess DSS needs to recruit high risk parents, since most pre-adoptive parents are looking for kids who are free for adoption (no risk). The social workers explained to us that for DSS, it's best to place a high risk newborn with pre-adoptive parents rather than with foster parents, because if/when the child's goal changes from reunification to adoption, the kid will already be home. So that's very exciting news for us.

And also, this bears mentioning: It sounds like DSS placements can happen veeerrry quickly. One guy told a story about how he and his wife got their home study approved one day, and the next day they met their future child at one of those adoption parties (Petunia and I won't be doing these, FYI). And another family had just completed their homestudy when their children were born; they had to go pick them up in 2 days. How crazy is that? So I'm getting a little anxious about the waiting period. I want to have all of the important stuff done when our homestudy is approved. Plenty of stuff can wait, but we need to have many things in place when we begin to wait, just in case. If our match happens as quickly as some of those families, Hester could be home for the 2006 winter holidays. That's a panic-inducing thought (butohmygodhowFABULOUSwoulditbetohaveababythisyear!?!?). I guess everyone's right: plan for a short wait, but anticipate a long wait.

And y'all already know I plan by making lists!

Things to do during the homestudy:

--finish Hester's room; take scads of photos
--move desk & filing cabinets into office nook
--organize closet/office nook areas
--strip wallpaper and paint hallway upstairs (closet/office nook wallpaper can wait)
--order fabric for Hester's chair slipcover; make slipcover
--contact lawyer in Worcester for wills, etc.
--decide what Hester will call Petunia as well as her/his grandparents & great-grandparents
--decide about diapers
--line up professionals for consultation once match is made
--meet with our new pediatrician to be 100% sure she's the one for us (we're already 95% sure)
--make a family book to give to Hester if s/he is in foster care when we're matched
--save money for my maternity leave

Actually, that doesn't sound too bad. But then there are things we want to complete before the homestudy, like:

--giving the porch a 2nd coat of paint
--painting the entryway
--painting the front door
--making/finding wreath for front door
--painting the back steps
--finishing the bathroom trim
--finishing the baby's room trim
--repairing the basement steps
--vacuuming the basement

Okay, so that's definitely more work. Better get to it, I suppose!


Anonymous Jenny PP said...

It is total craziness to hear how quickly such stuff can happen. I'm glad nobody was totally out of control last night because I was fixin' to crack some skulls. ;) Ooo. I wish I had made you point out the crazy comment people but I guess that would have been a little awkward. You have to tell me who they were. Also, Ol'Talkie is really something.

The high legal risk thing is crazy too - it does sound like that might move faster. Their attitude about it certainly did sound like the right way to handle it too.

Well good luck doing all your list items you CRAZY LIST LADY!

4:17 PM  
Blogger Clementine said...

Dear Jane,

1. Ol' Talkie was on good bevaior last night, if you can believe it. She's usually much, much worse.

2. The worst offenders weren't there. The second worst offender was the woman who talked so GD much about that poor guy's 73-year old mama--know who I mean? ISSUES.

Thanks again for being there--it really means a lot to Pet and me!


PS--Don't mess with my J power!

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Jenny PP said...

Oh, I know who you mean. She was kind of nutso.

I'm not messing with your J power, I'm scared of it.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Canada said...

Hey, maybe you'll end up with twins. Hester AND Willa!!! I've got an extra twin stroller . . .

8:31 PM  

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