Okay, so today we had our first meeting for the homestudy with the Child Welfare Agency social worker (actually 4th attempt--first one interupted by social worker due to conflict of interest concerns, next 2 cancelled by social worker--guess 4th time was the charm). All seemed to be going well despite our rocky start--but as you probably have come to expect with our foster care adoption attempt, there was just one little issue. We were discussing the gender of the child and said we were open to both sexes, but it would be nice to get a daughter to balance our family. The social worker then asked if we would be open to a sibling group and we advised her of the space limitations—we currenlty own a two bedroom condominium. At this point, the social worker said that she could only license us to adopt a boy because we already have a son. Now the state regulations state that you can place two opposite sex children under the age of five in the same bedroom. We were even advised of this regulation during our orientation and when I pointed this out to the social worker, she said that it is a county policy to license adoptive parents based on their current situation--i.e our two bedroom condo. She advised that the state regulations re: opposite sex children under five in the same room only cover foster parenting and not adoption! We had indicated our openness to either sex but it still upset me to think that we don’t even have this choice! The agency has had our application for almost five months and could have saved me from daydreaming of a girl by letting us know that we would not be eligible to adopt a girl. We had planned on renting out our place and moving to a larger place once the adoption was finalized. The social worker did suggest that if we moved now, she could license us to adopt both sexes! With the glacial pace this foster care agency has been moving, I am not ready to move and then still be in limbo three years from now waiting for a referral!
I requested clarification and she got someone “higher up”. The "higher up" advised us that they would not make an exception unless it was for criminal issues. WHAT!!! They won’t follow the State regulations on space, but will make exceptions for criminals? Am I missing something? The lady “higher up” in the chain then shook our hands and thanked us for wanting to serve our community and said if we decided that we did not want to go forward with the adoption plans, she hoped the Child Welfare Agency could be of assistance to us!!!!! Outside of adoption, the Child Welfare Agency can not be of assistance to us since we are not planning on abusing or neglecting our child/ren and we are not adopting so that we can serve our community! Arghhhhh!
That did throw a kink to a meeting that had been going surprisingly well. Anyway the social worker felt that she had been the bearer of bad news for the last two months and wanted to verify if we would be more comfortable working with a different social worker. Most of the bureaucracy has not been our social worker’s fault so we cannot hold this against her! Additionally, we would have to re-schedule and I have already taken time off four times already trying to get our home study started! So no, we will work with what we have. The rest of the two hour meeting went extremely well and it seems the social worker at least has some empathy for all the obstacles that have been thrown our way by the Child Welfare Agency. International Adoption is looking so appealing right about now. I turn in our application next week to the placement agency and I think I have decided on a homestudy agency. Please pray for us for patience and grace as we wait for our child.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4