We met with the Adoption Coordinator that was assigned to our case. Caseworker #4 and CASA were also there. I was pretty frustrated by the end of the meeting because some of this process seems very inefficient to me. The entire meeting could have been handled with a brief phone call and paperwork in the mail. Why she had to wait nearly a month to meet with us is beyond me.
I was hoping to hear- you guys have been waiting so long and we dropped the ball so we are going to do everything we can to expedite this process. Instead I heard- I have no idea why it took so long but this could take 6 months because there is a lot of paperwork and there are four kids.
Then the taxpayer in me got frustrated because part of the process is to hire ANOTHER GAL to write a report in support of the adoption. Um they have one. She is sitting next to you. The best interest hearing resulted in a judgement that adoption by the foster parents is in their best interest. Why on Earth do we need yet ANOTHER person who knows even less about the kids to write a report except to spend money? What is the purpose.
Then I had to laugh because she asked us if we wanted to take the subsidy. Why would you decline the subsidy? And it wasn't "you are entitled to receive the board rate until the turn 18 or graduate high school which ever is later." It was "did you want to decline the subsidy?" It's my tax dollars coming back to me. Of course I want that payment.
We went round and round about orthodontics- first it was we don't pay for them. Then I pushed and it was well if you can find someone who takes the medical card. Then she felt the need to inform me that college isn't covered either. Then she laid the "Post Adoption Sibling Contact Agreement" on me.
(I'm a paralegal. Specifically, I am a commercial contract paralegal. I draft contracts in the tens of millions of dollars range. On a daily basis. Sometimes several 100 million.)
So she hands me this blank form with questions about sibling contact and a place for signature. So I of course ask- what is the purpose of this agreement? How will it be used and who will see it? Who are we agreeing to contact with?
Well, it's so DCfS can document that we've talked to you about the importance of sibling visitation. It has to go in your packet.
Ok. But how will it be used?
It goes in their file.
For what use?
It's just part of the packet.
So Bio Mom won't see it?
No! She has nothing to do with the adoption. The Agreement isn't legally binding.
How are you defining sibling? They have several.
Whatever siblings they have a relationship with.
This went on for a while. It was misleading and frustrating and I was assured we could change our minds later and that if we put no contact we would still get called if the baby came back into care (if she were to go home).
It's a form for the sake of a form and that drives me batty. The fact that they call it an agreement and nowhere state it's not a legal agreement makes me angry. (I googled it and found a better explanation for the form and it's uses.)
At that point I had trouble keeping the negative thoughts out of my head and teared up as she talked about the process. It seems like this is going to take so long. And I'm tired of limbo land.
She left without meeting the kids which disappointed them. I am trying to focus on the fact that we at least are in the adoption unit and the process has started. But I didn't get warm fuzzies and that makes me worry about potential mistakes.
It is what it is and this is outside my control and so I have to let it go. I'm allowing myself one more day to stew about it.