Friday, July 2, 2010

remember that one time when i called our caseworker a racist missionary?

part of the unexpected beauty of this adoption process is that M1 (our caseworker) has us on the fast track towards getting adoption ready. in less than 14 days we got the "you're off the waiting list for the waiting list!"-call, completed 4 interviews, got fingerprinted, filled out a mountain of paperwork, scrounged up $4000 (thanks to our fabulous family and friends!!) and completed our home visit. *wiping my brow* whew... i'm tired!

the good part about moving at warp speed is that we don't have much time to process (read: freak out). we had less than 48 hours notice before our home visit and about 40 of those 48 hours NM and i had already committed to work and other commitments. we explained to M & M* that we are in the process of a major bathroom remodel so our house is a bit of a disaster. they both said not to worry and thanks to our busy schedules, we didn't have much time to!

in many ways, the home study was kinda anti-climactic. they didn't dig through our closets or snoop under our beds. we gave them a tour of the place and had i not known better, it might have been easy to mistake them for potential renters or something.

after the tour we sat down at the dining room table to finish up our interview questions. this round of questions was a little bit more challenging than the previous interviews because in previous interviews we were answering questions about actual events/memories from the past... about our childhoods... about the members of our families, etc. the home study round of questions was more philosophical in nature... more of "what would you do if...." kinds of topics.

there were lots of questions about parenting styles and strategies... "how will you discipline?", "what methods of reward will you use?". although i felt totally confident in our answers, it was a little strange to be answering questions about parenting strategies without first having the chance to talk about it with NM.

at one point M asked, "how would you respond if your child yelled 'youre not my real mother!' during an argument?". NM and i both resisted the urge to respond, "i would yell back... 'oh yeah?! well you're not my real kid!!'" (sarcasm) and instead gave a heartwarming and thoughtful response that M & M seemed to like.

towards the end we got to the point where we had to indicate which type of child we were "open" to adopting...
M&M: are you open to adopting a child who is born with drugs in their system?
NM & NJ: yup.

M&M: a child who comes from a birth mother who drank during the pregnancy?
NM & NJ: yup.

M&M: a child who is born HIV positive?
NM & NJ: yup.

M&M: a child who is born with ambiguous genitalia?
NJ: wait, what? that's for real something that people would say no to???
M&M: sometimes, yes.
NJ: that's ridiculous.
NM: if it were up to jersey we would put "tranny" down as our first preference in a kid. she likes the trannies.
NJ: *glare that says... did-you-just-say-"trannies"-to-our-christian-caseworker??*
M&M: so that's a yes, then? it wouldn't be a problem?
NM & NJ: yes, we would welcome a baby no matter what their downstairs might look like.

M&M: are you open to any race or ethnicity?
NM & NJ: yes.
NJ: we would never refuse a baby based on race. having said that.... we would prefer to adopt a baby that shares at least one of our racial identities... so a latino/a or white baby would be ideal. i struggle with the idea of adopting a black or asian child because neither of us have any idea what its like to have that identity. and although we have a network of friends/family that would be great role models for black or asian children, none of those folks live here in our state. so... i worry about being able to support them in the ways that they might need.
M&M: that makes sense.
NJ: having said all of that...i should also mention that its not like we would be unequipped to raise a black or asian child. we both teach for ethnic studies and are very active in racially based social justice movements so we talk about race ALL THE TIME. i mean, its not like i would be one of those crazy white people who go to haiti and adopt a black baby and say "oh, i don't see color".
M&M: sounds good.

(fast forward 20 minutes when M&M have wrapped up the interview and have walked out the door after saying goodbye)

NM: *closing the door after M&M have walked out* "nice haiti comment"
NJ: what??
NJ: oops.
NM: real nice. insult our caseworker.
NJ: well maybe she needed to hear it. *folding arms*

aaand scene.

M1 told us that barring any glaring issues on our background checks, we are all set! she said "i dont have a single red flag about either of you" and i couldn't help but smile. she suggested that we get moving on the creation of our portfolio and letter to the birth mother. since that is the exact type of project that could land NM and i in divorce court, we are welcoming the 3 weeks we have to create it. M1 will be in haiti so we dont need to have it completed until she returns -hopefully without a haitian baby.

i have done some initial internet digging for suggestions about portfolios and letters but we welcome any advice that you all might have!!

*note: our caseworker "M1" has another new-caseworker "M2" shadowing our process. M2 doesn't make any decisions about our case but will be along for the ride. i totally dig both of them.


  1. Hi there... newly-ish adoptive mom here. Our daighter is 8 months old. Congrats on the fast-track to adoption, that I must say is a rarity. Just wanted to share our funny story, that is similar to yours. We are very nonreligious and we went with a Christian agency to complete our home study because they were cheaper and let's face it, adoption is expensive. Anyway, I had prepped my husband prior to the interview that we are "nondenominational Christians" is the social worker asks about religion. So, of course when the question was posed, he completely forgot about our conversation and told the case worker that he thinks religions are too cult-like, etc. I wanted to die because the social worker and her husband were both youth ministers! Needless to say, she mustn't have been too offended because we now have our beautiful baby daughter. Much luck to you on this journey! It is not an easy one by any means, but I can't tell you how rewwarding it is.

  2. i don't think i've posted on your blog yet, although i've been following you since i started blogging. anyhow, delurking to say i'm so excited about how quickly and smoothly this process is moving along for you guys!

    also, i really enjoy the sense of humor you bring to your posts. :)

  3. Hi.

    I love the blog. Very funny - yet poignant.

    I'm just wondering about the lack of capitals......



  4. you're an awkward dork. we miss you guys. *sigh*
    so glad that things are going well.
    and even though I'm religious and you are totally going to
    hell, I suppose i'll still allow my children around you. *big wink*
    that said, hurry up and get you one of those biracial babies!
    and if you can get a part asian part mexican know that would be best.
    let's chat soon so i can hear your parenting philosophies. very interested. lol

  5. Wow - what a great catch up. I'm glad you've got so much forward movement with your adoption process - completely exciting! I loved your last post - I had to read parts of it aloud to Fern. Hilarious.

  6. rab, where did you find m and m caricatures that hold a bible? amazing! love your post, and the pic made me crack up! so excited about this all working out!

  7. i wish blogspot would allow replies after each comment! grr.... anywhoo... here are my replies!

    @RB- omg... i love your story!! glad to hear that the christian org could see past your husband's heathenism! congrats on your little girl! (ps. would love to follow your blog... is it public?)

    @Pomegranate- thanks for de-lurking! im SO glad to hear about the sudden good news and have my fingers and toes crossed for you!!!!

    @Rae- thanks! no reason for the lower case letters... its just my writing style. well, that coupled with the fact that i went to NJ public schools so im not sure i would know how to properly use a capital letter anyway. *smile* thanks for stopping by!

    @stacy- youre a loser and we miss you more. we cant wait to talk to you about parenting philosophies, ms i-have-a-masters-degree-in-not-screwing-up-your-kid. move back here!!! selfish.

    @insertmetaphor- omg... your blog is like a nancy drew novel for me. im always hangin on to see what the next turn will bring! (yay for the good news this morning!) at this point, you are holdin it down for the infertile-queer team (sorry, i jumped ship for adoption-aka no needles involved- town) so im rooting for you two everyday!!!

    @anonymous (aka rab)... RAB!! this is low pro, you can be putting my names out on blast! the feds will find this blog and lock me up! (i made the M&M's online. they actually look exactly like our caseworkers!)

  8. You are so funny. Seriously. I'm glad everything is moving forward so quickly. You'll make it work.

  9. I just recently found your blog and luuurrve it! And the M&Ms are a riot (both the pics and the actual ppl). Also this: I use ...'s and ( )'s alot you see by the content of this comment! Can't wait to hear more! May positive thoughts heading your way through the interwebz!

  10. Holy hell, I just had to catch up on a ton of posts! It had been so long since you posted and now, look at all this amazing forward movement!!! Fan-fucking-tastic! I'm very excited to hear about this fast moving and hopefilled process.

    Glad you are back... missed hearing from you.

  11. Hysterical. Seriously. We've been there - answering those questions that seem easy but then you wonder why in the world they have to ask them... Excited to watch your adoption unfold...