Friday, July 2, 2010
remember that one time when i called our caseworker a racist missionary?
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"
NM: SHE IS GOING TO HAITI NEXT WEEK!!!
NM: real nice. insult our caseworker.
NJ: well maybe she needed to hear it. *folding arms*
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.
Posted by Jersey at 11:38 AM