The week was fully charged.
After a whirlwind week of emails, texts, lack of communication from Texas, persistence of friends and our dynamite caseworker, Angela, the pieces of the adoption puzzle began falling swiftly into place.
I’ve now experienced five adoption placements, and a total of four additional near-adoptions that did result in placement due to one county supervisor changing her mind (the boy I was to adopt and his three sisters, to be adopted by two other families from my agency, were returned to foster care at the last minute), and three Navajo brothers who decided they wished to remain with their friends, and family.
Each adoption process was different.
I do not comprehend how the truly competent, capable case workers navigate their way, day in, and day out, through the heavy mire of a strained, bogged-down system that offers, rather than a smooth, straight-forward highway, a Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote curve-filled, pothole dotted, and detour-laced road with entrance and exit ramps reeking interuptions and havoc.
I also feel for the prospective adoptive parents who battle confidence in tackling he system, or the lack of understanding. It’s a world you cannot enter lightly, nor can you stand idly by, even with the best of the best social workers I’ve known all these years. It’s a team effort.
And it is NOT for adventureless, faint hearted souls. It’s the Indy 500 of documentation mixed with a zoo of red tape where all animals have escaped their areas, and piranha-filled lakes of slow progress at times. All the adoption placements and “almosts” were far from slowed progress, but they each contained bites of the noted buffet.
It’s a very mysterious field.
But, at 2:00 PM, today, Saturday, August 27, 2016, my newest son was placed with me for adoption.
This was my “surprise” child. My parent-retirement was short lived, and I am fine with this detour. Sometimes, we find ourselves too complacent with our favored highway, and the journey needs some brighter scenic trails.
Now, the final push for both my son, and I to speedily sail far away from the beleaguered foster care system is at hand. G has been imprisoned in The System for nearly thirteen years. While I am motivated to finalize his adoption as quickly as possible for his sake, I’m determined to hasten from the dove with fractured wings, and missing tail feathers. For me, the cooing dove of contentment and peace has morphed into a hawk that preys on the beauty of nature. The System can barely limp, and would be paralyzed if not for the selfless, underpaid, overworked social workers who give tirelessly of themselves.
In some ways, I feel a little sad that our new journey leaves behind so many other teens who need families and homes. My cockeyed optimism cannot breach the reality of what will remain.
This afternoon, and evening, I was reassured by the cheerfulness, and elation of a seventeen year old boy who is one step away from The System. His attitude about life is uplifting, and his bold determination to succeed is contagious.
And, his fun, sarcastic wit shall keep me refreshed, and young.