In the eighteenth of our series, we present the, until now, secret thoughts of an adoptive mom of three kids--Emily and her new siblings, Grant and Lynn. This time, mom celebrates the imminent finalization of the children’s adoption, and gains some valuable information.
I can’t believe it! The social worker just phoned and said she is preparing the court package to finalize our adoptions! It feels like we’ve been waiting forever. After the last visit, I wasn’t sure it would ever happen.
The last visit: The social worker and I were sitting at the kitchen table, talking and drinking coffee and, as usual, I was trying to read her notes from across the table. (Hint: Reading upside down from across a table or desk is a valuable skill that always comes in handy.) Her notes said, “Food, Hugs, Sibs.”
Well, the food issue will be continuing for quite awhile I think. (This time, it’s Lynn’s food issues, not mine.) She is still hoarding and sneaking food whenever she can. (Hint for kids: When sneaking food from your parents, do not then bring the food item into the room where your parents are watching TV. It’s a dead giveaway.) So we talked about that for awhile and I was telling the social worker about some of the strategies we’ve been using. I must have got it right because she crossed “Food” off the list.
Then she said, “I noticed that during my last visit, neither Grant nor Lynn greeted me at the door, nor, when it was time to leave, did they give me a hug like they usually do.” It was all I could do to keep my voice calm. So I explained to her that we have been working on helping the kids to understand that just because someone comes into our home, it doesn’t mean we run up and hug them. (The dishwasher repairman is probably still recovering after he walked into our house and instantly had a kid clinging to each of his legs.) I could have sworn this was an attachment issue that I was trying to address, not something to be criticized for. Needless to say, she did not cross “Hugs” off her list.
So, I kept waiting for the “Sibs” topic to come up, but the social worker started talking about Post-Adoption Assistance and gave me forms to fill out. I think it was at that point that Grant decided he had had enough of the social worker, and he went and got her shoes. He tried to put them on her feet when she said it was time for her to leave. That’s when Grant clapped his hands and yelled “Yeah!” I don’t think I was very successful in not laughing. (Hint: When a two-year-old does something like that, it’s cute. Not so cute for an adult.) Well, I guess she must have a pretty good sense of humour not to take that personally.
As she left, she asked me to come to her office to go over everything, because once the adoption is finalized we cannot access any more information about the kids.
The next day I was off to the meeting with a list of things I wanted to clarify. I wanted to know how many placements each of the kids had prior to the foster parents we met. That’s never been very clear, so I’d like to have a little bit of info on any other people that they lived with. Even just their first names or what the kids were supposed to call them. Any little bit of information could be helpful when the kids are older and start asking questions. Our worker gave us the name of an elderly maternal great aunt in Ontario who has said we could send her photos of the kids, but didn’t sound like she wanted any regular contact. But at least it’s something. Our worker had also requested all the files on the kids and their birthmom. In one of those files were two polaroid photos of when Lynn was in one of the early foster homes. There were no other people in the pictures, but they are the only infant photos we have of her. It was so great to have those! However it was very disappointing to find out that no one had ever taken a photo of birthmom. I was really hoping there would be something I could have for the kids.
Overall I had most of my questions answered, even though some of the answers were not what I wanted to hear. There are so many unknowns with adoption, and I know that in the future, my kids will have questions that I can’t help them with.
The best part of that meeting was when our social worker found a sticky note in the file that read “Birthmom visited Sunny Hill hospital again today to see Grant.” That has to be the most valuable piece of information I will ever have for him. I don’t care what anyone says, even if they can’t look after them, birthmoms love their babies. That note proves it. Grant will know his birthmom loved and cared about him.
And that was that. Our court package has been sent off, and very soon we will be final!