Nobody likes delays.
It means you have to wait. And waiting, as observed, is not exactly the general populations strong suit. We like to be told when things are going to happen, and we like when it works out exactly as planned. The game should start at 4:45. The flight should leave at 11:14. The husband should be home at 5:20.
If the husband is late, then dinner is cold, and the kids are cranky for having to wait. If the flight is delayed, the irritated passengers might have to find a hotel room for the night. If the game is delayed, then Little Bella will get picked up late from her ballet class, again.
Delays are inconvenient and often quite aggravating. And when they’re over something as serious as becoming a parent, the disappointment seems magnified.
The day we should have been “approved.” We were told that our finally finished home study was set to go before “the panel,” who would approve us for our foster/adoptive parent licensure. I eagerly checked my inbox hourly, hoping there’d be a message from our worker telling us the good news. But the day came, and the day went. Nothing.
What if they didn’t approve us? I tried to push the thought away.
The next day, feeling unsettled, I emailed our worker asking if she’d heard anything.
“They didn’t get to yours yesterday. They will read it on Thursday.”
Thursday was two days away.
Thursday came and Thursday went. Friday I emailed her again.
“They did get to it,” she said, “but they pointed out something on your home study that I need to fix. So I’ll do that tonight and submit it back to them right away.”
This wasn’t going as planned.
The weekend dragged. Then Monday came. Finally that Monday night, one week after we’d expected, We got the email we’d been waiting for.
Congratulations! You’ve been approved! Now all you need to do is come in to sign the paperwork, and you will be able to take kids!
We rejoiced, then made arrangements to come by after work the following day, Tuesday, to sign the papers. We’d be meeting with our worker around 4:00.
Tuesday morning, our social worker attended a meeting to discuss children who needed placements. When somebody mentioned a nearly two-month old girl, our worker was quick to tell the rest of the group that she had the perfect family who was just approved yesterday.
Several hours later, we arrived, eager to sign the paperwork that would get us a huge step closer to parenthood. “When you’re done reading through your home study and signing it,” our worker spoke as she walked us down the hall to her office, “I have some news for you.”
A full hour later (there was A LOT to sign), we put down our pens as she handed us a sticky note. On it read:
No known family
She told us about the meeting that morning and how she convinced them we’d be perfect. We were shocked. Throughout the home study process, we agreed that we’d take up to age three, knowing newborns and infants were hard to come by, yet here one was. Her future being offered to us.
I looked at my husband, then back at the sticky note. One line scared me.
“What does ‘drug affected’ mean?” I asked. “I mean, as far as special needs… does she have seizures? Need a feeding tube? Anything like that?” I knew healthy infants were rare in this system.
“Well, she’s still young… I don’t think she has any major problems” our worker said, “but I don’t know much… what’s written there is all I’ve been told.”
This was exciting and terrifying all at the same time. I looked at my husband. “What do you think?”
He smiled, “I think yes… we’ve been hoping for a baby.”
I thought about it for a few seconds, smiled back, then turned to our worker. “When would we get her?”
“Her current foster family is moving to Colorado, so they’d like her to be in a new home by Friday.”
“This Friday?” I asked, “As in three days from now?”
I felt a thrill rush through me as I turned back to my husband… “So yes?” I asked, needing verification. He nodded, excitement in his eyes.
“Okay,” I turned back to the worker, “What do we do?”
(To continue the story, click here)