Breathe.

Adoption Journey — Day 95

Another appointment done. We’re getting there.

I think we are doing well. Our home inspection was good, thanks to hours and hours of preparation. We have a bunch of things to do on our “Will Comply” list, but those are all things we need time to do. Get the baby’s room cleaned out and ready. Buy a proper TV stand. Put latches on all the cupboards. Get meds locked away. Write up a fire escape plan. Make a list of emergency numbers.

It was a little daunting, doing the inspection. I knew we had things to do; I just didn’t want to find something that would be a huge issue. And we didn’t. So that was good.

I found last night’s interviews made me more tense than the one we did during the previous appointment. BDH had his one-on-one, and it was hard for him. I don’t think he’s done fretting about it yet. We both second-guess our answers because we don’t want to fail.

And last night there were a few contentious issues raised. Two non-cat-friendly social workers asking us what we’re going to do if our child doesn’t like cats. Well, that kind of raises the hackles, doesn’t it? I certainly don’t believe they were singling out our cats because they’re cats and not dogs — I am sure the question would have been the same for dogs. It’s part of their job to ask about the animals. I understand that. But still, I felt cornered. In other discussions, there’s been room for discussion, but this one felt like a right/wrong answer question. I mean, I know the answer they wanted was “we would get rid of the cats” and so I said it, and they said that was the answer they wanted and we moved on. But it made me angry. Because I don’t believe being reactionary is the correct way to raise a child, and that sort of answer smacks of reactionary. There are many things I would do and reasonable steps I would take and do my due diligence to help baby and pet coexist peaceably, and getting rid of our pets would be a last solution if all else failed. But no amount of reasonable ground would do in this instance. So I said, “we would get rid of the cats” and felt forced to do so.

So that made me a bit peevish.

There’s also the question of spanking that came up, just tangentially. Not that we’re advocates of spanking by any stretch of the imagination — in fact, the opposite — but this was one of those items that did not seem to have an element of discussion around it. It was a right/wrong answer. We were given a pamphlet, we were to read it, and we were to answer any questions according to what was in the pamphlet. But things like this are important, because we need to discuss them to understand them to be responsible parents. And just raising questions around it felt like we had a mark against us, and the tone of the discussion seemed to change, ever so slightly. And because we only talked about it as an aside, next week when we DO meet to talk about parenting and so on, the question of spanking will come up and I will feel obliged to answer according to what they want to hear. Not that I’m suddenly going to become a fan of spanking overnight, but I want to feel like just talking about it isn’t going to count against us. I don’t want to be afraid to ask questions. But this is another issue where there’s no room for discussion.

I guess it bothers me because someone could just lie through their teeth and answer what it has been broadcast that they are expected to answer for some of these questions, and pass with flying colours. And we as new parents have a lot to learn, and a lot of things to work out for ourselves, and a lot of questions to ask, and a lot of discussion to do, and I hate feeling as though we can’t do that for fear of being painted with the wrong brush. I hate feeling obliged to answer anything blindly.

I know that there are some issues that they absolutely can’t budge on because their job is to ensure the safety and security of the children that are adopted, and I understand that they have to be very careful. I totally get that. It just makes discussion hard sometimes, and you’re unsure what is okay and what is not, and you are afraid to mess up.

I need to get some perspective back, I think.

We’ve been so deep in this stuff and we’re so tired and stressed and emotional that I think we’re taking too much to heart. We’re overanalysing everything and thinking it to death. We want desperately to do well.

We need to take a few days off and just have a normal life again. We need to take a few days and breathe.

2 thoughts on “Breathe.

  1. Jrock and I had a good chat back and for to the lake yesterday, with our two dogs on the back seat and the cats back at home – we had a good chuckle at your expense, but also soberly talked about what the heck WE would say if they asked us about our pets. Our pets – OUR first KIDS! That’s my one fear – animal allergies. I have no idea what we would do. Build two houses?

    Nicky

  2. I know… it’s crazy, but for those of us whose animals ARE our first kids, it’s a stress-inducing question! And sometimes I think the social workers forget that, but for those of us who’ve endured infertility or years of childlessness or whatever, our animals really ARE part of the family!

    ARGH! Talk about a question to keep you up at night!

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