The Point of Frustration

Adoption Journey – Day whateverthehellitis

We’re a little frustrated with the adoption process right now.

We had to drop off some paperwork at the agency this morning. Something got missed, and so BDH went by and dropped it off. It wasn’t anything major, but it had to be done.

Afterwards, I got a call from BDH. He was really frustrated and upset. He went in to see our case worker, the person who is handling our file, in the agency that we are paying a lot of money to work for us. And the reaction he got was underwhelming, to say the least.

The case worker seemed to be irritated that he came by. And, when he tried to ask her for updates, and how our progress was coming along, she was less than forthcoming with information. He said that getting answers from her, other than one-word responses, was like pulling teeth.

And so, we got to thinking.

It seems that we get very little in the way of proactive communication from our agency. We are not the types of people to call them every week, harangue them time after time after time about how our file is progressing, whether they have heard anything. It’s not our style. I know of Adoptzilla Mommies who do that, and it makes me a little nutty. So from the outset, we thought “we’re not going to be those people”. And we just figured, we are clients, and we’re paying a lot of money for this service, so surely they’ll keep us in the loop.

Yeah, not so much.

We get nary an update from them unless it is to send us paperwork or to ask us for paperwork. Which is fine, on some levels — I am sure they have a bunch of other things to do. Except, we’d appreciate every now and again just getting a bit of a progress report. You know, “Hey, your file has arrived in Ethiopia. Just wanted to let you know. And right now, it’s taking on average X weeks to get a placement. And it’s taking on average X weeks to travel.” But we get nothing like that.

Even when we ask direct questions, they are extremely noncommittal. I realize they don’t want to raise anyone’s hopes or, more likely, commit to something they can’t deliver and then get sued. But still — GIVE US SOMETHING. We are living a half-life out here while this process goes along, in a lot of ways — we are dancing to the tune of various governments and agencies and we have no control over the process and we have very little say.

SO here’s what I would say to our agency, if they cared to ask our opinion:

  • For the love of doG, we are your CLIENTS. We deserve to be kept in the loop, for the huge amount of money we are paying you. Send out updates on, say, a bi-weekly basis, even if they are very general. That’s the level of service we expect for the fees we are paying. At the very least.
  • When I call you with questions, or want to go over what I have done or what I have left to do, don’t just tell me “Just follow the checklist I sent you.” Because a) if it were that simple, I wouldn’t HAVE questions, and 2) you have the file RIGHT THERE. Is it REALLY that hard to go through it with me to help me out? Because this stuff is too important to make any mistakes. I am asking for your help because I need your help.
  • Realize that the internet is a big place, and if we don’t get the information from you (or even if we do) then we’re going to talk to other adoptive parents. So don’t act all irritated that we know that X Parents got their placement in X weeks, because yeah — we ARE watching you. And we’re going to have questions about that sort of thing. And as far as that goes, don’t tell us that folks out in X province get referrals really quickly, while telling Adoptive Parents out in that same X province that they have to wait 6-9 months. Because we talk, okay? We see the inconsistencies. We’re going to have questions. And if you just refer back to point #1, we might not have quite so many questions.
  • We have invested very heavily in this process, not just financially, but emotionally as well. We have trusted you with the single most important job in our lives to date: our child’s adoption. Remember that when we show up at your office or call you on the phone or email you asking for information. We have nothing here. It’s not like a pregnancy where you have an immediate idea of how things are going. We have nothing. We’re living in limbo. We need to know what is happening so we can keep our equilibrium and get prepared for what is happening and keep putting one foot in front of the other each day.

So, yeah, as it turns out, the Adoptzilla Parents didn’t have it all wrong. And so now, we’re going to start calling and emailing and asking for information, weekly. Daily, even, if it warrants it.

I didn’t want to be that woman. I trusted my agency.

But they’re letting me down.

6 thoughts on “The Point of Frustration

  1. I agree with you 100%. Go get them. They have your baby. Squeaky wheel gets the grease. They may look at patience and nonharrassing them as not really motivated and interested. Let them have it and get your Mystery Baby. You certainly have paid them enough for their services. Make them stay in touch.

  2. Damn. That just pisses me off. Why CAN’T they take five minutes to explain something to you? Even IF it is routine to them it’s completely new to you and they shouldn’t get so jaded that they fail to see that.

    Anything you need? Anything I can do? You just ask.

    ‘Cause I am NOT AT ALL opposed to – you know – sending a really well worded letter to anyone.

  3. Go get them. Why should you not know what is going on. If they give you an iffy answer get a little upset and ask for more.

  4. Yeah – I’m a frustrated too.

    Although, I think part of my HUGE waiting anxiety is transferring onto my feelings for the agency – The whole refferal time is tough. I mean, we all know how fast people’s referrals are coming in – you’re right, we talk – BUT, the agency tows the same line with the 6-9 months stuff. My logical side of the brain says it’s because they don’t want to make promises that they can’t keep. My emotional (quite more ative) side of the brain says HOW LONG, PEOPLE!?!? Drop me a BONE here, OK?!??

    And other shouting things.

    One things the agency lady did say to me when I called today (only the 2nd time I’ve talked to her – I’ve been hands-off too) is that the braoder the age range, the broader the referral. So now I’m thinkin’ – should I been changing our age range? Who wants a baby anyway?!>!>!?

    And other jumbled thoughts.

    Cin – you know who I am by my email – if you wanted to chat, just drop me a line. I could use a shoulder to whine on now too. 🙂

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