Friday, April 14, 2006

The Adoption Chronicles: volume 13

I lost two big deals today… with the costs of this adoption escalating that is not something we can afford. I just have been spending all my time on this adoption, that I can’t seem to get any work done. It’s terrible, I am neglecting people, and I can’t really blame my clients for bailing on me, but this whole trust in the Lord thing will have to do for now. Earlier today I ran over to the BCI office and tried to see the agent who did Lara’s first BCI. A new woman had just started there doing the same job and was assigned to our case. At first I thought this would just cause more delays. Apparently though she was hired to lighten the load of the agent previously working all these cases. She was very friendly, and informed me that our case was the first one on her desk. I visited with her for about an hour. I discovered that we were spinning our wheels and that not only did the agency not know what they were talking about but neither did those blasted lawyers who are charging me an arm and a leg. The BCI has a specific matrix that it follows for adoption. Any misdemeanor which does not involve violence to others that is over three years old is automatically passed up. All of Lara’s hits were misdemeanors, but none of them were resolved is the problem… all I needed to do was provide proof of resolution and we were in the clear. I was ecstatic, and I got all of the info I needed and started working on these. Two of them I was able to resolve today. They had been resolved, but just never recorded correctly. I called LDS Family Services who had not been calling me back for a while, this I found out was because my case worker went on vacation – convenient. So I demanded to speak to someone and they put me in touch with the director of the Salt Lake Office. I told him the news and that we may be able to have the BCI cleared in a week, I asked him to start the home study process, and get all of the other things moving since we were under the gun for time. He said “No, John, I appreciate that you are trying so hard for this, but you will not be looked at to adopt this baby. There is not enough time, we cannot help you with this we have to think about what is best for the baby and the birth mother.” I obviously was diffused but I told him that I was not going to stop, and that I felt the Lord would open up a way for this to work. I asked him to please just humor me and get the process started I said that if we didn’t get it done in time that at least we would be ready shortly thereafter for something else. He said “We will not move forward until your BCI is clear, on any adoption especially this one.” Lara was with me during this entire conversation. She was crying, I got done and I started crying. We held each other and cried together for the first time in our marriage. Then a little while after we had spent a good couple of hours being hard on ourselves Aaron called us. He had a couple of questions for me. Most specifically he asked what I would say, were I to adopt the boy, and at the age of say, 12 he asked me if he could meet his real father. I hadn’t thought about this exactly and I was taken back by the question. I didn’t want to cop out or avoid it, as I knew this answer could be paramount in determining the ease with which we could adopt. I said one of those instant prayers and decided that honesty would probably serve best in this situation. I said “I will probably always feel that he shouldn’t seek out his birth parents until he is at least 18 years old. I am sure that this will be discussed before he asks me in a determined way that he wants to meet his father. I think that part of being a parent is allowing information and experience to enter a child’s life at an appropriate time. Another part of being a parent is knowing when that time is and realizing that maybe the child is ready for something sooner than originally thought. So if your son tells me that he really wants to meet you when he is twelve years old, I will talk with him about it, and if I honestly feel like that is a life experience he is ready for then I would encourage it. Probably though I would have him start with a letter or other correspondence rather than just throwing him in the deep end and seeing really and truly how this thing affects him.” Aaron didn’t give off a positive or negative response to my answer he just thanked me for answering his questions. Lara was upset, she told me I should have just told him what he wanted to hear, that we would call him right up the first moment his name was mentioned and arrange a meeting… I felt like she was right. I regretted my answer and wished I would have handled it differently.

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