It’s very late here, 1:30 in the morning and I know I should be asleep. The house is finally quiet and that noisy little toddler who decided sleeping from 7 to 10:30 as the perfect amount of nighttime rest has finally stopped protesting and gone to sleep. Even the radiator which for some reason stays active all night so all I hear when I do try to sleep is gurgling water is quiet.
And yet I am not.
Several days ago, I made the ultimate error of checking my email while everyone was on Space Mountain and I waited outside with the Chick. It’s frustrating how much one person can can create such an overwhelmingly bad feeling swell inside me. It’s a rather long story and those who knew me during the time know what I am talking about but for those who don’t here’s the short version.
Chick is adopted. She’s been with our family since August 2007. Adopting a child is fraught with a lot of excitement, frustration, longing, paperwork, bureaucracy, hope. When the people in charge of helping you fulfill a dream of bringing a child into your family don’t give you support, understanding, compassion, communication, really any shred of hope to cling to, it’s hard. Beyond hard. I’m choosing not to mention our agency for many reasons, least of which it’s in the past. Or was until a few days ago.
My daughter has been in my family for 18 months. We did everything right, correct and as we were told. We completed our requirements of three visits with a social worker at the appropriate intervals after bringing her home, and long before Christmas last year we sent a bound book of pictures to Chick’s orphanage so her caretakers could see she is loved, happy and secure. Just as she had been loved and happy there.
What pain, a true physical, heart wrenching pain to see that little girl at 15 months taken from the only life she had ever known. She’d been in the orphanage since birth. Caretakers cried, the baby cried, I cried. But in the end after a very long and difficult road, Chick is just as she is meant to be. With us, in our family and spunky as they come.
So to receive an email from our agency stating we did not “fulfill our obligation” as they put it, brought up all the bad from the 14 months we spent dealing with them. A report of the final post placement we have been told was never received by them. Our social worker is not a flake, an idiot nor irresponsible. In fact she’s an extremely bright and kind woman. She would not forget to mail the report. It will have been a year in a few weeks since the last visit. And yet now they claim the report is missing. We dealt with this in June as well. Another report was sent then to ease their minds. And now they lost it again.
And it just brings up so much bad stuff in me. It’s wrong to hate, somewhere deep down I know this. But it is so hard in this case not to feel hate for the mess this agency has made of our experience. We’ll never adopt again because of it. That’s just really sad to me. I wanted that to be a decision that was made because it wasn’t right for our family. Not because of an experience that I do pray no else has to go through.
The hard part is that while Chick may be ours she really isn’t. Chick or Chickadee isn’t really her name of course (I am not that mean of a mother) but her name also isn’t the name we’ve given her either. Because of where we live we can not readopt her until we are residents of the US again which allows us to change her name. Her name is still the name that the orphanage or maybe her birthmother gave her. I don’t know who named my daughter. I don’t know why they chose the Chinese characters they did. What meaning they may have. I wish I could have a good relationship with the agency who placed her with us so I could ask this and a lot of other questions that at the time when a wiggly 15 month whose picture you’ve been staring at for 8 months is placed in your arms… well those questions tend to fly straight of your mind and the only thing you can think is My God isn’t she so tiny and beautiful?
I hope someday this will finally be over for us now. I hope that this time it really will be.