Friday, 28 November 2014

First Date

So, I promised you all out there on teh interwebz (because I prefer to labour under the illusion that people actually read this thing, thankyouverymuch) that I would write a little bit about our first selection meeting for foster adoption.

This is how it works. First, you call the office and they ask a series of qualifying questions, mostly to make certain that you aren't a lunatic living in a hovel - where do you live, do you have enough space, has anyone official (so, not your kids or your mother-in-law) ever told you that you aren't fit to raise a chicken, et cetera. If you can tick all the boxes, you are invited to attend an informational session within the following three months.

After a number of weeks and some (okay, a lot of) obsessive googling on fostering, the evening arrives. Three or so social workers ply you with sugar, caffeine, and heart-breaking statistics until all your defenses are offline, and then they hit you with the horror stories and the worst case scenarios to see if you'll break and run. If you hang tough, they'll see you the following week (or, you know, whenever you get your shit together.)

This is where the selection process starts. At our meeting, we all had to stand up and say who we were, what we did for work and leisure, and to say what our experience with children was, and our motivation for attending. The hardest part was to describe ourselves as parents in one word. What? As you may have noticed, I can't describe anything in just one word. Apparently a lot of others felt the same, and since there were about forty of us, it took some time to get through us all. Of course I was last, so I had a lot of time to build up all that public-speaking anxiety we all know and love. Naturally S nailed it, and I muttered something incoherent about how all I really do is read and aren't epigenetics interesting, then got red in the face and sat down. All the words I wanted to say in a clear and logical manner got tangled up in my larynx and fell over their feet before making it out of my mouth. The social workers were taking notes the entire time and I'm sure the ones on me say something like "??? couldn't understand a word, no apparent hobbies. Husband bright and articulate."

We moved on to a questionnaire, and let me tell you, that was definitely designed to weed out the crazies. Because, you know, my one year old baby is totally able to keep himself safe around dangerous objects, and my four year old always meets me at the door with a perfectly mixed Manhattan after a hard day at the office. Not. Some questions were harder for me because my answer really depended on the kid, because you parent the child you have, not the ideal one you expected, right? Right. So I wrote a paragraph on a few of them before we even got to the essay  questions.

Which were actually pretty easy; I just answered them all with examples of how I would  deal with my own kids. So I guess if we aren't passed to the next level, maybe I am not fit to raise a chicken! I felt like a high school kid again when we handed in all our 'tests' - nervous and just hoping for a passing grade.

But we won't find out until the new year, so here's hoping for at least a B.

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