Transparency as a way of life

This morning Jackie stayed home. We had our trimestrial post adoption visit. She kept asking if the lady coming to talk about adoption is here to ask her if she wants a sister too.

We had a very pleasant visit for about an hour. The social worker is my age and has two kids. One a little older than J, the other one just turned two. She shared about the journey of re-finding a balance as a family. Being the only child until you turn 5 or 6, can be very dramatic to share mommy and daddy, their attention and the house.
We’ve had over a year of these visits. They become more and more normal. What a concept to have someone planned and trained to come to your house just to see how you are doing and see if they can be a resource or of help in case it is needed.

I laugh at the thought that my life has been evaluated at every key point, by authorities. I remember sitting in line at the embassy to get a visa for the States, big file in hand: letters of endorsement, emails printed, letters, photo album documenting our relationship and validating it. Two years later I became a permanent resident in the States and went to have my biometrics taken and prove that my marriage is still valid. A few years later I became a citizen and yet again they reviewed our relationship, places of residence together, proof of valid marriage, exams and tests… who knew that this transparency of my life will expand into parenting, and our values as a family will be evaluated. We both had to take extensive trips into the past, to remember our childhoods to have it all written in our report and final certification. I have visited and talked to more psychologists and even psychiatrists, than I ever though I would.

This morning as we were having a chat with our social worker, Jackie went and picked up a huge mango, dropped it and rolled it under the couch. She retrieved it and brought it to me, stating that she is very hungry for mango. I brought a plate and a knife. Cut it all up and she proceeded to eat it All with a fork. We were rather surprised that she managed to eat it all. Bottom line, we received compliments and reassurances and kind words regarding our continuous progress as a family and Jackie’s development. I shared with our social worker the titles of some of the books I’m reading and that was that. We all know the challenges of parenting and look life square in the eyes, but every parent out there, wouldn’t you love to have someone come and validate you, say you are OK and that you are doing a good job?

Tomorrow I attend again the monthly support group meeting, hosted by a delightful (funny, smart, honest) woman. Can’t wait!

And Friday we have a visit from our very first social worker in charge of certifications. She was assigned to us the first time around. And again now. In essence we haven’t really changed. But she is the one who’s going to give us the ok to adopt again. I liked her very much. Jackie remembers her vividly. Jackie thinks she is the one who is going to bring us a sister. The age old question: “where do babies come from” my daughter thinks Niculine brings them. “She’s in charge.”

I like all the people that work there. I find them refreshing, personal, genuine, human, funny… They write pages upon pages of conclusions to our many step evaluations, they visit people at home every week… I wonder how they keep everything straight. I feel so much gratitude for the work they all do there that nothing seems adequate to truly express it. We went once and brought them candy, Jackie and I, right after kindergarten. We had no business there otherwise, and they were surprised to see us, and equally delighted.

So adoption stuff, a couple of hours every day this week. And I like it.