Friday, February 21, 2014

The Big Bad Battle with Buearocracy

I find myself long past due to update the blog and a lot to say.

For right now, let's talk about the adoption stuff. I'm sure it'll give me PLENTY of fodder for my lifting tomorrow and Saturday.

With the home study turned in and passing all the appropriate channels at the agency, I contacted our licensing worker to find out how far along our clearances were coming. (You see, we have to get a background check for each of us for every state we've ever lived in. For me, that includes Washington and California. For My Sailor, that list is longer. Washington and Michigan are the big ones. He grew up in Michigan and we now reside in Washington. But his time in the Navy took him to Illinois, Connecticut, and Georgia as well- though all of those were less than a year, and he was under close supervision by the Navy during those times.) 

To my surprise, she had no updates for me.

This is a problem, because we're 1 week out from when social worker for the kid we're interested in needs our home study signed, sealed, and delivered. It can't be sent without these clearances attached.  These were supposed to be in process while we were doing all of the other things...

I was even more confused because I had already been sent a letter by WA stating that My Sailor's fingerprints had been processed and his background check for WA was complete. Yet the agency hadn't heard this news. So I communicated it to them, and then got curious and started making some other phone calls to the other states in question that the agency hadn't heard from.

To my surprise, Michigan had never received our request. The fax number at the top of the request form was wrong. As a stroke of good luck, I got to speak with the woman who actually does all the background checks herself, and she can turn it around in 1-2 business days, if I can fax her the request.  (Even luckier, I had a copy of the request to send, so that's being faxed over to her first thing in the morning.)

The other offices were closed, so I'll have to call them tomorrow to follow up.

And to think... if I hadn't decided to go rogue and make that 1 phone call to Michigan, we might be waiting weeks/months for someone to figure out that they had the wrong fax number...

I worked with our home study worker, who is working with our placement worker to try to coral everyone back onto the same page. Everyone has been very nice, but it looks like I have a few more days back to the great push.

Kids languish in foster care because of these little honest mistakes.

It's heartbreaking to consider.

I realized I am faced with a choice: I can "What if" myself to death about it ("What if I'd followed up sooner?!" "What if I'd not just sat back for 1 week while the figured things out?!" "What if we don't get our home study in on time for this kid?" "What if we DO and I meet the kid and it's someone who IS NOT for us?!") There are a LOT of "What ifs" involved.

I can either make myself crazy with a million points of self defeating conjecture, or I can apply what I've learned in life (and, yes, in the gym) and do what I can, and let the rest go, choosing to believe that it will all pan out for the best.

I'm choosing the latter.

I'll still make a bunch of phone calls. I'll still do all I can do to make sure the reason isn't because it was on some one's desk.

This process really teaches you to advocate for your family before you even have them. Before you even know what they look like, you become a crusader. It's a powerful lesson - and no doubt one we'll put to good use later in life.

But everything really DOES happen for a reason.
And things generally really DO work out for the best.

Sometimes, it takes a little faith, trust, pixie dust, and elbow grease.... and a really persistent parent.

1 comment:

  1. It's a good thing you were on top of your game, it's funny how something so silly and small can have such a huge impact on the course of our lives. I hope everything runs smoothly from here on out. :)