People Along the Way

This is an ongoing meditation on the process of adopting a child. I’m in the early stages; paperwork is mostly done as I go through a series of workshops and collecting information about myself to prove that I am a good person without TB and that I can drive.

I’ve met her. The woman who will guide me through, who will answer my questions, who will be there for all the process hiccups. We organized, at first, over BlackBerry and cell phone, organizing common times and places. Finally I drove up to the ornate Victorian building in Culver City that houses the office she shares with several other MSWs and PhDs.

She is my social worker.

She has read the mounds of papers on, likely, very faint copies submitted by my agencies. They are my questionnaires, the outpourings of deep thought and scraping the soul walls to give insight into my background, philosophy, income, history, family, friends, recommendations and the map of possible emergency exits from my apartment. The boxes I checked that made me feel like a shallow, mean person — will you accept a child with a club foot? operable blindness? inoperable heart malformation?

She clues me in that the agency I have chosen isn’t so good about placing infants — which is what I want — and maybe I should go with a private adoption lawyer to the tune of $35K. I clue her in that yes, we have to include a pet vaccination record and safety check. She breathes a little sigh of relief when I tell her any race of child is fine, she or he just needs to be healthy. I am defensive about my agency. Don’t tell me shit about that. It is all I have, all my eggs are there, in that basket, so to speak.

Maybe we’re learning together.

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Vanessa McGradyPeople Along the Way

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