I made my Monday morning rounds with Pennsylvania social workers… left a voicemail I knew would be ignored and sent an email that I knew also would be ignored to see if there was any forward momentum with our application to adopt this 17 year old.
To recap, I sent our first inquiry on 1/13. After one reply, that social worker stopped responding. I followed up several times with no response, so I started calling the worker listed on his profile. When that also yielded silence, I called the office to ask to speak to someone else. They put me in contact with the director, who gave me his other two workers’ email addresses and instruction to touch base again with her if I was unsuccessful in reaching them. I emailed them, they immediately replied, and I thought we were on the right path. Our last contact with 2/4 and in that email I was told that if I didn’t hear back from one of them in a few days time to feel free to follow up. I didn’t, so I did follow up… several times.
As I was loading the car up Monday afternoon to go pick up groceries my email alerted. I had already accepted that they were not seriously attempting to see this child adopted, so I knew I was not going to like what was written, but I was not prepared to face how emotionally invested I was in this young man. Reading the email was crushing and defeating and insulting and suspicious. Their claim is that this child feels he cannot get enough attention in a family with so many kids. Fair enough… but why on earth were we not given an opportunity to discuss his concerns? Did they even read our home study? It addresses these concerns. Did they even talk to our caseworker? (no, they did not, which should have been step one). There were several passive aggressive comments, as well, and it’s obvious that I annoy them. It’s a shame that they couldn’t view “persistent” as someone who is a tireless advocate for her children. This kiddo deserves an advocate that loves him… every child does. My mama bear insanity is an asset, not something to be subtly insulted over.
I couldn’t even contain the tears. I could barely function to get the groceries home, and paid a kiddo $5 to put them away. I cried for this young man, and for every one like him because I do believe he has given up hope for a family, and I find that unacceptable. And I am helpless to change that. I could take my complaints about the case work to a higher level to vent and yell and have my sadness heard, but it would do nothing for this teen… and my sadness isn’t for our family, it’s for him, and every kiddo just like him.
Our family is full. Some days we are whatever is past full. We don’t want to add another child to fulfill some kid collecting dreams we have. We see a need and we believe we can give more to meet it. My anger and sadness and frustration is not because we didn’t get what we wanted, it’s because we are often shielded from the mess of foster care in the county we work with because our workers are so, so good and the last six weeks I’ve had to see it and now I can’t un-see it.
And now we have to do something about it.