Pregnant women are lucky. Weight gain, morning sickness, backaches, headaches, frequent urination, swollen feet, hands and ankles, mood swings, swift kicks to the stomach from the inside – you name it, they experience it. Women get a sense of what’s going on from the very beginning of their pregnancy. They see changes – progress – in all its swollen, uncomfortable glory. And if they can’t see it, there’s probably some amniostethopregnaultrascope that can tell them the exact size, weight, and IQ of the being growing within them. And more importantly, this scope device thing can fairly accurately estimate the months, days, hours, minutes, and seconds left to delivery.
I think they need the equivalent of this amniostethopregnaultrascope for prospective, adoptive parents.
Picture this scenario. Mr. Jones, an adoptive parent-to-be, meets with the agency’s worker in her office. Mr. Jones wants to know what’s going on. Have things moved forward? To answer his question, the worker uses the tools at her disposal. She firmly presses a manila folder (stuffed full of the Jones’ paper work) against Mr. Jones’ forehead with one hand while quickly clicking her computer mouse cursor through several archaic-looking computer screens with the other. She mumbles something and then “aaahhhh” and “hmmm” a few times under her breath. Finally, she peers at Mr. Jones over the tops of her glasses and says…
“Mr Jones, as of today, your adoption has progressed .09 %. The homestudy social worker has moved your application from her Must Do This Month pile to the Must Do Before Month’s End pile. Also, your name has been entered into our database of prospective prospective parents (PPPs), but be aware that we are upgrading the system to a new web-based one in a week. All information about our resource parents will have to be reentered, starting with those we signed up back in 1972. Once your information is reentered – sometime in 2012 – we’ll then process your paperwor…I mean…electronic file to move you to the next phase, the Parents Waiting to Be Certified to Wait phase. When we finish our phone system upgrade – you know, the upgrade that started with the new IT Director 2 administrations ago? – I’ll call you.”
Ok, so I don’t mean to minimize what women go through during pregnancy. It does not look fun at all. I’m just feeling a bit disconnected from the adoption process. I keep wanting and waiting for something to happen, but right now there isn’t much. No cravings. No weight gain. The occasional mood swing, but probably nothing like pregnant women face. No call from the carpenter who really needs to get working on some stuff in the house so we can get this Fire and Safety inspection stuff out of the way. Nada.
Maybe I’ll make a midnight run to the store for pickles and ice cream. One must at least play the part to be the part, right?