Going through the adoption process may seem like you have been put through the wash and rinse cycle on a washing machine. You are worn out from all the paperwork and the emotional roller coaster that it is. To top it off, you just are not that comfortable with your agency worker. What should you do?
We waited almost 6 years before we were matched with our son’s birth mom, and we went through 3 social workers during that period of time. You know the first time you meet your social worker and you basically spend that first meeting telling him/her your life story. You leave nothing out. You tell her the good, the bad, the hard, the easy, the truth, the painful parts of your life. It is as if you are meeting a therapist and spilling your guts. Well at least, that is how it was for us. And I loved her. She was sweet as I wept in her office about the pain of not being able to carry my own child. She seemed to always have the right words to say at just the right time.
I was actually pregnant when we attended our first information meeting with our agency. And when I was 10 weeks pregnant, I lost the baby. As I attempted to muddle through the days, we decided to proceed with the adoption process. I called up that social worker, only to hear the words “I am sorry, she is on maternity leave.” Well, that is not what I needed to hear. Note to anyone in that situation, do not under any circumstances, tell someone who is calling your agency about adoption that one of the workers is out on maternity leave. I know she didn’t mean any hurt by it, but I was tender. I was hurting. We continued to work on our paperwork and get the process moving and learned she was not coming back. I was crushed, yet again. I really liked her. I felt comfortable with her. If you are at any point in your journey and you don’t feel comfortable with your agency worker, don’t sit back and wait—do something about it.
Going through the adoption process is hard; there is no question about it. It is emotional. And at times it just seems daunting. After our first social worker left, the agency referred all of her cases to another social worker out of another office until they hired someone to replace her. I of course liked her, too, but she was nothing like our first social worker. But we pressed on. Then we got a letter in the mail saying they had hired someone to replace our first social worker and we would be appointed to that social worker. Oh no, I did not want to go through that again. I had just started to like our new social worker and did not want to have to get to know yet another social worker. So I called them up and asked if there was a way that we could keep the social worker out of the other office and they agreed. I am sure the new social worker was good at her job but I was exhausted from telling our story over and over again.
Fast forward a few years and we were moving and had to get another social worker closer to where we moved. The good news here is that the social worker we were getting actually led our parenting classes when we first started the process, so we knew her already. And I loved her. Naturally, the transition went well. Maybe because we knew her already or maybe because we knew what it was like to get a new social worker. Either way, we were extremely happy with our end result and she was a great social worker.
My advice to you is, if for any reason you feel uncomfortable, call your agency. The adoption process is hard, and you do not need any added stress from anyone or anything. At one point in our journey we discussed moving to another agency, too. Do some research on other agencies in your area, if there are any available. I would, however, contact your agency first. Talk to them about your concerns. Be open and honest. This is your life. This is your future child. If you need to get a second opinion, get it. It is sort of like your doctor. If you want a second opinion about a diagnosis, you would get one. Don’t think something is too small to be worried about. They are your concerns and they are valid.
Jessica is an avid runner and fitness guru by choice, occasional writer by coincidence, loved by an amazing husband, and mother to an incredible boy, Jackson, by the gift of adoption.