Saturday, May 4, 2013

Memories: The Road to Adoption

Once Daughter was free and available for adoption, I began to move forward with the paperwork.  Daughter had been with me almost 5 years.  I knew she had many challenges, and that life with her would not be easy.  She had suffered greatly at the hands of her birth family, and the scars remained.

Her Case Worker came with a colleague to do a pre-adoption visit.  Among the papers they had me sign was one stating that I understood that Daughter had suffered abuse which might lead to her developing serious problems, and I would not attempt to return her or sue the county should that happen.  I signed it, and both case workers witnessed my signature. 

Unfortunately, this wasn't good enough for the county attorney.  She demanded that I drive an hour to the county offices so I could sign the form in front of various higher ups and she could witness it.  I knew that who witnessed it made no difference as to whether it would hold up in court.  I was not happy about driving an hour (each way) to sign it again.  I was even less happy when I got there and discovered the attorney had forgotten about it and wasn't there.  I had to wait another hour for her to show up.  Case Worker was apologetic.  She thought it was ridiculous. 

Daughter was going through a rough patch, so my life was pretty stressful.  When I got in before all the various officials to sign the form again, Attorney cheerfully asked how Daughter was.  I said, "Disturbed.  You have taken over 3 hours out of my week that I didn't have to sign a form that I have already signed.  It doesn't make any difference who has witnessed the signatures.  Because I've had to take 3 hours to come sign this form, I will have to work longer.  You have taken away 3 hours I could have spent with Daughter, hours that would be much better spent with her."  Smiles froze on faces.  The tension was thick.  I quickly signed the form again and they witnessed it. 

Caseworker called me later to gleefully report, that the director had commented when I left the room that at least they knew Daughter would have a very strong advocate for her needs.

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