May 16, 2007

That screaming you hear is just me

Posted in All ahead to adoption at 9:24 pm by Erin

By nature, I’m not a particularly angry person.  I have what my grandmother would call a redheaded Irish temper (despite being brunette–at least I am Irish) but it typically takes a good bit to really get it to come out.  Today, I’ve found that good bit.

The homestudy fiasco has been plucking on that last nerve for quite a while.  It just snapped when I checked my e-mail.  Apparently our social worker, Ms. By-the-Book, now says that J’s letter about his employment hasn’t been received by our homestudy agency.  It was sent two weeks ago.  She did finally receive the second fax that he sent her, though she didn’t receive the first.  Mind you, he had a confirmation that the first fax went through.  But sure, things get screwed up in faxing occasionally. 

Two of our non-family reference forms were not received by our homestudy agency and I had to follow up on those.  Both were mailed weeks ago, from what I understand.  Mind you, it took Ms BtB a month after our paperwork was turned in to even let us know that they hadn’t been received; then she told me that three had been received and one (J’s friend) hadn’t.  She called back FIVE days later to say "Oh, [J’s friend]’s reference was received–but two of the others weren’t."  It took her FIVE days to check her records and tell us that she’d given us incorrect information.  Information that we should have had almost a month earlier in the first place.

I understand the U.S. mail system isn’t perfect.  There’s bound to be an occasional letter lost in the mail.  Does it seem a little too much to believe that THREE of our pieces of information were lost in transit between mailing and their office?  All three are from in-town.  It’s not like they’re traveling halfway across the country.

I am furious.  I am shaking, I’m so angry.  I sent her a very terse e-mail saying that they needed to check again, because I’m having a hard time understanding why they’re not receiving our forms.  It has been ELEVEN WEEKS since we started the homestudy process.  Our home visit, the last of our meetings, was at the end of MARCH.  We turned in the last of our paperwork less than two weeks later (it would have been sooner but for my birth certificate that took forever to get here).  Our agency screwed up and didn’t send Ms. BtB all the paperwork at first, but it took her over a week to tell us that and to get that sorted out.  Then there were the weeks of "J needs a letter from an accountant.  Get me that letter from an accountant!" before the call of "Oh wait, he just needs to write a letter."  Now this.  The incompetence is killing me, and this is supposed to be one of the best agencies in Atlanta.

I can barely type because I want to rage at this agency, and Ms BtB in particular.  I will be writing to both of them and letting them know how incompetent this was.  I will also be writing to our adoption agency and telling them our experience, because the homestudy agency is one of their partner agencies who are supposed to meet the adoption agency’s "high standards". 

Several of the adoptive families that I know think I should demand our money back and just start over with another agency–NONE of them had experiences like this.  One suggested telling them that if the homestudy wasn’t in my hand by Friday, that they would be hearing from J in a legal sense.  I don’t think we would do that, but we did expect a timeframe of 6-8 weeks.  It’s going to be the end of May before our homestudy is done.  We had our application into our homestudy agency in mid-February.  We expected to be done no later than the end of April.

I am beyond frustrated, beyond furious.  I am tired, exhausted even, but I cannot sleep for my anger.  My hands keep clenching into fists.  I want to claw and fight and scream at the people who are not only not helping, but are preventing my son from joining our family through their passive incompetence.  They’re keeping me from my baby. 

I wish we had fired them two months ago when Ms BtB gave us such grief for not keeping the first home visit appointment, and we first thought that maybe she didn’t really have our best interests at heart.  We considered it.  We decided not to after she was nicer the next day, because we figured it was one visit and we’d be done in a couple of weeks.  We didn’t want to lose that much time.  Now we’re paying for that mistake.  We could be done with the homestudy if we’d switched then.

I thought that adoption would be easier than infertility.  Hey, (almost) guaranteed kid at the end, right?  And the homestudy is supposed to be the easy part of the process.  I can’t take this.  I just don’t know what’s going to get me through this if the homestudy is this difficult.



  1. Stacy said,

    Unbelievable! I, too, find it unlikely that three pieces of mail all got lost. Maybe one, but three… that’s got to be the crazy social worker. Hopefully you’re getting close to the end of this phase so you can be done with her and move on. After all you’ve been through, I’ve got to think you’ll have all the bad luck out of the way and clear sailing ahead – only seems fair, right? Good luck and hang in there. I know what it’s like to be that frustrated and angry and have nothing much you can do about it. It WILL get better!

  2. Aisha said,

    I can see where that would be very discouraging. But remember that there is a wonderful, beautiful, happy end in site. I don’t know if saying this will help after the fact but, were you sending the information using registered mail?

  3. DD said,

    I have limited experience with social workers, but they always seem to have an attitude and a cob fitted squarely up their asses. Is this a degree requirement?
    Is is possible that any further written correspondence be delivered personally to her in the future (if you decide to continue retaining her services)?
    I’m sorry, Erin, that this process seems just as frustrating as ART. I know I would be livid-pissed as well.

  4. SaraS-P said,

    I have dealt with countless incompetent and apathetic social workers. Many are overworked and underpaid, but some are just worthless. Sounds like you got the latter.
    I hope things improve soon.

  5. flygirl said,

    That’s deplorable. I’ve heard a similar story of incompetence from someone who was going through with domestic adoption.
    If I were you I would send everything to them by registered mail. They are obviously disorganized.
    What a shame. Now that you have so much time invested with them it’s too hard to switch and start over.
    Hope things start looking up.

  6. Karen said,

    I am so sorry. You have every right to be livid. Absolutely every person I’ve seen go through the adoption process has proved to me time and again that adoption is FAR harder and FAR more frustrating than IF treatment. That whole “just adopt” myth is INSANE.

  7. thalia said,

    Experiments say human beings in general hang on too long to lost causes. I know it would be a royal pain, but I think getting stroppy, then switchng, is probably your best bet. You owe it to your sanity!

  8. Artblog said,

    Yikes! I too had in mind it was easier than all this!
    A change sounds logical, but if it disrupts the whole process, dunno. Sorry not much help:)
    Have a big hug instead!

  9. Samantha said,

    I have absolutely no advice in this area, but just want to say that I’m really sorry the process has been so hard! But don’t kick yourself over the problems – you may have to deal with trying to fix but you most certainly did not cause them!

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