I’m a big believer in that a lot of things happen for a reason and certain people are placed in your life for very specific purposes. In fact I recently bought a bracelet that symbolizes how we are all intertwined. Those beliefs and feelings made it really hard to accept what happened with our first caseworker.
When we first started our paperwork and interviews to adopt we were assigned to “Sally.” She was nice, a grandma, fairly conservative, and seemed to welcome us onto the roller coaster of adoption promising she’d help us navigate. Sally gave us the right amount of encouragement throughout our process. She scolded us to finish our home study paperwork when we’d hit an emotional brick wall. She was understanding when I had my hysterectomy at the ripe old age of 29. She was empathetic when Tyson had military duties that took our time away from our profile.
November rolled around, and we were ready for our home visit. We’d deep cleaned, stored all the medicines and chemicals up out the reach of children, secured Tyson’s hunting equipment, and separated the ammo from the guns. The dogs had fresh haircuts and new sweaters to impress Sally. (They got REALLY short haircuts, and they were necessary. Or so I tell myself even now. I’ll spare you the details about their ties.) Sally came and gave our place the once over and briefly talked with each of us. I was so nervous I probably had one long hot flash. After all, here was the lady that would determine if we would pass go and adopt or if our dreams of becoming parents had yet another path for us to follow and we were back to square one.
Sally gave us complimentary reviews, and when it came time for the agency to discuss new couples we became approved. She announced to us in an email, her favorite form of communication that she was giving us an early Christmas gift and our profile would be live shortly.
Soon after we received contact from an expectant mother and were chosen. We talked in great detail with Sally and confided that we didn’t know if it was the right situation for us. It felt like the little one was meant for someone else. I’m sure she tried her hardest to be supportive of us and be understanding…. And then she made a comment about not wanting us to pass up an opportunity. She didn’t want us to seem ungrateful.
I’d read about things happening with other agencies where a couple has to turn down a potential situation be it for financial reasons or reasons like ours and they essentially get ‘black listed’. I was terrified that we were about to have problems. Sally assured us that all was well and we could continue on our course.
During the next few months we heard little to nothing from Sally. An occasional email would come through and it felt like a form letter each time. Copy and pasted from her Word document. And then… CONTACT! We were contacted by another expectant mother. (We’ll call her Amanda) A super kind, big hearted, beautiful inside and out young woman had put us on hold and wanted to meet.
Prior to our meeting Sally informed us that she could not represent us at the meeting and would be handing the reigns over to another case worker as Sally was also Amanda’s caseworker. We were excited and shocked. She knew us and despite our previous interaction she felt us to be ‘worthy’ to be chosen this time.
The meeting was so much fun. I babbled as I normally do when I’m nervous. We had some silly socks and treats for her and we exchanged big hugs. During our conversations Amanda commented on having seen a tattoo on one of us in our pictures. We laughed nervously and tried to skirt around the issue as Sally had told us it could make or break the connection we’d have. Skirting around the tattoo topic didn’t work. Soon we were talking openly about our tattoos, how we don’t regret them and hope that one day our children will feel comfortable to come to us with anything knowing we’ve not perfect nor have we ever been perfect. Sally looked really uncomfortable during all of this, which was made to be hilarious as ‘Mallory’ our designated caseworker jumped into the conversation adding information about her family and tattoos. I think you could actually feel the tension in the room lift when she jumped in. The meeting ended and we parted ways with plans to go grab dinner soon.
With the caseworkers doing their thing we opted to go to a little place that has some special meaning to Tyson and I. Italian Village. There were many dates here and a first Valentines Day date. We’d never been disappointed there so hopefully Amanda would like it. Luckily we all had a blast. Conversation flowed freely and we began to make plans to meet her parents. It was great.
Things were progressing nicely. . . until the day when Sally told Amanda that she should look at other couples and to not have us be her only option. Despite all things pointing to ‘yes’ Sally was telling her that we weren’t the right ones. Shortly after that, Amanda chose to parent and she’s doing fabulously. We keep in touch occasionally. On the upside we were able to maintain Mallory as our caseworker and have LOVED her since day one.
Here is how I believe it was all meant to be: I believe that we had to meet Sally and experience Amanda in order to meet Mallory because Mallory was our caseworker with LT, and our personalities mix amazingly. Mallory was worth the wait.