None of this paperwork will count toward our home study or dossier. (This is where I keep having to hold my tongue as I receive frequent word that AZ is hurting so badly that not only are the foster homes maxed out, but so are group homes, and juvi centers, and now CPS kids are now living in homeless shelters - yet it takes 85 pages for me to take a training class. I understand the reasoning behind it, but it still rankles my mortal soul.)
When I started reading other adoption blogs, I heard the word paperwork tossed out everywhere, but there were no clear descriptions of what they were talking about. So, I'm going to share some of the forms and questions that need to be filled out. I *promise* that I am not exaggerating or adding any fake questions. These are real, people.
- Reference forms (2 relatives, 3 non-relatives)
- Official Application (15 pages)
- Training Profile (10 pages)
- Profile of Existing Child (2 pages)
- Profile of Family with Children (10 pages)
- Personal Profile (15 pages each)
- Personal Profile by Child (5 pages)
- Child's Medical Background and Immunization
- Criminal History Self-Disclosure (5 pages)
- Fingerprinting Cards (2 or 3 copies each, still need to confirm)
- DPS Waiver (each)
- DPS Application (each)
The hardest part of this was emailing J's ex - "Hey! Can you please take the time to sit down and walk Syd through all of this paperwork, and also send a notarized letter that we're up to date on your child support, and also go to the doctor to get her immunization and health forms filled out, so that we could try to adopt a child? Thanks! K, Bye!" Families are complicated.
I actually really like paperwork. It's like a test I know I can ace. I'm also fairly organized, so we have copies of all of our important documents, and I have things like VIN numbers, monthly expenses, and 10 years work and housing history that could be challenging to remember or track down. However, even I have been thrown by some of these questions - which are either ridiculous or incredibly difficult to answer.
From the Criminal History Self-Disclosure Form (keeping in mind that I don't drink, have never had a cigarette, done a drug, or gotten a speeding ticket - and I'm still a fun girl!) some of the acceptable, appealable offenses for prospective adoptive parents:
- Involving or using minors in drug offenses - as long as it was 5 years ago, you're good to go!
- Selling or giving nitrous oxide to underage persons - no biggie!
- Theft, burglary, fraud, and forgery
- Depositing explosives - what does this even mean?
- Misdemeanor offenses involving child neglect - ok seriously, I don't even drink. Can we skip the paperwork, and save a kid from a homeless shelter now?
- Misdemeanor domestic violence - a great way to raise children
- Cruelty to animals - no one who is cruel to animals should get a kid. Enda.
- Kidnapping!! KIDNAPPING. That's not even a wait 5 years until you can appeal offense.
Then it gets really messy.
When you were growing up, what were the ways your family showed anger?
Hmm... let me take some time to write a detailed reply that is honest, and yet reflects my family in the best possible light, so that we are well received. Typing... deleting... typing... typing... good!
When you were growing up, what were the ways your family showed disappointment?
Jesus, this is the same damn thing. Grr. Ok, let me try to rephrase the exact same info in a slightly different way. Phew, good thing I have a firm grasp on the English language.
When you were growing up, what were the ways your family showed frustration?
AHHHHHHH BY YELLING AT STUPID QUESTIONS ON PAPERS!!!
When you were growing up, what were the ways your family showed stress?
*head desk* Ok seriously? This is freaking ridiculous. Can we go back to that whole I've never kidnapped anyone thing?
When you were growing up, what were the ways your family showed sadness/depression?
Tears - lots of tears, as they imagined drowning in paperwork and never being able to start a family.
More from the Profile packet - keeping in mind that we need to fill it out together:
What do you like least about being married and living with someone else?
What would make you want or consider a divorce?
What would you most like to change about your partner?
What do you dislike most about being a parent?
And finally, some nice jabs from Syd that she included in her paperwork (she's 8):
In what ways are you different from your Mom? I can cook.
Do you like to spend time with lots of friends, a few friends, or mostly by yourself? I love to spend time with my friends. I have lots of friends. I wish I could have more play dates.
Imagine that today I am bringing a new child to live at your house. What do you hope this new person will be like? A boy, or a girl? How old? What will they like to do? What will they look like? Boy, 3 - but potty trained (thanks Syd ) would play with S's brother, and he would love to cook. He'd be tan like our color, and would have blue eyes (yay! She likes something about me, I'm the only blue eyed person in the family)
As I am driving over, what would you like me to tell the child about your family? My parents are divorced. You get to live with my Daddy. I live in Florida, and I hope we'll get along.
(And finally - as she realizes at the end of the last question that there will not be a question about where she wants the children to sleep - her biggest issue - she adds it herself ) Tell me about you: I live in Jacksonville. I go to ___ Elementary and I am in 3rd grade. I live with my Mom, my Daddy Michael, my step brother T, and my sister M. I go to Arizona in the summer and I go to the Jewish Community Center summer camp when I am there. The new child will have lots of love. The new kid will sleep in his own room.
We have about half of the paperwork filled out at this point, and need to have it all completed in the next 10 days. Here's hoping! *face palm* *rub eyes*