There was plenty of time to discuss how we would and would not parent, what qualities of our own parents we would emulate and how we wouldn’t be like those friends who change so drastically with a kid’s arrival. Our tires were spinning furiously, but they hadn’t yet met the road.
After the classes and the visits, background checks and home inspections, we received our foster care license in Oct. 2008 with ambivalence. The license meant we could start The Great Kid Hunt, but we knew DHHS would be pushing the whole foster care angle.
We viewed our designation as licensed foster care workers as a technicality. It was a means to an end. As many times as we told someone at DHHS that we were not interested in being foster parents is the exact same number of sly smiles we saw cross DHHS worker’s face. They’re a bit like car salesmen. They never tell you something you don’t want to hear, they just wear you down until you want to hear it.
He must have had the postal worker on his payroll, because as soon as that license arrived, a DHHS worker called. He had a kid that needed a home, quick. (Car salesman: This baby just came in today and I’m telling ya, she won’t be here tomorrow.)
“Whoa, there social worker-guy. That’s not our deal. We’re not interested in foster care.”
“Foster care? Who said anything about foster care? This kid just needs a place on the weekends – you know, respite care, while his foster family takes some R&R.” (Buy it? Whaddya made of gold? Have you ever leased a car?)
From our point of view this guy was so beyond the pale that I got a little rude I told him that we are not interested in respite care, or fostering or anything short of a little boy, around the age of two or three, free for adoption that doesn’t have special needs, and unless you’re calling about such a kid, you shouldn’t dial our number.
And no one called us.
Which was O.K. Sort of.
We had been told we had to market ourselves. We should make a brochure. Maybe a video. Show all the adoption workers in the state what a great couple we are. Get our faces out there. That way, when an adoption worker comes across a boy, around the age of three or four (In your price range, you’re gonna wanna be open to one with more mileage), free for adoption that doesn’t have significant special needs, they’ll think of us!
We made a brochure that would make Don Draper proud. There were picture of us and our dogs. our house and how it would be a great place for a little boy, between the ages of three and seven (let’s run these numbers and see what comes up), free for adoption that doesn’t have serious special needs. We went to Kinko’s, the whole nine yards. We tracked down every adoption worker at every DHHS office in the state and mailed them a dozen copies each.
And no one called us.
It was not O.K.