Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Workbook

Just as I, I mean we, no I mean I finished our adoption paperwork this summer my agency hit us with a new requirement. A jumbo workbook to complete before referral, it came complete with cd. aka..too much volume to send snail mail.

This new little requirement that they implemented a few months ago, lucky us, is supposed to help adoptive parents think about all issues related to international adoption and racism and parenting in the multiracial family. When you pop the cd in your computer it is really a mongo sized diatribe about all things adoptive. Then you are supposed to hop on over to the workbook and answer 1000 questions about what you read. Add in a few opinion questions about your family and follow 18 other listed instructions on how to return it to them and BAM you are done with paperwork....until you get to China.

Did I mention that our agency uses this to help them identify which families might need more counseling in the process. Eeek. We all know it will help identify which families might demand nightly Kentucky Fried Chicken and western toilets on the trip.

Oh, I forgot to mention that EACH parent must complete their own version of the workbook. No copying, no looksies off your spouse's paper, no passing notes, and no spit balls.

This is the part that I thought might cause trouble in paradise. You know the part where they are trying to inhibit the control freak enabling spouse from cheating and helping the other "yeah I want another kid but I'm not so all about the paperwork" spouse.

Of course intentifying with the former I proceeded to complete my workbook within days of being asked to do so. I skimmed the 1000 pages and quickly pumped out perfect adoptive parent answer drivel. I followed the 18 steps telling me how to resubmit back to my agency and hoped that they would not notice that it was missing one thing....main muffin man's version of the workbook.

I tried to warn him that this might be an issue. He might actually have to sit down and pump out the paperwork. He puffed up, telling me how he thought it was heinous that he would be required to complete such paperwork. I sympathized sweetly. (Hello, I have chased paper to heaven and back for the last 5 months while a certain little 3 year old that we know and love tugged at my pant leg.) This is the reason that I screwed up and forgot one whole document at the end of the dossier, but that's another story mulled in the depths of distraction.

Jump ahead 2 weeks. We get confirmation from our agency that they received my workbook. Good job darling adoptive parent...but we are still expecting main muffin man's version. Happy reading sucker. I gently inform main muffin man of the sad news. Do the workbook if you want newest little bambina to come home.

Jump ahead 3 months. He finally sits down at the computer...inserts the new and special cd I made for him. It includes labeled "read this first" file followed by "open this second" workbook. Then added in for good measure "Perrin's responses" file. Just in case agency isn't looking and he thinks he might want to be bad and cheat a little.

I quietly pace outside the office. I tell Ava no bothering Daddy, under penalty of time out and no gummy worms tonight. He's done. I offer to "proofread". He declines. I gently offer again. He returns by asking for the email address so he can forward his answers directly to agency. Ugh.

More jumping ahead. We got a letter today telling us "Thanks for submitting your Pre-Adoption Preparation Workbook Completion Record in such a timely manner." Yipee, we are on the A list.

Then they mention how they noticed how I (yes me, not him) seem to be struggling with the whole "Take Ava to China or Take Ava to Grandma's for 2 weeks" while we adopt Liv.

Aaack...it was something I said that tipped them off. His answers were apparently not noteworthy and passed with flying colors.

Ok, I can live with the fact that we are on the A minus list. Especially since I'm the one who got us there. Just as long as we aren't on the "complaining incessantly about lack of ice while in China" list.

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