So finding post-adopt services is proving to be a tough road. Among contacting lots of other resources, we reached out to our agency who has a post-adopt department and told us to use it any time we needed help. Well, we need help. And we were referred to an organization in Midland, TX. Midland is five hours away from us. When I googled the distance from Midland to Waco, I absolutely lost it. And I wrote this to the agency’s post-adopt department:
I have to tell you that this is a really insufficient answer. If you wish you could do more, then do more. I have called that number and left a message, but Midland is not an option for us. My husband has to work (and has already given up a lot of career opportunities to take a remote job that allows us to live in Waco with family support), and I have to care for our four children.
It's easy to say nice things to people who are struggling, but that's not what we need. The few people who actually understand the urgency and frustration are helping us, but they are family members, not professionals with available resources. And they have jobs other than keeping our family together.
I really hope that you never find your child missing, that your life doesn't fall apart because you did something crazy like adopt hurting children, and that you are never desperate for help. But we did, and we are.
I'm not going to keep emailing you like a crazy person. I'm going to keep loving my kids and spending myself in pursuit of their good. I hope to be past this someday and be able to make a difference for adoptive families. I just need you to know that help isn't helpful when it's theoretical or impractical.
To their credit, our agency then made personal contact with the organization in Midland on our behalf, and we are waiting to hear back. We were promised a call on Thursday and hadn’t heard anything by the end of Friday. Perhaps this week. Edited to add: we were contacted on Monday, I turned in the paperwork on Tuesday, and we have a meeting with our case worker this evening.
The whole situation is complicated. I know that the things I need to say are hard things for the real person who runs the post-adopt department to hear. I know that working in social services is often a dead-end road, when you wish you could help but you can’t because the whole thing is an unhelpful, bureaucratic mess. And at the same time, our family won’t make it on people’s wishes that they could do more, and we signed those adoption papers with the promise that we’d have support until the children are eighteen. I have to fight for real help until we get it, and sometimes that means telling a broken system to push past the brokenness and try harder for the sake of these kids who are really struggling.
By the way, this isn’t an an attack on our adoption agency. I’m trying to write with an honest look into older child adoption, and that includes sharing when I lose my mind just a little. I’m writing for the mom who will find my posts four years from now, scared and desperate, and I pray that she’ll be able to read our journey and find hope, knowing that others have struggled in the same ways and have survived. Marty’s Musings and Overcoming Myself have been two such blogs for me.