Follow me on the crazy, hopeful, discouraging, funny, and ultimately successful (one way or another) path to parenthood while facing infertility.

Monday, December 21, 2015

#Microblog Mondays: Faking a Profile Opportunity



One of the benefits of having an adoption mentor is that they give you really great advice you might not have thought of before. As in, calling the agency not just for random questions and updates, but with a targeted purpose. I had no idea that, as my mentor stated, "It is your right to call and ask about the profile opportunities that you were NOT called on, to see what kinds of cases are coming through the agency and why you are not being considered."

Mind, blown.

I didn't realize I could ask about the calls we weren't getting. So last week, I called even though it was incredibly awkward in my mind to ask of such things ("So, hi, um, what are you calling all those OTHER people about? Why are we getting left out in the cold? Is it something we can reconsider, or is it something that's just who we are?"). And I got the information -- it has been pretty slow over the past few months, although it's ramping up as of the last two weeks. There were a couple of things on our grid that were keeping us from getting calls...some that we can reconsider and weigh immediately, and some that require more conversation. I did find out that a significant factor is also what the expectant parent is looking for -- maybe a family with a ready-made sibling, or a family that's under 35, or a family that lives in a particular area (that was an actual case that came through recently). And families with certain religious beliefs, which is problematic for us. We are worried that the fact that we are not a religious family is going to make our wait longer, because if someone is looking to have their child raised with a strong Christian faith...that's just not us. And that is fairly common. That one's not negotiable. It's who we are. We did make it fairly clear that we are open minded and would always provide our child with opportunities should he/she want to explore different faiths, but we are just not a religious household. So that was kind of a bummer that that could have such a big impact on our chances of being picked or profiled.

As I was listening to all of the options, I thought...it's been a long time since we practiced profile calls in May, in our classes, in a semi-public setting in front of others. So I asked the social worker I spoke with, "Do you think you could call me with a fake profile opportunity? A sort of Mock Call?"

She didn't quite know what to say at first, because it's an oddball request. Maybe a little torturous, to receive a fake call that's like the call you will someday get that means your baby is forthcoming. But I wanted the practice. I wanted to know what I needed to put on my form, how much I needed to sort through, and if my notes would make sense when I reiterated to Bryce later all the sundry details about everything relating to a possible baby that could be our placement.

She thought it was a good idea, and agreed to call me Thursday at 10:20. In retrospect I should have allotted more than 20 minutes for the call, because it was eye-opening to find that the profile call could take up to 30-40 minutes just to get all the information.

I won't share the info she gave because it would link to our grid, which is private, but it was incredibly fascinating to hear the sheer glut of information we could be presented with, and sift through my initial feelings on things that could be problematic before discussing with Bryce. It made me feel more prepared. It made me feel a little terrified. It was a mixed bag.

The one thing I definitely came away with was how important it is to communicate with the agency, with the staff, and to ask questions, especially difficult ones. To continuously reevaluate the grid and what opportunities we would accept, what risk factors are okay versus too much to handle. It was intense, but it was an incredibly helpful conversation. It left me feeling so utterly supported by my agency, and so lucky to have so many helpful staff members to feel out these types of situations with so that we can be more prepared when THE CALL comes in (or The Call that's not quite THE CALL).

Every little bit helps as we wait in this amorphous space of hope, anticipation, and anxiety.


Want to read more #Microblog Mondays? Perhaps ones that are actually Micro? ;-) Go here and enjoy!

11 comments:

  1. That was great advice to call and ask all those questions-how helpful! I am glad you got some good insight into things during this wait. Sending a special prayer up that your wait ends soon!

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    1. Absolutely, it was super helpful. I am grateful both to our mentors and to the staff that was willing to take up time in their day to do a "fake call" with me! :)Thank you for your thoughts!

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  2. This is all so interesting. What kinds of information would you be given? Stuff like health history of the parents/background, how open/closed they would want to be, etc?

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    1. I have a post started, actually, with the fill-ins I discovered in addition to the ones a friend who has gone before me has provided. Definitely need to write down all the categories so I can fill it in neatly and regurgitate it all to Bryce when the time comes! You've got a chunk of it, but there was more than I even thought of. It really is an intense and DENSE call...so glad to have practiced! :)

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  3. That is such an interesting idea and how helpful -- going through a practice call. Or even hearing what choices you've made up until this point that have kept you from being a possible match. I think if more people knew, they may reevaluate. Or not -- but know how the choices impact them.

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    1. Absolutely! I liked too that the call she did was a real call and she changed one aspect so that it would have been a call we would have received. It was interesting to see how our choices translated into tricky situations for sure that required a lot of weighing. There's definitely some things to reevaluate and some to keep the same. I would hate to make some choices based solely on "I'll get more calls." However, it definitely helps you reevaluate some of the grid choices when you see how they can play out in a real call. Those choices really do impact opportunity tremendously. Thanks for your thoughts!

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  4. That was such a great idea, even if it was a bit overwhelming (which sounds like a word that would come up frequently in this situation). I hope your CALL comes in very soon!

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    1. Thank you! I hope so too. This process is so bizarre, because it's this weird mix of overwhelming, anxiety, and stagnancy. It's something where you just don't know what to feel at any given point. But I can tell you, if that CALL comes in, it will be EXCITEMENT! (And some anxiety)

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  5. What wonderful advice, and such a great idea to have a practice call. The important thing is that you can consider what you have said, but also that you can still feel everything is right for you and honest. Because that will make the end process, and the ongoing life with a child and their first families, right for all of you. Thinking of you.

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    1. Absolutely -- we really didn't make our grid choices lightly, and there are things about us that are not malleable. We can only hope that all the factors that come together to bring us our baby will mesh at the right time, whenever that is. It is interesting to see choices in context and realize that some aren't as important as you originally thought, or that information given by expectant parents isn't always 100% accurate or vetted, so being more open on some things will bring you that information at least. So many layers to this process! Thank you for your thoughts!

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