Friday, November 9, 2007

It's good that I'm not angry

You know when you start referencing Matchbox 20 songs in your blog titles that you're in a place you shouldn't be.

Today I am feeling more than a little heartsick over the state of (insert ominous music) The System. This is not good, because while I'd like to believe that we are most of the way through with our involvement with (da-dum) The System, in truth we are only beginning on this particular joyride. Our journey does not end when we welcome a new member of our family. That's only the opening peal in what could be a two-year entanglement with what the Bible loving refers to as the "principalities." The powers-that-be make sure that you understand this at every turn in the foster-adopt process: the state is your new best friend the minute you sign on the dotted line that allows them to begin the arduous task of determining whether or not you are fit to parent a child who does not share your DNA.

Like many things in life, you know this in an academic way when you embark on the foster-adoption route. You know that there are rules and regulations and guidelines and requirements--and praise God there are. A system this large and this called upon to provide services could never exist without a rule book. But these rules, you tell yourself, are there to make sure that The Bad People (throw the ominous music in there, too) don't adopt children for their own evil ends. They will not hinder you. Oh, no. All you have to do is make sure that you have posted Poison Control Center numbers on every phone, and practiced your
bi-monthly fire drill and taken an appropriate CPR class. These are all good things, anyway, you reason. See? The state is just looking out for us all.

And then you are shaken from your dream. It's enough to make a person very, very angry I tell you.

I spoke with the social worker for the boys I mentioned. I also got to speak with their current foster mother. And it was at the end of these conversations that I began to feel the initial sparks of an indignation that has been smoldering in my heart for over a day now.

The fact of the matter is, sometimes, rules are stupid. Don't tell my children that I said that, because "the un-smart word" is strictly verboten at Casa Maria Gracia. But it's really apropos here. S-T-U-P-I-D.

The social worker--the very same one who called our agency about us several times, the very same one who kept insisting that we are the perfect family for these boys--(wait for it now) hates homeschooling. And because she hates homeschooling, and because the rules are written the way they are, our family will not be pursuing the adoption of two little boys who otherwise could have a home with us.

Is it God's plan? Of course it is. Please don't think that I'm denying that. Clearly, these are not our children, and God is using this woman's venomous little anti-homeschooling bent to steer us to the children that are ours. That's a given.

But it doesn't make me any less frustrated that someone in an office--someone who doesn't even tuck these boys in at night, remember--has decided that homeschooling is bad. And while these boys would (in her own words) "blossom in a structured environment," "do best with a tight-knit family," and "function best with one consistent care-giver," she is not willing to acknowledge that maybe--just maybe, mind you--homeschooling would provide that for them.

As I said, I admit freely that God is showing us that these are not our children. I submit to that. But what is chafing me right now is that the powers that will shape these boys futures have already made up their minds about what will and will not make an acceptable home. Love aside. Nurturing aside. Time invested aside. A checklist exists in a folder labeled with their names, and because of a social workers' personal bias, a written recommendation has been made that homeschooling is a poor substitute for the schooling experience that they "need."

There's no appealing that proclamation. Not really. Once it is in writing, The System has a very hard time reversing itself, especially for people with absolutely no legal standing in a particular case.

So these are not our boys. And that's o.k. But it's really, really good that I'm not angry anymore. Back in the day (call it 1988-1995) I would have wanted to see someone's head roll for this kind of arbitrary injustice. And now, I can just wait on the sweet timing of the Lord while seething over the inane rules of man.


Laura said...

Hi Mary Grace -

Thank you for your kind comment on our blog. I just read your entry today and then the one from last Friday about the boys. I'm joining you in your frustration here... it seems absolutely ridiculous.

We are jumping into full-time home schooling in January, so I'm also very sensitive to this issue coupled with foster/adoption. I've read several stories recently about CPS's disdain for home schooling.

Blessings to you. I'll keep up with your progress and visit back to read about your home school.


Unknown said...

Stupid IS the right word for this atrocity . . .

I only wish I had a magic wand on your behalf. I'd knock the sw over the head with it.

~chagrined grin~

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your very kind comment on our blog!

We're in the same situation in the sense that we homeschool. Fortunately, the workers in our county seem more accepting of that.

But we realize it could still become an issue.

Renee said...

(((Mary Grace)))

That just stinks. I am so sorry for you, and ultimately for those precious boys.

You are such a wonderful Mama. I know God has an amazing plan for your family. Hang in it will all be worth it.