From my perspective underneath the mountain of paperwork, both complete and incomplete, it feels as though the adoption paper chase is actually eternal. Dante could have added a level to his Purgatory and titled it “Paperwork”. Paperwork Purgatory. It has a ring to it. Because I have this place, and you seven readers, to share the notable stories of our process, events tend to take on “oh, I HAVE to blog about this” personalities. One such story involved a piece of paperwork I filled out yesterday.
Our agency is amazing. They are committed to preparing us for the realities of bringing our babies home. Some of the parenting education paperwork is more entertaining than educational. Yesterday I called the local elementary school to speak with a guidance counselor. Confession – I was homeschooled. The only guidance counselor I ever dealt with was my extremely capable mother. When I looked at this piece of paperwork that required the input of a guidance counselor I thought “How do you find one of those?” Turns out it wasn’t very hard. I called the school and asked the elderly woman with a Kentucky drawl if I could speak with a guidance counselor.
She said, “What do you need a guidance counselor for?”
“I have some questions for adoption paperwork that need answers directly from the school.”
“Well, what is the student to teacher ratio?… How is an IEP developed?… Is there an ESL program available?… How is grade placement testing managed?”
“The student to teacher ratio is something like 28:1. I do not know anything about the rest of those questions. I will have to transfer you to someone else, probably to our guidance counselor.”
“Okay. Thank you.”
The guidance counselor came on the line and I explained my needs. I suggested that I would be bringing home a child that would be elementary age, which may or may not be true depending on our referral situation still in the future. For the purposes of this conversation, my Chinese baby was elementary age. The guidance counselor was nice. She clearly deals with folks with not-so-much common sense on a regular basis because she spoke to me like I have a sub-hundred IQ. I do not love being treated like I am unintelligent. But one of the lessons I have learned at the ripe old age of thirty is sometimes staying quiet and letting someone treat you however they feel is proper is the quickest way to get information and get moving on to the next thing.
So I listened and asked my questions.
We discussed IEPs and ESLs and OHIs.
Then, I got this gem of a comment: “You do understand ma’am…” She spoke with a sincere air of concern. “You do understand that when you bring your child home, they probably won’t speak English? They don’t teach English in China.”
Hope that one makes you giggle as much as I did. The Lord is gracious to provide for our every need – even comic relief. Blessings to you.