Thursday, April 8, 2010

In Which I Have Trouble With Adoption Paperwork Because I Am A Smart Aleck

Connor has been a little sniffly the past couple of days and by late afternoon yesterday was sporting a full-blown cold, so I kept him home today.  By this evening he sounded much better, though, and he was acting like he felt pretty good, so hopefully he'll be able to go to school tomorrow.  Since it was sunny and nice outside he helped me plant out my strawberries (we have four varieties and 125 plants this year).  I'm not expecting big crops this summer, but next summer should be a pretty tasty one.  Here he is all bundled up and in his explorer hat; sunny-but-cool days make for some very strange outfits.

I also spent several hours today answering questions for our adoption home study.  I just finished up the autobiography portion of the study, which is only eight discussion questions long.  This doesn't sound so bad until you realize that question one is divided into parts A through M.  Many of these parts are actually several questions.  My eight-question autobiography is sixteen pages long.  Single spaced.

All of the adoptive parents out there are laughing and shaking their heads at me right now, as I have just begun to skirt the edge of the paperwork that will need to be filled out, signed, mailed to various parts of the country to be notarized, and then if the adoption is drawn out long enough possibly filled out, signed and notarized all over again.  We won't have an adoption file by the time this is done-- we'll have an adoption box, which I may be unable to lift without straining my back.  So it is perhaps premature to be complaining about it, especially since I like writing and answering discussion questions.  My problem is actually not with the number or the length of the questions.  My problem is that I have an overwhelming impulse to spice the whole thing up by writing ridiculous answers. 

Take this question, which is under the Courtship and Marriage/Partnership section:

Give an example of your problem solving process with your partner.

What I wrote was this:

If Jeremy and I have a conflict about something, the first thing we do is make sure that we’re both able to speak about the problem calmly and rationally. So we each have a cooling off activity—I’ll sit with a cup of tea and read or take a long bath, and he may exercise or play a video game. Often times we’ll realize that the argument was over something that wasn’t a big deal and we have no reason to have any further discussion about it. If the issue is still something we need to talk about, we’ll sit next to one another when Connor is in school or down for a nap and work the problem out through calm and rational conversation. Then once we’ve resolved the issue we’ll do something together that we both enjoy, such as taking a walk or going out to eat. We won’t go to bed angry with one another.

Totally appropriate.  Totally boring.  What I really wanted to write was this:

First Jeremy and I attempt to solve the problem with large amounts of duct tape.  We might also pretend it doesn't exist for a while in the hope that it might become depressed and lonely and go away.  If this does not work, we may employ screaming, scary masks and jumping out from behind various pieces of furniture in an effort to scare it into leaving.  If the problem proves persistant and unimpressed by our scare tactics, we will then attempt to set it on fire.  Whether or not this results in the resolution of the problem depends on how flammable it is and whether or not it possesses opposable thumbs and is able to call emergency services and/or operate fire extinguishers.  Other problem solving methods involve velociraptors, very small rocks, chain saws and loudly singing multiple rounds of "It's A Small World."  We save nukes as a last resort.

Now I personally think my second answer would be a much better read.  Completely inappropriate, sure, but I like to think that I'd at least make the social worker chuckle as she threw our file into the waste basket and called Child Protective Services.  I do actually want to adopt a child at the end of all of this, though (as well as keep the one I already have), and so I'd probably better rein myself in and stick with the serious answers, even if I don't get to mention anything about velociraptors. 

Dang it.



leah said...

I seriously love your sense of humor!

I wish you stamina for getting through the paperwork process- especially since you have to respond with the "boring" answer. :-) Will you travel to Thailand for "gotcha day" or will Silvie be escorted to the US?

Do your strawberries survive one year to the next? Ours are killed off every winter, so we never really get a good crop (sigh).

MFA Mama said...

OMG you guys are too much--I love the second answer. Raptors! Haha. "We save nukes as a last resort" slayed me. It's so much fun to read about you and Jer as a couple and your sense of humor. My husband and I are constantly cracking each other up and I think sometimes people wonder about our sense of humor (which is usually in questionable taste at best), but having a partner you can laugh with is really wonderful, isn't it?

Julia O'C said...

You're killing me here. KILLING ME. Your sense of humor (and Jeremy's) is just one of the reasons why I'm so happy for little Sylvia!

Herding Grasshoppers said...

I vote for the second answer.

I mean, you've got to have a sense of humor to survive parenting, and you guys should win an award!

Although, if these answers have to go to Thailand, something might get lost in translation.

Hang onto the sense of humor :D

Julia said...

Well, even while you're answering the questions seriously, you could allow little hints of your personal style and sense of humor to creep in. The occasional fanciful reference to velociraptors (as long as it's clearly *mostly* fanciful) could be just the spice that gives the whole thing that air of verisimilitude -- you're a real family, not paper dolls.

Elizabeth said...

I see a wonderful blog out of this adoption process. First write the question and then your real answer and then the pretend one. I think it'd be hilarious. I guess you'd have to make it an anonymous one, though, in case some of those faceless, humorless bureaucrats saw it.

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