Let’s Play the Matching Game!

There is so much to say about the matching process we went through.  I won’t bore you with every detail.  Our matching process was long and plagued with twists and turns at every corner.  Before I tell you all about it, I should probably explain what the matching process is and how it happens.

Once your HomeStudy report has been written and approved, your social worker uses that report to match you with children.  Where we live, there is a matching meeting once a month, where adoption workers come together to try and find matches.  It gives workers a chance to actually meet face to face to chat about their cases.  Often, your worker will have already sent out out your HomeStudy report to everyone they know who have children that might be a good match for you, but at these meetings they can really talk you up and potentially make connections with children they didn’t realize were available.

Now, here is something to remember when it comes to matches.  You are not the only one being matched with those children (or child).  Their placement worker’s job is to find as many matches as possible and then really take the time to go through them and find the right one.  The matching always takes place on the child’s side, not the adoptive family’s side.  Our first match came and went quickly, and although we were short listed, ultimately, they chose another family, who didn’t already have a child, because they felt this little one would benefit from being an only child.  All of this happened without us having any input or say in the matter.  We were told that we had a match, asked if we wanted to pursue it, and then left to sit and wait.  It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  No matter how much you trust your social worker, it is not easy to take the backseat and let someone else advocate for you for something that is so incredibly important and life changing.  There was such an energy rush for that first match.  We were absolutely crushed when we were told that they chose another family.  It was a real blow.

Over the next year we ended up with 9 potential matches.  What a rollercoaster ride.  Every month, we would sit and wait for the phone to ring, knowing that the matching meeting had just happened.  Almost every month we received a phone call with a match.  The reasons for not being chosen varied.  The one that hurt the most was a match of a little girl and her brother.  Things sounded very promising, until their worker discovered that their bio father just recently moved to our town.  They consider him a significant risk to his children and their new adoptive family, so for the sake of the children, we were removed from the matching process.  I was completely devastated, angry, and heart broken.  Of course, I completely understood that the safety of the kids is the number one priority, but I just couldn’t believe that a man we had never met, who was a criminal and crappy human being, could literally control our life.  It was hard to come to terms with.

Almost exactly one year into the matching process our worker called us and was more excited than normal.  She told us about two little boys who were ready for a forever home.  There were a few ‘issues’ so she wanted us to think a little bit before deciding to pursue them further.  She did tell us though, that at that moment, we were the only match for them since their worker really liked out homestudy and felt we were perfect for them.  Of course, The Hubs and I took no time at all to say yes we wanted to pursue the match.  We were then told that things had been put on hold for a little while as the foster parents, who had originally said they would not be able to adopt the boys, changed their mind.  If it’s a good fit, foster homes are often given an opportunity to adopt, if one of their children becomes available.  Having initially said no, but knowing their connection to the boys, their worker asked for some time for them to think about it.  They were given a deadline of the beginning of December.  And then we waited… and waited… and waited…

The deadline came and went, and we heard nothing.  I sent my worker an email.  We waited some more.  I gave my worker a phone call.  We waited some more.  We heard nothing.  It was very abnormal for our worker to leave us hanging, but with Christmas coming I just assumed that maybe she had some vacation time or was extra busy.  Of course, we were super upset, and wondering what might of happened.  We assumed the answer was no, but we still wanted to HEAR her say it.  We went home for Christmas, which was a nice distraction.  I ended up with H1N1 (again…UGH) which is an even better distraction.  But always, it was in the back of our minds.

As soon as we got home (after I messaged my lovely ladies who have been helping us through our journey and are my go-to shoulders to lean on, to cry) we made a plan.  I contacted the intake worker who knew us and had approved our original application and placed us with worker.  She was awesome.  Our worker had a life-changing event happen in her family and required a year off, so the intake worker took us on until a new worker could be found for us.  Almost right away, she approached us about ‘these two boys’ whom she thought were a perfect match for us.  She explained a little bit about them and I knew right away, they were the same little boys from before Christmas.  When I let her know that, she confirmed that it was, in fact, the same match, and that’s when we knew these were OUR boys!

So we survived the application process, the homestudy, AND the matching process!  Stay tuned for the next part of our adventure, meeting our boys and bringing them home.  Thanks so much for reading.  Please feel free to leave me any questions or comments you may have.

Take care everyone 🙂

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