(I’m doing a series on how we came to adopt two older children from foster care. It was so easy! Okay, that’s a fib. It’s not easy at all. But it’s the good kind of not-easy; the kind that’s totally worth it.)
After the application comes THE WAIT. The first wait, that is. There will be more waiting. (So. Much. Waiting.) But this is the first big wait, the time between throwing your application in the pool (and thus admitting that you actually want this) and the start of the 5 Saturdays/marathon MAPP class.
THE WAIT is briefly interrupted by the Physical Standards check, an event so straightforward it’s over almost before it starts. Here’s what happened:
-You cleaned the house for nine hours, including the dust on the pipe beneath the sink (the one hidden by a cabinet) and the grime on the top of the refrigerator (also hidden by a cabinet.) You vacuumed behind the couch (you know, in case they checked), bought new toothbrushes (attention to dental hygiene = good parenting!), and spent $42 on fruit to display around the kitchen to demonstrate a commitment to healthful eating. You might have made sure at least one of the “Certified Organic” stickers faced out. Maybe. You considered slipping the dog a Benedryl to keep her docile (read: so she won’t herd the social worker away from you then sniff her down to ascertain if she’s a wolf), but it seemed like drugging your pets, if discovered, might negate the bonus points earned by dusting under the sink. So you took the dog on the longest walk of her life up the biggest hill in your town. Then you paced the house, straightening towels and picking up bits of fur, until the doorbell rang.
-Sarah and another worker said hello, then asked for a quick tour. They asked which rooms you’d put potential kids in. They glanced up at the smoke detectors. They seemed unfazed by the dog. Five minutes later you were sitting in the kitchen with a letter in your hand, your official invitation to MAPP class. “Do you have any questions?” Sarah asked. You shook your head no. As you led them to the door, you wanted to ask, Don’t you want to see the top of the fridge??? You consoled yourself with the knowledge that at least GOD knew the back of the couch was dust-free. That would have to be enough.
You texted your husband and two of your friends. “We passed! We’re in!”
And then, “Anybody want some fruit?”
Then you go back to waiting.