Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Picnic with some whine

We recently attended our adoption agency’s picnic. The last few years we couldn’t make the picnic so this was our first time to go since we adopted Bug.

We went once before we were parents and found out (on arrival) that the picnic is really geared for those who have already adopted. While it was encouraging to see so many families who had adopted through the agency, it was just another reminder that we weren’t yet parents. This year, I was looking forward to seeing some familiar faces and meeting new people.

As soon as we arrived, we saw one of the women we worked with at the agency. I was on my way to say hello to her when another woman stopped me and told me that she and her husband appreciated the talk we gave at a waiting parents meeting more than two years ago. Shortly after we adopted Bug, were asked to speak at a monthly meeting for families on the waiting list and share our story.

While every adoption story is unique, the agency wanted us to talk about our wait (it was a bit longer than usual) and that we met the birth father and not the birth mother (we’ve since met her as well). We agreed to speak but told the agency that we wanted to be very honest about some of the frustrations along the way. One subject that we handled as delicately as possible was the lack of communication by the adoption agency. We’ve spoken with other families who felt the same way.

After a chat with the woman and playing with her baby (!!), I said hello to the woman we knew from the agency. We greeted one another and this was our conversation:

Agency woman: Oh, hi Maggie, I’ve been meaning to call you.
Me: Oh??
AW: Yeah, nothing’s wrong but wanted to tell you that Bug’s birth father contacted us and he wants to see Bug again.
Me: Oh.
AW: It’s obviously your decision and I’ve been meaning to call you but I’ve been busy. I’ll have someone at the office get in touch with you this week.

I find this interesting for a few reasons…

She’s been meaning to call, which, to me, sounds as though the BF’s request didn’t just happen. So…she’s just been sitting on the request by the birth father? For how long? Does he feel he’s being ignored by them—or possibly by us—since he hasn’t heard back? I’ve got to think the ask by the BF wasn’t an easy one to make so shouldn’t the agency move a bit faster on this?

She’s been busy? Um, maybe I’m wrong here but isn’t this part of the stuff that keeps her busy (and employed)?

I realize that it was convenient for AW to tell me this news in person but the picnic was a social event and it didn’t seem the appropriate venue to me. While everyone there had adoption as a common denominator, it’s still personal and shouldn’t have been told to me with others present.

Did I mention we feel the agency’s communications skills need work?


  1. I would not have been happy about that. At.All. It seems to me that if you're going to work in a field as emotionally-fraught as adoption, your communication skills ought to be top-notch.

    But then the lawyer we worked with to adopt Grasshopper (and to not adopt his sibling and cousin) is EVIL so poor communication skills would be an improvement over that.

  2. That is... weird. I'm sorry that marred your picnic.

  3. What the hell?! Absolutely inappropriate for her to discuss a) at a picnic; b) in front of others; and, c) clearly a while after the B.Dad had asked.

    I would say something to her or to her superiors. NOT OK. I'm mad for you.

  4. ditto what the others said, that sounds wrong. I'm sorry that overshadows the process you went through.

  5. Ugh. That's like painfully un-professional.