by Pierre le Roux
You all know that I suffer from a mild case of OCD. Well, if you didn’t you do now. And with mild, I mean I don’t have to count shit or have little routines that make me late for work. I am usually late for work due to my cats, because they can be assholes sometimes. A good example of my OCD is like the other evening: I got up at 1am to go rinse out the dirty coffee mugs in the sink. I could hear little crusts forming on the bottom of the mugs, which drives me insane, and also I had to pee.
Now that we are busy with the adoption process certain parts of my OCD are in overdrive in ways I did not expect. I have learned through therapy that I have some “control issues” but I like to refer to it as “being organized”. It’s all just semantics really. Because if you are not organized that is how wars start and how the apocalypse happens. Having now completed Phase I of the adoption process I don’t know who is more annoyed, my husband or our social worker. And I can’t help feeling like I may be the cause of some that.
Firstly, even though I absolutely despise red tape and bureaucracy and think it was invented by Lucifer, I am really awesome at it; partly because I am a persistent and stubborn bitch, and also because I am fluent in bureaucracy. It’s like when you travel to a foreign country, if you don’t speak the native language you are somewhat fucked. Well, bureaucracy is no different. The trick is to just speak the language of governmental employees in a way they are more likely to respond to positively. The secret is being caring and finding new innovative ways of bypassing the black hole that is the dreaded mailroom. The mailroom is the place 90% of governmental correspondence goes to die!
Part of Phase 1 of our adoption process was to obtain Police Clearances stating that we are not axe murderers and National Child Protection Register Clearances saying we are not pedophiles or something vile like that. With the Police Clearances it was easy as I knew some people who work there. So I could track the process and even though we received no special favors, at least I knew exactly what was going on the whole time. With the Child Protection Register it was a different story. Being allergic to snail mail, because it is no longer 1964, I spent a good hour on the Internet and on the phone getting a contact number and an email address of a person who deals with these clearances. I finally found a lady and let’s call her Beth. Beth sounded like she was recovering from the flu and a bad case of job dissatisfaction when I spoke to her and we spoke on the phone at least once a week and corresponded via email regularly. I managed to get our clearances in two weeks. Which is a record; however there was one little snag.
You see, when Beth told me that our clearances were processed and finalized, she also told me there was an issue and my call was transferred to the Deputy Head of her department. He was pissed off at me! Apparently his department has not yet come into the 21st Century and email submissions were “unacceptable, unorthodox and irregular”. After asking him why he was so negative he rather rudely told me that they had made an exception for us “this one time!!!” and that in future all submissions were to be submitted to their mailroom “AND. NOT. VIA. EMAIL.” He didn’t want to hear about how mail in their mailroom didn’t want to die and how depressed the mailroom staff must be because he transferred me back to Beth in mid sentence. Beth, on the other hand clearly craved positive human contact and we chatted for a while before she wished me luck with our adoption. I still worry about Beth a little and we still mail each other.
The other paperwork for Phase 1 of the adoption was a breeze but we did have some trouble with the last aspect which was our Adoption Profile Book. When we finished it and got the printed copy back I was displeased and I think my first words after paging through it were “What the fuck?!” There were some formatting issues and page layout issues in the book that gave me hives. I mean, the book was not perfect like it was on the computer and, like I said before, if your book sucks then you are totally screwed! So we had a long hard and sometimes boisterous time redrafting the book. Formatting issues were corrected, some spelling was changed and some photos removed and others added. We reworked the book up until the point when we were literally sick of it. I am not sure if the book is perfect now, but the last draft was printed and hubby, I and the petting zoo signed off on it. Then hubby took it to the social worker.
Apparently we (mostly I) are overachievers and the social worker refused to take the book. She said that the book formed part of Phase II of the adoption process and that we should hold on to it until after our panel interview. So, we completed Phase I and didn’t even know it and now we are anxiously waiting for the start of Phase II. I am fully expecting to be poked and prodded physically, emotionally and psychologically more than your standard Alien Abduction, but I am sure in the end it will be all worth it. In the mean time we have cleared out the closets in what will become the nursery and started planning what we need to buy. We have lists, because lists prevent wars and the apocalypse and I have CDO, which is the same as OCD but the letters are in order as they should be. For this, I apologize to our Social Worker in advance. And if you are reading this, how about speeding up Phase II already? I do have your number you know. Don’t worry, I am only kidding. Or am I?
Till next time.