Paperwork, Schmaperwork

“I honestly can’t tell you how long it will take. “

~~My adoption agency

Nothing says “we want this family thing to happen” like waiting on a mess of bureaucrats sign sheets of paper to keep things moving along.

It’s really likely that Hope will not be home for Christmas.


After several months of anticipating the permanent placement of my kiddo in time for Christmas, I accepted the reality that this may not happen today.  It really is like Santa is dropping off a bag of coal at Casa ABM this year.

So Hope’s home state still hasn’t sent the paperwork to my state to do the initial contract, and until that happens the actual ICPC paperwork just languishes.  Oh sure, there are promises on all sides that the paperwork will get pushed through, but…really, who am I kidding?  I am not sure I believe that it’s going to happen with 26 business days left before Christmas.

I want to have faith in my own Christmas miracle, but with my and Hope’s faith resting in some papers on a desk somewhere out there, my faith is a bit shook.

The paper pushers have turned me into a Doubting Thomas.


Except that it’s not.  Damn, you Adoption Boogey Man.

How sad will it be to have to take Hope back to her foster family without having any idea when she will be home permanently?  She’s packing and I’m prepping, and there’s a stack of papers somewhere that we’re hoping someone picks up, signs and FedEx’s somewhere to the next person who needs to rifle around their desk, pick them up and sign them, and again send them somewhere.

Both Hope’s and my anxiety levels are running high.  I’m already sad about having to take her back before she even arrives.  I don’t want to.  I just don’t want to.  I just want her to stay here with me and The Furry One.  I just want to start grappling with our stuff together and getting on with our life.

I worry about what the delays will mean for her and what she will make of them.  Our little family is totally dependent on other folks doing a bunch of paperwork.  She’s young and a bit immature and will she blame someone?  Will she blame me?  For her little circle of friends and frenemies to whom she’s bragged about being adopted since September, will she have to save face about coming back and not really moving for however long this takes?  Will her anxiety and behavior worsen (the anxiety is really starting to get to her)?  Will this make us take longer to discover our version of normal?

Will my heart break after spending two weeks living and loving this kid only to take her back and not have any idea when that obnoxiously pink room will be filled with her tween laughter and sulking again?  How will I focus on anything after a two week taste of being a family and then not have her with me for however long this takes?  Will Christmas even feel like Christmas after I said I would decorate (I loathe decorating the house)?  Is there even a need for me to drag out Christmas decorations?  I guess I can put that decision off for a while.

I don’t like this one stinking bit.  Not one bit.


About AdoptiveBlackMom

I'm a single Black professional woman living in the DC area. I adopted my now adult daughter in 2014, and this blog chronicles my journey. Feel free to contact me at, on Facebook at Adoptive Black Mom, and on Twitter @adoptiveblkmom. ©, 2013-2022. All rights reserved. (Don't copy my ish without credit!) View all posts by AdoptiveBlackMom

6 responses to “Paperwork, Schmaperwork

  • puddin85

    If she’s home for Christmas, definitely put out the decorations. She won’t forget it .

  • Caitlin

    YES to the Christmas decorations! So sorry about the paperwork – just keep reminding her that the wait will be worth it and all good things take patience!

  • Judith Land

    I am sure you won’t receive coal…rainbows follow storms…

  • B

    Bring some Xmas spirit and put up the decor. Who knows, it may help you lift yours a but. It will all work out in due time. This is just a test of ur strength. Don’t give up!

  • Desert Rose

    Oh gosh, this is maddening! But don’t let the administrative paper jam get in the way of your fun over the next few weeks! The bulk of the work to make this happen is behind you, like finding her and seeing if she likes you, too 🙂
    I actually think having her there and regrouping a little is not such a bad thing for both of you, it will be a very emotional experience and you’ll need to process. Can you go out there for Christmas and at least spend some time with her if need be?
    Sending you a hug and strength for the way ahead! Can’t wait to hear about her arrival, impression of the area, her room, etc.

  • AdoptiveBlackMom

    If she’s here, then there will certainly be definitions. If she’s not, I’ve decided to just go to her for a day or two. I just know that being separated from her after this visit will be hard and I don’t want to be apart from her at Christmas. I’m trying to be hopeful, but it’s hard.

    Thanks all for the read and the encouragement!

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