It is reference time! This is the one part of the adoption process that I was expecting. I didn’t quite know how it worked, but I knew there would come the time to ask our friends and family for references.
The way it works here in Ontario, is that we had to select a few friends and family members who know us well, know us as a couple and are willing to show their support for our adoption.
This part of the process has been very positive and very heart-warming. It was REALLY easy for us to find people to do this. Almost everyone we tell about the adoption offers to write us a letter. The “people” want us to have a family. We have good “people”. We are very lucky that way.
The social worker contacted our friends and family, and to my surprise, rather than a letter, there was a form for them to complete. The form is mostly complied of checklists and asks about the nature and length of the person’s relationship to us, it asks about our personalities (checklist), our experience with children, our capability to raise a child, any problem behaviours (another checklist: drugs, abuse etc.), our social network, our relationship as a couple (checklist), and the final question, “Would you feel comfortable allowing the applicants to care for your child permanently if you were unable to do so?”
The last question really stood out for me. This is the one that really proves that the person writing the reference is truly genuine. It’s not something that anyone could lie about. I was brought to tears reading an email from one of our references, a very good friend of mine:
“There’s a section about if I would let you raise my kid if need be.
Just wanted to let you know, the answer is without a doubt.”
The funny thing is, she doesn’t even have any children and it STILL made me cry!
I don’t take for granted the fact that we are surrounded by kind and supportive friends. Several of our references have offered to write accompanying letters to go with the form. I have read a few and I am overwhelmed. Even if we don’t come across as “perfect” (nobody’s perfect), it will be very clear to our social worker that we have a strong network of people who love us.
This week I’ve been feeling very mushy about my friends. Gush gush. Thanks friends.