Wednesday, September 26, 2012

STILL No News...

I've been getting messages from a lot of friends anxious to hear what's going on with us.  But as much as I absolutely adore keeping secrets from my favorite people, we still just don't know anything about where Jake is headed next.  Jake has reached out to everyone he can, but so far no one knows anything useful.  How can we stand it? We can't. It's maddening. But unfortunately there's just nothing we can do about it.  The Army is nothing if not a lesson in patience.  But thank you all for thinking of us, and please keep it up!

With no ability to affect the outcome of that particular issue, we have been focusing a lot this week on the adoption.  We finished our immigration application, scheduled our home study and interviews, and set up appointments for our psychological evaluations.  Let me tell you, that last one was an adventure.

First, I didn't know that different psychologists use different tests (usually multiple choice tests), and there are dozens to choose from! ICAB requires three particular tests plus an interview, and I had to find two psychologists who could perform all three tests.  Two, because I'm being tested in Houston, and Jake is being tested in Louisiana.  He tried to set something up on post, but the Army told him that certifying his competence as a parent created too great a liability issue for them. Really? Hmm...

Once I found psychologists with the right tests in the right places, the next issue was finding ones that take new patients. Many don't. It was an especially big problem in Houston, which seems backwards since the city is a major medical hub in this country, but it's true.  

After finding psychologists with the right tests, willing to take new patients, I then had to find doctors who have openings in the next few weeks, because we have a major deadline coming up. Again, this was a problem because apparently shrinks book months out at a time.

The final hurdle in the process was finding doctors with the right tests/taking new patients/with openings, who accept our insurance.  For me (hopefully not for Jake, but we'll see), this turned out to be a non-issue in the end.  My insurance won't cover a psych evaluation that is not necessary, and apparently "to complete an adoption application" is not considered necessary.  I hope none of you ever have to come out of pocket for a shrink. WOWZERS!!

Also, I swear that if all people were required to take this test prior to having children (adoption or otherwise), there would be far fewer ill-equipped parents out there.  Those not up to it probably wouldn't make it through the process of tracking down a psychologist.

Jake was supposed to have his evaluation today (like me), but there was a hiccup with his appointment.  See, the lady on the phone didn't tell me that the doctor does his Wednesday appointments at a satellite office an hour away from his regular office.  So Jake showed up to the regular office in Lake Charles (still 45 minutes from the house and an hour from his work), and there was no doctor to see him. Hmph! Poor guy! After no small amount of haggling, the doctor agreed to see him extra early, at the right office on Friday.  Hopefully that works out.

I actually did have the first part of my evaluation today.  Mine is happening in parts because one of the tests I need had to be ordered, and it gets here next week.  The doctor I found was actually very nice, and she did my interview after I took the first two tests.  She asked the questions you would expect to be asked about my upbringing, our marriage, and Howie.  Honestly, it was pretty basic. I actually found myself wondering how a person can glean from such a surface visit enough information to make a conclusion about someone's parenting skills, but I supposed that's why they're experts.  The thing I found interesting were the tests.

One of the tests was a parenting inventory, in which I had to indicate how strongly I agreed/disagreed with a series of forty question.  I found myself fighting with the questions, though, because most of them were always/never statements, and I think few things in parenting are so black and white.  For instance, one of the statements was "A parent should always push their children to be better."  Well, I agree that parents ought to encourage their kids, and nudge them in the direction of excellence.  But there's that pesky "always" word.  And better at what? Better people? Better at Parcheesi? Who knows. Maybe I got that one right....

The second test was a series of 175 True/False questions. It was clearly a test designed to capture lots of different kinds of potential mental health issues, not parenting issues in particular.  Nothing really struck me as unusual till I looked at my answer sheet and found that I had only picked 19 "True" answers in the entire test.  I asked my doctor whether that was weird, and she said "Do you think it is weird?" Typical.  I think it means either I'm VERY crazy, or VERY normal.  So here's the question: which would be better?


  1. You test probably showed you are not normal--you are extraordinary!

  2. I'm so excited that you're adopting!! We need more babies in our family!! ;)

  3. You are strong, and your faith encourages me. We'll keep praying!

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