First, a few brief work updates... Still no word from Oregon! I emailed the HR person and heard back that the committee is "still at the interview stage" and "there hasn't been a job offer yet." I imagine they have moved forward with a second interview round but are not closing the door until they get a definite "yes" from one of these candidates. I keep procrastinating finishing the Napa college application for some reason. It's so arduous and repetitive. The deadline is the 20th, so I still have time.
And my potential client decided to go with someone else who specialized in "mid-life career change," which is ironic because all my clients but one younger woman are in a mid-life career change. Apparently, I didn't emphasize that well enough in my consultation. He said he really liked me and ended up speaking with 7 potential career counselors. I suppose I should feel good that I came in second, but there is no reward for second place! :( I do have three consultations in the next week or two from my meetup group. I would love to work with two of them and think we would be a great fit.
My most exciting news is that I finally attended an orientation with the organization in charge of foster care placements and adoptions in my county. As you might remember, I completed a several-week training at the beginning of last year when I lived in Oakland. Once I moved to another county last summer, I began research the process in this area. I attended a social services orientation at the end of last year, found out about this organization, and have been wanting to attend a monthly orientation ever since. The challenges were that there are two alternating locations, only one fairly close to me, the coordinator was disorganized and not a good communicator, and the dates changed at one point, as well.
I finally made it three nights ago. The gals leading it were very young; one was fresh out of college. They pulled the rookie move of not having any food or refreshments for a meeting that was at dinnertime. Boo. The presentation was pretty crappy, as well, and I've been to a few of these. They basically just read the wordy slides, not offering any personal anecdotes or opinions along the way, plus their language was harsh and discouraging. To cut them a bit of slack, the rules and policies have "just" changed in California and everyone is adjusting and learning, including developing new materials and presentations for interested foster/adopt families.
The main policy change is basically that *everyone* is now considered a "concurrent" family, meaning they are not differentiating between families interested in fostering children and families interested in adopting. After the strident, authoritative language in the presentation that seemed to say, "Get with the program; you are not allowed feelings or preferences!" I was a little stunned, and I could tell others in the room were, as well. I broke the ice and said, "Well, I am interested in adopting - I've never been a mom before and I want my own child. I'm willing to take some level of risk and support the process, but where does that leave me?"
The facilitator was fairly positive in her response and said that in that case, the social worker would likely refer kids to me who were farther along in the process. I absolutely am ready to work with the system and put the kid's needs above my own (including doing what I can to maintain relationships with bio-family members, when possible and positive for the child), but at the same time, while I admire so much people that have a heart to foster kids and work closely with the agency and the bio parents towards reunification, I am not in that place and need to be honest about it for the good everyone, including the kids. After my share, a couple other people in the room share something similar, indicating they really hoped to adopt, and it felt good to know I was not alone. I was also excited to hear that this agency has connections with kids statewide, not just in my county.
We filled out interest forms, and the next step is to meet for an individual consultation with the social workers. They already contacted me and we are working to get something on the calendar. I wish that my career/job piece could be in place first, but I will go ahead and meet regardless to get clear on what is required and what I need to be working towards. I am still most excited about CA Conceptions, but I don't think it can hurt to pursue these two paths in parallel, at this time.