It's official: we have the best social worker in the state of Oregon. We love her. Love. Her. I was, of course, very nervous the first time around before she came over, but this time round, I wasn't. Last night, when I should have been cleaning up, I sat in the basement and watched Seinfeld. That's how not-nervous I was.
However, I woke up this morning and spent two hours cleaning/straightening. I nagged at Ted for not washing last night's soup pot. I complained to him about the upstairs closet door being off its track. I tied up Abe's curtain just so and put all his stuffed animals at the foot of his bed, looking towards the door as if to say, "Hi, Ms. Social Worker! We like you! Do you like us? We like you and think you're so pretty and sweet." I had a small herd of butterflies in my stomach once everything was ready.
Then she appeared at our door, and the butterflies left. Abe was a dream the whole two hours. A dream, I'm telling you. He looked at his books and played with his wooden race car. He asked for milk, and when he got it, he wandered around peacefully in his "I have my sippy cup and all is right in the world" milk-drugged stupor. He laid on the floor and rolled around quietly. He sat on my lap and snuggled. He ran to our social worker over and over saying "hey and hi! hi and hey!" He answered "no" right along with us as we were asked if we have ever been arrested, ever had a drug problem, ever been denied a home study.
We updated her on what life has been like the last year (which, really, she knew for the most part since Abe's last post-placement was done a mere three months ago), what books we're reading, how we spend our free time. We asked her a lot of questions, and she gave us thoughtful, wise answers.
She never noticed how clean our upstairs is. She liked our pumpkins and Halloween decorations but she never got the chance to be greeted by Abe's stuffed animals and never smelled the vanilla candle burning in the bathroom. Why do I worry about these things?
Ted never gets nervous, and I'm pretty sure our social worker likes him better than me. He makes her laugh, so much so that she covers her face and shakes. She never noticed that he was wearing his holiest work jeans. She laughed at his story about being arrested by the East German police and being brought in to "the Gestapo," a story he voluntarily brought up. Because he thought it would be funny. In our homestudy. With a social worker. A social worker who could recommend that we not be allowed to adopt again because of a history of being arrested in Communist East Germany.*
But our social worker laughed. And this is why we love her. If we lived closer to each other, I'd want to have her and all her eight kids over for dinner. After dinner, I'd make her smell that candle and say 'hi and hey' to Abe's stuffed animals. She'd simply have to then.
*for anyone who is concerned, Ted was brought in to the police for trying to hitch-hike on the autobahn when he was traveling through Eastern Europe at age 19. He has no criminal record in Germany.