Friday, July 02, 2010


I had my social worker visit today. It's a one on one time where you basically give information about your entire life. Anyway, one of the things that we went over were the reference forms that friends and family filled out for us. She didn't say who said what, but just gave the general comments of strengths and weaknesses that I have. Nothing like hearing what those who know you best think of you! Wow.

I am a confident person so I'm thankful that the weaknesses don't bother me much. I guess I should look to change but when someone mentions something as a weakness, I consider some of those things strengths (ex. Gary was told that one of his weaknesses was being indecisive, really, he just takes a long time to contemplate something so it ends up being very well thought out).

I thought my major weakness would be that I'm a stress case but that was not mentioned. I will mention some of my weaknesses and put my little defensive thought in the brackets:
too frugal (wise with my money and we don't have any debts besides our mortgage which we will have paid off long before Gary retires! Gary and I have never stressed or fought about money due to my frugalness), bossy/directive (hey, I take initiative and make decisions... I'm the oldest, what do you expect?! Yes, I'm a little bossy with my family, for sure!), pessimistic (are you serious? I would say I'm realistic!! I could get breast cancer, this is just being a realist, not pessimistic. I'm not going to pretend that the world is all roses because it's not!), and being too structured (I like routine, my kids like it, it works!). I think a lot of it is just the way I grew up. It worked to be frugal and structured:) Oh well. Of course there were tons of strengths in there (thank you friends and family) but you rarely hear those close to you let you know of your weaknesses.

In conclusion, I completely understand and respect this process. However, I think it's pretty crazy that if you are able to have biological kids you might just need two people and 5 minutes.
Clarification: I know not everyone gets pregnant this easily. In fact, barely anyone except my friend who says she pretty much gets pregnant if her husband sneezes on her:) I know it can take months and years and years. I know it can be years of testing and delving into your private lives. I know. Gary got to have `the' test. I charted for a year. Good times.
This whole adoption process and having people `evaluate' you and delve into your entire life is not the easiest thing. Interesting though. Thank goodness my social worker is very similar to me so she could relate to all of my strengths and weaknesses. We even got a little teary eyed together talking about our lives. She's great.

Well, Gary and I are off to the island to photograph a wedding. My sister and her husband are coming here to watch the kiddos! Maybe I'll spend tons of money and be super indecisive to try out a different way of living:) Ha ha, ya right! Have a great weekend everyone.

Love, Bossy Louise


  1. this makes me smile. i would side with your 'defenses' - i agree with you, but then again, i don't know you THAT well in person :)
    have a GREAT weekend!!!

  2. are you kidding me? None of those sounded like weaknessess! Kids THRIVE on routine. Oh well, part of the process I guess :) Enjoy the island this weekend!

  3. I can only imagine some of the things my family might say! What a difficult process. . .but so worth it! Praying for you all as you walk through it- what an emotional roller-coaster.

  4. No. I think this is BS.

    Where is the article on your strengths!?

    In reality, I agree with you - that article is about strengths. Let's invert it:
    - Gary and Lou are broke and up to their eyeballs in debt, can't hold on to a penny.
    - They never know what they want and just take what life hands to them, complaining all the way
    - No structure. Their poor kids wouldn't know which way is up, are up watching TV all night and sleep during the day.

    So yeah - don't get frustrated. Those are great "weaknesses". In fact, if I'm ever in a parenting interview and want to be cheesy, I'm going to copy those word for word. Kind of like the job interviews where your weakness is that you are too committed to work and need a better work life balance:)

    happy weekend on island.

  5. loved this. and how can they call you pessimistic when you so clearly look at the positive side of your so-called pitfalls??? Perhaps I feel so supportive because my "weaknesses" sound pretty identical...except I could amp up the frugal factor.

  6. As a contributer to these lists of strengths and weakness, I would like to add some things.
    (A) I am a big believer in 'characteristics' as opposed to weaknesses. For example, I have the characteristic of being 'frugal.' Sometimes this is a strong characteristic, because we don't have an incredible amount of debt, and usually drive older cars and shop at Costco. Sometimes this is a weak characteristic, in that I sometimes put financial concerns above people, and I can be kind of hard on Brent when he spends too much or forgets to pay a bill (oh, frequently!!).
    All of us have these characteristics which can have light and dark sides to them. I think it's pretty rare to have a fully weak weakness.
    (B) Those of us who filled out those forms were FORCED to come up with weaknesses because they were a REQUIRED FIELD, dude. No adoption agency will trust a gaggle of friends/family who say "These people only have strengths!"
    I wish instead they would have asked for characteristics, and scaled them or something? Or somehow made it so that the form acknowledges that those characteristics listed can be strengths given differing situations. But they didn't. They said, quite literally, "List his/her weaknesses." and "List their marriage's weaknesses."
    (C) It's tough because I can't show you the original form. It's 90% positive, with only about 10% of the questions outright asking for 'weaknesses' or negatives. I'm sure that you had to vent in this post, but I wanted to reassure you that the forms were very complimentary and positive, because you guys are great people and perfect prospective adoptive parents. Yes, it's weird that all you need for bio kids is five minutes and two people, but I would be leery of any adoption agency that was lax in its screening process. They NEED to know you well, good, wonderful, bad, and ugly, in order to best support you as you adopt. It's their job, and it's for the best interests of the vulnerable kids they find families for.
    (D) when else in life do you get an opportunity to hear in plain language some honest feedback from a group of people who know you best? This is a good thing! And people said a bazillion great things about you, too. Which is nice to hear in honest feedback form, too!


    I think you're other comments on this topic are affirming, but not fair. The questions were required fields. None of us like coming up with weaknesses for people we love, but it's important in this context. Especially in light of the whole characteristics vs weaknesses/strengths thing. The better we know ourselves, the better we cope with life. You cope very well!!! I'm always admiring of how you cope. But I think we're all on a lifelong learning journey in learning deeper about ourselves, and learning to cope better!
    So when you get to hear feedback like this, you have affirmed who you are, which helps you know yourself deeper, and mature and cope even better. It's good!!!


  7. I do want to clarify this post and I think I will do it in another post but just a few things:
    1. I found it an interesting process to get to hear your weaknesses, I wasn't looking for affirmation:) When else do you get to hear what family and friends, who know you best, think your strengths and weakneses are? Those are people's opinions that I would totally trust!
    2. As a person who has filled out this form for another family, I know that it is required, I wasn't surprised, I was truly interested.
    3. I put the defensive things in brackets because, I am a defensive person. Maybe that's a weakness:)
    4. Again, I do respect the process and completely understand it. Going over the references with me, she only went over the weaknesses and then skimmed through the strengths with no discussion so that is why it was in my mind.
    5. I had mentioned it, and others had commented, that someone saying something is a weakness may be a strength to someone else. Me being frugal could be a positive because I'm a great money manager. I know this!
    Overall, a very interesting and informative process. It has helped me to be more aware of how I spend money (I don't want to spoil my kids but I also don't want to take opportunities away) and just recognize any bossiness that may occur in my day to day:)


  8. Anonymous12:44 AM

    my only comment to add to this would be to ask you to be very careful about simplifying a biological family as "two people and five minutes". I have many dear and close friends who are two people waiting 5 and 10 YEARS to be parents. My heart hurt quite deeply to read that statement. I know you're mindful of people in such a position, so I just say this to ask that you choose your words carefully how you address that.

  9. Anonymous, believe me, I know how long it takes for many of my dear friends who have been trying for years. I'm sorry it came across the wrong way. I said `if you are able to have biological kids, you could just need 2 adults and 5 minutes' or to that effect. I changed it to `might' after your comment. For Koen it took a whole year of charting and all that jazz to get pregnant so I know it can be no easy feat! I'm sorry it came out the wrong way.

  10. And anonymous, I just wanted to let you know that I added a sidenote to it too. I don't want to offend anyone and I"m sorry if I hurt others who didn't speak up. Thank you for getting me to clarify!!

  11. Anonymous9:04 AM

    thanks for your reply, because I know you wouldn't ever intend to say something hurtful or insensitive.