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In which my wife cries in front of a therapist who is evaluating our mental and emotional stability

This wasn’t our best morning. My wife cried in the lobby of a psychologist’s office while repeating, “I know I don’t look mentally stable, but I am.”

Before beginning on our paperwork for [home country], we have to complete a number of forms for our adoption agency. One of these is a mental health exam, presumably to establish that we are sane enough to be parents. Amy spent a couple of hours on the phone looking for a mental health professional who would be willing to meet with us and write a two sentence letter to establish our sanity. After trying several offices, Amy finally spoke with a counselor who was willing to write the letter after meeting us only once and who was covered by our insurance. Even better, the office had an appointment on Saturday that Amy and I could both make.

So, on Saturday, Amy cut short a visit with her cousins who were in Long Beach from Seattle for the weekend and I got up early and we drove 40 minutes away to our appointment. And they wouldn’t let us in. We never got out of the waiting room. The psychologist apologized repeatedly, but said that she wouldn’t feel qualified to write the letter since she had never seen us before. She wasn’t sure how we’d ended up in the office.  So, we’ll need to find another mental health professional. As we walked down the hall, away from our failed mental health appointment, we laughed through our frustration about the irony of trying, while battling tears and with (slightly) raised voices, to convince a psychologist that we are stable.

It wasn’t a big deal in the scheme of things, especially in the scheme of the adoption process, which is filled with pitfalls and backtracks and “Oh, I can’t sign these forms.” But it was an opportunity for us to vent our frustration with each other or to bask in bitterness towards the therapist. I’m happy to say that, for today at least, we chose to hold on to each other and to laugh instead.


May 6, 2013 - 6:30 pm

Bradford Phelan - Love love love your blog. We are so fired up for y’all. Can’t wait for our sons to play together one day and share their adoption stories with each other. Praying for y’all.

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