For those not acquainted with adoption lingo, a PPR is a Post Placement Report. This is a report prepared by a social worker from our local adoption agency which, when the report has been written, sends a copy to Imagine Adoption, which will in turn send the report to Ethiopia. Essentially, the report is meant to talk about how things are going, how the children (and parents) are adjusting, what the children like to do, how they are progressing, etc etc etc. Over the course of our first fifteen months at home, three of these reports will be completed by our social worker; after that, we will be on our own to provide annual updates to Imagine/Ethiopia until the kids are eighteen.
I was dreading our social workers' visit, I must confess. She's a lovely person, but the day she came was on a Friday afternoon at the end of a very hard and very long week. I kept having dreams all week that on the day she would come all three kids (and my house) would be a disaster and she would regret having recommended us for adoption in the first place. In my dreams (and only in my dreams), I kept taping the younger two kids' mouths shut so that they couldn't tell her about all of the times in the past few months that I've lost my temper or employed poor parenting techniques. Just imagine if a social worker was coming to your house to ask both you and your children how things are going and about your parenting style...I'm betting a few uncomfortable memories of your own would come to mind! My worry was tempered by a relief that stemmed from the fact that the younger kids might not have the language quite yet to tell her how much they'd really like to be adopted by a different family, please and thank you! This relief was temporary, though, because immediately what came to mind was the face of my seven-year-old, highly verbal and talkative and painfully honest bio son, and I knew that he wouldn't be able to help himself - he'd just have to dish all of the dirt on life in our home. Eventually, I just sighed and shrugged to myself and took a let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may attitude towards the impending visit. I said nothing to the kids until moments before she was to arrive, and simply told them that a friend was coming to talk to them and us about life since coming from Ethiopia.
As it turned out, that afternoon was the only afternoon the whole week when all three kids were actually in great moods! They were loud, as usual, and active and fidgety, but basically happy and non-temper-tantrum-throwing. We had a lovely chat on the deck in the back and, sitting there and reflecting on the rather horrid days that had preceded her visit, I couldn't help but think that for all of their warts and issues and idiosyncrasies, at the very least my kids have good timing!