Friday, March 13, 2015

I MOVED!

Ok, It's a long story but I moved over to wordpress (insert groan here). I know lots of people don't like it but blogger hates me these days and - quite frankly - I've had enough!

I would love if you would continue to follow me and my journey at my new space: https://positivelypeachie.wordpress.com/

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Is Adoption An Option?

Lately I've been having this thought in my head. Wondering what it would be like to adopt a child through Family Services – the government agency that oversees foster care and children in crisis. Typically this kind of placement involves a child between 7 and 18, not a newborn or small baby. Not to say there aren't babies and toddlers, but they are less and most commonly requested by adoptive families.

These children are all considered special needs, and span from emotional and attachment disorders to cerebral palsy, FAS and Down syndrome. They will all require additional care above and beyond the average child – whether its physical therapy, emotional support and/or counseling, or medication.

The adoption process is long and grueling. Longer and more grueling than adopting private, because this is considered a public adoption. You don’t just have to be good enough for the agency; you have to be good enough for the government. If you've ever tried to get a travel or work Visa, or go through customs, you know how particular the government can be.

I only started considering because I’m reading this book about a young girl who moved to Uganda and adopted a number of orphaned little girls…and it made me consider how badly needed couples willing to adopt older children are. Older children have more emotional needs than newborns – and more damage from their early experiences in life. You’re not starting from the beginning … you’re coming in somewhere in the middle and trying to form an attachment with this child who is emotionally struggling with adult issues on top of also being a youth or teenager and feeling all of the normal emotions that go along with those stages. It’s something I feel like I would like to do, or perhaps like I was meant to do it. I mentioned it to Hubby, who was surprisingly nonchalant about it and said it was what he thought I had meant when I said I wanted to adopt 5 years ago when we first met. He was so nonchalant about it, that I started pressing him to ensure he understood the full weight of it – reading him statistics and filling his head with every viewpoint and example and fact I could find. And still he remained strong in his agreement that he would like to do it too. I was surprised because I thought he would be a bit more resistant, but he’s not. When I realized that he was on board, I started thinking about it a bit more seriously and bouncing the idea off some close friends – all of which have responded extremely positively. I even told my mom about it – the same woman who hardly knows anything about our infertility battle – and she was supportive too…. I mean, she pointed out the “mom” things (if the child is special needs, it’s a lifelong commitment) but did it in a supportive way trying to help me see the whole picture as a woman who is a mother. So after sounding it off some friends and my mom and my hubby (I presented it only as a possibility to them all)…I was surprised by how much of me thought this might be an OK idea. More than that, it might actually be a plan. Not necessarily plan A, but a plan.

Today is World Kidney Day. We had a big event at work today. Imagine my surprise when talking to the woman beside me who was there presenting as a donor recipient told me how last week she finalized the adoption of her son….who she adopted through family services. She is also a foster home. Initially I said nothing about my own mind frame but as the event went on, I couldn't hold it in. I started to ask her about her experience and explained that my hubby and I were considering this as an option to build our family – and she was more than open and happily answered my questions. I walked away with her email address and phone number so we could chat again. She’s offered to support us through the process should we decide to adopt. Her son was newborn at the time of his placement with her in foster care but is now almost 3 and it was a huge endeavor to adopt him…she had never planned to adopt, but when he came into her home she couldn't let him go. I really enjoyed chatting with her and loved how willing she was to share, and how excited she was for me that we were considering this as an option. She was also super realistic and spoke frankly about the downsides of it all. She’s the first person I've ever met who adopted through family services, and how strange that we meet right when I start considering that might be an option for us.

Where does this leave me? I’m not sure but I’m still going forward with our fertility treatments in June, and working on getting hubby’s sperm to the best quality they can be in the meantime. This idea of adopting through Foster Care is really starting to grow on me, and maybe in a couple months if treatments don’t work we will move onto this plan. I’m not sure but it’s a big enough commitment to adopt through Family Services that I plan to take at least a couple months thinking about it.

What are your thoughts? I’m dying to hear what everyone thinks so I can make the most rounded and well balanced decision possible.