Sunday, October 9, 2011

There's an App for that

No, I'm not trying to make a joke about Steve Jobs. In fact, I have to say I started to cry when I read about his passing (on my iPhone near an Apple store), but had to struggle to compose myself as I was out with Ambrose and he was just having such a happy time and I didn't want to bring it down. Knowing his family history (ie, adopted as an infant) makes him seem far more inspiring to me, and knowing the mark he's left on the world (ie, potentially changing the course of man kind via the PC and smart phone) just stuns me. His passing is sad, and yet he left an undeniable mark and he will not be forgotten.

That being said, back to that app thing...

So I'm pretty much done filling out our app(lication) for foster care. Nik's going to finish up his part, we'll look it over and sign it, and it'll probably go out in the mail tomorrow and be filed away by the end of the week. Hopefully within the next couple weeks we'll receive confirmation that it was received. And, with all hope, we'll be able to take their next MAPP classes come January.

It's daunting when I look at it...

Waiting a few months and then, right when it's crunch time for Nik and work, we'll be taking 3 hour classes twice a night. My mother has already agreed to babysit, which the boys will love, but I'm sure she'll need a vacation once the classes are over!

Then we get interviews and a homestudy (again! A fourth one!) and the fire marshall (!!) gets to check out our house and there's probably a lot more.

Timing is all over the place. It took one friend of mine 13 months to get licensed! They estimate 6-9 months, but does that count the wait until classes start, or is that from the time classes end, or what? Will we be ready to go next June? Or next December?

And then there's the space and vehicle issue. We have 5 (small) bedrooms, 3 upstairs all in use and 2 downstairs which are mostly just holding junk. And we both own sedans.

If we say "only an infant coming available for adoption" then we could put the boys in one room (like we're planning anyway) and we can fit 3 carseats across the back.

Or we could say "we're open to sibling groups with minor needs coming available for adoption" and look through a bazillion profiles and bring in children, perhaps "older", and have to buy a van and move around bedrooms.

I can see it so many ways. P and A in the bunkbed and an infant asleep in the nursery. Or P downstairs with an older child in bunkbeds, and A upstairs also in bunkbeds with a slightly younger child and a toddler in the next room (OMG how crazy would that drive us???). Or P downstairs rocking his first grade bachelor pad while A sleeps in the same nursery and two new children take up P's current room. Or everything as it is now with a little baby in a bassinet in our room. And with only one kid the sedans are fine. But if we're open to siblings do we just go ahead and buy the minivan? Or do we wait until we know for sure?


So much to think about!

And for the first time we're actually glad for the wait, glad for the classes and the interviews and the time period. No, maybe I won't feel that way when it's a year from now and we're still just hanging around waiting for another child, but for right now it feels nice. Our boys get more time to grow and mature and get comfortable and bond and prepare for a sibling(s) who really need a stable base and haven't found it yet.


I have to say that my mind has been changed about foster care pretty drastically recently. I used to know a woman who adopted from foster care, back when I was a teenager and she had a daughter my age and a son in the Sunday School class I taught. She adopted a "black crack baby," but at the time he was a foster child. She carted him around in a bucket seat everywhere she went, and doted on him constantly. She was open about the process, and man was it a nightmare. Two years of birth parents coming in and out of his life, showing up for visits or not, being addicted to whatever, acting out, and always getting second chances. Court case after court case and finally, when it was all over, the family closed the book on adoption. They had their sweet, loving little boy and he was happy with his mom and dad and brother and sister, thriving in a loving home, but they just couldn't do it again.

We were willing to do fost adopt when we first found out infertility issues and that failed pretty quickly what with that whole "too young OMG nooo!" thing. But even then it was adoption only, really, none of this "foster with a near guarantee of adoption" thing. I couldn't handle going through what that family went through, and I still don't think I could do so.

I've been on message boards and watched people get licensed and just waaait and waaaait for any placement, or have a placement and have them leave after a couple of years, in this county. And the issues... Oh, the issues...

But now... I know several people who've adopted through foster care relatively painlessly, who've had less issues with their kids (or similar issues at least) than I've had with my Ethiopian born child.

And the recent changes in our county make me hopeful.

Sure we could end up with another nightmare case, going on for years and year or ending in tragedy. Sure it could be the dumbest thing we've ever done.


There are real kids out there, little kids, many of them just normal children who need stability and certainty, many who will be adopted (about 50% in fact). There are 600 in our county alone, and far fewer foster homes than their are children.

And while we'll be seen as the "selfish" potential foster parents, wanting children young and relatively healthy and relatively risk free, at least we'll still be there waiting for these children (because even the selfish ones tend to get placed and those kids deserve a home just as much as the next child).


Sometimes I'm iffy.

I feel I'd still like to conceive someday, and I know that there's a time limit on fertility more than a time limit on adoption or foster care. Adoption and foster care aren't going anywhere, we could always give birth and come back to it. And I do hope to someday feel a child within me, potentially have the water birth I've heard so much about, hire a doula, nurse without meds, hold a newborn again...

But then there's that pull, that "ding ding ding, fill out that paperwork, there's a good girl!" pull.

And when you can't shake that pull... well, maybe you aren't supposed to.

There's no guarantees. No guarantees we'll be accepted into the classes, that we'll pass everything, that we'll be approved and licensed. No guarantee we'll be placed. No guarantee it won't all just be a waste of time. Heck, no guarantee I won't get pregnant and ruin it all.

So I guess we'll just have to wait and see with this...

And finish filling out the application.

1 comment:

manymanymoons said...

These are all lay awake in bed at night type questions aren't they. I literally wake up and go to bed asking myself some of these same questions and feeling totally overwhelmed by the different scenarios. What I've been trying to do more recently is take one "thing" at a time. That's honestly the only way I can get through the day without hyperventilating sometimes.

I'm glad for you that you and your family will have a little time to sit with your options and decide what's best for everyone. Although to be honest, I am finding that the universe has been playing a bigger hand in making decisions for me than I thought. Maybe it will be the same for you. :)