UPDATE 1/5/12: Well that was easy. Called our foster agency and requested we be put in the que for pre adopt as well as strictly foster placements. Not even any papers to sign, YES!! I also had a lovely, informative chat with lam2b2g and will be chatting with some adoptive parents from church in the near future. (although dh hates to talk to “church folks” about stuff like this because they’re all “oh, just go where God leads you” and he wants FACTS, lol!)
UPDATE 1/2/12: Hey all! Thanks so much for your help and feedback! I am so happy I have friends who I can ask candid questions of and get honest answers. You all are the best!
So, DH and I started talking a little more seriously about it and he is really gun-shy about the debt involved. Debt is not something we take lightly at all, and we’re worried that the added money stress might be too much. Plus, if we did adopt, then I’d probably have to go back to work for a year or two to repay the debt and that is not something we want when we have a new baby. We definitely haven’t ruled it out yet, but talking about it has helped clarify where we stand.
Basically, DH is happy with 2 kids and would welcome a third, but he isn’t sure how “far” he wants to go to add to the family. He wants to call up our foster agency and look into what we need to do to put ourselves in the running for foster-to-adopt, so that’s going to be our next move. We thought going into fostering that we’d be able to just decide to adopt if we got a child we bonded with who became eligible. However, I’m seeing that they place kids who are pre-adopt specifically in pre-adopt homes, so we want to look into that process and be more intentional about it.
In the meantime, we’re still gathering info about infant adoption and I’m very excited to chat more privately with some of you fantastic ladies!
Thanks again for helping us sort through our feelings and priorities. I will keep you updated on the journey!
I hesitated for a while before posting this diary, because it’s something that we are just in the early stages of thinking about. But I need a place to sort out my thoughts and get some feedback, so I decided to share with you all here. I’m going to be very candid because this is a huge decision, and I would love it if you would take the time to share your experiences or thoughts with me!
As many of you know, pregnancy is not something I ever want to do again, but we are pretty sure we’re not “done.”. The plan was always to have 2, then talk about adopting. So here we are…
Basically, we’re considering infant adoption. The reason we want to figure this out now is because DD is turning 2 in Feb. From what I’ve heard, it can take up to 2 years (or more) for infant adoption so we want to start the process soon, if we’re going to do it. We recently became foster parents and have so far had only 1 placement (a sweet 2 week old premature infant, who we had the privledge of nurturing for 10 amazing days). We’re definitely going to keep doing foster care, at least until we do get an adoption placement, and then see what happens after that. We would probably take at least a few years off while keeping up our certification.
We would definitely be open to adopting an older child from foster care, but at the same time we are extremely skittish about RAD. I feel awful putting this in writing, but my main concern is that having a child with RAD would tear our marriage apart, and also leave our children with a burden after we are gone. I’m being completely honest with you guys here. Of course, there is nothing to say that a child adopted as an infant won’t come with their own set of issues (even RAD), just as my kids come with their own set of challenges. We’ve already dealt with DS’s spectrum diagnosis (which was really not a big deal, and his IEP was dropped). Since I am fighting OCD and DH has struggled in the past with depression, we are vigalant about watching for signs of mental illness in our own kids. I don’t know what else to say here…I guess I just am looking for some feedback on this from those who have been there.
The other main reasons we are looking into infant adoption are: 1. DH just feels more comfortable with that route. He’s a very hands on dad, and it still took him about 6 months to bond with each of our kids. He wants to have that infant time where you methodically feed, rock, and change diapers, to form a bond with another child. And 2. I just really love infants. I love everything about it. The sleepless nights spent gazing at your baby, the explosive diapers, the pacifiers, the bottles, lugging the diaper bag…all of it. I just really would like to start there again. I love bonding with newborns and I’m afraid to miss that because it’s important to both me and DH.
So here’s what we are looking into: adopting (open adoption, probably) an infant, born in the US, most likely a transracial adoption (African American or mixed race). The reason we want to adopt transracially is, simply, I think we’d be pretty good candidates for it. We go to a church that is delibirately multi cultural and has many families of mixed race, both from interracial marriage and from transracial adoption. My son goes to a school where he is one of about 5 white children in a school of 500. We live in a fairly large city and we have no plans to move to a predominantly white suburb. Of course we have much to learn, but I think we’re up for it.
Now on to the cons of infant adoption.
- The cost. From what I can figure, we’re talking at LEAST $20,000. We are starting from nothing. And we have a couple projects on the house we want to do so we can move to a bigger house, eventually. I can go back to work part time when DD turns 3 and goes to school, if we’re still able to use Head Start (budget cuts in our state mean we may no longer qualify. And I won’t make enough to afford day care). Or I can try to get a nanny gig for next year. We don’t believe in debt, althought this is something I would be willing to borrow for and then pay off in a year. But, if I may be candid, how in the world did those of you who adopted manage to afford it?
- The agencies. I’ve started looking into it, and I’m so disappointed to read reviews of agency after agency saying how horribly they treat the birth mothers. I’m disgusted that so many agencies are shady. I’m disgusted that so many birth mothers are promised services and counseling and end up with nothing. I’ve started asking around at church, since we have a large population of adoptive families, so I’ve got some leads as far as agencies. But I want to be really, really careful to find an honest one and truthfully I don’t know if there are any.
- The situation itself. I just hate that there are situations in which birth mothers feel forced to give up their children, specifically financial situation. I understand that there are some teenage mothers who want to live their teen years and finish their education without the responsibilites of motherhood, and I applaud that. I do believe in open adoption. But I’ve read that a majority of mothers who place their babies for adoption in the US already have children and are placing their child because they can’t afford to raise any more kids. And that just sucks. I don’t believe in abortion, so of course I do support any mother who chooses adoption. I just hate that money and domestic abuse have to be the reason for it. That’s just my general view of the world today and the country we live in. I don’t know how to square all that with my desire to adopt.
- Feeling selfish. Plain and simple, pregnancy and me don’t mix. But does that mean I should be done with kids, or should I “allow” myself to want another baby? Someone else’s child? Is that fair?
- I don’t know if we can stomach the process. The endless paperwork. The potential of thinking you are going home with a baby and then at the last minute have the birth mother decide not to place the baby. It just all seems really gruelling.