Monday, November 13, 2006
Adoption #2- considering the State
As Oronzo and I continue to research our options for Adoption #2 we've decided to attend a meeting tonight to learn more about adopting through the State. We're only interested in exploring the possibility of the State's foster-to-adopt program and even that situation scares me a bit.
Oronzo and I are willing to consider children newborn up to 1 year in age (we want Snuggle Bug to remain the eldest and we want at least a year between our children) and with the foster-to-adopt program we could specify that this age range is the only one we will consider.
Here's what I think I know thus far. If we go through the State, we will be matched with at risk children, children that have been removed from their biological families due to drug exposure or abuse of some kind. In the foster-to-adopt program, we have to accept that the number one goal of the State is reunification with the child's family of origin. I believe they give most parents at least a year to take advantage of the resources offered by the State to stabilize their lives and become able to provide a safe and loving environment for their children placed in foster care.
During this year, we as foster-to-adopt parents would be required to take the children to supervised visits with their parents (the frequency varies but I've heard twice a week is typical). We would also take the children to any therapy or doctor's appointments that the State deems necessary. And, of course, we would provide this child with a stable and loving home environment and help them to cope and heal from the trauma they've been through.
If after a year, or whatever pre-determined length of time set by the State, the parents haven't been able to stabilize their lives and become able to provide a safe and loving environment for their children, then their rights are severed and then we'd be allowed to proceed with the adoption of the child that has been living during that time.
My heart is attempting to persuade me to seriously consider this course because there are so many children that need and deserve the loving home environment that we could offer.
My mind struggles as I consider this option. It's not the at risk children that concerns me. I feel Oronzo and I are up to some of those challenges caused either by drug exposure or abuse. What concerns me is the length of time that it would take for it to be determined whether or not we'd be allowed to proceed with an adoption. I'm so afraid that we'd have a child in our home for a year to two years, loving and bonding with that child, and then be told we have to return the child to it's parents.
I know, I know that the best scenario is for that child to be with it's biological parents. My mind understands that. But how would my heart be able to cope with the possibility of loving a child for that long and then loosing them? Could I bear that?
Oronzo, bless his heart, is already at peace with the possibility of this scenario. In his mind, he would love that child with every fiber of his being for as long as he had that child. And if that child was returned to his/her parents, he said he could cope with that.
Oronzo has said he will support my decision even if I decide that I'm not emotionally ready to consider a foster-to-adopt option. We're going to a meeting tonight hosted by a State-contracted agency because I want to make an educated decision, not just a fear-based decision.
If anyone has adopted through the State, I'd appreciate your insight. And as we weigh all our adoption options, I would appreciate your prayers and encouragement! :)