How did you decide that you should adopt? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 15 Old 02-08-2011, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DH and I have been married almost 12 years and have two children, 3 yrs & 17mo.  We've talked about adoption on & off since we first married, but have never "known" if we should.  DH is fine either way, and said he'd follow my lead on this.  The problem is, I just don't know if/ when we should.  We'd be happy in life either way, but I'd love to provide a loving home for a parentless child, if we are meant to.  I wish I'd have some fantastic vision of adopting like my friend (who adopted from Ethiopia in Nov) had!

 

How did you decide that it was the right thing to do?  And how do you decide if it's the right time?

Thanks and sorry if you get this question all the time!!!

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#2 of 15 Old 02-08-2011, 04:11 PM
 
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I wasn't always sure that I wanted children. But I'd always felt that adoption was a good option.

When I decided I wanted children definitely, (I was about 27 or so) then I started thinking more seriously about my options.

When my husband and I met I made it clear that I wanted kids and I planted the adoption seed. He was very receptive to the idea. And we started investigating adoption routes. I felt pulled towards adopting a foster child because my best friend in middle and high school had been in fostercare so I was a little familiar with it.

We haven't finalized an adoption, but I'm certain that we will be adopting a foster kid (or two or three). Even if we don't adopt our current foster child (there are some complications that mean we might not be the adoptive placement for him), we will most likely still stay on this adoption route.

 

I think that if you're drawn towards adoption then you should go for it! You don't have to "have some fantastic vision " and in fact that might be a good thing because you might be more realistic about it. Good luck :)

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#3 of 15 Old 02-13-2011, 09:27 PM
 
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I always wanted children, I grew up in a wonderful family with a SAHM homeschool Mom who had me at age 20..and I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. I didn't end up getting married until 23, and though we both wanted kids one day...financially it was out of the question for a few years. Then I got really sick at 27 (feared for my life), right when we had decided to TTC in a few months. I had also always wanted to adopt, especially from Russia as I have been to Russia several times and have worked with orphans there,

 

Thank God I have finally been well for several months (age 29 now), and right when my health returned I decided to take life by the horns and either TTC or start the process to foster-adopt (would love to adopt from Russia but don't have the $$). We just initially went to the information session July 1, 2010, and it slowly built on us. Once we decided to do it, it has become more and more sure that this is what we should and WANT to do. Just 2 years ago I was on these forums in tears about wanting to TTC but being ill and in debt. Now my desire for bio children is gone, I truly want to foster-adopt with all my heart. DH is pretty convinced almost everyone can do it- our society depends on it. And my heart continues to stretch: where I started out wanting 1 baby, now we are taking 2 children, and we are currently signed up for ages 0-4 but we will probably up that. 

 

 

So don't do it because I tell you to, but I agree with PP that if you are drawn to it and DH is supportive (that is huge, I have friends who really want to adopt but their DH are against it)...why not? Not that it is easy or the decision should be made flippantly, but it really could be worth it. 

A guy who spoke at our training (I forget the title, he is with the CPS unit that actually physically removes children from homes) said it best: "All these children want is a family. All you have to do is open up your home and love them. It won't cost you a lot".

 

Warmest wishes to you.


Happily married to DH for 6 years, in process to foster-adopt 3 children DD4, DS3 and DS2. We may be bringing half brother age 9 one day as well! We are not infertile, we just have decided that since there are precious children who need homes there is no need for us to have biological children.

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#4 of 15 Old 02-14-2011, 03:39 AM
 
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I never thought I'd be a parent. Then we took in one cat, then another and finally a labrador retriever. By that point I knew we could do the parent thing without failing miserably. Adopting seemed the most obvious option since I had no interest in birthing a child and had great models of adoption including a same age cousin. I started talking to people, as you are doing, and signed up for an info session. Taking it step by step was what worked for me. I was never adament that we adopt from x, y or z country or that we must foster. I looked into the different rooms available and determined just how receptive they were to our family structure of two moms. Every family has their own profile that makes one place or way better than another. We knew we didn't want what I viewed as a popularity contest by going private domestic and instead attempted to go through an African American program. That failed due to this that and the other. China slowed way down and Cambodia (family living there) closed entirely. More drama came about when I interviewed the placement staff at the DHHS of my then state and so Russia seemed the solution. Our next child seemed destined to come from Ethiopia until I learned very disturbing news about the bias of the adoption officials there and so we held off until we moved to our new state where the DHHS folk are awesome. Fostering has been a true gift here. Best of luck! 


Mama to Ru cutie (a. age 3, fall 2006) and foster to adopt  wonder-child (arrived a. 3,  2010) 

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#5 of 15 Old 02-14-2011, 08:20 AM
 
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DH and I have been talking about adoption for about 9 years now, every since we were ttc our youngest. A little over a year ago I finally said "We have to decide if we are going to do this or not!" so we spent a few months praying and researching and stuff. We felt led to foster adopt, so that's what we are doing. We have a 17 year old, a 13 year old and a 7 year old. We are 42 and 43.


DS: 18 DD: 15 DD: 8  angel1.gif 11/10  angel1.gif 4/11
  adoptionheart-1.gifDD: 3  angel1.gif 8/11

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#6 of 15 Old 02-14-2011, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone for your responses.  My husband and I have been talking about this a lot and he is even doing research on his own so it's seeming more and more that we are going to do it.  At this point we've decided to start the process of talking to people in the system (I have a social worker friend who will help us) and taking it a step at a time, knowing we can always stop if things don't feel right.  

 

We have lots to think about regarding how we would find the child...foster adoption, domestic (within Canada or even Alberta), international, US international.  We are a bit fearful of foster-adopting.  I think it would be heartbreaking to have the child live with us and them not be a match or us not be allowed to adopt for some reason.  I guess that something we need to look into more.  

 

We also need to consider if we'd take siblings or adopt out of birth order.  I'll have to do research into adopting out of birth order (our kids are 17mo & 3yrs), since there are some 5 year old girls available through the local government adoption agency now and I know that most kids that need homes locally are 5 or over. Have any of you done that?  I've always had a heart for the "underdog," the "unwanted", which is how I ended up with a houseful of special needs cats and dogs when I worked at a humane society, so wonder how that will affect the adoption.  :D

 

This is scary but exciting! 

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#7 of 15 Old 02-16-2011, 05:47 PM
 
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I did not adopt out of order, but did surprise myself by bringing home two 3.5 year olds through two separate processes. Both times has been delightful and horribly difficult, but never regrettable. I've heard from others who have gone out of birth order and have been successful with that despite conventional wisdom. You can, and should be very specific on what sort of child you're willing to accept which may make you feel more comfortable about an older child. Unfortunately, sexual molestation/predation can happen with ANY age or order,bio or adopted,  so don't think you can prevent that 100%. Our goal is to educate educate educate, infuse self-esteem and maintain a hawk's eye on ours.


Mama to Ru cutie (a. age 3, fall 2006) and foster to adopt  wonder-child (arrived a. 3,  2010) 

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#8 of 15 Old 02-17-2011, 09:45 AM
 
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I realize this was more of a ha-ha statement, but I think that you can learn to mitigate these tendancies, and you must.  The children in your home (those you adopt as well as the children you already have) deserve your attention and consideration beyond your impulse to rescue and pity.  Are you someone who can't say no?  Who doesn't know your limits?  Who believe you have none, as long as there is someone else out there that needs you?  These are things, IMO, that you should really seek to understand about yourself and learn how to deal with them--you'll have a leg up (and honestly, these are things that are good things for ANY person to know about themselves!). Navigating the system (whether it's the international system or foster system or whatever) requires you to be aware and tough in many ways.  In some ways, I think having an overly tender heart is an indulgence and a liability, if it takes away your ability to truly assess what your family can handle and/or being able to see your intended child for who they are (and certainly, they deserve this--after all many older adoptees have suffered, they at least have someone *see* them without being clouded over by fantasy or pity.).  And it's dangerous for everyone IMO when people are not able or empowered or aware enough to say "no" when it is called for because all they see is the naked need of a situation-- it often leads to a lot of heartbreaking consequences--and not even primarily for the adoptive parents, it's the kids (both bio and not) who are going to suffer just as much, if not more in some cases.

 

But adopting a child is not rescuing animals, which I know you know.  I just think it's a good idea to think as rationally as you can in advance so you know your guidelines.  Once you are up to your eyeballs in picture listings, or referrals (if that's how the process works with the program you choose), it's harder to set your boundaries, esp. when all the fears (what if this is my only chance?  what if no one else wants this child?) creep in.

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Originally Posted by ShellieC View Post

  I've always had a heart for the "underdog," the "unwanted", which is how I ended up with a houseful of special needs cats and dogs when I worked at a humane society, so wonder how that will affect the adoption.  :D 

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#9 of 15 Old 02-20-2011, 12:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nicolelynn View Post

A guy who spoke at our training (I forget the title, he is with the CPS unit that actually physically removes children from homes) said it best: "All these children want is a family. All you have to do is open up your home and love them. It won't cost you a lot".

 

 


That's a lovely sentiment, but it's far from the reality of parenting foster kids -- some of them are somehow amazingly resilient, and adjust well and thrive with "just love", but many, many others have suffered such loss and trauma that they need A LOT more than just love, and it WILL cost you a lot emotionally, mentally, physically, financially, etc, etc... It may all be worth it, and very often kids do grow and adjust and heal in a reasonable amount of time, but it seems naive to throw out the "all they need is love" during foster parent training -- though this was probably just one small snippet of the training, I assume...


We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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#10 of 15 Old 02-20-2011, 01:40 PM
 
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I completely agree, Tiffani. It sounds like something you'd say when you were trying to encourage people to adopt a dog or cat. That's why it's so important that experienced foster parents and CPS staff co-lead the preservice (and ongoing) training.

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#11 of 15 Old 02-21-2011, 01:09 PM
 
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Many children never stop longing for their biological families regardless of age of removal. This also has to be something that adoptive parents are willing to accept and take a risk on.


 
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#12 of 15 Old 02-21-2011, 08:16 PM
 
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With all due respect, I completely understand these things...you make it sound like I am ignorant. I have researched, read books and talked to people for 2 years about all of this. Our social workers are extremely experienced, one has 20 years experience in the field and has adopted 2 special needs (FAS, bipolar that lead to hospitalization, etc). The gentleman who spoke was a guest speaker and like I said worked with the removal unit, whatever its called.

 

I agree that they very much try to make everything positive, including the sw that has adopted. I figure if anyone has room to speak. it's her..she has walked it.

 

Yes, count the cost. Yes, it won't be easy. But what is my comfortable life worth if kids keep suffering aging out the system with no forever family, and in turn becoming a blight on society. It's time we all start being more positive. A little positive thinking, humor and selflessness goes a long way. "It won't cost you a lot"...what is changing someone's life worth?

 

Sorry, I don't mean to lash out....and I know many of you here have experience. I am just passionate about we as individuals in this society needing to get off our rears and do something about these tens of thousands of kids in foster care.


Happily married to DH for 6 years, in process to foster-adopt 3 children DD4, DS3 and DS2. We may be bringing half brother age 9 one day as well! We are not infertile, we just have decided that since there are precious children who need homes there is no need for us to have biological children.

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#13 of 15 Old 02-21-2011, 08:28 PM
 
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what do you mean by a "blight on society?"


Quote:

Originally Posted by nicolelynn View Post

 

Yes, count the cost. Yes, it won't be easy. But what is my comfortable life worth if kids keep suffering aging out the system with no forever family, and in turn becoming a blight on society. It's time we all start being more positive. A little positive thinking, humor and selflessness goes a long way. "It won't cost you a lot"...what is changing someone's life worth?

 

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#14 of 15 Old 02-22-2011, 11:51 AM
 
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ShellieC, I don't know what the specific standards are around foster-to-adopt in your province, but in ours, it's not a program that's offered.  You are either a foster parent or an adoptive parent. That's not to say some foster parents don't end up adopting children they foster, but the laws around crown wards make it difficult and CAS' mandate is child welfare and to return children to their biological parents where possible.  Our foster parents, for example, fostered 25 children before 1 was made available for adoption.  They had fostered upwards of 30 kids when our children were placed with them - for 1.5 years as foster children, and then it took another year for them to become available for adoption and be placed with us in their forever family. 

 

We didn't adopt out of birth order as we adopted first and are about to have our first biological child, so I can't comment on that.  I can say it's been very difficult and trying at times, yet rewarding.


DW and I are moms to two teens (DD 17 and DS 15) adopted through CAS in 2007 and a toddler (DD 2) born at home in March 2011.

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#15 of 15 Old 02-23-2011, 12:04 PM
 
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nicolelynn, I honestly am not calling you ignorant, I just find that an unusual sentiment for an adoption professional to present to potential foster parents/adoptive parents.  I think it is important to be positive about foster parenting and adoption, because for the most part, it is usually positive.  BUT, as long as they were also presenting the harder side, and dare I say it... the "negative side" then it's just a little bit of candy coating that does also have its place in discussions about adoption and foster care.  Without the feel good, do my part for these kids and for society bit, a lot of people wouldn't ever become foster parents or adopt.  The problem lies with people who stay in that frame of mind, and end up emotionally abusing their children because these kids, for whom they have sacrificed so much, don't appreciate their sainthood.  That's why I take issue with the candy coating, because it CAN cause huge problems for families down the road... 

I also need to eat my words about Canadian foster care being "better", though I don't think I came right out and used that phrase... my friend who fosters here is going through a tough RU situation, knowing that the social worker assigned to her little guy is more interested in RU (because that is a "successful" outcome) rather than keeping little guy safe. He's been with her for a while now, but is going back to parents who have been through addiction treatment, but there is no oversight to make sure he will be safe. really hoping family has it together, but it's upsetting that nobody will be checking up on them at all. Is that common in the US too, if a social worker drops a case against a family, that there is no supervision whatsoever, even if the family has a huge history of neglect and drug exposure? This little guy has two older sibs who are in permanent care with other families, but little guy's worker wants him returned to his parents. so, yeah, the system is obviously broken up here as well.... sigh.

We're Tiffani , Mark , Lucy (9/99) , Dexter (8/01) ,and Zachary Marvin (3/07) and Naomi Rose (6/09), home 11/10, by way of Ugandan adoption.

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