Ok, so as you can tell, I’m just a little (LOT) excited for all the craziness that 2012 should provide! I’ve already lived through the impending doom that the year 2000 was supposed to bring, and that was pretty entertaining. 2012 will only be BETTER! Forget the year of the Dragon, this is the year of the ZOMBIE! How many of you let a teeny tiny thought pass through your mind once that clock struck midnight… is this the year the world will end? With all the hype, how could you not? Since we are clearly not going to make it past December this year (:P ), I figure I might as well do all that I can to make this an amazing year! So here I go, starting a new, amazing adventure and I’d like to invite you all to join me.
I didn’t really make resolutions this year. I’m not changing a damn thing, I’m only making everything better, trying harder and loving life. The first step to a great 2012? Well, The Hubby and I have decided that on top of trying to conceive another baby of our own, we are going to adopt! Yep, we’re ready. The Hubby was adopted and we’ve felt compelled to adopt a child as well. I think The hubby is in a situation that not alot of people realize an adopted person can be in. He is absolutely at peace with his adoption, has never considered looking for his birth parents, and loves and adores the life his adopted parents have given him. He was adopted right from birth and understands that for reasons, unknown to him, his birth mother made a hard decision that she felt was the best for him and he accepts it. There are no unresolved issues, no resentment, no hurt. I think because of this experience, The Hubby feels that he is well equipped to provide other children with the same experience and I know that it is our duty to pass on the gift he was given to another child.
So, how does one start the process of adoption? RESEARCH! And here is where I’ll fill you in as I go. You need to sit down and think about a few things before you jump in. What is your lifestyle like? How much money can you afford to spend (a touchy subject, but a valid question)? What type of child are you looking for? Once you get an idea of your expectations and ideas, then you can research your options. Here is what is available to me:
Domestic vs. International: domestic adoption means you are looking for children who come from your area. International adoption means you are looking to adopt a child from another country (usually a third-world country).
Private vs. public: private adoptions mean you’ve gone through an agency. They have screened you using they own standards (which may or may not be regulated by the government in your area) and they help make the child selection for you. The children they have come to them directly from the birth parents and are almost always babies. Public adoption means you’ve gone through your local government child welfare department. This usually means you are adopting children who are a ward of the province. These children range in age and background. Some have been given-up, some taken away from their families, and others orphaned after the loss of both parents.
open vs closed: an open adoption means that you meet the birth mother/parents before the baby is born. Often times, when agencies offer open adoptions, its actually the birth mother/parents who pick the families they would like their child to go to. In some cases there may even be a requirement on your part to maintain a certain level of communication between your family and the birth family. This seems to be a growing trend among agencies to use open adoptions. A closed adoption, on the other hand, means there is no contact between you and the birth parents and no requirements to communicate with them at all.
foster-to-adopt:Our province offers a foster-to-adopt program. This allows parents to foster children in need until a child who fits their family comes along. While they will do their best to place you with a child that they think you will want to adopt, it can’t always be done right away, so in the meantime they allow you to open up your home to other children who need it. As an example, one of our criteria is that we are only looking for children who are younger than KB. We don’t want to disrupt the sibling hierarchy and displace her. Because she is still fairly young, it limits the amount of children available to us, so we could, if we wanted, foster other children until the right one for us came along. Another way this program is used is if a child, who will eventually become adoptable, isn’t yet. So, again using our example, if the perfect child comes along but isn’t legally adoptable yet, we could foster him or her until such a time that we can adopt her.
We’re starting with a government adoption, through the province of Alberta. Our reason is that we aren’t necessarily only looking for a baby and it feels like it’s financially more feasible. The best place to start is with their adoption seminar. They will answer all of your questions and take you through the process of filling in applications, getting references, criminal checks and a home screening. Our seminar is February 1st. While we are waiting we have already filled out the application, and talked (ALOT) about what we are doing. Since it isn’t the first time we’ve looked into this we sort of already knew what we are looking for. The application outlines all of your preferences and you really do have to be very honest about what you want, because these children need homes that will love them and accept them as their own, with no regret. You are asked to identify qualities about your ideal child that you may have never thought of before, such as learning disabilities, history of neglect or child abuse, that you may or may not be able to deal with. Again, being honest means that they can better find a child/ren for whom you are the right fit. Its important to go through the all the things listed and discuss what you are able to deal with. Can your home/lifestyle support physical disabilities? Do you have time to devote to serious emotional or behaviour issues? Will you be ok with involvement from birth family members, siblings, grandparents, or even the birth parents? Are you prepared to deal learning disabilities? Be clear about what you can and cannot support so that you can be the best family possible for the child/ren you are placed with.
We looked into some private adoption agencies as well, and next week I’ll fill you in on how that went! Until then, thanks for reading about our new adventure! We aren’t giving up on our fertility journey, just pursing our adoption plans earlier than we thought we would. Thanks for reading, take care everyone 🙂
I’m Happy, I’m Healthy, I’m Fertile, ttfn, xo