Thursday, April 18, 2013

Why not adopt through foster care?

I've had people tell us that we should adopt through the state foster care system.  Their's cheaper.  Well, there are a lot of things that go into a decision to adopt and which direction to go.  Some adopt using a lawyer and search for their own birthmom/birthparents, some adopt through the foster care system, some through a private agency, some use a surrogate mother and some adopt donor eggs.  These are all very personal decisions and creating a family is a very personal thing because in most people's minds a family is created genetically...meaning, well, you get my drift.  This makes it a very private matter.  Then when the genetics aren't working for a myriad of reasons, couples turn to seek out other options to become parents and build their family. 

For us, we prayed and ask the Lord what direction He desired for us to go and out of all the options we initially went with a non-profit agency that had all volunteer workers which made their costs a lot less.  However, this option resulted in a failed adoption for us in 2008.  This meant, we saw the birth of the baby, named him and two days later after taking him home and believing he was our son, actually wasn't.  We had to return him to his parents because their parental rights hadn't yet been terminated and they couldn't go through with placing their son for was just too painful for them.  This is called a legal risk placement.  This doesn't happen with everyone, but it happened to us so we decided to reevaluate things and seek the Lord more intently because the desire to be parents outweighed every mountain that seemed to stand in our way.

So, money isn't THE determining factor for us or really any person who becomes a parent either genetically or through adoption.  Being led by the Lord must be the determining factor as parenting has challenges right from the beginning for all.  While we had a successful experience with Bethany Christian Services that doesn't mean that's the direction for everyone to go as each family is different. 

Another factor for us was we desired the newborn infant experience...the sleepless nights, the nurturing and being a part of all the firsts.  We didn't want to miss those things. 

Often when adopting through foster care, children have been abused or neglected...not all, but many.  These are factors that have to be considered because they bring a lot of additional things to handle and deal with to the picture of parenting. 

Most people may not realize the goal of foster care is to rejoin the children with their biological family unless their rights have already been terminated.  Since we had already brought a child into our home and had the experience of having to return the child to their biological parents, we weren't willing to walk down this road again.

Also, the average age of a foster child is 7 years old so while that works for some families and is a good fit, it wasn't the right fit for us.  There are many needs in the foster care system and that may be a route we consider later in life, I don't know.  Currently there are 107,000 children available through U.S. Foster Care System.  This means their parents rights have been terminated and they are legally free to be adopted.  For now, Bethany Christian Services is where the Lord has us. 

Nia Vardolos (Actress from My Big Fat Greek Wedding) recently wrote a book called "Instant Mom" and she tells her beautiful story of her daughter's adoption through foster care.  I've heard a portion of their story through a recent radio broadcast and I'm hoping to get the book and read more!  I would even love to meet her as a book signing!  It's great to see adoption advocates like her so passionate about children connecting with their forever families.  She also talks about the difficult transitions children of all ages go through in an adoption.  These transitions are unique to adoptive children and can be a real struggle for the child and the parents.  If you have time, I encourage you to check out her book or listen to this radio broadcast.  It's really interesting, educational, personal and eye opening.
Another factor for us for this 2nd journey is birth order.  Huh?  Birth order?  Yes.  Just like in a biological family you have a child born 1st, 2nd and so on...the same is true in an adoptive family.  Niyla is our first born and our 2nd child will be our 2nd born child.  Therefore, needs to be younger than Niyla so we are adopting domestically again to have the newborn baby experience.  This is important to us and important to them and their adoption stories as they get older.

Thanks for following!  Until next time...

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