Bryan and I have spent over 30 hours learning about adoption and foster care. We have 6.5 more hours to go before we are allowed to begin our home study where we are asked every personal question imaginable.
We started out wanting to adopt and examined our options: international, domestic infant or waiting children. We decided to go with waiting children because we don't want an infant and don't want to invest a bunch of money into something that will have a big wait. I think the money thing changes you mentally and makes people devastated in the waiting and longing for something they don't have...so much so that it becomes unhealthy sometimes. So we avoided the costly route and went with the county waiting children. Then we found out that most waiting children are 10 years and older. We knew we wanted a child younger than our youngest (Clay is 4 1/2). We knew we also wanted only one girl because we have two boys and it would be hard to avoid the infant stage with two kids younger than Clay. And Bryan would say we are not ready for 2 more kids.
So that led us to the Foster Care Adoption Option where you get foster kids (some available younger than 10) in the hopes that you can adopt that kid(s). We have been through the adoption classes and are now finishing with a few foster care classes. Last night was our first foster care class and we are now considering Foster Care only. We love the idea of helping out a child and parent(s) to restore the relationship and heal some of the wrong stuff that has happened. At the same time, if that didn't work out, we would be happy to adopt. We are also considering 1-2 girls now, still younger than Clay.
This process continues to develop. We are not set on the fact that we need to adopt a child in order to feel fulfilled. We just know that we are supposed to pursue this process and see what comes of it. We have love, compassion, discipline, empathy and loyalty to share. We know that we will most likely not get a white child or one that looks like us (93% of the kids are of color) and that is exciting and challenging.
We love talking to our kids about all of the potential that lies ahead of us. I love their acceptance and questions. This has led to all sorts of challenging conversations. I love it!
This process of growing our family is a process...no conclusion or set ending. We could have another child in our home in 3 months or it may take a year. We are trying to be ready for anything coming our way.