This blog has been dormant for three years, and for National Adoption Day, I am reviving it to share some of my new experiences as a soon-to-be adoptive mom to a 12 year old foster boy.
If you've followed this blog from 2003 to 2006, you know that I had a two-year struggle with four back-to-back miscarriages. I wrote candidly about this time, detailing each loss and the ways I handled the aftermath including alternative treatments to miscarry naturally and a healing ceremony I held to honor my losses.
Then I carried a baby full term in mid-2006. She is now an intelligent, creative 9 year old girl.
In this blog, I also wrote about the darkness that overtook me as I suffered from untreated Post Partum Depression for a year. I outlined my subsequent treatments, medication, and then titration off the medication.
This is a new chapter in parenting for me, for us. While we spoke about adopting a child in between miscarriages, we couldn't fathom it during the dark years of PPD or during the years we spent isolated in rural Alaska.
Once we moved to Arizona and life was on an even keel, we spoke aloud the word "Adoption" again, and it felt right. We didn't want to pursue an international adoption.
"There are so many kids in our own community in desperate need of a loving home," we thought.
So the 9 year old and I went to a local adoption agency to inquire about adopting out of foster care.
We started our process in October 2014. I'll blog more about the steps we had to take to get certified to adopt soon.
We were certified to adopt in January 2015 then were told we had to take a 12 week course on foster care. Even though we were not planning on fostering, only adopting, technically we would be fostering for six months before the adoption would be final once we identified a child to adopt and began the process to foster/adopt.
We completed the course in May 2015. Even while still in class, we were told of about a 6 year old boy available for adoption and were one of 20 families who expressed interest in adopting him. We were eventually one of four families being considered for him, but another family was chosen.
More on that process soon - definitely emotionally complex.
Around the same time in June 2015 when we were "short-listed" for the 6 year old boy, we learned about an 11 year old boy who was available to adopt. From the start, we thought a boy younger than our daughter would be fitting so she could be the big sister. But the youth advocate from our adoption agency urged us to not choose based on age and insisted that she felt this was the boy for us.
After we heard his story, I felt pretty certain this would be our son. After meeting him, we were even more certain. But that certainty was just a flicker in the entire process that spanned five months and took us on a roller coaster ride of paperwork, processes and procedures, encounters and emotions.
We had no real road map for this journey, and never anticipated the twists and turns that would transpire - and that we still face. I hope that by blogging openly about our experiences, we can help other families who are going through the same thing.
I also hope this rekindled blog lights a fire within the hearts of others who have thought "Maybe I should adopt" and moves them to act.
We were busy professionals in our 50s with an only child. We're now even busier as we adapt to our new life with a now 12 year old boy. I hope you'll follow our journey.
And please ask any questions you might have about adopting out of foster care. Every situation is unique, but I'm eager to share ours.