Saturday, September 12, 2009

journey to adoption - what i've learned so far

Our journey to adoption is so not what I expected.

When we began, we had our hearts set on an open, newborn adoption. As the months passed by and nothing was happening, one birthmom looked at our profile, we changed our hearts and our home study to include two siblings between ages 0–5. This would be a foster-adoption. This would mean closed adoption, not really what we wanted.

We've tried to keep our eyes on the prize. We want a child, a family. We still don't know what that means for us. Our path has changed in so many ways, and who knows, we may still end up with an open adoption and a newborn.

Recently, I asked our social worker what is wrong with us. How come no one has chosen us yet. She said it's not us. It has to do with what we are looking for a healthy, Caucasian child, age 0-5. It seems that's what everyone is looking for. It makes me feel bad when we say we want a Caucasian child. But do to where we live, we know that is what is best for the child. We do want what's best for our future child. But it makes me feel so racist, but we are not. I've talked about this with our social worker, and she says we are wise to consider what's best for our child now, rather than later.

I guess a lot of my problem is that with each passing day, I get older and older (I know, so does everyone else). But I'm 44. I'm old enough to be the mother of some of my friends who are also hoping to adopt! My grandma was a grandma at my age! I never wanted to be an old mom, I wanted to be a cool, young mom. Who would pick me? Who will pick me?

I can't help thinking that getting pregnant would solve all our problems. But I know in my heart, that is not going to happen. And yes, people still say "oh, you'll get pregnant as soon as you adopt." I wish. But that just doesn't happen for everyone, contrary to popular belief.

There are many different paths to adoption. None of them easy. Though it does seem to me that the more money you have, the easier it may be to adopt. We are just "normal" people who want a family. Why is it so difficult for us.

Yesterday, our social worker sent me a list of "older" Russian children who need homes. She asked if there were any we were interested in. There was a 4-year-old boy. So I responded that we were interested in him. I asked if they were already in the states. Her response was no, they are in Russia. She knows we cannot afford to go to Russia, or any other country for that matter, to adopt. Our frustration with our social worker continues to escalate. Has she paid no attention to what we've said this past year? She's seen our financial statement? Hello? What the hell was she thinking, dangling these kids in front of us?

We've asked to change social workers within our family services center. We were told point blank NO. If we want to change social workers, we'd have to go some place else and have a new home study - pay for a new home study. This is all very frustrating.

It gives me such a feeling of being out of control. It's our future, our child's future. But our social worker doesn't seem to care. This is where I know having money would help, then one could afford an agency adoption, one where the social worker would actually work to find a child for a family and a family for a child.

We've been working with our social worker for a year and it seems she still doesn't know who we are or what we hope to find.

Ok, I'm getting off course. Our journey to adoption. Not what we expected a year ago when we decided to grow our family by adoption. I guess we were operating under the "Juno principle." We hoped to find a birthmom who wanted to "kick it old style," someone who is looking for a good, loving home for their family, and not looking to make a fortune.

Juno is the fantasy, not reality.

I once had a birthmom tell me "birthmoms hate Juno, adoptive parents love Juno."

Our child is out there. We are not giving up.


ChaneyM said...

Check out the waiting infants at Spence Chapin ASAP program. They are considered special needs, but I'd suggest you think about it because there is a chance they would not have special needs. There were 4 new babies up on Friday. The person to talk to is Gretchen and she works M/W/F. Get your homestudy faxed to her.
Yes, there is a moderate cost involved, but I'd just take it out in a loan or credit card, because otherwise, you don't know how long you're going to have to wait. Maybe you can find something you can sell or take a part time job at Xmas to pay for it.
I hope you look into this!

Julie said...

Chaney, I went there as soon as I got your comment. Thanks sweetie!!!! You rock! Do you know my girl Alicia? I see you are both in Rachacha! ;) Email me if ya wanna. We all need all the support we can get!
Thanks again!

birthmothertalks said...

Can I ask what do you mean that you wish a birthmom who wanted to "kick it old style" and not wanting to make a fortune? I thought only the agency's are making the fortune.

Julie said...

Birthmothertalks -

There are some birth moms who want the potential adoptive parents to pay her rent, medical bills, clothing allowance, AND MORE..

Some of us cannot afford all that and adoption fees as well. As I said, Juno wanted nothing but a loving home for her baby. We hope to find a birth mom like that but are afraid she may not exist. I

I hope I have answered to your satisfaction.. Please let me know if you have any other questions, I'm happy to answer.

Anonymous said...


Boy, can my wife and I empathize with you...when I read your post, it was reading our own experience. We have been trying to find that Caucasian child between the ages of 2-8 for 2 years now. I visit regularly over 9 sites looking for domestic children and I also have a caseworker that is often useless. Actually, after being with my agency for over 5 years now and speaking with organizations alll over the US including Hope for Kids (thay sent me your blog), I have come to one resounding conclusion. Adoption caseworkers and specialists are underpaid, lousy comunicators, lazy, and often politically incorrect. My caseworker is very negative and discouraging most of the time. I am sure you are going through all the same emotions - anger, frustration, sadness. I never felt like a racist because I only chose Caucasian because ultimately everyone has to decide what is right for their lifestyles and family. Getting a healthy child though, is another story. 99%of the children I have some interest in are all special needs. Sad. My wife and I are very cash strapped as well so this is why we chose the state route rather than private.

So we can certainly feel your pain because we are in the same boat...sometimes it helps to speak to people who really understand what you are going thru. If you want to share more, I can always provide an email...Best Wishes, Steve & Alyson