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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Adoption Is Not Expensive. End of Story.

It's not and I'd love to debate this topic all day long.  I guess I just don't understand that when a person opens their heart to the idea of adoption, how they can ONLY think about private adoption or, well, I'll just come out and say it, not adopting a foster child.  Then they say that adoption is too expensive so they'll have to wait or that they just can't do it at all because of the expense. So then there they are, open to the idea of adopting, but closed to foster care.  Please explain it to me someone! Please!  I'm being serious, I want to know if it's because people assume that adopting through foster care is expensive (honestly, it's practically free, no joke) or that you think those kids are different than the kids born to birth parents who choose a private adoption or is that you think it's only older kids or that they'll get taken away and given back to their birth parents.   I've been asked several times by people whether my son was exposed to drugs and alcohol, is that maybe a concern some of you have?

I guess for some reason, I can't wrap my head around the idea that if someone finally decides that adoption is right for them, will then wait years or not even pursue it at all because of the costs, and won't even attempt doing it through the foster care system and possibly not become parents any time soon but still continue to be heart broken over their infertility and upset when others get pregnant and they still aren't.  Can I tell you how everyone from family to friends to coworkers embraced our foster sons, hugged them, bought them presents, came over to visit them, constantly asked how they were doing, and we were told over and over what an amazing gift we were giving those boys and we in turn could tell them they were such a gift to us, we can't even begin to explain it.  Because at the end of the night, they give us hugs and kisses and I'm the one they shout, "Mom, MOM!" to multiple times a day!

I completely understand that some couples are not open to adoption OR some couples have the money to do a private adoption and I'd never suggest someone become an adoptive parent through foster care if they aren't 100% committed to being a foster child's permanent parent because those kids deserve the world, but I want to know what is it?!  Why is that barely anyone mentions this adoption route?  Be honest, be truthful, and if you have questions about it that have held you back from deciding to do it, I'd be more than happy to answer those questions.


  1. I think it is the unknown. I am a control freak and infertility is hard because I cannot control it but I think adoption would be even harder. I also do not know what all is involved in adopting from the foster care system. I would also be afraid of getting attached to a child and the child having to return to his or her birth parents. I think most of my worries about adoption in general stem from my lack of knowledge about the subject. Please inform us as much as possible.

  2. Hmm.. I'm a huge follower of your videos... since the beginning.. but, I find this post to be a little unfair.. Adoption IS expensive... and foster care adoption isn't for everyone. Yes, there are many babies and children out there without families. Our hearts DO break for them. But there are many other aspects involved with just 'adopting from foster care'.. a lot of the time, the children are bi racial.. or a different race than you. No, maybe it shouldn't matter, however, there is real life consequences to this choice in some circles of the world.. as well in some families. Being adopted can be hard enough on a child, then you throw in being biracial.. then you throw in being biracial with the 'white parents'.. then you go on with your racist family members.. imagine the child growing up in that family.. where only his parents will love them and see them for who they are.. and is an outcast to everyone else.. is that world better? gosh, i wouldn't think so. I could go on and on about this. Yes, we teach tolerance... yes, we hope that discrimination has died... but the truth is, it is very real. It's very real in your local classrooms.. Kids are cruel. Heck, grown ups are cruel. After years of infertility.. sometimes you dont want anyone to be mean to you anymore.. you dont want the words to sting.. you dont want the stares and the 'sympathy looks'. you want to be normal.. Foster care isn't the way for everyone to go. Me personally, I couldn't take the heartache. This child can be with you for years and years and years.. This is a very real reality.. and then one day, they are gone. They were your child.. you loved them as your own. But not everyone is adoptable that is in the system.. as the system doesn't allow it... for whatever reason. You are very lucky in your state for this to be a real option.. where I live.. you are more a residents while the adults in this childs life are handed 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 16th, etc chances, until maybe one day they finally grow up. Secondly, you have a child.. you're been lucky enough to be able to birth your own child. When you took your foster son in, why wasn't that enough.. why did you keep going with the fertility treatments.. why wasn't fostering that child enough for you? Why will you continue to try to have another child instead of going the foster care route again? Honestly, if you didn't get pregnant, and you adoption of your foster son wasn't an option, do you really believe that in your heart of hearts your heart could of handled it when he was taken away? You know there is no other want of being a mother when you can't be one.. to be able to have a taste of that.. to be a MOM.. to love this being with all of yourself.. and have it taken away.. sigh.. It would literally kill me.. it would ruin my marriage (and again, from previous posts.. you know first hand how difficult infertility has been on you and your relationship with your husband.. even with friends)... It would feel as if my baby died.. not a miscarriage.. but as if your baby had died.. yes, people do experience this tragedy first hand in their life.. and i grieve for everyone of their stories i've read.. i cry for everyone one of their photos they've posted on their blogs.. that is what it would feel like to me .. and in a way, it would be a death. a death that your family doesnt understand.. your support system most likely wouldn't get the loss you would be grieving.. heck, most of them dont even get the infertility... Sigh.

  3. I totally agree with you! And I have to completely disagree with the above comment that most kids in foster care are biracial. My cousin (we were raised as sisters though) adopted two of their three girls from foster care and their white. They were open to any race, and they are foster parents. They have been so for 6 years now. The oldest girl they want to adopt but she just turned 18. She still lives with them and will forever be a part of our family.

    The two girls we were trying to adopt in 2008 were not biracial either our adoption fell through.

    And I had a miscarriage, my son was just reaching the cut off point where he would have been considered a still birth. I can tell you it's every bit as paiful. My baby died, and unless you experience it you honestly don't know. I thought I knew. I didn't. We loved H and H and we were in the ninth month of going to court and filing out paper after paper and I can tell you that losing our son was much much much harder.

    Also you can adopt a foster child from any state no matter what state you're a resident of.

  4. @We are the Lucky Ones- I guess I was very lucky to go into the foster care process with having known 2 families very well that had done it already that were very similar to my husband and I so it was nice to ask what the REAL truth was and to hear their tips about the process and what to expect. I think the social workers have a hard time balancing encouraging prospective families to apply and telling them the good parts with balancing explaining all the "pitfalls" of the system. I'll try and organize my thoughts and start from the beginning on how to go through the foster care process:)

  5. @Anonymous- My point of this post was to point out that Adoption through Foster Care is pretty much free....while private adoptions are not so that when people continue to say that "Adoption is expensive." I want those that are willing and open to the foster care system to know that it is anything BUT expensive and if money is a worry, that maybe they should explore foster care adoption. I say explore, I don't say feel obligated but I'd hate for someone to go their whole life without being parents because of the misconceptions of adoption through the foster care system.

    About the kids not being white or biracial......that's another misconception. Are the majority not white, yes. But you are allowed to specifically ask for a Caucasian baby and if you want, you can wait for a baby that potentially looks like you and honestly, if you are willing to adopt a kid from foster care, no one is going to guilt trip you about not just taking ANY child. That was not my choice but for 2 of my friends it was. They adopted babies that were blond hair, blue eyes and I don't feel like they should feel bad about their specifications. They still gave 2 kids a great life! So the short answer is, absolutely if you want a kid to look just like you, you can do that! HAPPENS ALL THE TIME. I'm not going to justify any family members being racist or not accepting a child regardless of their race, I can't believe we still deal with that in our society today, makes me a little sick but it is what it is and I’m just thankful my family is not that way. And my immediate and extended family is all white, but they were extremely accepting of my son who is 50% native American.

    For the comment about them being with you for years and years and taken away.....that's why i mentioned legally free, risk free adoptions. You can choose to only take in a baby that's parents’ rights have been terminated and that social workers have done their due diligence to contact family members that might be acceptable placements.

    Concerning this comment " When you took your foster son in, why wasn't that enough.. why did you keep going with the fertility treatments.. why wasn't fostering that child enough for you? Why will you continue to try to have another child instead of going the foster care route again?" I was approved for foster care on 3/21/2009, that SAME DAY I found out I was pregnant (you can watch the YT video, I've got an announcement!) so I could have just stopped then and never even brought a foster child into my home. My foster sons arrived on 4/29/2009, I was over 12 weeks pregnant at that time so I was not doing fertility treatments. My last "fertility treatment" was in early January 2009. I wrote this post not to tell people to stop TTC'ing a biological baby or to even not do a private adoption (if you have the money to go the private adoption route, by all means, you can do that, I'm speaking to the people that say they want to adopt but that it's too expensive, I repeated that over and over). So my answer to your question about why would I try and get pregnant again instead of adoption foster care is that I have successfully given birth to a baby and I sure hope that I can do it again. I'd NEVER tell people to give up trying to conceive and just go get a kid from foster care. I'm ONLY speaking to those that want to adopt and feel that the cost is their only road block. I'd hate for anyone that desired to be a mom so bad that can't conceive for whatever reason and do not have the money to do a private adoption to miss out on the chance to do it through foster care.

    My son could still be taken away from me, I'd be heart broken, I'd probably need to go to counseling and I'd think about him every day for the rest of my life but I'm willing to risk that chance. I did not do a legally free placement so I took this risk; I'm telling everyone out there, there are ways around such a big risk.

  6. @Anonymous Part 2-I think you made a great point that losing the baby would kill you and ruin your marriage because it's hard. I was told just about every 6 weeks that my son would go back to his birth mom (because I did not choose a legally free placement, reunification was the states priority) but the truth is, people in the time of tragedy are stronger than they ever thought they could be. I'm just like you that I cry when I read blogs and posts about miscarriages, pregnancies that didn't end with a healthy baby or when kids are tragically killed with no fault to the parent and you know what, people can survive. I don't want to imagine having to go through that but that is life. I understand how tough it is on a marriage. My husband is so empathetic to my son's birth mom and I'm usually mad as hell at her for being such a terrible mom but in the end we are committed to being supportive to each other and being the best parents we can be. I had my son's half-brother for 4 months and my family cried when he left, we cried when he came to visit for a couple hours at my house (after he left because we didn't want to scare him) because my family felt like he was a family member.

    I'm a bit concerned that some of your comments about your family make them seem so unsupportive and I hope that you can find a strong support system through friends or other TTC'ers no matter what route you take.

    I hope this answered some of your questions and like I said, if someone is not 100% committed to adopting through foster care, they should not even get involved in it. I'm just trying to clear up some misconceptions about the process and the kids that are out there to adopt. They don't have the voice to "make a case" to their potential moms so I'm going to do the best job I can to do it for them!

  7. @Elisabeth- Thank you for sharing your family's experience with adoption. I'm so sorry about your loss:(

    Thank you for adding that you can adopt from any state, that is very important, and I would have completely missed adding that fact in.

  8. Brandi- thank you so much. I just sent an email to a friend the other day- I told her I felt like my clock was ticking away- (you know, that nearly 30 feeling!) Thank you so much for this post. You are right- I was confused with the adoption process- my friends adopted a little boy (8 yrs) and it has been a 3 yr mess. Some others wanted to adopt, but all that the adoption agencies want to give out now are Open adoptions, so my other friends stopped persuing b/c they want a closed. As much as I thought Ii knew about the process, I was blinded by the "foster care" aspect. I am interested in it now though and since this post, i dont feel pressured to get pregnant by march to have a baby this year, i feel that if it doesnt happen- my husband and i would be GREAT foster parents. So, with foster care, after you do all the "stuff" to be approved- what happens next? Do you get to specify what age? fostering means until placement, but in your situation, you kept the smaller child, or am i confused? Im interested in knowing more- and are you saying it's basically a free adoption if it "doesnt work out?" sorry totally lost on that one! GREAT POST! :)

  9. Hi Annie! Our adoption will be closed, and so is everyone else I know that has done it through foster care but we have agreed to send a letter and pictures every 6 months as long as the birth mom keeps us updated of her current address. We also agreed to have a PO Box that she can send whatever to at any time but it's solely up to our discretion whether we pass those items on to him before he's 18 and that will just depend on what she sends. We'll never hide the fact he's adopted but we're just playing that part by ear. She did want us to agree to MONTHLY visits and we said absolutely not, then she asked for Holidays, we said absolutely not. I'll write the post today about getting approved but yes you can specify age, race, gender, just about anything. We would have 100% kept both boys but they were half brothers and the older one that was 2 1/2, his dad didn't know he was a dad until just a couple months before they came into the system and he worked out of town so before he could talk to a lawyer, they were in foster care and because he wasn't a part of his sons life prior to this, the foster care system decided to keep his son with us until he could prove that he could parent this child and because they didn't want to break that sibling bond. But in the end, he turned out to be an awesome guy who we have a great relationship with and I even wrote a letter of recommendation to help him get a scholarship for college. But he also did not have the means to parent 2 kids and we understood and we did not think that was the best idea anyways. The adoption is practically free no matter what the judge decides in the end! In my state, you don't even have to pay for your lawyer, you get to choose one and in the end, the payments processed through foster care system. You also don't pay for homestudies, background checks, fingerprinting, classes, etc. Okay, I better just go write a post before I write ANOTHER novel, LOL!

  10. We are currently in the process of doing the foster to adopt. We start our classes this Thursday. CAn you tell me how long it was once you were done that you got a child?

  11. From Orientation until our placement was 3 1/2 months. From the time we completed our classes it was 2 1/2 months (however we probably could have received a placement a month sooner if someone would have told me to call the placement worker several times a week asking if there were kids she was trying to place!). Keep me posted on how everything is going!