Part of the taxing process in foster-adopting or adoption placement through the foster system is the Rejection Curve. That may not be the technical term but that is what I will call it. The Rejection Curve is like the adoption stage of failed placements, futile matches and the endless string of 'maybe's', 'not-sures' and 'we will review your homestudy and 95% reject you due to our disregard for your overseas station.' I'm sure there are other reasons but this is what we face.
Last week we hit our 9-month mark since we started this foster-adoption process. At the same mark we got an e-mail from our caseworker, two weeks prior to a scheduled placement-phone call between ourselves and another family, to notify us that the child in question had been placed for adoption with a previous foster family who had come forward. It's a bittersweet moment. You want the child, in this case a 10-year-old with attachment needs, to go to a family they are bonded with. You are happy for the child. You are also sad. You are sad because after 9-months or practically a 'full-term' in normal pregnancy time you are at a loss. The room you had been cautiously thinking about is now empty again. It is back to a blank slate. The school supply list can be set aside. Some sponsorship questions can be put on pause. It's kind of like the paper pregnancy version of a miscarriage in the heart. After 13 years of trying, 2 hard years of fertility treatments and the improper advice that it wouldn't take quite as long since we were willing to adopt older children and sibling sets, it was a letdown.
It seems like the process has taught us to compromise. For decades I thought we could have children. Multiple children. With the ease of other moms popping them out like skittles. I slowly adjusted my view to just wanting one healthy baby. I was content to have 9 months of a horrible pregnancy if that was/is the cost. After the treatments and the mood swings and the instability it was causing our marriage we shifted our views to infant adoptions. After the costs and pros and the cons and the reality check we shifted our thoughts towards a broader age range and older child adoption placements. Now I feel lost. He and our friends are secure that in 'God's time' it will work. Which deep down I believe. Just in all honesty I feel lost and that isn't a direction I do often.
It was mentioned in a conversation that if a pregnant woman was 2 months overdue they would be considered 'cute' in their exhaustion and fat belliness. She would be glowing. When it's been 10 months or 2 years and you look haggard and bitchy it isn't taken into account that you are showing the wear and tear of adoption pregnancy.
Understand I am not naive. I know perfectly well the hardships my friends have faced in adopting infants. The $25-45k price tags. The years of waiting and often multiple letdowns before a 3 day notice and a baby. The hardships of those fostering before adopting and getting placed with legal risk children for years before the children are removed from their home and returned to parental custody. The pain and failed attempts at IVF and egg adoption and miscarriages. It all sucks. It is all a mess.
This is our story. The thought that after hundreds of applications and repeatedly reviewing dozens of foster-adotion listing websites and the polite rejections again and again and the profile inquiries for the severely damaged children that we aren't the right home for, we are tired. I know it has just begun. It just seemed after alll of the rejections C could be the kid. He had some issues and we would have a huge learning curve, but it could work. And it didn't.
So the story continues.
My one plea. My one dream is to find a Juno. C'mon, I am from Oregon. I know the statistics. The average age for a methhead mom is 12-to-14 years-old. I worked for the media for over 5 years and I know the statistics are getting worse. I know it is a horrible statistic. The reality is there are wonderful parents like us who would glady embrace your baby if you really feel like you are not in any position to do so. We would share their lives with your parents and the babies relatives. We would give them a loving permanent home. It shouldn't have to cost half of a mortgage. It shouldn't have to be so difficult. Homeless and parentless children everywhere and this is the craziness we face.