The Next Steps
My wonderful wife, is a researcher. As a teacher, she has a lust for learning new things and researching all she can to learn about something new. One of the nights while researching she came across, “Adopting from Foster Care.” What an amazing idea!!! Adopting from foster care. We could be the forever family for a child or children within our state foster care. For me, I am a skeptic. It seems too good to be true. It’s too easy. So, being a phenomenal teacher, my wife registered us for a class covering the process and everything to expect when you adopt from foster care. Nothing could prepare me for what I was going to hear or learn in this class.
We made our way to Southwest Wisconsin on some weekday morning. I can’t remember quite which day it was, but it was gloomy. The class was at some college campus that I have never heard of, but it seemed nice. The instructors were two, somewhat new, social workers. The class was packed and we naturally were one of the last ones there. It reminded me of being in college that very first day of class when you get to stand up and introduce yourself and say at least one thing about yourself you want the class to know. It played out in my mind, “Hi, My name is Adam and we can’t get pregnant.” It was as if it was in bright flashing lights all over my forehead. After we had all introduced ourselves the instructors got down to business.
We received hand out upon hand out, discussing the process of adopting from foster. The class got interesting when they started to discus the needs and experiences of the children. They turned on a movie and at this point I thought I could take a nap. But the movie was eye opening….even heart opening. The movie was from the child’s perspective and how they felt living in foster and being adopted. My attention was especially captured when the children in the movie started to talk about how they may act out at first. That they may hit you, hurt other children in the home, even hurt pets in the home, and that they may even start a fire in the home. Wait, is this what we are signing up for? Are we doing the right thing, considering adoption from foster care?
The video below isn’t the exact video that we watched but it evoked the same emotions. Feel free to watch parts 2 and 3 which can be found on youtube.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the classroom after watching that video. Who new there could be so many experiences that these children may have gone thru. I guess I was living under a rock and incredibly naive to what could be going on right down the street. The instructors didn’t sugar coat a thing. In fact they said that these are all very real possibilities.
I couldn’t help but let the tears continue to run down my face. All I could think about were all these children in the system going from home to home to home. We knew right then that we would be filling out the inquiry paperwork to see if there were children that would fit our profile. At the end of the class they handed us that rather simple form. Ok…so maybe it wasn’t quite that simple. It was 5 pages or so back to back asking lots of questions. And they weren’t just any questions. They were very personal questions. Then all you had to do was mail it off to the state to review.
The next couple weeks would seem to take forever. Everyday one of us would rush to get the mail in hopes that a response would be there from the state saying there were children that fit our profile. For those that know me, know that I am not a patient person. But patience is something that I would need to learn, especially if I am going to make it thru they adoption process. About 4 weeks after we submitted our profile to the state we finally received a response. It was a rather thin envelope and I had immediate dread overcome me. I reminded me of receiving college letters in high school…the thicker the envelope the better. We rushed into the house to open the letter hoping to share in the joy of the children we were matched with. But to quote the letter…
“We sincerely appreciate your application and profile to adopt from the Wisconsin State Foster Care. We regret to inform you that there are no available children that match your profile at this time. Please consider resubmitting your profile in the future.”
Instant sadness rushed over me. What?!?! How can there be no children? This was the first time that we felt rejection thru our long mountainous journey. That moment was only foreshadowing the future that was laid out for us. After we accepted what we read, we would call our parents to let them know. This wasn’t exactly easy either. Every parent wants to see their child happy. We learned that this journey was going to not only impact us but our immediate family as well. Both the positive and negative would reverberate thru our families.
Somehow we will find the strength to continue to move forward in our journey. We knew we were being called to adopt but we just didn’t know when or which child. It would take sometime to muster the emotional strength to take the next step. After feeling what was a huge loss, we knew deep down it wasn’t going to be the last time we had that feeling. For now we remained a family of two…oh yea and our puppies Jack and Bailey.