"" Writer's Wanderings: Adoption--Bonding 3

Monday, July 18, 2005

Adoption--Bonding 3

Whenever we talked about a family, Bob and I had always said that if the first two babies were the same sex, we would adopt the opposite to round out the family. Thus, we planned on three children. God has such a sense of humor...

With twin boys and a single birth resulting in another boy, we set out to find an adoption agency to begin a search for a daughter. The first attempt (when our youngest was two) fizzled when the social worker heard my children's voices in the background as I spoke with her on the phone.

"We're not accepting applications from people who have already been blessed with children of their own," she said stiffly.

I felt chastised. How could I have the audacity to ask for more children when there were couples who were childless? In my naivete, I hung up and did not pursue the issue further until the twins were 12 and Andy was 9, and I was much more savy about adoption and it's fit for our family.

I had no desire to adopt a baby. Bob would have loved it. He's the "baby person" in the family. I wasn't ready to take on diapers again and extend our initial parenting term another 10 years. We set out specifically to find a girl between 3 and 8 years of age. The other parameters we set included adopting special needs such as learning diabilities or slight retardation and/or a sibling group of 2.

We found an adoption agency in NE Ohio that dealt with "hard to place children" and began their orientation program. They explained the types of abuse the chidren placed in the system had experienced (basically: sexual, physical, and/or abuse from neglect). The other form of abuse came from just being "in the system"--shuffling from foster home to foster home, often for years.

The other part of their program was to get us to evaluate our strenghts and weaknesses as a parent. Could we parent a child who had been a thief? Sexually active? Usesd foul language? Was hyperactive? We discovered some things about each other that we didn't know before. I thought I could handle a thief but not someone who had been sexually active. Bob was just the opposite.

All this led up to our "white glove" home study, which really wasn't so bad. Then, we waited...

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