Have you noticed how great a mom-in-law I have? Take a look at her comment on the previous post. I know, it's just not fair. No explaining Jonathan, though...
Anyway, I figured I'd get around to the foster-to-adopt thing. Thank you, fair readers who might still be slogging through my blog, for tolerating one more post on our adoption research.
We haven't totally given up on the good old US of A yet, except for one thing: I think it might make me a criminal.
There is no WAY I am capable of dropping off an in-process of adoption toddler I love at their birthparents' home for court-mandated visits during which they will suffer the kind of treatment that required their removal from the home in the first place. If I had evidence the parents were screwing up again with a child I loved, I would be crushed and angry and... it just would not work for me.
The other huge consideration is Toby. I'd rather not parade kids who might be, might not be siblings through our home only to lose them because of nutty legal problems.
I literally have to limit my exposure to the stories out there about what happens to kids in the system in the States. Most happens at the hands of their bio-parents, despite the impression given by a few well-advertised cases of foster parents being evil. Just this morning, for example, I read that in a huge survey of the kids themselves (1951-1984), 90% "always feel safe" in their placed homes. I also read a story about some seriously messed-with, messed-up kids being given to some unwitting family by the state of Florida (who refused to warn the family or share the boys' extensive psych files and is now paying a settlement) with poor consequences all around.
We haven't written off a domestic kiddo completely, but it is a very bleak state of affairs here. I am not convinced open adoption is better for the kids, and I don't like the idea of trying to win over a birthmom to have her pick us from a pageant of other potentials. We're meeting with some friends who have been through several types of adoption and hope to get some good advice and clear leading.
Do what's in front of you.
Run your own race.
Is there any better advice out there? In fact, the first friend/mentor I remember telling me this was herself an adoptive mom to a developmentally delayed behaviorally challenged toddler and a crack baby. Both boys are completely at or above average now, and a big happy part of her life along with a baby she had the year we left Madison.