A year ago we decided that we needed to move. Our tiny house in the ghetto felt too small for even the two of us and the neighborhood was going downhill and we just needed a change. So we bought a new house, which we love. It's in the downtown area and when the weather was nice (Is winter ever going to be over? It just doesn't seem possible right now. I AM OVER THIS COLD COLD HELL.) we were biking to work every day. The new house comes with some fantastic neighbors (mostly without children) and five bedrooms. Even after using bedrooms for us, a guest room, an office and a family room we were left with an extra one. After our old house, which was a tiny bungalow, this seems an embarrassment of riches. (There is more than one bathroom people! I'm like Bill Freaking Gates! Two people can get ready for work AT THE SAME TIME.)
I started researching adoption agencies. I requested information from a few. A lot of them felt squicky to me. Heavy on flowery prose, light on actual information. There is a big law firm in town that does nothing but adoption and they do a lot of recruitment that is very heavy on anti abortion rhetoric. It's a business and it feels like it. Even most of the not for profits seemed the same way. I found one agency that advertised in what seemed like an ethical manner, and seemed diverse and upfront and committed to open adoptions...and then I started looking at the foster adoption pages.
Coming to adoption, for me, was about letting go of some things I really wanted. I wanted to experience pregnancy, I wanted to have a child that maybe had some of my genetics, flaws and all, to have a shared heritage. But I'm never going to have that. I am never going to have that. I'm just not. And somehow, in finally coming to peace with the fact that I will never have that, I felt like it opened me up to being okay with some other things. If I was going to miss feeling my child kick in the womb, maybe it was okay to miss their first steps. If I didn't teach them to walk, well, maybe I could teach them to run. Somehow letting go and accepting those first losses made the possibility of other losses a lot easier to imagine.
After we called and got registered for classes A and I started looking at the children that are legally free here. For the most part, the ones that make it to the states photo listings are older and often part of a sibling group.
And many, even most of them have problems, seen and unseen, but they are all lovely in their own ways. It's like the floodgates have opened and each thing we decide we are okay with makes it easier to be okay with the next thing. If we were okay with a toddler, well, school age would be easier for our schedules, and we love our nieces and nephews that are 6 and 8. And if we are okay with 6 and 8, 10 is still a great age and look at this available girl who couldn't be more like me and is 10! And then our caseworker called and suddenly we are having a serious conversation about teenagers. We have both worked with teenagers and you know what? My college kids are still my kids. They still need advice and mentoring and somebody to help them. So young teenagers? They have years of childhood left.
(And then all this super chill, mature, zen state leaves me and I realize that we'd be teaching kids to drive in a year or two. That, I am not sure I am ready for. Or dating? Not ready. This potential kids are good looking children. We'd need to have some serious conversations with them. And don't even get me started on college costs.)
So, back to the practical side of things...
Our homestudy should be soon, probably within the next week or two. We have taken all our classes (which is a whole 'nother post) but they don't schedule the homestudy until you have all your paperwork in, which we did not. But we were close enough and they thought these kids were a good enough match that they want to submit us for them. So now we are rushing to get everything in place. The pets have gotten their vaccines updated, we went to the doctor (for an hour and a half. Seriously, how long does it take to fill out a form that says "Not close to death, mentally ill, or on drugs"?) and there is now a fire extinguisher on each floor of the house.
So now we keep cleaning (and locking up alcohol and bleach and oh god, a kid could fall right the hell out of those windows, do we secure them or is that a fire hazard and why the hell would a teenager fall out that window and even if I secure them, a teenager can undo a damn baby lock.) and freaking the fuck out.
(Oh shit, I need to clean up my language.)