Friday, March 06, 2009
On Adopting...
Good morning ya'll!
I am in a ridiculously fabulous mood.
Thanks for asking :)
I ran five miles yesterday.
Five. Miles.

And then, I took my red face to my final Adoption class where we had a wonderfully in depth discussion with a representative from T.A.R.E. who answered so many questions I had about the adoption process.
You know, these people who work for groups like T.A.R.E. and DFPS and CPS, while they catch a lot of flack, they are truly amazing people. They've devoted their lives to these children and every day, they are out there acting as advocates to them. It's such a heart wrenching and truly under appreciated career and I can definitely say, learning all I've learned recently, how much I appreciate them and the work they are out there doing.

At the end of the class, he handed out a sheet with statistics on it and I wanted to share some of them with ya'll to give you an idea of how much these people are dealing with.
At the end of January 2009, there were 15,519 children in foster care in the state of Texas.
That is 15,519 children who are not living at home, who are living in a volunteer's home or group home. Just in Texas.

In the twenty-eight counties considered to be the San Antonio Region, there were 1,092 adoptions from September 2007 through August 2008 (fiscal year). Of those 590 were adoptions by relatives and 502 by non-relatives.
Which means 502 people just like me completed the same course I am completing and decided to take on someone else's child and make them their own. That's more than a thousand children just in the San Antonio Region who wouldn't have had homes - who would still be in foster care waiting and hoping for someone to love them.

Of children with adoption as their plan at the end of December 2008, these were the demographics for the San Antonio Region:
1% are 12 months or younger (usually with a disability since babies are easily adoptable)
7% are 1-2 years of age
17% are 3-6 years of age
26% are 7-10 years of age
30% are 11-14 years of age
19% are 15 and older

57% are male
43% are female

14% are African-America
14% are White (non Hispanic)
65% are White (Hispanic)
The remaining 7% are Multi-racial, Asian, American Indian or of unknown heritage.

And probably the most amazing stat to me was that:
More than 78% of all children waiting for adoption in our region are part of a sibling group of two or more children.

The more I learn about all of this, the more compelled I feel to do something. These are children, not puppies. They are people.
And no one wants them.
Can you look at your own children and imagine that?
There is a little girl on the T.A.R.E. website who reminds me of Trin so much. She is a few years older than her and autistic and she looks like Trin. And when I see this beautiful little girl's picture remain on the site every week because no one wants to adopt her, it breaks my heart. That could be my daughter if circumstances were different. That could be Triniti's picture up there every week with no one wanting to take on her "issues" because they just want a "normal" little girl.
I'd encourage you, if you are considering having kids or even thinking after having read everything that I have been writing about all of this about the possibility of adopting, look in to it more. And don't think you are disqualified because of _______ . You probably aren't. The dude teaching my class is a single guy who has adopted two teenaged boys. And teenagers make up 49% of children in care, they are the hardest to get adopted. Did you notice when I stated the stats that it said "Of children with adoption as their plan..." That's because some of these kids, mostly the teens, have given up. They have decided to remain in care and take their chances when they are eighteen.
Can you imagine being eighteen and being on your own with no one to ask for help. These kids have no choice but to succeed because no one will help them if they don't.
I know I'm going on and on about this but as ya'll know, when I initially got into this, my plan was just foster. Provide a safe place for these displaced kids to call home until they were reunified with their birth families. And after getting all of this information, my plans have changed and I have went from deciding to temporarily take care of a child or two to adding another child to my family. And it's great. I feel great about it. I told SnowElf last night that I feel like I'm pregnant right now. The classes were a conception period and now, we're in the gestation period. It's scary and wonderful at the same time.
So where do we go from here? I have my home inspection's set up for the 13th of next week. Look at me all shooting the finger to Friday the 13th. I'm so not accepting any bad luck right now, I am only accepting the good. And then from there, we have our home study where a psychologist comes and spends the whole day with us and observes how our family works together and gets along. This should happen in May-July. After our home study is complete, we are ready to adopt. That is when we start being matched with prospective children that match the criteria that we are looking for. Our criteria is female, age 5-8 - we will consider siblings female/female or female/male in that age range but we are really just wanting one child. I would love to be able to take a half a dozen, but I just can't.
Once they find a good match, I get a call with a little information and then I meet with my worker to review the file of the child. If I am interested, we set up a few meetings. There are anywhere from three to six meetings, usually involving an overnight visit or a weekend visit so we can all get to know each other before the placement will actually take place. Once the placement occurs, you have a six month period before consummation of the adoption can take place. And if everything goes well, six months later you can officially adopt.
That's pretty much it in a nutshell.
If you are just stopping by here for the first time, don't hesitate to shoot me an email with any questions. I get email asking questions about everything from Jone's Fractures to scorpions, I don't mind the questions.

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so eloquently put by katehopeeden at 5:31 AM
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