For some prospective parents, the options -for adoption can seem overwhelming. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of terms like International Adoption, Open-Adoption, and Foster-to-Adopt. For my husband and I, the choice to Foster-to-Adopt was very simple. There were a few factors that made this an easy decision for us, and here’s our story. We’re representing the Foster-to-Adopt squad today!
When my husband and I first started our adoption journey, it was precursor-ed by an awful infertility struggle. Nate, my husband, was a a branch manager at a car rental company, and I was a social-worker. We had spent nearly everything we had on fertility treatments. We didn’t have much money, but we so desperately wanted a family.
So I guess the most honest answer is, we didn’t have the money to even consider any other form of adoption.
We couldn’t bear the cost of a domestic adoption through a private agency. The attorney fees and medical bills for the birth-mother would have been a minimum of $30,000. (Which was nearly my social-worker salary!) And to discuss the expense of international adoption with us was like speaking a foreign monetary language.
So the first reason was simply, Fostering to Adopt was an affordable way for us to grow our family.
The other factor in our decision to adopt domestically via the foster care system was that I was passionate about helping children in-need. I was a social worker in title, and at heart. For years I had worked with “at-risk” youth and families, and was passionate about “rescuing” these youth from impoverished and abusive households. I saw first-hand how so many children were neglected and abused by their birth families, only to be thrust unwanted into the foster care system. (I know this isn’t the case for EVERY child that comes into care, but in my field of work, these were MY experiences.)
Adopting through the foster care system allowed me to contribute to my society, right here, in my own backyard. While achieving my dream of becoming a mommy. I was able to mother a child who may have grown up never truly knowing a loving touch or a safe home. The foster-care system has always been over populated, and as a result of the heroine epidemic, agencies are now bursting at the seams with children in need of Forever Families.
I was passionate about altering the destiny of the children I would mother through the foster-adopt program.
The third factor was that I wanted to adopt African-American children, because I’m African American, and I wanted children that look like me. Think what you want, but that’s my truth. African-American children are disproportionately represented in the foster-care system, and are less likely to be adopted. When Nate and I did the math, that added up to a lot of children, in our own community, who look a lot like us, growing up without a mother and father.
Yes, I know that the foster-care system is made up mostly of other races of children. Maybe more so as of late. However, I knew that the odds of adopting an African-American child were in my favor.
I didn’t really need to look for, or invest in other types of adoption to find the right child for me.
Now, I don’t want to end this post sounding like I was shopping for a deal on goldfish or puppies. While there can be some rocky moments when adopting through the foster-care system, I have been blessed seven times this way. Truly blessed! I didn’t just rescue these little ones, they’ve rescued ME. They’ve helped to mend the broken heart I suffered as a result of infertility. So while I sometimes like to believe that I was choosing them, I know that God chose each of them for ME.