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Adoption Blog: Raising a Rainbow

Dashed Dreams or Reality Check?



Like many parents, some days I wonder if I'll be able to make it until bedtime. Raising kids while working and keeping up with chores and errands -- and doing all of these things with energy and productivity -- is exhausting. 

My girls, adopted as infants through domestic adoption, keep me on my toes. One minute my one- and three-year-old are playing happily, and the next they are both sobbing and clinging to my limbs as I try to cook dinner. Yet no matter how challenging each day can be, I, like many of my readers, dream of adding another child (or two or three) to my family. The avenue I'm researching and contemplating is adopting a sibling group from the foster care system
 
I recently spoke with two foster mothers who shared their kids' situations. One child had been severely sexually abused and was acting out in unthinkable ways. The foster mother's stories were jaw-dropping. The other mother said that her two foster boys were slowly being integrated back into their biological family after being with her for nearly two years. Even though she had known this was a possibility, her heart was breaking at the thought of losing the children. And then, just a few weeks later, someone left a comment on my blog urging me to seriously consider not disrupting birth order by adopting children older than mine, giving several well-explained reasons. 
 
Every time I hear a story on the news about a child being abused or neglected, I fill my heart brimming with anger and a call-to-action. I want to run to my computer and search the foster care photo-listings and bring that child into my home. 
 
But it's not that simple.
 
For one, at the heart of my busy life (two jobs, a spouse, a home, my diabetes), are two beautiful little girls to whom my loyalty and devotion must lie. What is the best choice for them? For another, we haven't completed any of the many steps involved in adopting from foster care. And finally, I struggle with my own thoughts -- am I ready, I mean really ready, to parent children who have been part of "the system"? 
 
It's very hard for me, Miss Type A, to admit to myself that perhaps foster care adoption isn't the right decision for our family right now…or ever. I feel like I'm giving in, giving up, and moving on with my happy little life, while children are waiting for forever families. Yet, I know from numerous discussions with experienced foster parents that foster care adoption is complicated. To go into the process of adopting from foster care wearing rose-colored glasses will only hurt our family in the long run. 
 
My days are full. Yet I feel beyond guilty that I am not making room for children who need stability, security, and love. I truly don't know if we will ever adopt from foster care, but I am determined to continue the process of self-examination until I find the right answer. 


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5 Comments

Hi,
I’m currently adopting a baby boy from foster care,he was delivered to me at 9days old and is now 8mnths old. He has two siblings being adopted by another couple which we stay in touch with weekly. The circumstances under which the children are in care is appaling however not as severe as some stories I have heard. Adopting from the foster system is not a stress free process by no stretch of the imagination but I know private adoption has stress too. I originally thought toddler was the right fit for me however my little one had other plans. When I received the call I knew it was right. I only have him but do plan on adopting additional children. As far as what is acceptable for your family, as harsh as it may sound, you have the choice regarding age, race, medical condition, abuse, etc. There are many families which are equiped to address the needs of the more severe cases. Through this process the most important lesson I learned is to know your limitations.

Best of luck to you and your family! It has been a wonderful experience for me and I plan on a 2nd adoption in the near future.

By 4evermommy on Monday, November 14, 2011 at 8:22 pm.

Dear Mamaof2browngirls. I acknowledge you for your commitment to children and your honesty. You have concerns and that shows that this is not a whim casually considered but rather is an intention which you are assessing.
  In a perfect world, love would be enough to heal traumatized children. The reality is, however, that love is essential along with many other skills and a wide net of resources to bolster the family as they journey to healing.
  Adoption is a life-long commitment which you’re making not only for yourself but also for your entire family. Prepare yourself with a comprehensive knowledge of parenting skills designed especially for kids who have experienced trauma. This would include techniques like “Time In” vs. “Time Out.”

By Gayle.Swift on Friday, November 18, 2011 at 7:17 pm.

Our three children are all from “the system” and the process can be long and heartbreaking, as it can with any adoption. In our county families can’t have a foster child older then their youngest child. This maintains birth order and allows your children to be “protected” from an older child who may have abused or mistreated. I understand your need to save these children we hear about and if now is not the best time for you to foster perhaps you can become a mentor or court advocate.

By 2fosteradoptmoms on Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 9:09 am.

I’m a mother of two children adopted as newborns from the foster care system, as well as two biological children.  I don’t know that it will help for sure, but you can check out our journey blogged here:http://thesaulfam.blogspot.com/

By MamaLemon on Monday, November 21, 2011 at 7:37 pm.

There is a great deal to be said for knowing one’s limitations. Remember, as much as you want to help those kids you see on the news it is NO help to them to be placed with a family that will be pushed past breaking in trying to care for them! And who knows - perhaps that child would be placed in a better/more appropriate situation if you stay out of it? God has a plan, you don’t have to save every single one.

By wasingerl on Friday, December 02, 2011 at 10:28 pm.

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