We just went to the orientation for the L.A. County Foster-Adoption program. We walked in and saw the smiling face of our original social worker (who did our first home study for international adoption), and I had this warm and fuzzy feeling that everything was going to be alright. I'm still in a daze, though. This is a completely different world. I'm not sure I can handle the idea that a child could be placed in our home and then taken away -- that's just never been part of the plan. It's also freaking me out because we'd be starting a whole other process that could take another year or more. We're not getting any younger, and we're so invested (emotionally and financially) in Ukraine that I just can't wrap my head around starting all over again. ANOTHER home study, ANOTHER round of massive paperwork, ANOTHER set of fingerprints, MORE vials of blood (we still don't have syphilis for Christ's sake!).
Tonight we're headed to our fourth adoption class at the foster care agency. We have to come here each week for three hours to become certified foster parents -- just the words "foster parents" scares the crap out of me. I'm thinking, though, that these classes should be mandatory for ALL parents and particularly all parents considering any type of adoption. Name tags and role-playing aside, I'm really happy we're doing this.
We've told only a few people that we're considering adopting through foster care. I'm sick of people weighing in with their thirdhand adoption horror stories. I have enough problems dealing with the idea that I could have lunatic parents getting out of jail and coming to take back their kid. I don't need anyone's advice.
Holy sh*t. Holy sh*t. Holy sh*t. I want to projectile vomit with joy, if that's humanly possible. We just got a call to go back to Ukraine. Seriously? Is this just ridiculous or just fate? We leave in two weeks. They say they're going to show us a few healthy children. WTF? NOW you're willing to show us these kids? Just as we're freaking getting used to the idea of adopting through foster care, we're thrown back into Ukraine. I'm angry, overjoyed, and scared sh*tless.
About two hours later
I'm sad to be leaving the foster/adopt system. I'm confused. I feel guilty leaving behind all of those parents-to-be from our adoption class. "See ya! We're headed off to get our kid! Good luck getting through the system!"
Lately, though, I've been imagining having a Latina child. My brain has switched over from Ukraine to my own backyard. I have a completely new understanding of the foster system and I am starting to feel empathy -- yes, empathy -- for the parents who have screwed up enough to land their kids in foster care. At first I was furious to hear that the priority of the Department of Child and Family Services and their main job is to reunite children with their birth parents. Are they nuts? Now I totally get it. The trauma, the biological needs of a child, it's so complex. Amazing what some dorky-assed role-playing can do to make you see things differently.
Wait! But now I'm heading back to the land of borscht, nude pantyhose, and heavy smoking? Oh dear God. The games are about to begin ... AGAIN.
- Part 1 Adoption Journey ... with a Shocking Twist
- Part 2 Adoption Journey: Bait and Switch
- Part 3 Adoption Journey: Train Ride of a Lifetime
- Part 4 Adoption Journey: All About Making Money
- Part 5 Adoption Journey: Secret Orphanage Visits
- Part 6 Adoption Journey: Heading Home Alone