Sunday, January 4, 2009

When Forced to Say "No"

We had a wonderful holiday break -- but we have a bit of news to report, and this news isn't super-super easy to write about -- please bear with me if I ramble a bit.

On December 30 (my birthday), Duffy's phone rang from an unrecognized number -- it turned out to be a caller from Adoption From the Heart, mentioning that there was a special situation brewing and they needed to consult us immediately. In New Jersey (home to the most adoptive parent-friendly adoption laws in the union), a mother of two was experiencing financial difficulties, and was planning on the creation of an adoption plan for her children. There was a five-month-old girl and a 22-month-old boy.

We got as much information as we could, but not a whole lot was known by the social worker. After listening to everything as described, we asked for some time to talk things over and offered to call the social worker back. The "pro" in this situation was that we could become parents (note that we were only giving our permission to be in the profile book -- there is no guarantee that we would have been chosen, or even that we were a good bet to be chosen), and that is a pretty big pro. The problem was that we came up with several cons -- each of them seemingly insignificant, but they were adding up quickly.

First, the age of the children would be quite difficult to get over. One of the first pieces of advice given to parents of international adoption is to not allow anybody but the parents of the child to hold said child for several months -- this isn't to be snooty, it's just that the early bonds between parent and child aren't there, and this helps to build those. Children of international adoption typically range from three to six months in age, so the younger of these children falls into that -- the older child would be the equivalent of a foster adoption.

Next comes items directly related to age: we wouldn't get to use the names we've been working on, we wouldn't have been there for the first step, the first words -- we'd be completely changing existing routines. Of course, next are disciplinary issues - we just wouldn't know if there were any, what was done, etc. etc.

Finally, there are items adjacent to the financial issues. While the agency had every belief that the children were healthy - if a single mother is having difficulties making ends meet, what are the chances that the children have been in for regular checkups? I know I'm making a huge leap of logic here - but there is just a ton of stuff that we wanted to know, but could not ask directly (only through the agency, and then we had to rely on what the social worker was willing to share with us, and because of the timing of this all, it was unlikely that the birthmother could be asked said questions before an adoption plan was created).

In the end, this just didn't feel like "the situation" in our guts. We know that situation will be coming -- but this wasn't it. We asked that we not be considered in the list of potential profiles.

1 comment:

Barbara Batzer said...

only your heart united with your one true love's heart knows what is best. My love and support and prayers are always with you. Love, MOM