Saturday, November 14, 2009

Foster Care and Adoption

Continuing my random adoption-related thoughts in honor of National Adoption Month:

I (obviously) feel strongly about international adoption, especially from undeveloped nations such as Ethiopia. But I also feel strongly that, especially given my religious convictions, I should not stop caring for my family and neighbors in order to care for international orphans. It should not be "one or the other" but rather both.

Thinking about this and considering the role that my family and I should play in caring for family/friends/neighbors, especially those who are orphans or wards of the state or other similar situations that result in children who are unable to be parented by their birth parents, I have come to a few conclusions.

1. My role is to love and serve people through a variety of situations. This may include permanently bringing a child into my home through adoption, temporarily bringing a child into my home through foster care, or supporting children in other ways through mentorship and meaningful relationships.

2. I feel a more urgent need meet the needs of close family, if such a situation arose, and kinship foster/adoption is some thing to which both John and I are very open. There currently is a situation where such a need might arise within our family, and we have actually started discussing what role we would play. We concluded that if the need arose, we would approach a kinship foster/adoption situation and embrace it wholeheartedly. We hope the need does not arise, though, and hope that the situation within our family can be worked out to support both the parent and the child.

3. John and I are uniquely qualified to care for children with medical needs; neither of us have a lot of exposure to pediatric medicine, but certainly it is something that we could learn. My heart strings are tugged by the little ones who come into the hospital as victims of domestic violence or neglect and as a result need foster families that have enough of a background in medicine to meet their needs at discharge. This usually also involves a significant time commitment that we are unable to make right now, so this is something that may be in our future, but not our immediate future.

Have you thought about your role? What do you think?


evenshine said...

I think it's great to be open about it, but to go into it with eyes wide open. We've been researching foster-to-adopt, and the system, not to mention the kids, has major problems. This is not to say that the idea is inherently flawed: ideally we'd all find it an easy "yes".

Anonymous said...

Sorry I'm late on this. I know your wedding is coming up and you are BUSY. We are discussing this (very front end baby steps) too. Not sure what/how/when we'd do it but are certainly open to foster care/domestic adoption. There's definitely a need and we cannot turn out back to it. How we respond has not been made clear yet but we are certainly open.


Emma said...

Came to your blog from another I read. great timing - I am looking into foster-care adoption at the moment. I am meeting with the agency in that handles that program in our state/county. I have 2 bio kids; one of whom has autism. I feel strongly about adoption but I wonder whether we would qualify with a private agency considering my son's special needs. A friend of mine and his family just completed a fost/adoption and they are thrilled. Their new son has a history of medical issues (low birth weight, prenatal drug exposure and seizures) but he has been fine since he began living with them. The road may not always be this level and clear but they are prepared and open minded. Good luck to you as you grow your family!

Lisa and Peter said...

I have been having these very same thoughts -- and indeed, raised this with my husband just last week. I feel that there is more that I can and want to do -- AND there is a lot that our children can do as well. As I continue to ponder this, I welcome your thoughts!

By the way, have you heard anything about a Blog Union for 2010?

Happy Holidays to you and your family!