Last week, we attended the first of many meetings for foster care. It was the orientation meeting with the agency I selected. Being in this field already, I have a lot of knowledge and connections. I have worked with most, if not all, of the licensing agencies in my district, so I was able to rely on my own experiences when picking one for us.
This meeting was a taste of what is to come. There weren't many people there, and it was fairly obvious the ones that were did not have a lot of background information about the system. Which is why the agencies have these orientations!
For me, it was quite painful. My knowledge is also a hinderance, because I was bored to death. And sure enough, the woman running the show was someone I know, so she would ask me questions throughout the orientation! I tried to be as quiet as possible, because no one likes a know-it-all, but she kept asking me questions!!!
It was interesting to see how much second hand knowledge my husband has also picked-up on. He even commented on it as we were leaving that he surprised himself with how much he already knew. And I thought he never listened!
Classes start in January, which gives us plenty of time to move and get all that in order. There are 11 classes, 1 per week. And then there's the paperwork. Oodles of it. We need fingerprints, background checks, relative info, pay stubs, bank account info, mortgage info, dog vaccine info, full physicals, references, and the list goes on and on. We'll be meeting with a licensing worker to go over it all soon.
At the end of the meeting, they asked if anyone had questions. Yep, you guessed it, they were all directed at me. I have a feeling this is likely to happen during training classes as well.
Lots of mixed emotions. I am happy to get started, and sad that holds a form of resignation to having a biological child. I worry my own adoption luggage will be hard to keep in the closet, and I don't want to pass it along to any child. I wonder how I will approach the discussion of adoption, and how it will be taken. In many ways, adopting an older child alleviates some of this because they already know. You will have to fill in some details, but the big whammy is already in the open.
I wonder if our child will get ADHD or Bi-Polar disorder since so many of the children I work with have these diagnosis. I worry about how I will address this.
There is just so much that you think you can control if it's your biological child, that you risk if it's not. But when I really think about it, there are no major differences. It's all a crap shoot. Like why one woman can get pregnant and another can't. Why some miscarry and others don't. Why IF goes unexplained. Why physical abnormalities occur without reason.
I suppose the point is I am scared. With all that I already know about what we're about to do, there are so many things I don't. My husband is looking to me for direction and information, and I am looking within myself for peace and understanding. I feel a lot of pressure.
There's the 'too soon' argument, that we should slow down until I am comfortable with this direction we're forced to be going, but I don't think that's the answer. I don't know if I will ever be ok with not being able to have a biological child. If I will ever get rid of my own emotional baggage about adoption. If I will ever stop worrying, thinking, freaking myself out over the possibilities.
So here we go! Grab a paddle and get going since you're stuck in the boat, anyway.