We're looking into everything at this point. Yesterday was filled with a crazy amount of pursuing. I emailed every adoption agency in the state (all nine) requesting information. S went by The Department of Health and Human Services and got information on foster care/foster to adopt. While I was substitute teaching kindergarten, S spoke to a nun who called back about their program. I am disappointed with her information. According to the website, to adopt from our local Catholic home for wayward ladies, or what ever it's called, costs $11,000. Just under the tax reimbursement amount. VERY promising. But according to the Sister, they haven't been accepting couples into the program because the birthmothers are choosing to raise the children when they leave. Which is wonderful for them, but a closed door for us. She can do our homestudy though and help us network to get an adoption for $20,000-30,000. She also mentioned adopting from Korea. Which is something new for us to look into.
About the foster care thing. I'm scared out of my mind about that. But excited too. I'm leaning towards less than three years old. Here are my fears. I'm afraid of loving someone else who will leave us. I'm afraid of battling the state (Maine is not known for a well run foster care system). I worked for a little while with autistic preschoolers, and secretly I'm afraid it will be like LIVING that job. Endless screaming, biting, power struggles. Nap time was a nightmare for one kiddo and I can't imagine a fight like that every night. Another secret fear is false accusations. What if we get a kiddo in our home, love him/her, and then we are accused of harming this child. S is a police officer, I'm a teacher. Personally and professionally we couldn't handle a blow like that.
Then another part of my brain kicks in. The booty knitting kind. The part of me that wants to bake Christmas cookies and give the bowl to be licked out by someone watching Sesame Street instead of by someone watching football. The part of me that knows I have a lot of love to give and I am loved by many children already. The part of me knows that a child would be safe here in this home. We are caring, supportive people. S is amazing with kids without being sappy. Our dog Luke would love a kiddo to romp with in our fenced in back yard. We're close to schools, the library, a big playground. We play at the lake house (we call it camp) in the summertime, we build snowmen in the winter. S and I love our fun. We would make a great home for a hurting child.
So it seems that the deeper we look into bringing a child home the more choices there are. Adoption - domestic or international? Domestic - agency of independent? Open or closed? International - Russia, Korea, Guatemala, Ethiopia....? Foster care - which agency? How old? How long? These are the things I think about as I work on crocheting booties.