Monday, 1 October 2012

we're busy and the social worker is busy

It has been a long time since I last posted.
We graduated from the Adoption Education Programme. We have certificates to prove it.  We've been enjoying the summer and keeping busy. Our social worker has a huge caseload and we're not her first priority. This is going to happen in it's own time, in God's time. We are very content with that.

Towards the end of the AEP we both discovered that we had been harbouring some rather natural yet unhealthy attitudes about adoption. The initial age range on our application had been 0-4. We kept on justifying this saying, "we're first time parents, it's only natural that we want a baby". As the course went on, we found that our minds and hearts were being expanded in a new direction. After one of our long drives home from the AEP we spoke honestly about feelings that we had both been toiling over. We both wanted to expand our age range to accept the possibility of adopting kids who are a little bit older. It seems that even though we had entered into this process by choice, we still hadn't been able to wrap our heads around the fact that families don't have to start with babies.

We are changing our application to accept children between the ages of 0-7. If a baby is proposed to us, it would have to be an extraordinary situation before we would consider accepting that placement. Our preferred age-range at this time is 3-6. It was such a relief to come to this decision. It just felt so right.

Feelings aside, there are also some practical reasons for adopting in this age range:

1.) Children who have been prenatally exposed to drugs and alcohol may have severe neurological abnormalities that can never be cured. These are often undiagnosable when the child is a baby or toddler. By adopting someone over the age of 4, we have more information on a particular child's needs and whether or not we can meet them.

2.) It is easier for a child who is verbal (opposed to pre-verbal) to communicate some of the complex emotions that they are experiencing during the adoption process. This in turn would make it easier for us to help them.

3.) The older the child is, the less "desirable" they are to potential adoptive parents. Many children stay in the foster care system just because they are 6 or older. Six isn't very old! A six year old needs a loving, stable, forever home as much as anyone but they are often over looked.

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