Saturday, December 13, 2008


I want to vomit.

I want to drink myself into oblivion.

I want to just...stop life and get off it for a little bit.

I want...I don't know what I want, but it's not this.

I went to the adoption orientation. There was a lady from the adoption-only agency, and a lady from the foster agency. It seems that since privatization there is now an alphabet soup of different agencies. The adoption-only lady said that the children available to be adopted are usually above the age of 8, and have issues such as behavioral issues, health issues, whatever. Because the children available in the adoption program have already been offered to their foster parents and to their relatives and weren't wanted. 

Then the foster lady told us about being foster parents, and how we can sometimes adopt from that, but their big goal is to get the children back to their parents. But if we do do that, as foster parents we'd get second refusal on adopting the children in our care (first refusal going to relatives).

I tried asking about adopting a child under 8 - do they come up in the adoption-only agency, or do we have to do foster parenting if we want an infant. And she said that with foster care it might take 3 or 4 placements before we are allowed to adopt, because those 3 or 4 might all go back to their parents or we might get lucky and our first placement might become available for adoption. 

I'm completely confused. I don't know what agency I'm supposed to go with, what I'm supposed to do. They said all the questions would be answered in the 10-week parenting course we're supposed to do. And at that point we can specify if we only want babies, or toddlers, or school-age children. But then they said that we should try to go to the course that is being run at the agency that we want to sign up with, because we'll develop a relationship with the people there. But if you don't know which agency to go with, how do you pick which class to go to?  They kept saying that the syllabus is the same, but they cover slightly different things, so we could go to a different agency's classes but we should try not to.  WTF?

Except that both of these two agencies run their courses on Tuesday nights. I asked what if we couldn't make Tuesday night, could we do the course elsewhere? And they said of course if there's a night we couldn't make we could do that week's class elsewhere. I was like "no, what if we can't make ANY Tuesday night, doesn't anyone have classes on another night?" The woman next to me nodded, saying "I work on Tuesday nights." The two ladies didn't seem to answer that. 

They gave us a lot of information, and none of it really answered what I wanted to know. I know they have a duty to try to steer us towards the teens and school-age kids. I know those kids really need care, I know. But I just felt flattened.

I just don't know any more. I can't seem to figure out what I'm supposed to do. I can't get to a class on Tuesday night because I'll be at acu school probably. I don't know if I'm supposed to sign up with the adoption agency and ask for newborns but if they never have them then am I supposed to sign up with the foster agency?  I suppose I should call them and try to speak to someone but the orientation was supposed to answer those questions, and it didn't.

I came out of there wanting to hurl.


Almamay said...


That really is poo that the orientation has left you more confused AND depressed. Why can't they give you answers? Are they trying to make it harder to place children? You sometimes wonder.

Sending you a (((hug)))

Hedgetoad said...

yah, they do want to make it hard. Seriously. Because adopting in the US is not a Lifetime movie. Doesn't mean it's not worth it, but the adoption ads lie like rugs.

You might try joining some foster/adoption groups on yahoo groups and just lurking for awhile while you're going through the classes (if you're able to). You might get further freaked out, but at least you're going in with your eyes open. They can also give the scoop on agencies vs. state in your area.

Also, you might try contacting It's in WA state, but I think they'll work anywhere in the country. They have an AA infant adoption program that I've heard moves pretty quick.

calliope said...

wow. I am so bummed that it wasn't as great an orientation as it could have been. There has to be other groups you can work with. Right? hard is it to get hooked up with an agency??

Kat said...

Sounds incredibly frustrating. I'd probably take a few deep breaths, then do what Hedgetoad suggested, and find an online group for foster/adopt *in your state*. After lurking for a while, you'll probably have an idea what questions to ask, and which agency might work for you (or decide that it isn't the right direction for you, but at least deciding that with more information than you have now).
I'm so sorry it wasn't a positive experience - but I don't think it means that this is the end - just that you need more info from different sources.

clementine said...

Is it possible for you to sign with both agencies? Can you be on the waiting list for adoption, and foster children at the same time? That way you have a better chance of being placed with a child. I adopted my daughter through foster care (she came to me as a newborn, adopted at age 2). It was hard at times, but the best thing I ever did!

Torina said...

Hi, I found you through Hedgetoad. We were treated like horsepoop at our adoption orientation, too. Like we were nuts and should only adopt internationally cause all the kids in the United States were presented as messed up. Very disheartening. HOWEVER, we did some agency shopping and went with the agency that didn't treat us like we were crazy. This was the THIRD one. And the crazy thing is, we were interested in adopting those older kids and all the agencies kept on pushing us towards babies.

I find it very sad that agencies are also treating the people that adopt the babies just as poorly. Why does it have to be so dang hard???

Anonymous said...

OMG, just went to an adoption orientation meeting last week (foolishing a week after my 2nd missed miscarriage D&C this year). Got the same spiel--no babies, birth parents can change their mind at any time (even rescind after signing away their rights), plenty of older kids, but they all have serious problems, especially foreign kids, why not adopt a foster, except oops parents have up to 18 mo to "reunify" and then family members get 1st pick. Blah. Very depressing. Makes you want to slap people who ask if you've thought of adoption--as though you simply fill out a form and a week later a brand new baby, the same race as you, is put into your arms and you live happily ever after.