MISSION-ADOPT

My Foster Care Adoption Story

Category: Adoption

Will I ever be a Mom?

I ultimately chose foster care adoption

From feeling completely hopeless to an all in Mom

There is hope for anyone out there who wants to be a parent. With DHS foster care adoption you can be married, single, straight, gay, older, and anything else; they discriminate against no one. Maybe you are at your last ditch effort. I certainly was. Yes I did accept a baby exposed to meth. But if that were not the case he would have never been put in the foster care system. Is he doing absolutely great? YES he is. Is he totally adorable? YES he is. Am I on cloud nine? YES I am. He is doing so great you would not know anything had ever happened to him before he was born. I cannot speak for all children born exposed to meth. But he has overcome the effects of in uterine drug exposure as far as I know. He was not born addicted and the drugs leave their system in just a few days. But I do know there were side effects. He was not an easy going content baby.

For years I tried to get pregnant naturally with my ex-husband and then with fertility treatments. The biggest problem was my husband had a low sperm count and did not want to admit or discuss how this was his infertility. The topic was off limits. It felt like he wanted to be a real mans man and that guy would never have a sperm count problem. This went on for years and I just hoped and prayed for a miracle baby. I never got a miracle baby. We finally went to see a fertility specialist and we were told only IVF would work with his low of a sperm count. We were shocked and sticker shocked. He went and had tests done and wouldn’t even tell me when the appointment was. Just that it would be soon. Which meant it was not my business. When I finally got the nerve to ask him months later how it went he was angry that I didn’t ask sooner.  I should have walked out the door and told him I wanted a divorce right then. But no, I hung on. Then he did have an operation to have his testicle veins untangled. When I asked if there was any change in his count a few months later he said he didn’t know because he hadn’t paid the bill yet and didn’t think he could go back until then. I knew then I was married to a total idiot. Well, needles to say it did nothing to increase his count. When I told him our options, and I threw adoption in the mix, he said we could not adopt. Who was this man I married? He wasn’t the same person. In 10 years of marriage he had evolved into a fat, selfish, alcoholic, drunk.  I did not need him.

I got my own baby. I did not end up needing a man and he wasted my fertile years and my desire to be in a relationship with another guy for now at least.

So after all of that, there is hope for anyone who wants to be a parent. I am certainly not saying foster care or adoption is right for everyone and it does not always work out for some people. But for me I got a perfect little baby that is my own.

How to adopt from foster care

Foster care adoption and what you need to know

I adopted my infant son from foster care

First of all, I would like to say I am so very blessed that I was able to adopt my little boy.

So…  how to adopt from foster care? When I first got Charlie at 3 weeks old, I fell in love, How could you not? Yet being a foster mom there was always that voice in my head reminding me he had a mother that wanted him back. I felt torn because I don’t want to take anyones baby from them, but I wanted him so badly. I had to tell myself that I do not play much of a part in the outcome of Charlie’s story. At first I thought I will try what I can so his bio will be annoyed with him and not want him. This consisted of giving her enough formula to make sure he would spit up all over. But that was silly, he did that no matter how much formula he had and of course that was not going to annoy her.

There is nothing to do. The birth parents are going to get their lives on track, or they are not. It didn’t matter one bit what I did, it was all up to them. There were things I did that certainly helped me to gain the bio mom’s trust and the trust of the case worker and the judge.

I was always kind and polite to the birth mom. I always  made sure she knew this was not about me, that I did not have inside information and was not in the know. Because I was not. When she asked me if they were going to terminate her rights, I told her I did not think so, it was way to early for that. My sister and I invited her to church with us and we were kind and generous towards her. Because it was the right thing to do. With the case worker, I always tried very hard to accommodate his schedule and bring the baby to as many things as he wanted me to. I was always prompt with making doctor appointments and keeping to all the requests DHS wanted. I was the model foster parent. I never gave the case worker any problems and he gave me the same respect. He  always returned my calls promptly and listened to my questions and concerns. (This is a rarity in case workers. He was GOLD). I also went to all the family team meetings. Mostly because I got a lot of information at them. I attended every court hearing. The first hearing I did not bring the baby, as it was inconvenient for me to bring him. I did bring him to the last 2 hearings. The judge could see that I always came and mostly brought him too. The judge loved seeing him. They like to see the children are happy and healthy with their foster family. On his adoption day, everyone in the court room was very happy for me and Charlie. They could see what a wonderful family he was getting. One less child that would be in the system. My child will never be back in their system. I made myself as involved with the case as I could be and let everyone involved know I was invested in this child. And I was.

There isn’t really a sure fire way on how to adopt from foster care. But I do now that by cooperating with the case worker and the birth parents things went a whole lot smoother and I was definitely the top person in line to adopt this perfect little baby. For me all the pieces fell perfectly together and it was truly meant to be.

Foster Adoption through DHS

Applicants who wish to apply for an infant will be referred to licensed private child placing agencies.

My meth baby adoption.

I was able to adopt my foster child after fostering him for a year. I was just sure as I got older I would never be able to be a mom. I couldn’t get pregnant, nothing worked. By then, private adoption was out of the question. All my money was spent on fertility. My last option was fostering to adopt. My advice to anyone wanting kids, try having your own child before ever considering foster to adopt. Because it is a very difficult road, but it is Not Impossible. Foster adoption was the best choice for me.

At my first orientation meeting for foster classes, they stressed over and over, “You will not get a newborn”. No way, No how will you ever get a newborn. The speaker told us, it didn’t matter if we knew someone who knew someone and they got a baby. Forget it, it doesn’t happen. EVER. PERIOD. End of discussion. Now onto the topic of all the 8 year olds with severe problems we want you to take in. (Ok she didn’t really say that about 8 year olds, but that is essentially what every person associated with the foster system will tell you and beat into your head.) Take an older kid. My thought to that was, no thank you, that’s not for me. I applaud all parents who are willing to do this, because fostering is tough and that is a gross understatement.

A state DHS adoption license only, will not get you very far. No one will just call you for a perfect little child. In fact they probably won’t call you at all. I filled out my renewal paperwork just a few days ago and right on the application it states “Applicants who wish to apply for an infant will be referred to licensed private child placing agencies.” Translation: if you want to try for a baby, you must foster. As a licensed adoptive mom, my support worker suggested I attend the adoption DHS worker meet and greet night that is held once a year. This way the adoption workers can get to know you as an adoptive parent. This apparently is the only way you might get called for a baby for adoption. In short you meet the right worker and they might remember you. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of children nation wide in need of adoption. I just knew after checking out my options I wanted to try for a baby. Here is a  link to check out  http://www.adoptuskids.org/meet-the-children/search . All of these children are in need, but this just wasn’t for me.

So now what? After I got my foster and adoption license I waited, and waited. Patience…….I waited almost 6 months for Charlie to arrive. The first calls to foster, even though my age range was 0-3 years old, were for siblings and older children, sometimes they even called about teens. Because if the foster matching agents exhausted their list of families to call in the right age range, everyone possible got called. I agreed to 5 different foster care placements, and they all fell through. And then I got baby Elsa, my first foster newborn. I talked to the matching specialist after the last placement didn’t go through and I told her I wanted to get called for a newborn. She must have put me on the top of the list, because I got the call within an hour for Elsa. My first newborn Meth Baby.

So maybe that is the secret. Get friendly with the matching agents and tell them directly what you would like to be called about for a foster placement. This does not mean you will get to adopt the baby, as I did not, but for me it was a start. And I was on my way to navigating the foster system. I knew then I would have to wait for another baby, and a meth baby wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought, and maybe, just maybe It was meant to be.

As I think back to that first orientation meeting, I can see now that they were probably just trying to discourage people from thinking that they could easily get a baby. But I am here to tell everyone who wants to try for a baby, it  is Absolutely Possible and I adopted my baby Charlie.

MISSION-ADOPT  –   Success

Chelsea

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