We were just starting the adoption process. And, as I was looking at the faces of the older children online, I also thought about the possibility of adopting a baby. When adopting from the system, if you want an infant, for the most part, you have to go the "foster-to-adopt" route and hope that you end up with the option to adopt a baby that you foster.
One night, I spent a lot of time reading about the process while Brian was at work. I was officially inspired when he got home. Because, although I'm a big supporter of older child adoption, I'm also human and thought it would be really cool to adopt a baby.
When I started talking to Brian about it, he did something that he doesn't do very often (partially because it almost never works...), he stopped me in my tracks. He told me that it was a bad idea for me. That it would destroy me if they took a child away from our home. And, he was right.
It didn't take me long to realize how right he was and also to know that the age of the child was not the critical factor, I just wanted a child. So, I dropped the idea and went back to scouring the faces of the kids on the various websites. That turned out to be the right decision.
This is why I admire the foster parents who take the children in, love them, take care of them, and move on when they move on to what is hopefully the best situation for them.
When we adopted the boys, I did lose sight of that for awhile, though.
I have always been a little (lot) insecure. I have a need to be validated and those who are close to me, put up with it because they love me. It's not because I'm selfish or narcissistic. But, as a formerly, extremely shy and insecure child/teenager/young adult; it's hard to shake the doubts that creep into my head. I'm exaggerating a little, I'm not a total basket case. But, I do worry.
This is why when William came to us with tons of memories and anecdotes about his foster parents – “Granddad” and “Nana,” it was hard for me. I worried that I wasn't enough. He had very few memories of the birth mother who he was removed from at age 2. He remembered the fun highlights like “she didn’t feed me.” But, not much else. But, Nana and Granddad had taken care of him for a couple of years.
I know that William still struggles with the past and remembers that he was once in that family. Of course, he does. And, occasionally, without warning, it comes up.
The other night, we were sitting at the dinner table. William was eating chips and dipping them in hot sauce. Gross. :) He asked what hand I eat my chips with. I checked and confirmed that it was my left hand. William and I are both lefties, so I kind of assumed that he did, too. But, he pointed out that he eats them with his right hand.
I don't know if I could do it. I don't know if I could take care of a child, fall in love with him (because I would), and give him away. Lucky for me, they could. There is a huge demand for adoptive parents, but there is also a real need for foster parents. The system needs more people who will step in and care for these kids until their forever homes are found (with them or elsewhere).
So, Nana and Granddad did what they needed to do. They provided care to the boys, took them on trips, and instilled such a Spiderman obsession in William that he introduced himself as Peter Parker when he started VPK. I'm not sure that last part was in the foster care handbook. But, you get the point. ;) They did this, then they stepped back and let us have them.
So, as much as I wanted to pretend that William and Antwan's existence started on the day that we met. It didn't. And, really, that's ok. They are here now. And, we will always be grateful to their foster parents for keeping them safe and secure for us until we got our hands on them. :)
*And, since it is National Foster Care Month and we are an AdoptUSkids spokesfamily, I'd just thought I'd mention that if you're interested in foster care, adoption, or other ways to help, please, check out http://adoptuskids.org/! They'll help you out. :)