So, my husband and I have been married for about 7.5 yrs now and children have been something that we have discussed since our first date. My husband has a 25 yr old married daughter from his first marriage and we also have 2 grandkids, the oldest being 5.
As the years have passed, all (5) of my brothers have started having their children, at one point within a year, 4 nieces and nephews were born. I have gone through the baby blues, and with my diabetes finally under control at the age of 36, I've decided that we will not try for our own child.
Adoption is always something we talked about from the first year of our marriage and something that I have consistently looked into. Well, last year I looked at the Texas adoption website and I saw a pair of little girls that just stole my heart and I thought, at 36 and 46 yrs of age, would we really want to start from a baby?
The answer to that was probably not. Then my brother and his 3 kids came for a visit, 2 of them still babies and our answer became "ABSOLUTELY NOT!". Not because I don't love babies, because I absolutely do, but I know that I do not want to change diapers, wipe butts or give a kid a bath every night.
When we decided that adoption was our option (haha I rhymed!), we said we'd possibly like to start from the age of 4. So we scheduled our orientation meeting with Dept of Family Protective Services and went listen to see what it is all about. That was in October 2011. We filled out a background check form and submitted it that week. In December of 2011, we received a call from DFPS stating that we had passed the initial background check and we were scheduled to go through P.R.I.D.E. training classes in April 2012.
In the meantime, we received a 2 inch thick envelope of paperwork we had to fill out and what to expect in our class. The paperwork leaves no stone unturned in your life, everything from how much money you make, what you spend it on every month, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, references that have been in your home, family references, etc....just everything!
So you bring that to your first class and you get a lovely .....4 inch binder filled with paperwork you need to fill out! Not to mention that we went through only 4 classes on Saturday's but they were from 9-5 and you filled out paperwork, watched videos, hear lectures and role play. There's a lot of ROLE PLAYING and everyone has to participate. There are a lot of breaking into groups and group discussions. If you are thinking that any of these classes talk about how great it will be to be a parent, well, you are wrong.
The classes discuss realistic expectations of what life will be like with a child from foster care, because if they came from a perfect home, then they wouldn't be in foster care. All of this aside, because this was the path we chose and already knew what we would be dealing with, you are also expected to go to a lecture on Psychotropic Drugs and Medication Handling, HIV/AIDS & Communicable Disease Classes, CPR & 1st Aid (which you pay out of pocket for), FBI Fingerprint & Background Check (you have to pay for this too) and a Home Study and interview. This all must be done during the time you are attending classes so if you both work, one must take vacation to run around and get things done!
We are 7 months into this process and the longest part is waiting in between appointments. We are just waiting on our Home Study and Interview to get licensed and then we will be assigned a new caseworker to start matching us with a child.
Now during all that process, you are given a form to decide what type of child you are willing to accept and by that I mean it was several pages that listed everything from race to characteristics to medical issues. Now, this is gut check time, where you have to be honest at what you can handle! You can't be embarrassed to say (examples) "I cannot take care of a child in a wheelchair" or "no kids that have shown cruelty to animals" etc etc.
We discussed what we wanted, they're things that I said I could not handle, they're things my husband said absolutely not and they're things that we both agreed would be too hard for the both of us. In the end, we both decided 6 or older, female, any race, 2 if they are siblings. The other things we decided on are our own private matter.
We hope that we are given 2 sisters which would complete our family. It is something we discussed with each of our family's and my husband's daughter before we made the decision b/c we want to give our future child/children a family that is complete and accepting.
So, if it is something you are interested in, know that the process can be very discouraging, the wait is long but in the end we hope to be rewarded with a daughter/daughters to be forever in our family.