Step 9 - Choosing Your Child First
Two days before my parenting class was set to begin (remember how I had to sign up many months in advance?) well two days before my class started I got a call from the agency informing me that they had changed their rules for the class. You were only allowed to take the class on the adoption path if you already had a child to adopt in mind.
These posts are to capture the entire journey. The good, the bad and the ugly. This was just the strange. There are a couple of different agencies that have pictures and bios of children up online. I had seen these websites and that was what initially inspired my journey so many years ago when I was still in Boston. One night this summer I had been looking at a local adoption website and I found a profile of a 17-year-old girl whose needs seemed to match what I could provide. I inquired about her by clicking the contact button, but I never heard anything back. I figured this was because I had not yet taken the class and was not yet licensed.
I told the woman on the other end of the line that I had found a child and inquired about her. She was shocked that my inquiry did not get a response. She asked if I knew the child’s ID number, which I did not. I did know her name. The timing was so interesting, because I had just closed that internet window on my phone. I had left the young girl’s profile up as one of my safari open pages for months. I had just closed it days before. She asked me if I could remember what color shirt the girl was wearing, so I started to describe her outfit. I said I knew she was 17 now, but in the picture she looked around 14. I hopped back on the website myself searching for this little girl. When I found her profile, I recognized her instantly, but it was a very different picture.
Here she was, 17 years old, full makeup and well-fitting clothing. In an instant, she had grown three years. I found myself overcome with interesting emotion. It was the first time I truly felt like I had missed out on a portion of my future child’s life. Of course, when you choose to adopt teenagers you will have missed out on their life. It just really hadn’t felt that way to me before. To me it is going to be a fun journey in which I get to learn who my child is. I didn’t know them before, so everything would be a learning experience. Even though I didn’t know that 14-year-old in the picture, it felt like I thought about her one way and then felt how much she grew up in the second picture.
As I sat there deep in my emotions, the woman on the other end explained that the reason it is so important to have a child in mind is that people so often want to adopt babies and the agency does’t have many children under the age of 6, so they want to be sure they’re saving the classes for people who will have a child to adopt when they get finished with class.
The logic made sense, but the order of options still seemed odd. I took a breath and prepared for class.