It seems like forever ago that we started on our adoption paperwork. Ah, how young and naive we were. We thought we knew what kind of child we wanted, and we thought that the only other factors we had to consider were wait times and choosing a good agency. How wrong we were!
Luckily, there are many experienced adoptive parents and adult adoptees out there who tirelessly educate and argue with and encourage us new PAP on the various online forums (like this one and this one and this one). And we started to see that it's not just about what we think we want. It's also about what other adoptive parents want. And about what birth families need. And about what the @%#&!s, who would make money off a child, want. Most importantly, about what the kids need.
After much time and reading and talking, we began to realize that what we thought we wanted maybe wasn't exactly what we wanted. Maybe we could want something a little different, maybe a little less of what the other adoptive parents and the @%#&!s wanted and a little more of what the birth families and the kids needed. To be clear, it's still about what we want. We're not going to adopt a child that we feel incapable of parenting. We’re just slightly redefining what we want.
There are two lists in the adoptive world: the waiting parents list and the waiting child list. The waiting parents list is very long, and most people are waiting for a healthy baby. The waiting child list is for children who don't have anyone to adopt them. These children are there because they are older, or have medical issues, or both. For the last few months, we've been thinking about how we can move farther from the waiting parent list and closer to the waiting child list. We've been talking to many other adoptive parents and some health professionals.
We know that there are wonderful people out there who have adopted seven or ten special needs children. That's not us. But a slightly older child, we decided we want that. And we found a special need that we feel comfortable with.
We have decided to ask for one or two children, up to five years old, and Hepatitis B positive.
Yesterday we began the process of changing our homestudy. It’s going to be pretty simple and hopefully will not take too long. We took a long time to make this decision, and we’re pretty excited about it, and confident it was the right one for us.