Friday, May 6, 2011

Changing our homestudy

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.


  1. YAY! I know you've given this a lot of thought and I'm glad you're moving forward with it! It's weird how things change so much during the process. When we first met with our social worker we told her we wanted a domestic child under two. Now we're waiting for siblings up to 4.5. If you had told me I'd be in this situation, I would NEVER have believed it. Congrats on a big decision!

  2. want to hit a "like" button like on FB.

  3. Love how you expressed this as moving away from the waiting parent list and closer to the waiting child list - such a good perspective to have, I think. Congrats on making these big decisions, and good luck with the rest of the wait.

  4. Congrats on this change! You guys gave this a lot of thought and did your homework; it sounds like you guys are well prepared! Like Liz, I love how you described the move from the Waiting Parent List to the Waiting Child List.

  5. Good for you for reevaluating and making a change! We are also in reevaluation mode.

  6. Thank you, I really appreciate the support! Kelly, I'll be looking to see what you decide, too.

  7. One of the women I traveled with last May adopted a six year old (who is probably actually quite a bit older.) She tested negative in Ethiopia, but has since been found to have Hep B. The new mother happens to be a nurse. Things are going really well for them. I know there are a million resources out there, but if you would like to be put in touch with her I would be happy to arrange it.
    And, I, like everyone else, love the description and the sentiment behind moving from one list to the other list.

  8. Semi-feral, that would be great! My email for all things adoption-related is