Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Looking for Input

I am gearing up to attend a strategic planning seminar, this weekend, for a local foster adoption agency/ministry that is in the final stages of becoming licensed.  You will definitely be hearing more about this from me in the days to come, as I'm super excited to be a part of something so cool. The mission of this group is simple: Bring Christian families and waiting children together. They've committed to providing no-fee adoption services, education, and support programs that tear down walls to adoption. It's important to note, here, that I'm talking about foster care adoption - meaning, the children you would consider adopting are "waiting children;" parental rights have already been terminated.

Here's what I'd like to know from you (all off you) and I'd really like you to answer honestly, without holding back. I'm going to take all of your comments to the seminar, this weekend, so that we have a pulse on how families really feel about adopting through foster care.

Here's what I'd like to know:
  • Have you or would you consider foster care adoption?
  • If the answer is "no," what are your reasons/reservations? 
    • Is there something specific that would change your answer (i.e. If I had a larger house with more bedrooms)?
  • If the answer is "yes," do you have concerns?
    • What kind of support would help ease those concerns?

I really appreciate and value your input. Feel free to send me a personal email, if you'd like your answers to remain private. I look forward to sharing more about this initiative!!


  1. my husband and i have been thinking and praying on fostering. we wouldn't sign up just to adopt, however, if we really felt a connection with a child that we fostered we would definitely consider adoption through foster care. my biggest concern is that I would not be able to emotionally handle fostering and then sending back a child but i realize that probably wouldn't happen through foster care adoption.

  2. We just had our first son. This isn't anything that I've talked with my husband about, but I would consider foster care adoption.

    I do have concerns's scary to think that a child could be placed with your family who might be dangerous to themselves or to your children you already have.

    I think that if there was a "support group" so to speak, or group counseling with other families who might be in the same "adoption boat" as you, would be VERY beneficial. Just a thought. :)

  3. Yes. (And we have completed the licensing classes.) But our reservations are: How will this affect our son (emotionally, psychologically, etc.)? and How much time will be taken away from family time for appointments, meetings, court, etc.?
    I'm not sure these could really be answered until we start, but they have us dragging our feet a little getting the rest of the paper work in.

  4. I did adopt my daughter from foster care. She was placed with me at 7, adopted at 9, and is now 23. The concerns I had were lack of support from the agency, lack of access or referrals to good programs leaving me to have to search on my own. Also I had a lot of issues with the agency and their one size fits all mentality and lack of support. My daughter was diagnosed developmentally handicapped i.e. borderline retarded and the agency insisted that she was not capable of so much. After spending time with her, I felt differently but they refused to believe or support my efforts to get her help. Today she is a senior at ASU majoring in not retarded.

  5. Yes- I have considered foster care/adoption. I have prayed about it and at this point the answer is "Maybe some day." I feel strongly that right now God is not leading me to be a single mother. I feel that children benifit from having both a mother and a father who have a strong marriage and are commited to each rasing their children in a Christian home. I am single. I know some single women who are foster parents and/or who have adopted. I admire them and would do anything I could to support them. Please note that I am only speaking for my self here. I would feel cheated if I had to drop my children off at day care in order to go to work. My dream is to be stay-at- home mom (or to ONLY work when my husband could take care of the kids, with occasional exceptions- I do have friends who would undoubtedly help me by babysiting if I needed help) and I also dream of being a home schooling mom. Also I have come into contact with quite a few kids who are or were foster children and I have realized that I am not equiped to deal with children over the age of about 7 and I greatly prefer infants. I have had some very bad experiences while trying to be a good role model to "troubled teens". That being said I would love to be an foster/ adoptive parent IF it is God's will. I'll keep praying and see where God leads in that regard.
    Another consideration is that I'm quite frankly- not sure I'd be a good mother. I have had alot of babysiting experience and I find that I am very easy to manipulate even by pre-shool children or 1st graders and sometimes I tend to take the "easy way" of dealing with a situation rather than sticking to my guns and doing what I know is truely the "right" thing to do. This is not easy to admit and my heart aches because ever since I was a little girl I have dreamed of being a mom. I would be open to being a foster/adoptive mom if it is God's will, but at this point I am convinsed it is not and to pursue something that is clearly not God's will for my life at this time would surely have a negative impact not only on my life, but on the lives of any children who are placed with me! I will continue to seek God's will in this and I do pray that He will see fit to allow me to live my dreams in His timing!

  6. I have always considered adoption, but I already have a child and don't think I could give another child the same financial respect that I give my child. I also don't think that I am capable of giving more time to another child. Adoption is still not completely out of the question. But for now, plans are on hold. We currently have a young child at home and both my husband and I work full time.

  7. We went through all the classes for Fost/Adopt and started the "home study" phase but every time we turned around there was another hurtle to jump... I am not saying all programs are like this but the county we went through was. As for concerns we had the major one was having a child placed into our home for such a long period of time and then that child being reunified with their birth parents because that is the #1 goal of Fost/Adopt: Reunification. When I say a long period of time I am referring to periods of anywhere from 6-18 months. I feel that is unfair for a child to get attached to a family and then be ripped away from them.

  8. I would definitely consider a foster to adopt, and perhaps may go that route in the future. My concern would be choosing the best agency who would be with me every step of the way. Something that I don't like about certain agencies is they discriminate based on religion. I would want to go with an agency that has no religious criteria.

  9. I have an adopted son (thru domestic adoption) & would so love to adopt again. Due to money concerns, we would have to adopt through foster care. We have not seriously looked into that arena due to our fear of being selected to foster a child & have that child taken from us. We are unsure how our hearts would handle that, but more importantly the impact it would have on our tender-hearted son. Other concerns would be placement oriented - such as would the child's issue be fully disclosed. What would be safe & fair to our child to take on.

  10. I wouldn't do it because of the fear of having the child taken away from us after bonding and attaching to the child. I would not be able to sleep at night knowing that would be a possibility. Of course that is selfish of me, not thinking about the children that we could have an impact on, but I'm just being brutally honest.

  11. I have a friend who has taken in 2 foster children and it was a very difficult situation - especially the first one. The child (7 when she came to live with her) had many behavioral issues and she worked with her for years but then had to give her up. I think people need to realize that many of these children have very extreme issues and it will take much more than love and a solid family in many cases to help them. The issues my friend had to deal with were so shocking and beyond anything I could ever imagine. Not I think foster children shouldn't be given a home but I think many people are naive as to the needs of many of them and need to realize and be prepared for many issues.

  12. Yes I would consider it. My concerns would be abuse or neglect and bringing those children into a home with our child (who we adopted at birth). I would also be a little concerned about the birth parents, often times the children are "taken" from them, versus being voluntarily placed with a family, and I imagine that might be tough.

  13. My biggest concern would be connecting emotionally with a child and then having that child sent back to his or her parents. I would be concerned my children would have an extremely hard time with this, too.

  14. It is something I'm looking into. One of my personal concerns is that, as I'm single, I would be a single mom. Some friends have told me that's not fair to the child to adopt when there's only one parent in the home, but then I look at the pictures of waiting children and I think the full love of one parent would be better than no parent!

    I do think that it would be great if there was a place to get clearer info on everything - costs, support groups, government programs, all of it. I've pieced it together, but it took work.

  15. My husband and I actually are trying to expand our family, we have two beautiful children through the precious gift of adoption. We would LOVE to expand our family however we cannot afford another adoption, and we looked into the foster to adopt program but decided against it. We decided against it because I get attached so easily and I have lost several babies (miscarriage etc...) and that was hard enough. We were also concerned about our children and how they would handle the situation if the child did not end up staying, not to mention how it would affect our family dynamic (not knowing what this child/ or children will have experienced and how they would be with our children). I wish this was something that we could try however we just feel it is not a good choice for our family.
    Best wished on this new endeavor, I look forward to hearing more. God Bless

  16. Yes, we support and have considered fostering w/adoption. Originally I would have not chosen fostering due to the fact you bond with the child and then have the risk of incompetent parents getting them back. I could not handle how emotional that would be. However, as years have passed, I advocate to foster/adopt because of the existing children who are desperate for some normalcy of a home life and may never get that opportunity, you could really be that for them. Foster allows you to get to know one another before deciding if it's a right fit for both for a possible adoption. Fostering has it's advantages, as I know people who have done it and with traditional adoption the cost is an issue. Many of us with biological children may consider another child, but not be able to take on such an enormous financial strain to do it considering we have children already. My concerns would be the effects to my existing children. There would definitely need to be support and counsel prior and during any foster situation. The child would definitely have to bond with our family and we would need thorough evaluation and support to provide us with information if there are any known issues with the child i.e. anger, mental challenges, health etc.

  17. I would definitely consider foster care adoption. It's not anything that we've looked too far into in the past because of the outlandish cost. I also think that there's a stigma attached to the term "foster care". I would absolutely need to learn more before I could say for sure that we would jump in, but it is something that God has put into my heart and I would be open to. My concerns are just in my lack of education on the topic - what costs are involved, and is that "stereotype" true about children seemingly coming and going through a revolving door? I don't know that I'd be able to say goodbye...

  18. My husband and I have talked about adoption in our future. We are able to have kids (we currently have a 9 month old son) but we both have a strong sense as though we are supposed to adopt at some point. Where I would like to adopt a child from infancy, my husband is very passionate about adopting an older child who has been bounced around by the system. This brings some hesitation on my part for a couple of reasons.

    If we were to adopt an older child, I would be concerned with potential violent, disrespectful behaviors. If the child is very introverted and is really struggling to find comfort in the home, I would start to be a little concerned with the time it would take to help them through it would take away time from other children, will the child ever get to a place where they do feel comfortable. Also, learning to live a different lifestyle might be hard the older they are which could cause other problems. All of these could be addressed and taken care of though if there were special groups or organizations there to help with the counseling side of things for both the parents and the children (adopted and biological).

    That being said, there are so many kids in foster care that I don't know I would ever be able to say "no" to adopting a child that has been in foster care. I just don't know that I could ever just be a foster parent. Personally, I would become too attached. As long as these foster situations would result in adoption, the rest can be worked out. I hope that all made sense.

  19. We were foster parents. We did not foster to adopt. We fostered because we wanted to help children who were needing care. Our first placement was a set of twin girls. They were 3 years old. It was 10 months of chaos. Stress beyond anything I've ever faced. They had emotional issues and we had NO support. I know our own children (ages 6 and 8 at the time) suffered drastically having to witness their LONG and loud tantrums. As far as time away, there are weekly visits at the agency. We always attended all court hearings. The social worker was supposed to make a home visit once a month but she was stretched so thin that it was always a last minute call to see if she could drop by. What the state allows as discipline is not Biblical. That was a huge problem for us. After they were finally placed with a family member we did accept an infant placement. We felt that was a much easier fit as you do not face the discipline issue. I would not do it again with my own children in the home. It has been 5 years since those twins left our home. We still keep in touch. Last week they called me just to talk. I love them. No question the time they spent in our home nearly made me lose my sanity but I love them. We have many great memories but some really bad ones too. What can an agency do to help? I honestly do not have the answer to that. Kids in difficult circumstances can be difficult to help. I will say I felt VERY overwhelmed during those first months. The social worker later told me that they couldn't believe we kept those girls. She said most people would have sent them to another home. We were new. We knew nothing of what was normal. Perhaps we just had a bad experience. Either way, if a family has other children, be careful.

  20. Have you or would you consider foster care adoption?

    no - since we are currently childless (we're signed up with an agency and in the 'waiting' state. it would be too much for my heart to handle. if would be all nice and loving, until the child was returned home. my heart couldn't handle the heartbreak time and time again. if we already had one child, our feelings may be different, but since we do not...

    it's not about about our views on 'what type of so called kids' come from foster care, it's strictly an emotional and selfish issue on not being able to handle yet another heartache.

  21. We're just finishing up the process of becoming licensed foster parents (currently waiting word on that part) and we're going through a Christian agency called Arrow. They have been great- very supportive and describe their role as being our advocates as well. Of course we haven't gotten a placement yet so I don't know about the follow-through, but we've been really pleased with them so far. Just knowing that we can call them at any time about anything and they will help as much as they can is very comforting.

  22. We did a fost-adoption for our first daughter which went perfect. So when we moved and decided to adopt again we got certified to adopt in our current county. About three months ago we accepted a high risk case with a 12 month old boy. He is high risk because the birthparents services havent been terminated yet. We knew a court hearing was set for three months out so we decided to take the risk to see which way the case would go. Well the hearing is tomorrow morning and from what the social worker has told us, it looks like he will be moving toward reunification. We will be really sad to see him go but I will never regret taking the chance. I really feel like God has guarded my heart through this entire process. And we might of been willing to wait it out longer but we have to protect the heart of our daughter now. I think that many of us are stronger than we give ourselves credit for and I feel like these kids need a chance. They deserve to have families just like you and I.

    As for concerns, they are the same as most anyone. Will I be able to bond with them? Will they accept me as a parent? What kind of emotional baggage will they be carrying with them? How long will the adoption process take?

    Hope that helps! :)

  23. Before we found our agency we did foster to adopt for a year and after a year we were no closer to adoption then the day we started....very frustrating....maybe it's just our system, but I would never do it again. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer.

  24. Before I answer the questions, I do have to say that when I first read about the seminar you are attending, I got chills. Holy cow, Rebekah, can you see what is happening? Standing on the outside, I can only stand in amazement as I watch God use you to do so much good. Would you have ever thought that God would use you in such a powerful way? Often when our hearts are torn to shreds that is when God uses those shreds to dramatically change our lives and those around us. I can't wait to watch this all happen.

    Fostering- I do see how fostering/adopting older children could be harmful to the children that already live in your home.

    Would we be interested in fostering/adopting? No, but just becuase we are not looking to have more children at all.

  25. Eventually, at some point in my life - I would consider adopting from foster care. It has always been important to me to foster children at some point in my life, and I feel adopting from foster care is taking that one step further.

    My concerns would probably be about potential conflicts with birth parents and I would need to know if the child has become physically violent in the past, simply because I do have my son's safety to think about.

    I am very confident, though, that fostering would work well for me one day and I hope that the man I end up with for the rest of my life will agree. I work in special needs and have no worries about "difficult" children.

  26. We have fostered and did not like the fact of the kids going back home knowing the mom did just enough to get by. I am not against putting the kids back with family but I am against giving them multiple opportunities when they have already had kids in the system and taken away and given to others and then them get another chance at getting the kids back. that to me is just a slap on the wrist per say and saying that it is ok for them to straighten up just for a short amount time and then you can have your kids back. i think something needs to be done about this.

  27. We are foster adoptive parents and if we had a bigger house and car, yes we'd do it again. My frustration through our whole process was that until you get to the adoptive stage, you aren't told ANYTHING. I think as foster parents you need to know, not to make or pass judgment, but to better help the child by understanding exactly where they came from.

  28. Yes, we are a family that adopted through foster care. We have three biological children and two adopted through foster care at the ages of 22 months and 8 months. We also had two foster children leave our home and return to their biological parents. We learned very early on in our experience that it was best for our family to only take in children younger than our biological children. There were several occasions where our oldest adopted almost went to a relative home. After months of trying to prepare our hearts for our "child" (had since birth) to leave, we finally had to give it all to God and he clearly showed us he was in control. We were not only there for these children to show them Christ's love, but that was our role to their parents also. Most of these parents have not had a fair run at life. In our situation, we have a mom who was brought up in a household of her own mother prostituting and using drugs and a father who was raised in the streets with his mother only enabling his bad habits. Our concerns about adopting through foster care were always the fact that any child you are placed with has been abused or neglected in some way. Another concern we faced was being told incomplete truths by the agency. We would have appreciated truth in order to protect our biological children. Also concerning was always the safety of our family. We had so many workers in and out of the house and there is a lot of personal information on all of the paperwork that foster parents and biological parents must both sign. One of the fathers, in our case, knew our address-thankfully, he saw us as helpful in his situation and we did not fear him. Future concerns are the unknown effects of the abuse our daughters suffered.

  29. I have adopted a foster daughter. She came to live with me at age 10, was adopted at 11 and is now 13. I wouldn't do it again and there are may days I am so stressed that I wonder why I took this on at all. I love my daughter, but her troubles are huge. The other person that commented about being naive is right on target. I was single at the time of doing this and did straight adoption. I was the say as other people saying they would be to attached to to foster care and the child would have to leave. I don't feel that way any more. Once the adoption is complete the state no longer helps with problem. She has great emontional problems. I was told before meeting her that she was a fun, calm, normal child by her social worker. After living with her now her three years she has been diagonised with bipolar and ADHD. I'm not equiped to handle this but have made a commitment to her. There have been many days I want to give up but haven't so far. I hope each day that it won't be a battle all day. I would make sure anyone considering this to do fostering first and get your feet wet. You'd be suprised how your thought change about bonding to a child with so many problems.

  30. I have two daughters that I adopted from foster care. They are biological half-sibs, though they had never lived together before I got them.

    No regrets whatsoever, but I understood well what the potential challenges would be with such an adoption.

    In my state (Florida), there are nice benefits in place that make such an adoption virtually free. Children also receive Medicaid until 18, 4 years college/technical training free, etc.

    The challenge is that after the adoption is finalized, it is a LOT of work to find needed services (play therapy, for example) and support. Part of this has to do with Medicaid - and so having someone at the agency that is "fluent" in governmental services in your state is a critical resource to families out there, so they don't have to try and navigate so much of that on your own. In a nutshell--services and support after finalization.

    Also--one of my pet peeves with some Christian adoption agencies is that they only accept couples. As a single adoptive parent, it was very disheartening to see this so often, as if two-parent Christians necessarily can do a better job than one-parent Christians. It's a LOT of work to be a single parent regardless, but don't block everyone just because of their marital status. Even if a couple is married, that doesn't mean they always will be.

    I haven't found my partner yet, but that doesn't mean that I haven't found my children. I absolutely found my girls.

    ALso--when you see how many children languish in foster care WAITING for a family for YEARS, it's tough for me to stomach that an able single person would not be considered simply because they are single.

    Some of the kids whose profiles I looked at why I was waiting to be matched with my girls are STILL AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION.... 4 1/2 years later. Waiting for a family, for permanency, for a Mom and/or a Dad, for someone to commit to them. What does that do to children to live in limbo for such a long time (and remember, they are in limbo in foster care before they become available for adoption). Just something to think about. :-)

  31. My husband and I were talking about foster care the other day and what we would consider. We don't have any children right now and are on a waiting list for domestic adoption.

    I think the concerns that we have are the fact that we don't have any parenting skills because we haven't been parents and that older kids from foster care might need more than just the love we could offer. We are also concerned that there wouldn't be much support for us. We feel like it would be something we might do later on. That might sound selfish, that we're waiting until WE'RE ready when kids are waiting now. I just know that God hasn't given the green flag yet.

  32. We are currently discussing foster care adoption of an older child. My main concern right now is family support (easy to support adopting an infant not so easy with older children say age 9. The main thing holding us back is the classes I know they are necessary but since my husband works 2nd shift it makes it incredibly hard to figure out a way to get all the classes in.

  33. In your question I think you were asking if we would consider adopting a waiting child right? Because tons of people on here are speaking as if we are talking about kids who still have parents with rights to them.


    Also, someone was talking about cost, while there may be a few thousand dollars you have to front in order to adopt through your state, you will get it all back.

    So, yes, I am hoping to do this one day!

    I am very concerned about all sorts of stuff, especially after all ready being in the system.

    1. Workers misrepresenting things about the child. See Teasha's comment to see how common this is. I have seen parents say though same words over and over about older children.

    2. R.A.D. scares me to death and it is REAL. It ruins families and destroys lives. I have seen this too many times as well. Watching families torn apart because a child that they adopted that had been thru extreme trauma turned out to be molesting another child in there home is happening all too often now. I was just chatting on the phone with a foster mom who had this exact thing happen.

    3. Attaching to a child is sometimes TOO easy and then other times just doesn't happen naturally and that is scary to me too.

    I think something that would help all of this run as smoothly as possible would be working with the current foster family that the child is living with to provide information that the over worked social workers cannot retain or provide because they are not the ones raising this child-the foster parents are.

    If you want to be able to know what you are dealing with you need to go to the source, not the old outdated paper work that was written up about this child 10 months ago.

    Also, people need to know what they are going into I think only other adoptive families who have ALREADY DONE IT can provide suggestions on how to make adopting a child with a traumatic past successful.

    Can't wait to hear how your meeting goes!

  34. My husband and I are African American and live in Des Moines, Iowa. Though the population of African American is few and far between in our area, there is a large population of African American children in the foster care system. We have considered it but our fear is the bond we would have with the child and the chance they would be taken away. The other concern is the child coming in with issues due to the decisions their parents made. They are in the system for a reason, and our fear is if they had been abused or their parents were drug addicts, I am not sure if I would be able to handle it. We have been through so much with infertility that this would probably effect even more emotionally.

  35. Yes, I've always wanted to do it and considered it a definite "plan" somewhere down the line. My husband has never said so, but I haven't felt the same passion from him that I have about this, and that concerns me a bit that if he's not fully on board then it won't work out.

    Either way, not right now. My two children are very young (1 and 3) and require so much time and attention that I don't know if I'd have the energy or patience to give attention to another child that I hardly know. Plus, bringing in a child from a different back ground, I wouldn't want any harm to come to my children. That's a big fear. So I guess if it happens, it'll happen when they're just a tad older. I would probably look at syblings, in any age range, that are waiting to be adopted.

    Oh, and we're military, guaranteed to move around every few years, I don't know how that works when you foster to adopt and then you have to move out of state.

  36. Yes, we have and still are considering it. There's a lot of talk about "birth order" which I admit I don't know much about.

  37. Hi. As you know we have fostered to adopt. I would be very interested in hearing more about your private agency as I may in the future when it is up and running may want to be part to adopting. The question you had about the support I would like is support like once a month or something meet with other foster adoptive parents to hear what they have gone through and how they got over this issues or helped there child to get over past hurtful pasts that lead them to the system. The biggest thing is support and those times when you feel like the only person going through the situation if the child is aggressive or has behavioral. By the way it became offical that Justin is final the appeal was denied and we are now excited waiting for the court date any day now. yeah. hope to hear more about you new agency how exciting.

  38. Yes, my husband and I are acutally considering Foster to Adopt over other choices. We are a Christian home and we know that we have enough love and support to share with a child. We have not looked into it too much because we are currently enjoying our 13 month old so I am certain that we are not fully educated on the process just yet. However, we are certain that we want to complete our family by brining in a precious little girl. And one that is perferably under the age of one. I'm not sure if that is realistic, but our hearts are open and I think that God will do the rest.
    I'm so proud of you! It's awesome that you have this opportunity. I'm looking forward to learning more. :)

  39. I/we have and are considering foster care adoption but to be honest we are still scared...of all of it. We are worried about the potential issues that could arise regarding the children having been traumatized...and more than that, about not being able to protect them from further pain, given how broken the system is and how things go sometimes.

    There are the logistical concerns too, such as the size of our house, not wanting to adopt outside of birth order, etc. Still, I would have to say the thing that scares me the most is the emotional pain. Not even my own, though that does factor in somewhere, but the pain of the child/children in question. Dealing with that as one issue but also realizing that any problems on the plate, while not insurmountable, will have a tremendous impact on our family life and our son's life. These are the things that make me halt in my tracks. I do think it is highly likely that we may pursue foster care adoption at some point in the future, I just don't know when that will be.


  40. My husband and I are considering foster care adoption. After PCOS, three miscarriages, and more failed cycles than I'd like to count, we would love the guarantee of a child to raise. We both had tumultuous childhoods, and we probably should have been taken from our parents and placed in foster care ourselves. We would love to give a child the good, stable upbringing we wish we had had! And we think it would be great to adopt an older child who otherwise might not be adopted.

    However, we are both still young (I am 24 and DH is 26), so adopting an older child would not be a good option for us right now. We believe that it would be best for the child to have parents of a proper age, not a mom who's less than 15 years older than him/her!

    At this point, we would also need to be living in a place with more than one bedroom, and we'd like for me to finish my masters degree before we commit to adoption. The children deserve better than what we can offer right now. So for now, we consider foster care adoption a long term plan. Maybe in 10-15 years we will be ready to welcome that child into our lives.

    We do have concerns about being good parents to children who have already experienced abuse and neglect. Since we both did too, we worry sometimes that we would not be good parents. If there was a support in place to help us learn to put our experiences behind us so we could become better parents, that would be wonderful. We are Buddhist, so unfortunately this ministry would not help us. But I think it could be a valuable support for Christians too!

  41. I have not considered adopting waiting children. My husband has a daughter who was neglected from birth to age 2 by her birth mother. They were both very young, and my husband was in the Air Force, and was away a lot because it was right around the time of 9/11. She now lives with us full time, and I consider her 100% my daughter. However, because of what she experienced as a baby, she suffers from severe emotional trauma, including Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). It is very intense, and it is a daily battle to try to help her. While we have seen improvements, it is a struggle for our entire family to try and help her heal. I know I could not handle another child at this time.

    My biggest fear/reservation regarding adoption through foster care would be the lack of support. There are so few people who understand or even know about the disorder which makes our struggle ten times harder. I fear that I would not have the resources available or the strength to support another child through this disorder or any other emotional trauma that they have suffered.

    My heart breaks knowing that there are so many waiting children who have experienced things that no one should ever have to experience. I believe part of my struggle is that I am 26 raising a 10 year old, and perhaps someday I will be able to be more open to these children because they so need someone who understands the trauma they have experienced and the ways to help them. Unfortunately these children need so much more than just a loving family. I thought a loving family would 'fix' my daughter, but there are so many more layers to it than just that, and it is a difficult process.

    I believe the most important part is that there needs to be more support after a child has been placed. We are over three years into dealing with the RAD diagnosis, and nowhere near the end of the road. The support needs to be there long term.

    And while I do not feel ready to take on any more children at this time, I am excited to be starting the process to become a Court appointed special advocate. I hope this allows me to help children who are hurting.

    Good luck - this is an amazing thing that you are doing, Rebekah!

  42. 1. Yes, I would consider foster adoption (my husband not really sold on the idea).
    2. My husband worries about their history and how that would impact their behavior and functioning in our home. The reason I didn't want to was simply because I wanted a newborn, but I am open to it in the future...
    3. My worries are few. Since I work in this field, I would probably only need to continue talking with my colleagues for support. If I did NOT work in this field, I would hope that I would seek a professional who understood my child's developmental level and what my child needed, based on his/her history and developmental needs. And if my child had many needs, I would seek out a therapist, as well as specific developmental services if my child was delayed. I would assume most parents don't know what those services are, so a BIG support I would recommend is a resource booklet with services and agencies that provide those kids of supports (occupational therapy, speech therapy, case management, attachment therapy for younger children and older children, school advocacy, etc).

  43. Yes, we would love to adopt if all parental rights were terminated. After trying for a baby since April of 2000, we would definitely consider it. Plus we are older, wiser, and calmer and hopefully able to handle any issues that come along.

  44. My perspective is slightly different. Some successful families I've seen with foster to adopt kids are older parents who have been there, done that with their own kids and have enough parental experience to handle some of the tough foster/adopt kid behaviors (not necessarily RAD though). I don't think we'd adopt from foster care until Evie is older so that the new child would be younger than her and we would have been through that age with Evie and have some parental wisdom to bring to the table for the foster/adopt child.

  45. WOW!! :)

    I am sooo excited to see this! I believe your date of needing input has passed, but I still want to chime in.

    1. What and where is this organization? - I am a county director for The CALL (Children of Arkansas Loved for a Lifetime: and it sounds VERY similar to what you are doing. I would LOVE to connect with you and see what you all are planning, if we can help and/or if you have any ideas that we might incorporate here.

    2. To all the ones that are mentioning children going back home again... IF you are an ADOPT ONLY home, when a child is placed in your home as a pre-adoptive placement, that child typically remains until finalization. (Generally speaking, the only way a child can leave at that juncture is if YOU make that happen.)

    3. For post adoptive support, the ABSOLUTE BEST I have ever heard or seen is Dr. Karyn Purvis!! She is the author of "The Connected Child" and has tons of free resources (including videos) on her website: . There are also more lengthy videos (HIGHLY RECOMMEND THEM) available for purchase. Dr. Purvis' is a behavioral psychologist. Her speacialty is working with children from the "hard places"... although her techniques work on any children! She has a camp for children and their parents and speaks at conferences all over the US. She has seen REMARKABLE results in adopted and/ or foster children over and over again... even with R.A.D.

  46. Oh.. and our homestudy is scheduled for TUESDAY to approve us for foster care. :)

    Where my husband says he doesn't ever want to adopt... he was even more vehement about fostering and that's happening... I am confident we will adopt (from foster care) someday. :)

  47. Do I get the prize for posting the most comments under one title? ;)

    My email is: if you'd like to chat more about all the fun stuff with these organizations!

  48. Bit late in commenting for the weekend meeting but I thought I'd add my opinion.
    We are in the process of becoming foster parents with the hope of adopting someday.
    My concerns are for the child I'm already parenting and how any issues our foster or adoptive children bring in with them.
    Greatest support I had during our first wait was a monthly waiting families group.