On Friday, I stood in line at the post office with a large manilla envelope in my hands. Inside was the twelve page application to begin foster care licensing classes that Mr. Something and I sat down and started to fill out over a month ago. It ranged from basic demographic questions to the million dollar question: Why do you want to be an adoptive/foster parent? Forget the four little lines they allowed, our answer was typed, printed, and attached. Who could answer that in four lines? With that said, here’s what we had to say…
Through our experiences with students at [Mrs. Something’s] school we have quickly come to realize that the children that are the hardest to love are often the ones that need it the most. We are choosing adoption as the avenue to grow our family, not because we are unable to have children of our own, but because we recognize the undeniable need for safe, stable homes for children in the foster care system. We are particularly interested in cases that are most likely leading toward adoption. With our stable network of family and friends we would love the chance to provide not only a safe present but a bright and promising future for a child or children that have been victims of their own family situations. We understand the challenges involved in becoming adoptive/foster parents but know that the long-term rewards will outweigh the difficulties that we will face. We are excited to be taking our first steps on this journey!
It was a quiet personal moment, standing there at the post office, but at the same time it felt monumental. It reminded me of standing in line waiting to walk across the stage at my college graduation. There were a few familiar faces around but no close friends near enough to talk to. We shuffled along in our line up a set of stairs and into the wing of the stage. College graduation, a giant step away from the safety of studenthood into the unknown, but we all were just silently shuffling forward, alone with our thoughts of the years leading up to that very moment. A quick name call, a smile and curt handshake from a stranger, and you are swept to the opposite side of the stage, back in your seat with an empty folder (the diploma would be sent in the mail) and left to wonder, “What’s next?”
Obviously the amount of work it took to come to this decision cannot compare to the work it takes to earn a college degree, but there was work, discussions, reading, research, stress, excitement, anticipation, and a sense of some sort of achievement standing there quietly in line. I was proud to be there, on the precipice of the next stage of my life.
Part of the reason it took us over a month to get this application prepared was the requirement of three non-relative references. Until recently, Mr. Something and I had agreed to only tell one person about our Tiny Human Project idea. We wanted to do the research and formulate our own opinions and beliefs before we were inundated with everyone’s opinions (educated or not) about the matter. If we were to ask three non-related friends to be references, there were plenty of other people that needed to know first. So, we started telling people and the response, the amount of support that was immediately thrown our way, was an incredible feeling. It quelled the fears I had developed about people not understanding, of being openly against our choice. Plenty of them had concerns and questions, which we expected, but there was never a thought or concern that we hadn’t already considered. The overall reaction was genuine happiness and support which just reinforces my comment from our application above.
With our stable network of family and friends we would love the chance to provide not only a safe present but a bright and promising future for a child…
Mr. Something and I are so fortunate to have such an amazing network of friends and family. It is an integral part of our lives that we can’t wait to share with a child or children that don’t know what it’s like to be loved and supported by family and friends. So, the conversation is open. It wasn’t the caliber of a Facebook announcement but I am thrilled that I can share the next steps of this journey with the people that matter most.