Saturday, December 30, 2006

Wondering and waiting...

Do you ever obsess about issues or problems over which you have on control?

Here the thing: we have told the agency that we are willing to take another kid. We have said that the kid does not have to be openly GLBT, but that we do want to take a child for whom it is best to be in a gay-friendly environment. (Translation: if s/he trips your gaydar call us. We promose not to give the kid back if you're wrong.)

So they will keep an eye out for a kid that is a good match for us. They know Brian and Andrew are here, and they won't send us kids who they think would not be able to get along with them. No one is expecting that all the kids will adore each other, but they do need to be able to tolerate each other.

Personally I am hoping for someone with relationship skills more like David's and less like Evan's. David is a master at ignoring younger kids when they are being annoying. Evan feeds it.

I wish that our agency worked more with kids younger than Brian. Though some of the divisions do take kids as young as 9, the local office do not get many pre-teens at all. Brian thinks he wants to be an older brother. He imagines being doting and loving and having a wonderful mentor-relationship. I don't think it would work out the way he imagines, but I do think it would be good for him not to be the youngest anymore.

We considered not doing care for a few years, let Brian get older, more mature, perhaps even wait until we could get a kid younger than he. The down side of that is that Brian will be devastated when Andrew leaves for college. Everyone agrees it will be easier for him if there is another kid in the house.

It feels strange to be thinking about what is best for Brian in this way. I know that it is wrong for all kinds of reasons to add children to a family in order to meet the needs of the ones already here. Though it is important that new kids are not hurtful to kids who are already in the home, there is a line between that concern and shopping for a kid who will benefit current kids. Even if there weren't that major ethical issue of treating new children as commodities, there would be the fact that such a project is doomed to failure.

Andrew has also asked that the next kid be younger than he. Andrew's request is based upon realistic expectations, however. He is not imagining an idealized relationship; he just knows that his senior year is going to be stressful and he doesn't want another senior in the house. He also does not want another older kid coming in and trying to establish dominance. I think that he imagines, correctly, that it will be easier for him to maintain an emotional detachment from someone younger. He can be the kind, although not really interested, older boy.

But for all this runs around in my mind, I know there is nothing that I can do about it.

I am not in the position that so many pre-adoptive parents are in. I sometimes find myself looking at the photolistings, but I am not going to call anyone. I do not read the descriptions, trying to fill in the missing details, and wonder if this is my child. I do not ask for particular kids.

I wait for the phone to ring. At some point someone will call. Though it is possible that it will just be a social worker who knows we have a bedroom available and wants to know if we would be interested, that is less likely. The call will probably come after a staff meeting at which they have discussed whether this youth is a match for us. We will read the file and meet the kid.

And then we will wonder whether we can make it work. Though right now the question that runs through my head is, "What would be best for Brian?" the question that I will ask then is, "Can we meet this youth's needs while still meeting Brian's and Andrew's?" Or more realistically, "Can Brian and this kid get along well enough that I can resist the urge to bang their heads together?"

I'm still in that weird emotional space where I am happy to have the time off and yet impatient to know who the next kid will be.

As of tomorrow it will be three weeks since Evan left. Seems impossible, but he did leave on the 10th.

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