Friday, August 21, 2009

Adoption Posts a'coming

So... I finally just asked Gary what he wanted with respect to our family. Whenever the question of our adopting him came up in the discussion with the social worker he smiled, but he didn't say anything. Later we assured him that it was his choice, and told him that it had always been our intention to offer to adopt all the boys as adults. We would be willing to adopt him now or later or not at all if that is what he wanted. He smiled.

So I asked, "Do you know what you want with respect to our family?"

He grinned and said, "Yep. I want to stay in [the agency] until I am 18 and then I want to be adopted." He went on with his plans to "soak the agency dry" as long as he could.

I have lots of complicated thoughts and feelings about adoption and it is difficult for me to blog about any part of it without feeling like I need to write about the other part first, but mostly right now those emotions are drowned out by the feeling that I want to do the happy dance.

This kid I have come to love wants to be part of my family, and that makes me happy.

Of course I couldn't blog about it until I talked to Evan first. He reads the blog sometimes, and he always reads it if I say I would like to see him or talk to him. So I called and told him that we had been thinking about offering adoption to him, Carl and David for years. I told him that I wanted to talk to him NOW because we were being asked about adopting Gary and I didn't want him to hear about all this any way but from me directly. He asked really practical questions about what exactly it means to be adopted as an adult. I told him that it was our intention for Roland to adopt him and then I would be his step-mother. He talked about his relationship with his mom, indicating that maybe he would want to be adopted by both of us. I told him that I did not want to come between them, but that it was his decision. I also told him he had a year to think about it. He seemed glad to know that.

So, sometime in the near future, I will write about how I feel about adopting the boys. I have no to little cognitive dissonance with respect to adopting Carl and David. There is no parent who would even notice (in one case because she died 12 years ago). Though it happened in different ways, they are in fact severed from their original families. With Gary and Evan it is different. Each has a parent who will be affected. I have never wanted our relationship with the boys to interfere with their relationships with their parents. Ultimately, what will happen will depend upon what they want to happen. I'll still have complicated feelings about that though, and I will write about it. Some of that will about what open adoption means to me in the context of adult adoption.

I also want to write about what adult adoption means to me and what I think it would mean to the boys.

And I might feel that I have to once again write about how the foster care system functions like an emergency room in a society with almost no primary care facilities. It's messed up.

And I will write about whether adopting the boys means that we are getting out of foster care. It may be a long post that can be summed up with "I don't really know."

If there is anything you want to ask about, please do.

Anticipating some questions:
  • The boys will be allowed to decide whether to change their names and if so what to.
  • Andrew and Brian are happy about the whole idea and regard the whole "it means that you will get less stuff when we die" as irrelevant. Possibly they understand how little stuff there is likely to be.
  • We have not talked to our extended family and though no one will be critical, I don't know if they will consider themselves genuinely related to the boys, though I know they would feel related to someone we adopted as a child.


  1. I'd like to hear your thoughts on G's plans to "soak the agency dry."

    On the one hand:
    * he has a right to whatever benefits he can get from them; and
    * he's smart to realize this.

    But on the other:
    * in a world with finite resources, "soaking the agency dry" takes resources that he doesn't really need and diverts them away from someone (e.g. someone like Evan when he needed rehab) who really does need them.

    Does G see both sides? Do you think it's your role to help him see both sides? And is part of his plan to soak the agency dry that he doesn't feel comfortable knowing that you are paying for things for him?

  2. How exciting...both that he wants to be part of your family and that soon you'll write about these issues...happy for all of you.

    As far as resources...I'm wondering if it all depends on funding. For example, getting out of using WIC in our state so that someone who is more needed gets it is actually a bad idea...if their numbers decrease (less people needing it) then their funding also decreases which then affects services and jobs and their ability to provide for even more people. Not sure how it works for private agencies but ours sometimes gets funds they have to use for the kids (less kids less funds) so in some way having more kids (numbers) actually benefits more kids. Not sure how it works for yours though.

  3. meant to write "needy" - me can can't type one-handed too well though.

  4. I'm happy dancing too! And in the for what its worth category, I suspect Gary "soaking the agency" has something to do with still not fully reconciling the "burden" thing with you guys. And from my perspective at some level, our broken systems do owe him!

  5. I am so happy for you all. We are adopting, if we ever get to court, our oldest. We had offered many times but not until she was 27 did it mean anything to her. I don't care how old they are, they are still your kids becoming a legal part of your family, it is thrilling.

  6. Awwww! I am doing the happy dance with you. Congrats, no matter what the courts say and do, they will always be a part of your family.


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