Thursday, January 21, 2010

Adoption conversations move forward

So Carl called me yesterday and we FINALLY go to talk about adoption. He is the only of the boys who calls us "Mom" and "Dad." He had no hesitancy at all. I think he was happy, and thought it was about time, darn it.

I've decided that being "engaged to be adopted when the parents get around to it" is too stressful for the older boys, especially Evan. So I am going to make definitely plans, and not wait until Gary is ready.

Gary says he wants to be adopted after he turns 18 in October. That is close enough that it would make sense to wait, EXCEPT what he really wants is to be adopted when he would be leaving the agency anyway, which is after he graduates. In his plans he graduates from an on-line high school in October, 2010. I agree it is possible, but I'm not going to make any plans for that. Since he could easily not graduate until May 2011, I'm going to move ahead on the older boys.

The agency typically pays legal fees when their kids are adopted. The social worker said that she would check to see if that is true even when the "kids" are 22, 23, and 26. We will do it either way, but I'm not going to turn down financial assistance.

Next I have to contact the family lawyer and get some questions answered.

I think it is possible to adopt Carl even if he can't be here physically, but that does not sound like fun. He tells me that he needs some lead time to arrange to be gone, but he can be here whenever. I want to do it when Andrew will be home.

So we are on the road.


Gary admits to feeling tired, but denies that he is sad or angry or anything. The permanency hearing is in about a month, and I know that it all stresses him out. He should see his therapist soon (same one he was seeing when he first came to us), and hopefully he can talk about it there. I've wondered if adopting the older boys without him will make him feel left out. I can't know for sure, of course, but I have decided that by adopting the older boys now I am at least making it clear that we are serious about adopting him. It will happen, and it will happen when he is ready for it, and not before.

My theory though is that he can't really think about that until after he is done grieving his first family and he can't finish that until the hearing is over and he knows absolutely that neither parent is going to show up and say they want him. He knows that won't happen, but I suspect he needs to go through it before some part of him stops hoping.

For those who don't know us, I want to assure you that we will always encourage the boys in any efforts they make to contact or develop relationships with their first families. Always.

And I have decided that I will let Evan decide whether he will be adopted by just Roland or by both of us. When I think about it in the abstract, I am convinced that the ethical high road is the one where just Roland adopts him. Evan's relationship with his mother, as I have said before, is complex. He tells me that I have been "more of a mother to him" than she has, and I think he is being honest. On the other hand, she IS his mother.

However, I will let him decide. Evan isn't an abstraction. He is a young man and I will let him decide what he needs. I won't deny him something I am giving to the rest of the boys.


  1. And maybe it shows Gary too that there isn't a timetable for him to decide this? That you are doing this for your other boys who have been out of your home and on their own for periods of time bespeaks a constancy to the relationship and a respectful thinking through of the complexity of it all. At least to me! :-)

  2. If the agency doesn't cover the legal cost, your employer may. If not, there are adoption related tax benefits, though I don't know how that will work with the boys being older.

  3. I'm pretty sure that my employer doesn't, being a small, constantly-struggling private college. On the other hand, if Evan and David want to take some classes they would be able to do so tuition free.

    There is little to no chance that David would, by the way. He still has not finished his GED. sighing.


Comments will be open for a little while, then I will be shutting them off. The blog will stay, but I do not want either to moderate comments or leave the blog available to spammers.