Are you as tired of this me, me, me perspective of life as I am? Have you been blessed with a home, a decent income, and the sweet companionship of a loving spouse, perhaps even children – and yet suddenly you’ve had the uncomfortable feeling of living just for yourselves; you’ve detected the “me, me, me” perspective in your own life? You have been given so much, you keep thinking, and then comes the question – is it possibly the time now that I, or we, are to give something in return to someone not as blessed – not our money, but the giving of ourselves, the sharing of ourselves with a special someone – perhaps a foster care adopted child?
Imagine this foster child to be someone who never expected to receive so much as you are able to give – someone so used to feeling abandoned and alone, unloved and unworthy of being loved, because he/she didn’t know what it was like to belong to a family who loved and wanted him/her. Perhaps they once knew the love of family, but have gone through the pain of losing them. Do you know about foster care adoption? Are you aware that for whatever the reasons, there are thousands of children – babies, toddlers, teens wondering why they were brought into this world to be so alone? It could be there’s a foster child out there, placed in this stream of humanity, waiting to become a vital part of your life, your family.
As you delve into the foster care adoption system, you realize it is a complicated procedure requiring prayer, research, and determination from the first step of finding the best state or private agencies to begin the process until the very end. Now all these questions are flooding your mind: Is foster care adoption really the right thing for my family? Who and where are these children waiting to be adopted? Would we be accepted as adoptive parents? How long will the process be and what will it cost? So what’s our first step in getting started?
There are many sources available to answer these questions and help you get started. Adoption agencies and exchanges, religious groups, community colleges are examples of where to start. Keep in mind that the majority of child adoptions from foster care are handled by public child welfare agencies. Parent support groups are out there as well as state department specialists – and don’t forget the many websites and printed materials that are available in that initial step toward foster care adoption.
Part of the educational process of learning about foster care adoption is to nail down all the legal requirements because, as you’ve surmised, laws and regulations govern U.S. adoption procedures. Because these laws vary from state to state, it may benefit you to check out the State Statutes database to furnish an overview and comparison of laws statewide.
Wow, you’re just getting started and already your head is beginning to spin – and you think “Is this the ‘giving’ I was expecting to do”? But wait, don’t lose sight of why you’re here. Yes, you will become perhaps even more frustrated and yes, there will be other times you wondered why you ever thought about foster care adoption! But the time will come when you know you have done it right.
Let’s refocus on the reason for it all – the child. Let’s confirm the “why” you are here. Just envision that lonely, frightened, confused, disheartened little spirit beginning to unfold and blossom under the umbrella of your love. Just see the transformation as he/she begins to love again – to love you and to love him/herself.
Then you will know without a doubt that you have actually experienced that familiar precept: “It’s better to give than to receive”. And you now know that indeed it is in the giving that we receive. By reaching out and giving of your love through foster care adoption to this child in need, you and your family are receiving and will continue to receive all the blessings that Love has to give.