The unexpected details...

Thursday, January 31, 2013
We our first appointment with a social worker for adoption was on Tuesday.  It definitely gave us a lot to think about.  I don't know what I was expecting to find out, but I was not prepared for what we learned about the children that are adopted out of child services.  I expected to hear of trauma.  I expected to hear it would be a lot of work and they would need great deal of care and love.  I expected they might have a delay in development and their ability to learn.  What I didn't expect to hear was that 90% of the children that are up for adoption, have some sort of brain damage due to being exposed to drugs and alcohol in the womb.  The extent of the damage varies, but almost all of them have special needs in some form.
I don't know why I found this to be surprising. I don't know why it never crossed my mind.  Thinking about it now, it makes perfect sense, but It came as quite a shock to both me and my husband when we were told.  Our concern is that we might not know the extent of the damage from the beginning and could end up with a child that can end up with severe problems that we never expected to take on.
Don't get me wrong, we want to be able to give a child a loving home and stability that they've never had, but we have to think long and hard about bringing a special needs child into our family and what impact that would have on our young son.  Even if we decided that we (as parents) could be up for the challenge, we don't know if putting the burden on our son would be the best thing.  One day, we might not be around and we can end up leaving our son with the burden of taking care of that child for the rest of his life.  I'm not sure if that's something that would be fair to him.
It's a difficult choice.  We don't know what we're going to do.  We've decided to move on with applying, but we are proceeding with caution.  I called my doctor to schedule an appointment to discuss what it is we would be looking at.  We have no idea.  We want to ask at what age severe brain damage would be detected.  We want more information on what we could be faced with.  Once we have answers, we'll be able to make an informed decision on what to do.
I feel awful that I'm having second thoughts from the word go.  I went into this wanting to do an amazing thing for a child in need and now that I've been given the gory details, I'm getting cold feet!  I feel guilty.  Like I said, I don't know what I expected to hear, but I didn't expect to hear that 90% of the children in the system that are up for adoption, are children with special needs.
I will add that there were several times during the meeting, I nearly burst out in tears.  It was a difficult thing to find out the circumstances and details of these cases.  I knew it would be hard.  I thought I was ready, but you can't prepare yourself for such things.  It was awful.
I'm waiting for the call from my doctor and once, we've had a chance to sit down with him, my husband and I will have to take some time to figure out what we want to do.

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