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Posted: 12.29.2002
Apron strings
Since it was brought up in my comments, I thought maybe this should be addressed on the main page instead... Adoption for us isn't as easy as just saying we want to / we're going to do it. In fact, adoption will most likely be in our plans one day. But. And here's the big but. (And not the one on my backside.) I am disabled. Public adoption is pretty much ruled out for us. Which completely invalidates your theory. There is no way I could pass the screening process, even though we are perfectly capable of raising a child together. (Key word: together) We've been told we have little to no chance of adopting a child through state-funded means. And even if we did...you don't just apply and get a baby. You wait. And wait. And wait some more. Just like we've been doing since we originally started trying to have a baby in 1998, and then I learned I couldn't have one in the spring of 2000.

Which leads us to private adoption. Yep, we've done our research here, too. We've been told to have a minimum of $10,000 on hand for this. Shaw...right. We're lucky to have $1000 in savings in a given year. We live on one income. Although if we had a child tomorrow we'd be perfectly capable of raising it on what we make now -- starting out with -$10,000 from day one would cripple us in any given scenario.

Then there's private foreign adoption. We watch this very closely each time we learn of someone pursuing it. In the examples of family friends that have done so, we've been told to have a minimum of $20K on hand -- and up to $50K saved depending on the country. Besides the legal expenses involved, some countries have a knack for upping the ante at the very end -- and if you can't pay, you can't play. Since I don't have a rich aunt Edna somewhere waiting in the wings to buy us a child, again, we wait.

Adoption is tailored to a two-income family -- or at least a one-income famlily with two healthy individuals. We are neither. I'm not exactly sure where you're getting the figure that it's cheaper than having a kid in the hospital, but that's certainly not our case. We have excellent insurance and each prenatal visit's co-pay would be $10 each. The actual birth and hospitalization would cost us a maxium of $150. Versus a $10K pricetag...well, no... I've had several thousands of dollars worth of surgeries, drugs, and treatments to date -- and we've been out no more than several hundred in co-pays. Of course, our arms are still empty. But no matter what path God ultimately leads us down, it will never be as easy as just wishing it done. Ever. We have finally accepted that.

And even though I was open to the idea of adoption from day one, Todd was not. That's a very big, and private, decision in a marriage. You just can't go along telling someone they "should do it". We reached the decision together after travelling a path together that was filled with an enormous amount of pain, physically and emotionally. I cannot fault my husband for wanting his own flesh and blood. That's a part of human nature. And he certainly can't fault me for exhausting every bit of modern technology possible when trying to give that to him. But again, these are very private decisions we have to reach together for private reasons -- emotionally and financially.

If anyone out there has $10K lying around, well then I'd love to consider starting my family tomorrow. Otherwise, I just have to continue to believe there are reasons God has said "not right now", and that someday I will understand them.

Hey boy take a look at me...let me dirty up your mind...

It's amazing to think that if I had been born now I would probably not have been adopted -- at least, not by my parents, who had very little money, and were certainly not a two-income family (back in those days it was assumed the mother would stay at home to care for the child anyway). Crazy.

¤ ¤ credit: Andrea Harris | 12.29.02 at 03:13 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Yep. :-\ Rosie was always so pro-adoption, but unfortunately she never shared her bankroll, or even her clout, to change things and help out others who weren't so lucky...

¤ ¤ credit: robyn | 12.29.02 at 03:19 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Much Love to you guys for the harsh realities you have to face. We have looked at adoption as well...it ain't cheap or easy. Of course, our desire to adopt is really selfish. Between my wife and I we have 4 boys (want one? I'll sell you today's most annoying one real cheap), we would really like to have a girl.

And Robyn, I agree, Rosie could have done so much to further the adoption cause. She really is worthless.

¤ ¤ credit: a different Bill | 12.29.02 at 03:45 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

*Bravo* for being so realistic and sensible on this one..
My partner and I tried for a baby for 4 and a half years and then found out I suffered from secondary infertility (as I already have 1)
I had just been accepted for IVF treatment and my partner became ill with CFS..
We considered fostering/adoption, but as you say it isnt cheap ;)
I hope one day your dreams come true.. We are lucky as we already have one little boy..

¤ ¤ credit: Sonia | 12.29.02 at 04:07 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Sonia, I know it's really easy for childless couples to say, "But you already have one..." And I won't lie, in my heart I've felt a tinge of that in the past. But infertility doesn't just cripple and break the childless. The pain is equal regardless of circumstance -- the end result just a bit different. That said, I wouldn't wish it on anyone with -- or without -- child. And I'm truly sorry that you, too, have to understand.

¤ ¤ credit: robyn | 12.29.02 at 04:13 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

There are other ways. We aren't that desperate yet. But if we were.... :)

¤ ¤ credit: Kevin | 12.29.02 at 04:20 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

You already know how much this hits home with me. It's a very private and personal subject. I don't knock anyone's decision on adoption. I've often wondered about it myself. When the time comes again, I don't know what I'll do. But I know that I could not adopt a child that isn't mine. I can't explain it, and people will think I'm cruel. I just think I'd have a very hard time associating myself with a person that didn't come from me. I give people a lot of credit for adopting children and raising them as their own.

Love you! I know this is one of the hardest things a woman can go through. To be told you can't do the most natural thing in the world is a slap in the face.

¤ ¤ credit: statia | 12.29.02 at 04:27 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

"They said we had to wait five years for a healthy white baby. I said, 'Healthy white baby? Five years? What else you got?' Said they got two Koreans and a negra born with his heart on the outside. It's a crazy world."

¤ ¤ credit: robyn | 12.29.02 at 04:27 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Statia, I don't think you're cruel at all. Not everyone can adopt, and every set of reasons for and against are valid according to the individual case. And I know from the start Todd was dead-set against adoption. Over time, his opinions changed completely -- a lot of it due to seeing the amount of physical pain and discomfort I was in (which is ultimately why we elected not to participate in the fertility drug study at the last-minute in the late summer of 2001) -- and knowing adoption would only be mental uncertainty. But I still know there's nothing more he wants in the world than his own child, and that breaks my heart that I can't give it to him. Yet, anyway...

¤ ¤ credit: robyn | 12.29.02 at 04:35 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

I don't have 10k laying around, being one of the million or so x sprint employees, but you do have my thoughts and prayers. it's a damn shame when a decent, loving couple can't pass a stupid ass screening test to adopt a baby. it's an odd world we live in these days. as the father of two lovely girls, i can only offer my best thoughts that you can experience this. that is until they turn 11 or so and start their period and then get all surly and shit.

kidding people. really. i swear.

¤ ¤ credit: damnitkage | 12.29.02 at 07:13 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

I always wondered why you weren't able to adopt ... I figured it was either money or health. Stinks that those sorts of things are the limiting factor, especially since there are so many children in the world in need of good parents. :( I'll tell ya what, if I ever win the lottery (or in some way become rich), I'll give you the money you need! :D Seriously, though, I can't even imagine how hard it must be to want children and not be able to have any - I hope that someday you'll get your wish and that it's every bit as wonderful as you'd hoped. :)

¤ ¤ credit: ste | 12.29.02 at 07:49 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

*hugs* I sometimes wish I had the power to grant wishes. Sure I would use a few on myself...but I would get much more satisfaction out of giving people the things they long for the most.

You are an amazing woman.

¤ ¤ credit: sphinx | 12.29.02 at 08:21 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Okay, just so you don't think I am a total idiot on this stuff. My dad is sitting right here with me. What you all are saying is right, in most circumstances. But there are exceptions and you have to look for them to find adoption options out there. For one thing, most Catholic Social Services provide adoptions for very cheap costs compared to other private means. For instance......

My dad is disabled, with neuropathy, and on total disability. Gets a bit more than you for money, but not a whole lot. And no, my money can't be used for the family, not at all, just for my expenses, and things that are required for my living. My families income in not larger than $40,000 a year including the government assistance.

okay, so the adoptions. Joey was my dad's first adoption, it was private, he was single in the army and Joe was age 14. Cost was about $200 for court fees in Colorado. Everything else was done privately, meaning his mom signed all rights away, and stuff like that.

Second adoption was Christopher. He was adopted at age 3, and had medical problem, mild cerebral palsy. Very mild. His medical problem didn't come up until almost age 12 really bad, and had nothing to do with the cerebral palsy. Cost to adopt him with all home study and court and lawyer fees was around $2,000 and some subsidies from the state of Illinois for adopting a disabled child. He and mom were married and had incomes of around $26,000 a year, that was in 1983 he thinks.

Third adoption is Stevie. He is biracial, and has a couple of mild disabilities. He does most stuff perfectly fine by himself, but after age 2 he started showing some signs of weakness on his left side and had a foot that wasn't turned right. Anyway, he was adopted at birth, and mom and dad got him because they were willing to take a biracial child (they are white) that wasn't wanted by another white family. Mom and dad waited two years to get through the waiting list and did it through a Catholic Social Service agency. Total cost was less than $2,000 paid over the two years, including court fees, lawyer fees, legal notifications, birth certificate changes and all. Dad was disabled and on disability, and mom had a job paying $26,000. That was 1994.

All three times it took a lot of looking and willing to take other than the "perfect" kid. And dad says by no means is it for everyone. There have been a lot of heartaches, with Christopher dying at 16 of cancer and heart failure. But he and mom would not ever change any of it at all.

Okay, so thats my pitch.........it can be done, it doesn't always cost so darn much........and you can do it as a single parent and as a one income parent. You CAN'T do it if all you can live with is a healthy white infant.

AND............I am not heartless, or mean either. I really feel sorry for all you who can't have families like you want. I know, I have lived without a good family for all my life up to now, and now I am so happy. Several of you mentioned Rosie.......I think it sucks she isn't doing more about adoptions. I will have the money to do something about it one day, and I will. But I can't for now, it is not in my control yet.

¤ ¤ credit: Zander | 12.29.02 at 09:38 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Although the stories are beautiful and I very much admire your parents for the choices they've made -- in our case, it has to be a healthy infant. Race doesn't so much matter, but health does. With my own health problems to deal with, we don't have the energy (or funds) to take on another child with a disability. It just isn't possible. And Todd won't consider adoption unless we raise the child from infancy on as our own. I completely respect that. We're not looking for the perfect child. Just the perfect child for us. Everyone's circumstances, and thus choices, are going to be different. To say it worked for one never means it will work for another. Life just isn't that simple -- and neither are the legalities or expenses.

¤ ¤ credit: robyn | 12.29.02 at 09:53 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

My boss and his wife are trying to adopt right now. They're planning on adopting a bi-racial/black baby because as he said "the price is right". What a nutso world we live in! They don't have a ton of money, and race doesn't matter to them so...

The idea that different kids have different "prices" is just weird. If I had 10 grand I'd send it your way though!

¤ ¤ credit: Sunidesus | 12.29.02 at 10:21 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Robyn, I totally agree with you on the choices thing. Everybody HAS to be honest with themselves about what they want and what they don't want in a child they adopt. It's not a used car, it is a kid. And one that wasnt' wanted at that. So you have my admiration that you are honest about your choices.

¤ ¤ credit: Zander | 12.29.02 at 11:00 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

Well please don't say "one that wasn't wanted at that". That's certainly not the case in all adoptions. I've known mothers who have given up a child, and it ripped their heart in two when they did so. They were doing what was best for the child at the time...

¤ ¤ credit: robyn | 12.29.02 at 11:04 PM | link--this ¤ ¤


I would love to say "I feel your pain", but I guess I can say that I kinda know what you are going through. I come from the Husband's perspective on this one. MonkeyGirl(my wife) is not able to have kids either. We have been married for 7 years and there are days when it hits me really hard and when it does, I get depressed for days. Is it okay for me? No. Do I feel that I have been robbed of being a father? Yes. Do I blame her for all this? Of course not.

We have thought about adoption, but tend to agree with Statia on this discussion. She put her words straight and to the point. I had always thought of adopting after having 1 or 2 children. But adopting as a sole means of having children? I couldn't do it.

Thanks Robyn for mentioning this. It's great to know that there's someone else out there my age that is struggling with all this.

Take a deep breath, let it out, and go give Claire a huge hug.

Hugs to you...

¤ ¤ credit: whistler | 12.30.02 at 12:03 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

sorry to hear of your struggles. as an adoptee, i think the laws and regulations are total bullshit. must love, happiness, and peace.


¤ ¤ credit: dasheekeejones | 12.30.02 at 09:34 AM | link--this ¤ ¤

you're both young. no rush. i know i always say this, but it'll happen when it happens. "not right now" doesn't always mean "no." in the meantime, practice! ;)

¤ ¤ credit: tanya | 12.30.02 at 06:55 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

p.s. when i win the lottery, the money's yours. cross my heart.

¤ ¤ credit: tanya | 12.30.02 at 06:57 PM | link--this ¤ ¤

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