So, despite my expressed misgivings, we did in fact go to the meeting with the agency on Friday night. And, like everything else it was NOTHING like I expected. In regards to the important stuff it was better than I expected, but the culture there was something I really wasn’t prepared for.
We decided to drive, even though we could have walked, because it was supposed to rain and were going to go out with G’s little brother afterwards. So, when we pulled up we were expecting an empty parking lot and a quiet, peaceful environment, which is basically the opposite of what we found. The parking lot was packed. By packed, I mean we took the last space, anyone else would have had to park next door or across the street because the agency lot was officially full up. I was feeling very apprehensive and nervous about the meeting and waffled outside peeking through the windows for about five minutes before going in. I was shocked by the inside of the agency. It was a mess. Paper piles and toys and just a mess. In addition to the mess, there were about 25 costumed kids of various ages running about the place like hooligans. In short, what I saw through the window was bedlam. Absolute bedlam.
Even still, G made me open the door and go in. I am very glad that he did. The agency owner, primary social worker and chief bottle washer (her description, not mine) was summoned by one of the many loose children (this one happened to be hers), and we went into a little office to chat. The office had a manky little couch, a little chair and a bazillion toys. G was a little put off by the couch. But, a different kid helped her clear a space for us to chat and we all sat. She asked us about our history and why were looking into adoption and I started crying like a little bitch. I literally did not get one single word out. From the immediacy and incapacitation of the tears she (correctly) assumed that we were infertiles and had experienced loss. G spoke for us and confirmed that was the case, and said that he was afraid for us to keep trying and that he had numbed himself to the idea of being a dad because of our loss history. I then cried more. Why am I always surprised that my husband, who has lost just as many children as I have, who actually realized something was wrong first last time, who wants to be a daddy, is hurting every bit as much as I am? Because I am a selfish turd.
So, after that, she started explaining the history of the agency and her personal history. They are truly non-profit. They deal almost exclusively with foster agencies. They are making almost no money, but they are in business to find homes for children not get rich. I asked her about the set fee for infant adoptions and she said flat-out: 1) they don’t get many infants, maybe 1 or 2 a year; 2) that is not their niche and they don’t want it to be and 3) OH is a shitty place for newborn adoption. Why? Because in other states there are less restrictions about how much money can be passed to the birth mother. It is $3k for living expenses and $4k for medical expenses. Unless they prove that the medical expenses were higher. In IN, it’s not uncommon for adoptive parents to hand over $40k to the birth mother for “expenses” and because of that, many OH birth mothers tend to adopt through IN. At least this is her story. I of course have no way to confirm this. So, the $7k is a state thing, not an agency thing.
Basically, she said they do a lot of work with agencies in OR, TX and WA. They get a lot of sibling groups. They are usually in the 2-4-6 or 3-5-7 type age ranges. Almost none of them are white, most are bi-racial or hispanic. She said that most couples come in looking for one baby who’s less than two and walk away with a sibling where the youngest is close to the baby age range and the rest are older. She said that all of these people got pictures of the kids, and just knew that those were their kids. She invited us to start our classes next week if we want.
Then I pulled out my insanely long list of anal questions. She was unphased by printed list which was obviously a product of obsessive Googling. She asked if we’d like to ask some of our questions to people like ourselves who were currently in the process. While I prepared to write down phone numbers, she called out to the hallway and asked people to join us. One couple was very similar to G and me. They were all happy. We all chatted for about 30 minutes, all of my questions were answered. It was a lot to process. Even though the atmosphere was so opposite of what I expected and hoped for it felt natural. It felt like family.
The bottom line is that it will likely be 2 years from starting classes to placement. Using this agency, there is little chance that we’d be able to get a baby, baby (which is important to me right now). We would get a family. We would get support. We would finally having living children. So, there are many great pro’s and several big con’s at this point. We’re still testing the waters. On the one hand I feel hope, and on the other despair. I want a family. I want to hear children call me Mommy. I want to watch my husband toss a football with HIS boy in the yard. But, part of me still wants to be able to deliver that from my body. Part of me still wants to breast feed and have a chubby little pink baby that’s MINE. MINE, mine. But now we’re getting into another post…