So last night, out of the blue, my mother in law says, “are you interested in adopting a 5 year old boy?” Um, excuse me? Yes of course, we’re always interested but I’ve been around the adoption community long enough to know that it is almost never that simple.

The story, as much as we know of it right now, is that my husband’s aunt (through marriage) has a sister (who we’ve never met) and her daughter is apparently an addict, and she has this one little boy… and the story is that she was “desperate to just get rid of him.” So she was going to put him in foster care, but her mom (the boy’s grandma) said she’d take him for a while instead… so I don’t know if he is officially “in the system” or not. Anyway, the grandma is close to 80 and knows she can’t keep him long term so she is trying to find someone to adopt him. And we *think* the mother has given up her rights??? Really I think maybe she just said she would, I don’t think she’s actually signed anything yet. So that could be a giant problem right there… will she really go through with it? Because I’m not interested in bringing a child into my home, to be my own child, just to have him snatched away years later in a legal battle.

There are so many things to consider… I know there are attachment issues and great difficulty with adoption at this age, even in the best of circumstances… and when there is a history of abuse and other things, it becomes exponentially more difficult for everyone involved. And his history is a complete unknown… in fact at this point, he is a complete unknown. I have so many questions and so many concerns. Whenever I’d imagined adopting an older child, it had always been when my children were a little older so that if the child had any really difficult/dangerous behaviors, they’d be safe from all that and I could focus more on just helping the new child. But even though he isn’t officially family, it still feels like this boy is part of the family… not “our” family, but “the” family… and that counts for something. Family is everything.

Lots of other concerns… will the mother really sign away her rights? How much will this cost? Because remember we just spent all of our savings on fertility treatments… well most of it on fertility treatments, then the rest on all of the out of pocket ultrasounds and bloodwork when they thought it was ectopic and finally the surgery when we knew there was no heartbeat. Anyway, savings? Yeah, it’s gone. So I don’t know if this is even a possibility financially either.

Basically it boils down to a giant question mark. I feel like I don’t know anything at all. We’re going to call the grandma and get more solid facts… but that’s a touchy thing too. I worry that if we ask too many pointed questions (that need to be asked!) then she’ll feel like we’re judging her daughter or her grandson… and I don’t mean that we’d ask anything rude, but we’d want to know things like his history and any abuse, and if she’s stable enough to really trust to sign the papers… and things like that, which would be really difficult to talk about I’m sure. Not that I want the government involved because that’s always just more headache and bureaucracy, but it sure would be nice to have an unbiased third party we could talk to and get all the information that might be too painful or shameful for a mother/grandmother to admit.

Anyway, we’re looking into it. I don’t know if it will even go anywhere. You never know when someone else comes in, another relative or the state, and closes the possibility. Or when the mother sobers up and realizes she just gave away her baby and wants him back. It’s a horrible heartbreaking thing all the way around. And pretty unstable sounding… so it’s making me really have reservations. I’d love to help. I’d love to adopt a waiting child. But I’m not sure I want to be in the middle of all the extra drama on this one, it feels so unstable and tentative. Adoption is enough drama all on its own without all these other layers. But then I think of that little boy and my heart just breaks. He deserves a good home; a place where he is loved and wanted and safe. Gah. I just don’t know what to do. There will be a lot of fasting and prayer in my home for a while.

I think we’re going to try and call the grandma this week, and I’m at a loss as to how to do it or what to say. I want to show interest and get information… but I don’t want to commit or toy with their hopes. I don’t want him to feel personally rejected if this doesn’t work out. Oh my heart just aches for his pains. What am I supposed to do here? I think it will all work itself out on its own. Either way, as we get more information then we’ll know more clearly what we should do… just right now I’m torturing myself with all of the what-ifs.


3 thoughts on “Quandry

  1. Wow, that’s crazy. Another blogger has done an adoption of two kids in a similar circumstance – the grandfather had custody. I can connect you two if you’d like. I’m assuming you’ll need a lawyer, but I honestly don’t know how these “family” adoptions work, and of course if the state is involved, who knows what all is involved. For that child’s sake, I sure do hope it works out! I know my friend had the kids come every week for a while with the grandpa, then without him, then they did an overnight and worked their way up from there to full custody. The kids were 2 and 3 though, so much younger. A five year old maybe can be let in a little bit more on what’s happening. It’ll be an adjustment for sure, but I can’t imagine a better family to be a part of!

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