Many of the interested parties have not been shy about sharing their "baby wish list." We'd like a baby. A healthy one, please. We'd really prefer a girl. She wasn't prenatally exposed to drugs or alcohol, was she? What are the chances that she's going back to her birth parents? We're not interested in fostering and then giving the child back. Is there a family history of mental illness? Was this baby abused or neglected?
My aim is not to bash this wish list. Really. It mostly boils down to wanting a healthy child. That's something that all expectant parents are allowed to wish for in their unborn child, so adoptive parents should certainly be allowed that same right. When one particular prospective adoptive parent inquired about Baby Legs and read me her wish list, I first pointed out that I have no idea if Baby Legs ever will be available for adoption, and if she is I certainly won't have any say over where she goes. My email went on to say the following...
"Foster care and foster-adoption exist to find stable and loving homes for hurt children. There isn't any emphasis on helping the adoptive family's dreams come true. It's really all about providing a safe place for a child to stay. This makes it a very bumpy ride for the foster or fost/adopt parents. You mention being a person of faith - this journey tests the limits of even the most faithful. We have very little say in almost everything that happens to our children. We decide to say yes or no to a new placement, and we can decide to send a child away if it isn't working out for us. But everything in between - we just hold on for dear life. I've had this baby for nearly a month and only just last Friday finally learned what her race is and if/to what substances she was prenatally exposed. I once said yes to a girl who was supposed to be turning 10 years old, and when she showed up on my doorstep it turned out she was only 6. In June a little boy moved in for what was supposed to be a 10-day stay. We're now planning on adopting him.
"I LOVE fostering. It's my passion in life. But it's not for everyone, and it's not for every stage in life. If you're working on building your family, and you have a vision for how you want that family to look, I encourage you to continue pursuing private adoption where you'll have a lot more choices and a lot more control over the future of your life. Right now it sounds like you're looking for a child who can fill a need in your life. There is nothing wrong with that. It's how most of us enter into parenting - I know I did. Foster and foster/adoption should really only be entered into once you feel complete, and ready to give selflessly to children who will demand very much of you."