A few other things that angered me yesterday..
We were at the foster care agency yesterday to complete our pre-MAPP forms and answer any questions we might have. It turned out to be just depressing!
Jane Lynch, as I will call her, the Adoption Program Specialist, basically told us that our only option to house children under the age of 8 in our county is to “straight” foster. Adoption is only an option for older children. When I thought about this last night, it made me really sad. Because I really feel like this isn’t due to an over-abundance of adoptive parents trying to scoop up the younger kids (although I am sure there are plenty). I feel like this is due to the fact that the young kids are pushed through so many reunification efforts that by the time they are eligible to be adopted, they ARE the older kids. So sad. Last night I emailed a few contacts that I have made along the way before we chose the current foster care agency in order to see what their take was on this whole older than 8 policy. I am just hoping to get some closure before we move onto the next option for our family (and that isn’t “straight” fostering).
Here are a few of the other irritating things from the meeting yesterday:
Jane Lynch told us that they don’t recommend out of state foster/adoption. She really did not have a good reason, she primarily cited that it costs too much with all the travel. We had to sign a waiver stating that we recognize that the agency won’t help if we decide to go down that path after we’ve been licensed through them. I have seen how many children are on AdoptUSKids and I am sure other foster agencies in other states would not appreciate North Carolina agencies dissuading their families from staying within the state for no good reason!!
Once we had established that we were only looking for early elementary children and younger, Jane Lynch said, “I guess we can keep working with you guys.” But it was one of those moments that I could not tell if she was joking or she was really serious, like we could walk out at that moment and she would understand perfectly. It was pretty awkward.
Jane Lynch was starving. Our meeting was 2:00. We could hear her stomach rumbling on the other side of the room. I understand having a busy day, we all have them, but eat a peanut butter cracker or something so you aren’t cranky or starving! She was obviously trying to hurry and mentioned to us several times that she hadn’t eaten yet.
I did get an email back today from my contact at the Lutheran Family Services. Love them! Too bad we didn’t want to go with them, but their MAPP schedule wasn’t going to work for my husband. Turns out, doesn’t really matter anyway. Because they have the same 8 and under policy for adoption! Actually, their Adoption Specialist told me in North Carolina it’s more a “double digit thing” if you’re looking to adopt. But she was super helpful and explained the situation to me:
“It’s definitely a NC thing and I can imagine all states have this issue as well (at least through the foster care system). Reasons being that more younger children are initially placed in DSS foster homes and once TPR occurs, that family ends up adopting. So, they are never made known to private agencies such as ours. Children first go to DSS when removed from their parents and they have foster homes just through DSS. So, I recommend being a foster parent through DSS if you want babies or children under the age of 8. The children made known to us are those that the foster parents don’t want to adopt-usually those with behavioral or emotional needs. By the time they get to us, they are older…..bc of all the reunification attempts. Hope that helps. Let me know of you have any other questions!!”
So my husband and I have a lot to talk about with our next steps toward building our family here in North Carolina.