I have been receiving a lot of questions from people lately about Jacob's new sibling. I still don't have an answer. I can tell you that I have seriously been considering foster care. I would do what is called concurrent foster care. That means that I would help the social worker, child and birth family in a reunification plan. If that plan fails, I would agree to consider adopting the child.
After much thought and deliberation, it seems this is a good thing to try. I really enjoy working with children and am usually patient (Jacob challenges that belief from time to time.) Foster care will give me an idea of what to expect when adopting an older child who has been involved in the foster care system and a better idea of what I can handle. If it doesn't work for my family and me, I can always stop after the first child. I won't stop before the first child's case is concluded in my home (either reunification with the birth family or an adoption plan is made and our family is not a good fit). I believe strongly that every child has a right to a safe and secure home and will not disrupt that for any child if possible.
Some people have expressed concerns over how difficult it would be to allow the child to go back to his/her birth family. I don't doubt it is extremelly difficult. I will always be open to being involved in the child's life but also know that it is best for the child to remain with the birth family when possible. Children feel tremendous guilt, grief and anger when removed from their birth families. The children may feel responsible for their parents' problems or believe that they caused social services to come into the home. They love their parents and want to be with them. It is always good if a child can be spared the grief and trauma of losing parents. If that is not possible, the next best thing is to find a loving home for the child as soon as possible.
I also believe it will be difficult for Jacob to say good bye to the child. They will be like siblings and also bonded. I will have to explain to him that the child is/was only living here for awhile but is going back to his/her family now. I will also always reassure him that he will never be forced to leave our family and will always be my son. It may be difficult but hopefully it will also teach him to be compassionate and reach out to others in need.
It comes down to the simple fact that Jacob and I have room in our hearts and home for another child. It doesn't rule out possible pregnancy or adoption but does give us a starting place to examine some less conventional options. I have never been one to be afraid to buck the norms or do what I believe God is calling me to do.
The licensing process is just beginning. I sent in my application yesterday. I have some work I need to complete around my home before the home visit and some classes I will need to attend. I believe this process will make me a better mom and a better person. I hope it is what God wants from me and know it will work out the way it is supposed to.