I think we have a child

October 19, 2010

We’re waiting to hear back more from the social workers, but there’s a three-year-old girl in our region (more rural than where we are, but that her worker is in our county makes me think she’s from our area) who is on the adoption track and needs to be moved out of her foster home for reasons unrelated to her.

We know about some of the problems she has and they’re problems characteristic of a child who’s had a lot of caregivers, things where stability would help. I talked to her worker directly and he was very honest, telling me what he knew, what he suspected, what he didn’t know. I don’t think we’re being snookered into anything. We got a lot of details and they’re willing to give us a lot more before she’s placed with us.

I’m waiting to hear back from Lee, who’s talking to our worker, but the family has given two-week notice to close their home, but she thinks they’d actually be flexible on that. If we are selected — and right now we’re the only people they’ve asked — we’d work with our worker and the girl’s worker and the foster family to try to figure out what transition strategy would be best.

Her parents’ rights have not been terminated, which means she could return to them if they started doing what they’re supposed to be doing. We understand that and our goal is to be the home this little girl needs when she needs it, and we’d support it if she could go back home.

Having a girl in our house would mean we wouldn’t have space for Rowan, which is a concern. We could probably get a waiver to let him sleep on a fold-out couch for the weekend if he needed respite. But we’d have to make big decisions about living elsewhere if we wanted to have space for him. We are thinking about that. But what’s also happened in the last 24 hours is that it’s seemed more likely that Lee’s biodad’s other daughter, Shasta, is probably going to see her daughter go into foster care in the state where they live. We’re working very hard to prevent that (the girl lives with Shasta’s mom, and that’s the home that’s not adequate, but Shasta does not have full rights at this time for complicated and stupid legal reasons) but we realize that one option might be to ship that girl out to us while things get straightened out, which would also make us ineligible to have Rowan around. It’s very, very unlikely that she’d end up with us based on all we know, but we have to keep that possibility in the back of our minds.

So Lee has checked on the availability of daycare at the college where she teaches and they’re fine with a three-year-old as long as she’s toilet trained. We’re not totally sure she is yet, but I guess that’s what my parental leave could be for, that and helping make her transition into our home as smooth and supportive as it can be.

We did not go into this looking for a three-year-old black girl with what might be an Arabic name (okay, that’s a lie; that’s exactly what I wanted and Lee was hung up on having a boy who’s biracial but three was her perfect age) and we’d really gotten used to the idea of a teenager, but this little girl needs a home too. And at this rate, we’re willing to try. We’ll have to figure out a lot and learn a lot before anything is final, but

I’ll update more on this as we know more. I’m trying to be deliberately vague, but please trust that we’re being thoughtful and cautious and trying to make sure as much as we can that we actually are the right family for her before she has to make yet another move. But I’ll go ahead and say that her blog name is Mara, short for Maryam, which was always the secret name I wanted to give a little girl who would be mine. That doesn’t mean my heart is already gone to her or I think this was “meant to be” or whatever. But if this is my one chance at a girl, you can bet I’m going to use the name I want! And so I will. And I’ll let you know as we know more about Mara.

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  1. Cautiously excited for you.

    I don’t remember if I have commented here before, but I’ve been reading for a long time. So, so glad that you are continuing to be open to new possibilities.

  2. I bet this isn’t what you were expecting when you woke up today, huh?

    I’m excited about this possibility for you all! Keep us posted!

  3. sounds like this could be a very good situation for this little girl. and what an exciting change for you too! hoping lee’s niece is ok, and everyone involved, too.

    • luna, thanks. I never wrote much about our visit there this summer because I don’t know what needs to stay private. It’s not a case where the child is actively in danger, but she’s just not getting the care she needs, which is sad. It’s hard for us to be involved from far away, but we’ve made a lot of calls and are doing our best.

  4. Will you legally change her name, you think, upon adoption? Cause I think this is it! And so I’m gonna just jump ahead and get excited. And apologize for having no filter whatsoever. You always leave the most thoughtful, inspiring, validating comments on my blog and then I come here and post disjointed nonsense. LOL Sorry. Can’t wait to hear more about Mara. A three year old girl! Oh, have you any toys? Can we send you stuff?

    p.s. Rowan might feel less threatened by a younger female moving in, than he did by the older male potential placement. Or he might get jealous again and make it sound like he’s ready to move in too. Remember you can’t wait on him, or plan around him, given his tendency to be fickle.

    A GIRL! I’m so excited! For you. Umm, yeah, for you! LOL


    • I’m generally in favor of keeping names and from what little I know I’d see no reason to change hers. My partner, who’s pickier about that sort of thing, was fine with it too. And she didn’t seem bothered by a girl or anything!

      We have duplos and some toys, plus some books that were mine when I was little. But yes, if this goes through I’ll accept just about anything and Lee can just deal with it in terms of not wanting “clutter” in the house, especially because I know she’ll be the main offender when it comes to buying things!

      No, we’re not going to wait for Rowan. Our commitment to him has always been that we’ll stay involved with his life and that if he ever needs a place and we have room, we’re open to that. If we don’t have room, we’ll do what we can to help him but obviously it can’t be with us. I think he’s still happy where he is and he doesn’t go through TPR until early next year, so I am pretty sure things are stable for him now.

  5. So excited! Will be waiting with baited breath!

  6. wow. what a change!

  7. I’m less-than-cautiously optimistic; what a great good this could be. I’m keeping you and Lee in my thoughts.

  8. Life is really what happens when you are making other plans isn’t it? Very uncautiously happy and hopeful!

  9. My gosh, go away from the computer for a day and look what happens??? Email me pictures?

  10. If she has a medical or developmental problem that would affect potty training, don’t be afraid to mention the ADA.

  11. Okay, I’m not going to lie: I am SO excited! I’m trying to be cautiously excited, but apparently I suck at that so I’m just straight up excited! Sending good thoughts!


  12. [...] to be sort of different than it would have been earlier. First, because today marks two years since Mara (sort of) entered our lives and so I’m thinking back about those years. The one-year anniversary was horrible and I [...]

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