Window shopping for children: somewhat starting the long road towards adoption & building a family

I’ve got to give younger me some credit. I remember many times when I said something along the lines of after turning 30 I’d start seriously looking into the adoption process. Well. I’m 31 and for the past month I’ve found myself constantly “stumbling” on adoption websites.

First of all, let’s just talk about how weird it is to essentially shop for other humans on a website. Especially after spending so many years frequenting adoption sites for pets. The switch is weird. The details and how they describe the personalities are eerily similar. Only there’s a lot more guilt when you “pass up” on kids versus dogs or cats.

I also have been having to get use to the questions and doubts that have been popping up in my head. Will the kid like me? Will I like the kid? What if the kid hurts my cats, or lets them outside and something happens to them? What if the kid hates my cooking? Could I deal with a kid who’s expresses themselves with violence? Am I a terrible person for not wanting a kid with major health issues?

Ok. So I know they don’t just give you any kid. They work to place you with a child that’d be a good fit for both you and most importantly the kid themselves. I think a lot of that last concern is that because I’m not looking to adopt a newborn, the higher percentage of kids waiting for homes are those with special needs. Though, yes, “special needs” in adoption is also defined as: older children (aka 2 years plus), siblings, and non-white children. I’m not sure if I want to start out with more than one kid, but I am ok with the others. Completely ok. The age range I’m mostly interested in is toddler (around one or older) through about five or six.

But even as this desire has been pressing on me more and more… I’m a student with no income. I am not in a place to adopt or foster a child. (And I am exploring the foster-to-adopt route as well, due to the cost of adoption.) Here’s the other issue: I made big changes to get back into school. I know I need a graduate degree to pursue the career I want. This means another year or two at least after I finish this post-bacc degree — so we’re looking at 2018-2019 until I likely out of school. I mean, I realize that 3-4 years isn’t all that long of a time… and that I’ve already have dealt with over a decade of considering adoption… But I’m at that seriously considering phase. I can’t cook a meal without thinking about how I can’t wait to make this for a kid — my kid. Maternal instincts like whoa over here.

Anyway. I’ve put a call out on facebook to start talking with friends and friends of friends regarding how they got started with the adoption process and finding agencies. I know four couples who’ve adopted, one of which being my cousins, but I didn’t want to put any of them on the spot since this can sometimes be a very personal thing. Probably once things slow down with school a little bit (and I have a better picture of where I want to go for grad school), I might talk with a few local agencies just to get some more background information.

For now I’m just going to keep burying myself in google and try to convince myself this is not as hard or terrifying as it might seem.