Licensed

First it was the Gotcha Day announcements and parties related to adoptions.  Now the promotions have moved into the field of foster care.

Starry eyed.  When someone thinks getting a foster care license is such a difficult accomplishment that it needs to be celebrated publicly as this huge deal, that’s a red flag. Truth is, it’s easy to become a foster parent.

The stork with the baby and the baby bottle images hint at a broader agenda and that is – to participate in what is known as foster to adopt – which is often an easier path to adopting an infant or young toddler than traditional adoption.  And the “no cravings” remark must be alluding to pregnancy and the well-known strange cravings for certain foods a pregnant woman experiences.

And it seems to be a thing also to have a “foster shower” and an Amazon wish list when announcing that one intends to foster children.

As a reality check, when becoming licensed to foster children, as the graphic indicates in its unique manner, you have to define age groups and number of kids. You have to have beds and maybe change some rooms around for the age requirements.  You can’t get licensed for specific ages without having space and furniture (beds) for that age group. If you wanted to be open to all ages, you have to have a crib (and basic baby supplies), toddler bed and twin bed minimum.

One foster parent did say however, “when older siblings of little ones we were fostering came into care we were able to take them with minimal fuss, no additional training required.”  Which is a good thing.

People approaching foster care like the announcement suggests often claim they have worked through the loss of being infertile completely. Once they are finally “called” to foster with the expectation they will adopt a newborn, they need baby announcements with storks, do gender reveals and big baby showers, seek attention and have professional photo shoots in hospital beds and wheelchairs.  Doing it all – so it appears to be the same circumstance as someone who has given birth. It’s delusional and not the same.

And finally, I can’t help but ask – didn’t their “training” mention to them that the objective of fostering is family reunification ?  This expression is actually celebrating the worst tragedy and trauma this family of origin is likely to see. Comparing it in any fashion to birth, pregnancy, a stork dropping a baby at your door is tone deaf and gross. Given that these kids needs are provided for through a government stipend, I also cannot imagine asking anyone for gifts.

Desperation Revealed ?

I did not know this kind of public revelation was a thing until this morning.  At least they are honest that it is an adoption.  Still, this method of sharing the reality reveals some desperation underneath the celebratory joy.  I have dealt with infertility myself.  I have tried and tried to get pregnant naturally only to face the truth that my body had become too old to do that anymore (I did give birth to a daughter when I was 19 years old).

This phrase, “No Bump, Still Pumped”, seems to be the response of someone who has not fully faced their infertility.  The problem with this is in making a pregnancy reference, when you’re not doing anything like pregnancy.  It could be that the grief involved with not being able to conceive hasn’t been fully dealt with.  From a kinder perspective, maybe it is an attempt to honestly alert friends and family that the baby they will see soon came from someone else, and not this couple’s own parentage.  Really, it all depends on the couple’s true perspective on the matter.  Some couples that are adopting may make an announcement that says something like “Paper Pregnant”.

In publicly saying such things, a prospective adoptive couple is celebrating someone else’s trauma, though they may not be willing to fully acknowledge that reality.  And it also indicates that they only want babies, not older children at risk of aging out of foster care without any further supports.  Such concepts are celebrating the tearing apart of a family. Celebrating without any awareness, the trauma the children will experience.

Such public pronouncements make the adopted child sound like a second choice.  They were not the first choice for the couple, which would have been to conceive naturally.  I understand this and it is the truth.  So, the couple only wants to adopt because they couldn’t have children out of their own natural biological processes.  Many adoptees struggle with the knowledge that they were the runner up choice.

Most adopted children will crave their biological families and their mothers generally regret not keeping and raising their children.  It took some time and exposure to honest adoptees and their original mothers for me to join the “non-rainbows/unicorns non-rah rah version” of the adoptive narrative.  Yet, I have become convinced that no matter how hard it is to accept, adoption is a painful reality for most of those directly affected by its promotion and acceptance.