OMG can we do this? Are we letting ourselves in for years of hell and the destruction of my career for the sake of a relationship that is never going to actually bloom into anything? Am I inviting an abusive person into my life? Why would I do such a thing?
When we talked to the agent and we were discussing some of the things on the questionnaire, we had to explain ourselves a little. The questionnaire just said "Preferred/Acceptable/Would Consider/Unacceptable," even on questions like "child has learning disabilities." Well there are learning disabilities and learning disabilities, now aren't there? We weren't enthusiastic about that question. Can we deal with a kid who is behind in school because they've been dealing with life shitting all over them? Hell, yes. Mild emotional damage? We're pretty much expecting it. Can we handle a first kid with Down Syndrome or severe autism or a wild case of FASD brain damage? Maybe we just don't know our own strengths and we could, but the fact is that we don't want to, not on the first kid. We don't want to stop at one, and if we have to look forty-five years into the future and figure out who's going to take care of kid #1 when we're ready to check ourselves into a home, we're not ever going to get to kid #2, and we want to get to kid #2. There wasn't any place on the form to explain that we're more interested in IQ than in grades, and there wasn't any place to explain that we assume that these kids are probably going to need a parental safety net into their thirties, but we would like it if the kid we're looking for has a decent chance of becoming more or less self-sufficient by then.
Is that unrealistic? We want to take in one or two at a time and do some serious neosporin parenting and give them the space and support they need to figure things out and to stop surviving and start living. We don't think that our love will make things all better, but we think that enough time in a safe space makes anybody breathe a little more free.
In the end, all we could tell the agent was "it's our first time, be gentle with us."
Omigawd, what am I getting myself into?