As we looked through photos of our state’s waiting children, the faces haunted us. We were overwhelmed with sorrow and regret. Regret that we couldn’t adopt them all.
By Kate Robertson
We thought we wanted a baby. A tiny fist wrapped around our fingers. The smell of talcum powder. A coo, a cry, a cuddle.
But after trying, unsuccessfully, to conceive—including an attempt at in vitro fertilization—my husband, Kevin, and I decided to explore adoption.
Overwhelmed by the prospects of international adoption and the costs and risks of independent domestic adoption, Kevin and I decided to sign up to be foster parents. We could help a child, we reasoned, while trying to decide the best way to get one of our own. We imagined a toddler, delivered to our door, longing to be loved and nurtured.
That’s not what happened.
In Louisiana (where we lived), couples who want to become certified foster or adoptive parents first take a nine-week course, to learn about parenting and about the children who need homes.
The faces of waiting children look much the same in every state. They are six and 10 and 12. They are children with difficult histories. They are not infants or toddlers. They are not blank slates. Some have emotional problems and learning disabilities and even serious health concerns. But like all children, they need permanent families. A place to call home, a place of safety and guidance today, a place to bring the grandkids for Christmas tomorrow….