Photolistings

Our goal was to have 7 children, that was our magic number. Seven. Why? I don’t know, I just imagined that to be the large family and golden number. Well, we have met the goal. Pretty, Flower, Biscuit, Blue, Boychild, Bunny, Lemon. Bam! Done and done.

Wait. No.

We have rethought the ‘ideal’ number for our family and we changed the number. Now, hear me out before you shake your head in disbelief. Pretty moved out and Flower will be gone at the end of the summer attending U of A. They’re both our daughters forever and will undoubtedly come home for the holidays, need help financially while in adulthood limbo, and get annoying calls/texts all the damn time. We’ve decided that 9 is our final number. BUT we have a set age group we’d like to stick with, 13-16. That’s a small window. It gets smaller…no emotional, physical, medical, or emotional issues. Now our window is itty bitty. Almost impossible to fit any teenaged girl into, ha!

My badass licensing worker sent me a referral for a child seeking an adoptive home (several weeks ago) and I was excited! The family talked it over and we thought we’d give it a go. However, a few days had passed and the child’s team rejected us. It stung. I understood that the team knows what’s best for their kids and I did my best to move forward. Days and days had gone by, I kept thinking to myself ‘Why weren’t we good enough?’ And other crappy thoughts. Then I did what any other person on the planet would do…I Googled and Googled abd Googled some more. I had read horror stories about poor matches via case worker referrals, failed photolisting adoptions, etc. I. Was. Scared. I felt like I had dodged a bullet. During my search, trying to make myself feel better, I stumbled onto several photolisting websites. I searched days and days reading profiles and looking at adorable faces. In my mind I would imagine how these faces would fit into my family, making up their personalities as best as I could. Dude. I know, it was getting weird. I realized the rejection still hurt and I was living in a fantasy world to somehow put a bandaid on my hurt feelings, we were rejected. I was struggling.

It was abrupt, I stopped looking. My mental health was really wonky; ‘Let it go and move on,’ I repeatedly told myself. I did. I buried my feelings and pushed forward, yeah yeah I know that’s not what anyone should do. I did it anyway to hush the murmurs of rejection in my mind. After a few weeks I had completely moved passed the crappy feelings, I was me again and the rejection was a thing of the past. Hallelujah! Then I received an email from Adopt US Kids, a huge network of children seeking adoptive homes from all over the United States. I left the email in my inbox for 2 weeks before I actually clicked the link. I was afraid of rejection and I wasn’t ready to look into adopting anyone ESPECIALLY from a photolisting, I read those horror stories a few weeks back.

Well, I clicked the link. I submitted our homestudy. Holy moly, you get WAY more info when you’re a registered user. This time I was Googling differently; the internet has a wealth of knowledge on/about everyone. It’s pretty awesome. We had over 80 matches. Yes, 80. I visited every one of those potential matches. Out of the 80 matches I narrowed it down to 4. I was objective; I didn’t allow my past experience to dictate my feelings. I inquired about those 4 and the next day I recieved rejection notice, it simply stated ‘Your family was not selected for this child.’ That’s it. Luckily, I didn’t feel defeated or emotionally wonky. Oddly enough, I felt relieved. Somewhere deep inside of me I was afraid that all 4 inquiries would come in positively and I’d be forced to choose which human was better or more worthy or the best fit. Aaagh, that would be terrible.

Photolistings have a bad reputation, not just for the failed adoptions but for the emotional rollercoaster it provides. I’m hanging on and riding it out to see what happens, I can’t give up. There are too many kids without families, too many kids who have to go to bed at night not knowing if they’re loved, too many kids not knowing what family truly means. I’ve got one person communicating with me about a prospective kid right now. Is she part of my family? Stay tuned.

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