The story of our adoption of my sweet niece. From foster care to finalizing the adoption when she was two years old.
This feels a little strange for me to tell this story since I feel like it's not really mine to tell. It's my daughters story so I'm not going to share too many details that I feel like would be disrespectful to her. Every adoption is beautiful and messy and heartbreaking all at once- this one is no different.
My niece was 3 months old when she was placed with me and my (now ex) husband. Her mom, my sister, was unable to provide a safe home for her so she came to us. We of course loved having her with us, loved her unconditionally immediately, and fought for what was best for her. I feel so fortunate to have been at her birth and I was the first one to hold her.
We became foster parents and technically fostered her for 1 ½ years. That means lots of people in and out of our house, paperwork, and she had visitation with her mom for the first 10 months. It was of course all worth it. Her mom was unable to regain custody and we officially adopted her on her second birthday. A beautiful ending to two long years.
She is in every sense my daughter. We have an incredible bond and she has brought more joy to our life than we could ever imagine. She is silly and sweet and smart. She makes me want to be a better person and I am always trying to be the best parent for her.
I asked on Instagram for questions and here are the most common ones:
Is it expensive to adopt?
Yes and no. This really depends on what type of adoption you are looking at. For private infant adoption it can cost $25,000+, but it is basically free to adopt from foster care, which is what we did, and depending on the age of the child at adoption you may get monthly payments for them until they're 18, even after adoption.
Is it an open adoption and what influenced that decision? What do you call her biological mom?
It is not. At this time her biological mom is not a safe person to have in her life. I will never rule that out, but don't see it happening in the near future. I will always answer any questions she has about her and make sure she knows her first mom loved her very much. Right now we call her biological mom her belly mommy or first mom. As she grows, that may change.
Does my daughter know she's adopted?
Yes! I feel like that is very important to talk about. She's 3, so she doesn't exactly know what that means. But I explain it to her the best I can and I will continue the conversation as she gets older. Also, this isn't daily talk at this point. While this is a special part of her story, it's not who she is. She is a funny, smart, sweet girl and that is what I focus on.
(2020 update) She is almost 5 and very into a goat YouTube channel where they are pregnant and give birth. So this has brought up questions of was I pregnant with her. I explain that I didn't have her in my belly. I expect this conversion to continue and change as she grows.
Was there anyone in my family who didn't approve?
I wouldn't say they didn't approve, but there was some weird family dynamic for a while. It makes things tense and awkward. I definitely think fostering family is tough, you wouldn't deal with that as much with traditional adoption or foster care.
Can a single person adopt?
Yes, definitely! You need to prove that you are physically healthy and financially stable then you can go through the process of being licensed for foster care or get a home study for private adoption. If you do foster care then they help pay for child care.
If you are interested in fostering or adopting CLICK HERE for more info or Google your state name+adoption (or foster care).
Feel free to ask questions, but be mindful in the fact that I will not answer questions that don't benefit the story. My ultimate goal is to honor my daughter.