This post contains far too much babbling and a lot of soul baring so be nice please!
I said in my last post that we’re going to go ahead with the adoption procedure in 2009. When we went to the information evening back in June we discovered that the statistics for our region weren’t good (less than 1 in 6 couples get a baby per year right now) and we decided we were financially not ready to have a child. Of the 13 couples in that room we certainly appeared the least affluent. Although if we waited until we could *really* afford a child we’d die of old age first.
Anyway we decided to think about it for a bit longer. But after another 6 months of hard thinking I am adamant – the heart wants what the heart wants. The heart wants a baby even if the bank doesn’t. Because I do not, for one tiny second, believe that having less money than the other people in that room will make us less fit parents. Love is free. And we’re not so poor, I don’t want people to think I’m trying to justify bringing a baby into a slum or something. I’m typing this on high speed cable after all 😉 And before we even get into the waiting pool there’s classes, interviews, medical checks, home visits etc etc.
But I have spent the past 6 months thinking. And researching. Because while we aren’t poor I am perfectly aware that a child costs more than I think it does. And while I know we can afford to feed/dress/educate a child I wanted to be absolutely sure in my soul that we’re doing the best thing for the baby that some woman is giving up as well as the best thing for us. Are we prepared for not just having a baby but adopting that baby? The legal fees can be a lot higher if the birth father wants in on the adoption too. Open adoption means we’d have to keep in contact with the birth mother. What degree of contact do we want to maintain? And there’s something called ‘permanance’ which is where you get a foster child, usually not quite as young as a newborn adopted baby. You sign for permanent care of that child but the parents maintain their rights. It’s complicated. Would we be prepared to accept permanence of an older child? It’s more likely we’d get picked sooner than if we were only open to adoption of a baby. Do we want sooner or do we only want a baby? We decided that we only want a baby. And there’s a lot less hassle – a lot of the kids come with parents who are in jail or on drugs. I couldn’t handle that complication.
There is also the issue of marriage. As an unmarried couple only one of us would adopt the baby and the other one would have to apply for parental rights. I would be the adopter, that’s always been the decision. As a woman it would be easier to adopt than a man and as the mother I would want full legal rights over any medical emergencies or whatever. But would it have Dave’s last name when he isn’t legally the father? I don’t desperately want to get married, I’m happy as we are. So is Dave. But we do want our baby to be *our baby*. To have their daddys last name as a connection to him, like most other kids with two parents do. And for Dave to have full and equal rights with me at every step of the process. So while we have only vaguely discussed it it’s possible that at some point next year we’ll have a very small low-key wedding so we can both be equal legal parents. The legal adoption laws are from roughly 1966 – it’s an outdated legal minefield.
So….we’re applying to adopt a baby sometime in the first part of 2009. And I am scared. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. But it’ll be worth it, I know that. It might be tough at times, we’re going to have to tighten our budget to the barest bones for part of 2009 to save for the fees but when your heart wants something this bad is that really a sacrifice? My mum will drown the baby in knitting, I’ll drown it in sewing, Dave will drown it in computer parts and Rastus will drown it in cat fur. Schooling is cheap, healthcare is cheap for kids and while my child may not get the newest designer labels they’ll never go without.
AND so….2009 is the Lovestitches Year of Toys. In order to save the legal fees (this bit is tricky – they can be as low as $500 or they can be as much as $2000, it all depends on…stuff. Lawyers and birth fathers etc) I’m going to be cranking the poor neglected (although I did have my 4th sale last week, woohoo!) etsy store up into high gear. It’ll be bulging under the weight of toys soon. Plus there’ll be craft fairs, my felt.co.nz shop (coming soon) and really as many other outlets for my work as I can find. Because if the man I love agrees to raise a child with me (the crazy fool) the least I can do is help pay for it.
I was planning on posting a photo of one of those toys in this post but after a day of sewing my cat softie looks alarmingly like it has hemorrhoids. The first toy in the shop is unlikely to be a cat.
Any feedback you want to leave will be appreciated but please remember how important this issue is to me and be gentle!