The Adoption Option After Breast Cancer

Traci Mulder Health Guide
  • From the very beginning of this breast cancer journey, my husband and I always knew that adoption was a possibility we were very much open to. After our attempt at surrogacy failed, it was now time to start looking into this option. But, the more we looked, the more discouraged we became.


    Every program we researched cost what amounted to a small fortune for us. After all the money we had spent on the surrogacy (since insurance doesn't cover it in our state), we just didn't have those extra funds available. Our choice seemed to be limited to waiting until we could come up with the money to start the adoption process.

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    In a stroke of good luck, our neighbor brought a program to our attention. It was a program that we never considered before but were very eager to learn more about. It seemed right up our alley in so many ways. She and her husband were foster parents for very young children who were what is considered "special needs." That means the children were removed from their parents for abuse, neglect, abandonment or some related reason.


    Our neighbors, and others in the program, foster the children while the parents do what they need to do to try to straighten their lives out. In many cases the parents just don't get back on track, their rights are terminated, and the children are adopted out. The costs for adopting through this program also amounted to a mere fraction of any other adoption program we had looked at.


    We had seen the children our neighbors had fostered come and go, and our hearts just went out to them. Despite the chance of the same heartbreak, we decided to sign up to adopt through this program.


    My husband and I attended meetings regularly with a social worker. At one of our meetings, our social worker informed us that if we wanted a younger child the wait could be up to a year or possibly two. She then went on to tell us about a program where you become a licensed foster care home and only take in younger children.


    The program doesn't like moving the young ones from one home to another. They would prefer for them to stay put if the parents' rights are terminated. This way the child isn't uprooted from one family to another when they are adopted; they stay right with the foster parents and get adopted. The down side to this process was that we stood the chance of losing the child we fostered, and I wasn't sure I could put my son through that. After much talking and praying we decided to go for it.


    After nine weeks of classes teaching my husband and me about all the problems we could encounter with these children, we were ready to have our application finalized. On the night our new social worker was supposed to come to our home to pick up our final application and do our "home inspection," she called with some interesting news. Even though we weren't even officially licensed yet, they already had a child that they thought would be a perfect fit!


    I was ecstatic to say the least. She came to our home on a Friday, faxed our application into the state capital on Monday, and we were licensed Wednesday morning.


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    We picked up our first foster son Wednesday afternoon! What a joy. He was wonderful in every way, and we fell in love immediately.


    Unfortunately, it was not meant for him to stay with us. A family member came forward to adopt him five weeks later. Our hearts were broken. As we visited with the family, though, we could see that this is where he needed to be. Even though we were heartbroken, we were at peace with were he was going. The family even promised we could keep in touch, which was a blessing for us.


    Eleven hours after we turned our first foster son over to his new family, we received another call from the head of the agency. She called to see how we were doing after our hard day... or so I thought. After we talked for a few minutes she informed me that she had another placement for us already! A little girl this time, only two days old! Could I be at the hospital the next day to meet her and take her home? A quick nod from my husband assured me that I could say yes.


    So, that brings us to today. It has been eight weeks since we brought our foster daughter home and we are in love again. It is going to be a long road before we know what is going to happen, but we are going to enjoy every minute we have with her and pray that we are meant to be her "forever family."

Published On: August 16, 2007