Adopting through Foster Care in Northern Florida
Hello all,

I am here just to get my thoughts and feelings out, I don't know anyone going through what I am going through so I thought I'd share what we are going through on this forum. My husband and I just had our orientation last week to adopt through foster care and our first class starts this Monday. We live in St. Johns County but the children we want to adopt are in Pinellas & Pasco County. There are two of them and they are siblings (Boy & Girl).

I know we still have 10 weeks of MAPP classes and home study and even after all that, there is still a chance we might not get approved for whatever reasons even though I am sure we shouldn't have a problem. We are stable financially, we have more than enough room in our home and we don't have criminal records. I just want to know what to expect, and after reading some of the stories, I am actually getting a little depressed that so many have had such horrible experiences. I don't know what it's going to be like to adopt from a different county. Does anyone have any experience adopting from St. Johns County to another?

I honestly don't know what I'm looking for here, I think I just need to get all my thoughts out to those who have been through the system and maybe I just need some reassurance and support that although it will be hard, it will be worth it in the end. We are definitely committed to adopting through the foster care system and we are hoping to get these two siblings but we know we cannot keep our hopes up high because by the time we are done with MAPP they might already be adopted. I forgot to mention that we do not have any children of our own due to infertility which is what we have been going through for the past 3 years. I am 26 years old and I am just exhausted from the whole infertility process, and I just needed a rest from all the treatments. Maybe in a couple years I will start them up again. Until that day my husband and I thought it would be a good idea to adopt and if we have our own children down the road then of course that will be a welcome blessing. We just have so much love to give that it would be a shame for us not share it with a child or children in need of a home, nothing would make us happier.

Well, that's my story in a nutshell. Anyone out there going or have been through something similar that can share their wisdom would be much appreciated because right now I am pretty nervous.

Thanks in advance!

DH: 32
ME: 26 (turning 27 in Dec.)

Adoption Journey-
Orientation: Sep. 24th
1st MAPP Class: Oct. 1st
Welcome!

I can't speak for your county- I am in KY. But just a friendly shout out to you as my husband and I are also doing foster-adoption due to infertility.

In our state, the only kids available for adoption only are older- mostly teens, or severe medical needs. We are only equipped for one at a time, and prefer an infant since we want the full experience and don't feel prepared to deal with some of the issues that come with older kids immediately. Because of that we are doing concurrent planning, so the infant(s) placed with us will have dual goals, and when RU is ruled out will be on track for adoption. I think it is great that others are open to older kids though! Everyone should be open to what they know they can handle. The one piece of advice I keep getting from those who've been through it- stick to your guns with what you are willing to accept in your home. Don't be afraid to say no if the situation is not what want to deal with.

I would say- based on experiences passed along to me from people I know who have taken this road- this forum is good but take it with a grain of salt. In my experience, people are more likely to post about scary or bad experiences- and there are plenty of good experiences out there too. Just make it your own journey- everyone will have a different experience with different factors affecting the outcome. As long as you keep and open mind and heart and realize you can't be in control of everything (I have issues with this Smile) it will be okay! The classes were tough for us because there was a lot of negativity...but I think part of the process is to weed out or scare off those who are in it for the wrong reasons (money) or who don't understand how the system works. Stick with it! Hopefully we will both have great experiences to report to counter some of the negativity! :cheer:
We are not in your state, but for us - it was worth it in the end. We also dealt with infertility and spent close to $20k on treatments before finding out that none of them would work because I was basically going through menopause from the time I was 26. I always wanted to adopt, even before I knew I couldn't have babies, but we tried having our own first because it would have been easier.

Anyway, we got into foster care and got two newborns and a 13 month old in the span of 9 months. We eventually adopted them all but it wasn't easy, especially with one of the cases. But it opened up a whole world for us and I actually found my "calling". I'm so passionate about it now and am always looking for ways to help these kids. We are getting ready to take a new placement soon, even knowing the ups and downs that can happen.

I say it's worth it! I hope that you get the two you are looking at, but if you don't, I believe that we all get the kids that need us the most. I remember being upset that we didn't get the first baby we were called about, an 11 month old, but then two days later we got the newborn that I'd dreamed of for years! And he needed us, specifically, because his case was such a mess and so many things could have gone wrong for him in so many ways. But now he's a safe, secure, and very happy 4 year old.

I wish you all the best! I know how hard it is to wonder when it's your turn to be momma.
Thank you all so much for your responses! We had our first meeting last week and it was very informative. I am excited for our second one this Monday! Is it weird that I look forward to these meetings? I think that I am just anxious to get my MAPP done so we can start the adoption process...I know, I am way ahead of myself!

BS1979, I have patience issues! Sometimes, I like things to get done fast and this process is totally teaching me to have patience because this is going to be a long journey! I wish you only the best of luck and keep me up to date!!

lovemy3babies, I have a feeling it will be worth it in the end, I think I just have the adoption jitters because I will be going from having no kids to suddenly have 1 or two!

I know I have to think positive because some the posts that I have read are pretty negative, which kind of depresses me. Thanks again for the advice and I wish you all only the best!!
I agree, some of the things that I read about on here are very upsetting and almost scare me off from doing it again! Luckily our experience hasn't been nearly as bad as some of the things I have see on here. We have a great agency, and they seem to respect us. That helps some. There were days I was at my wits end, but the one thing to remember is that anything can change in and instant - for good or bad. And then it can change again. Sometimes in the same day!

The main thing I've learned is not to let anything get you too upset until it's set in stone. It might change tomorrow or next week or next month.
Know how you all feel
I'm happy to have found this thread. I've been getting pretty cold feet lately myself. And yes, some of these discussions can be very negative and disheartening. I try to remember that I know other parents who had great experiences adopting through foster care and it is likely that we will have a generally positive experience.

We completed our Pride classes in June and I thought we'd be in a great place by the time we got a placement. Then I got laid off. We are now licensed and I am in the middle of job interviews. It's a lot of uncertainty to deal with all at once. The process is teaching me flexibility and patience.

We have only gotten one placement call (last friday night) and I had to say no because I just knew it was not right for us. I think you have to be flexible but you also have to stick to your guns on what you know you want to deal with. Being firm on that gives you a little bit of control. My husband was not very happy that I said no, but saying yes would have shut us down to other placements for the foreseeable future and we want a younger child with a strong possibility of adoption. So, even though it is VERY difficult to say no, saying it when you know in your heart it's the right thing helps keep us on track. We are in this to adopt. Yes, if we can help a child now and then for a short time, we will, but we have to stick to our ultimate goal.

We always looked forward to the classes and I actually miss some aspects of them sometimes. We met some amazing people and the process was very enlightening. Would I go this route if I could have my own Biological kids at this stage in my life? Probably not, but I believe there is a reason for everything and that our child is out there somewhere waiting for us.
Ladies, I have homestudy questions. How long did it take? How many times do they visit your home. I don't know why but I am stressing out about the interview and I just want to know what questions they asked you all. We don't have kids so I don't know what disciplinary forms I would use??

lovemy3babies, I totall agree. I try to take everything I read on here with a grain of salt.

Bonniemom, keep your head up, everything happens for a reason and I am confident there is a child out there for you guys Happy
We adopted seperately 2 babies from Pinellas County. One was 8 weeks when they put her in my arms for the first time. Second one was 13 months when we got him.
The entire process took almost 3 years though. Lots of ups and downs but definately worth it. I responded to your other post as well.

Saj
Saj,

Thanks for replying again Happy

We are trying to adopt a sibling set from Pinellas-Pasco county, they are legally free for adoption. I found them through the heart gallery photolisting. The crazy thing is that I saw their picture back in March of this year and when my husband and I were looking at the Florida photolistings, I saw their picture again. I made an inquiry to see if the kids are still available or if the posting was outdated and she said they are definitely still available. I think they are absolutely adorable and I just don't understand how they are not adopted yet, it's only two of them.

Okay, weird/random question, my husband is caucasian and I am polynesian, the children we want to adopt are bi-racial (half black/white) someone told me we have a pretty good chance of getting the children because we are an inter-racial couple...is that true? I would think, it really shouldn't matter what your ethnicity is.
First, I will agree that this process definitely challenges you. There is a lot of hurry-up-and-wait, a lot of mixed answers (they may as well just tell you they have no idea what is happening/has happened/is going to happen - it would make your life much easier), and a lot of angst. But... in the end, yes, worth it.

Second, we had two home studies to get certified to foster, and we had one more for an adoptive home study a couple months later when our kids' parents' rights were severed. They took about 20 minutes each - except the first one where they asked questions individually, so it took a bit longer. They also answer a lot of questions for you that you may have, and give you a general idea of what's coming up next. One thing they've never been able to answer is how long it'll take for the state to approve it. :arrow:

I would suggest getting some parenting books that focus specifically on the ages of the children you're looking into. The "What to Expect: The Toddler Years" book helped us a lot, as well as "Positive Discipline A to Z." That way you're prepared and knowledgable about discipline, and have a basic understanding of kids that age (although I stress "basic" - they can still totally shock you...).

And last, race technically does not matter - however, CPS and your licensing agency focus on the "Least Restrictive Placement" for a child. If a child is african american and they can't find a kinship placement, their next criteria will be an AA family. After that, a biracial family. Then, only after no other options are presented, will they choose a caucasian family. I completely understand the thoughts behind this - taking a child away from everything they've known and putting them into, not only a new family, but one that looks nothing like them, would be an additional trauma that should be avoided if it can. But let's face it, once they're taken away from their family, the trauma is just going to keep coming, and once they've settled (if they get a chance), any family full of love will help them realize that looks don't mean anything.

So, stick with it, have faith, and, while you wait, make yourself as prepared as possible. Best of luck to you!
Wife to B since 2009
Mom to Diva and He-man (placed 2/12, adopted 12/12)

Current Placement:
Peanut (7/15-?)

Former Placements:
Wellie (5/13-2/15) Successful RU
Buddy (11/14-1/15) Moved to adoptive placement
Cheekers (1/15-7/15) Successful RU
I'm also in NE Florida but in Duval County. We adopted our niece via FC here after moving her from Idaho, so we had to become licensed also. I'm not sure if our county is different. I may have some insight on it if you want to PM me. I'm thinking what we went thru is probably very similar to you.
Thanks Bookishmom, I didn't know anything about "The least restrictive placement" but it definitely makes sense. I will definitely look up those books, they sound very helpful! I wish you the best of luck, keep me update Happy
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