Last night we flipped through a catalog of kids. That’s right – a notebook filled with pages and pages of children across the state looking for adoptive families. And your very own public library, at least in Massachusetts, probably has a copy of the kid catalog too.
The Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange, Inc. (MARE) provides this catalog of adoption listings, to each public library in the state and then provides monthly updates. Each listing includes a photo of the child, their month of birth, and a brief description of the child. Some of the listings go back a year, which for us might not mean a huge change – we look pretty close to what we did last September and have pretty much the same temperament and personality. However, for a child, a year can make a world of difference.
We primarily looked at the listings for children who were added to the catalog over the last few months, as well as a few specific children that we had already discovered in the online database. Fortunately several of these children from the online database had listings in the catalog; these listings have exponentially more information than the online database.
One would think that the online database that is only available to “homestudied” families would have more information than the catalog that is readily available to the entire public, but that’s not the case. Any Joe Schmo can saunter in off the street and take a sneak peek at photo listings and learn little bits of information about the children.
Once you get past that slightly creepy thought you can’t help but start feeling a little emotional at the thickness of this catalog of kids. The dozens and dozens of children looking for their homes, their forever families. Some of the children have “on hold” scribbled in pencil on their listings, which can give you a little hope that perhaps they have found permanent homes. Of course at the same time, it also means those children are not available to us. Then you flip the page and those happy feelings are brought down a peg or two when you see another child has had that very same “on hold” scribble erased.
One of the listings we had set out looking for was for another sibling group of three – a three, two and almost one year old. They were, of course, adorable in their photos and their descriptions sounded like they could be a good fit for the little family we’re trying to create, so we’re going to inquire with our social worker.
There were a couple of individual children that also caught our eyes and we might speak with our social worker about them. We want to keep our options open.
We are still hoping and waiting to hear back from the social worker for the three children that we first inquired about after being approved. We actually stumbled across their photos in the catalog, which only made us fall in love with them a little more, because they were undeniably beautiful. We’re staying cautiously optimistic (and a little anxious), but we’re continuing to try to learn more about other children who might be a good fit.
Prior to our library visit our social worker informed us that a social worker in the southern part of the state inquired about us for a sibling group she is recruiting for. This sibling group was brought to our attention after the children’s social worker saw our rock star family profile through the MARE website and inquired about us. This sibling group was great primarily because it helped us learn something about what we want in a sibling group placement.
Don’t misunderstand us, the actual sibling group was great; it consisted of two boys, on the older range of what we’d consider, who also had a baby brother. The baby is in the care of the state but has not yet had his goal changed to adoption, so DCF is still working on reuniting the infant with his biological family. While no social worker can officially admit that it is likely the child’s goal will be switched to adoption, it certainly seems possible, since the goals of the older siblings were switched. If, or when, the baby’s goal is switched to adoption, DCF’s intention will be to place the baby with his older siblings.
Now, we would be thrilled to be placed with a baby, but while considering this sibling group we’ve decided one thing – if we were to adopt a sibling group of three we’d like them to be mixed in gender, that is at least one boy and one girl. Since we’d likely stop at three children we would love to be able to experience the joys of parenting both boy(s) and girl(s).
While our long journey of waiting continues, we’re at least learning more. We are learning about children and we’re learning about ourselves and what we want our family to be like.