In contrast to yesterday’s heartwarming story, which made adopting a baby seem as easy as finding one on the subway and then saying “yes” when a judge asks you if you want to keep it, the blog Fosterhood shows how it actually works in our broken system (it doesn’t). Rebecca is on her fourth foster child and would have adopted any of them if given the chance. The latest outrage/heartbreak: She was contacted by the foster agency about adopting a baby; she met the birth parents, the birth parents approved, and chose her; she got a call when the baby was born, held her on her first day alive. She named the baby and the name she chose—including her last name—is on the birth certificate.
Child Services sent the baby to a different home. It’s been six days.
I’ve written about another fostering blog before, and Carrie, the foster mom to foster child Blitzen, wrote something that I keep revisiting. This is the system. This is how it works: “The home of Blitzen’s baby sibling, like the home of Blitzen herself, will be decided in an adversarial courtroom by people who aren’t related to her, haven’t met her and don’t love her.”
I have a friend who is a single mom with a fulltime job and two babies. I like to help her out. It makes me feel good about myself to help her out. And it helps her out.
I’ve begged her to call me if she needs help with anything, and she’s given me the gift of doing that. My answer is always yes—I’ll reschedule whatever it is. She’s got two babies and a job working with autistic people. I have no babies and a job working with myself. Yes. Of course. Yes.
Mike: Hey Ester!
Ester: Hey Mike! I’m excited to be talking about Babies, even though I don’t have one yet. I am, however, beginning to Feather the Nest, which means making financial choices. Very exciting.
Mike: I felt the baby moving around last weekend! After asking you if I could touch your stomach, of course, because I know how weird it is when people touch your stomach without asking. The baby is arriving in less than two months?
Ester: Less than six weeks! I’ll be full term very soon. Also, my boss just called me “Fatso,” so clearly everyone has a different understanding of the rules governing pregnant women. :)
Mike: Oh, that’s so not cool.
Ester: I would say, as a general rule, calling anyone “Fatso” is not a great idea, but you know, bygones.
Mike: Okay, so let’s talk about baby planning. Babies are expensive! In vitro can cost $20,000 per round, as we learned earlier this week. But you were able to conceive naturally, so you were able to skip those costs.
Ester: So, yes, it can be very expensive to try to have a baby by less conventional means. It my case, I got to save money, which I had been spending every month for ten years.
Mike: Oh really? How so?