Considering these developments, I feel I am receiving affirmation to move forward right now on the adoption front. Yay! I filled out the initial paperwork and just need to have my housemate witness a signature, then I can send it all in, along with a check for a Livesc@n background check. Then I get the background check and schedule the more in-depth caseworker interview.
Part of the paperwork was indicating what I was open to in terms of a placement. I've already talked about the age situation, so I checked "under 3." There were two areas that I feel a little uncertain about, however... I wonder if I should be more open about ethnicity and also special needs.
Regarding ethnicity, it's interesting how unexpected thoughts and feelings come up. As I was filling out the form, I thought for the first time about sharing *some* heritage with my child. Since we are not sharing biology - added to the fact that I am really into ancestry and have spent time researching, reflecting, and envisioning trips based on my ancestry - I had a thought that it would be really wonderful to share some ancestry. I am a total *mutt* with Welsh, English, German, Dutch, Swedish, Irish, and French ancestry, so that wouldn't be too hard, but would include some European heritage. So I checked Caucasion and "Other" meaning mixed race, but I wonder if that's too limiting. I have also thought about the child and their feelings in terms of seeing themselves reflected in our family. I think I would work hard to make sure they have knowledge of and a connection with their heritage, but is that enough?
Regarding special needs, as a single mom and knowing myself, I don't think I am able to handle a serious disability. Considering my mental health background, I think I have tools and knowledge to love and support a kid who (sadly) has some abuse and neglect in their history.
The one I feel a little uncertain about is alcohol and drugs. I know many of the kids (most?) in the foster care system have parents who abused or were addicted to alcohol or drugs. My fear is that they might have the pain and challenges in their life that my cousin, who was adopted, has had. His mother drank throughout her pregnancies, and he has suffered the consequences. His lack of ability to regulate behavior and see the effects of his actions has led him to have three kids with three different mothers, struggle with addiction himself, and end up incarcerated. So you can see why I might be a bit fearful.
I think that the caseworkers will help me explore these concerns and come to a decision I feel good about. At least I hope so. Today, I am feeling excitement and momentum on this path, and I am grateful!
Lastly, as much for my own clarity as my desire to share it with you (i.e. feel free to skip :), I want to lay out what unknowns are still out there that may have an impact on my journey to become a mom:
- Job applications still out there, with recently passed application deadlines. These include Napa Vall. College and Diablo Vall. College, the latter being my top choice due to a 10 minute commute. Please send good thoughts that I will get an interview and be hired, even if the job doesn't start until the end of the year. I'm secretly hoping that one of these - though advertised as full-time - might somehow convert to part-time. But I'm torn because the security would also be good and college jobs usually only require 32-35 hours per week, which I could fit into four days. Oh, I did hear back a "No" from Oregon, which was not a surprise. Most. awkward. interview. ever.
- Small Windfall. I haven't mentioned this but based on my time working in Seattle many years ago, I signed on to a lawsuit that was already won, based on employers not providing benefits they should have. The letter said I would receive *at least* close to 2K, which would help financially as these pieces fall into place. The deadline to submit a claim is just passing, so I hope to hear something soon.
- Getting a better-paying job would be the green light to move forward on CA Conceptions, which is still my first choice, though I'm feeling excited about adoption. I could apply for credit right now, but after my conversation with my bank, I'm not at all confident I would get even close to what I need. Salary plays a huge role, and my consistent self-employment salary has not been documented long enough to show on a tax form, which is what the bank uses for self-employment.