We continue our January theme of family building, with posts that focus on questions like:
- What made you decide to have kids?
- Did you have any criteria for what kind of kid you wanted, and why?
- How did you decide on your process (adoption, surrogacy, etc.)?
- What memorable moments occurred during your process, good or bad?
This week’s excerpt from Magic Lessons looks at my experience in that necessary evil of the fost-adopt process, training:
In training, one of the first things you learn is the definition of a special needs child. This includes, believe it or not, a child with a diagnosed special need such as a physical, emotional, or developmental disability. However, again at least in California, it also includes the following:
- Any child over two
- Any child who is not white
- Any siblings
So, yeah: You could fost-adopt a future president of the United States, and if he or she is three, or Latino, or has a sister who’s also in foster care, that child is special needs. I actually hit the trifecta: My kids were both over two and not white and part of a sibling set. Yahtzee! The good news is, the county gives you a (meager, but every penny counts) monthly stipend for these “special” kids, up to age eighteen. The bad news is . . . really?
Anyway, other things you learn in training include the following:
- How to discipline
- How not to discipline
- All the attachment disorders you can expect to see
- How there’s a good chance you won’t see these disorders until your kid hits puberty
- The honeymoon
- How not to be fooled by the honeymoon
- What to do when the honeymoon ends—probably much sooner and more abruptly than seems reasonable
Now it’s your turn! Share your family-building story by leaving a comment, or contact me at joe@to have your story featured as a post in a future week!