The profile we created to send to DHHS workers across the State was on 8 ½ X 11 paper with a few color photos and any piece of information that made us sound like The Waltons crossed with The Cosby Family – quite a feat for two people who had never raised a family. Our italicized introduction paragraph was: We have been approved by DHHS and are looking to share our forever home with a 3-to-7(ish) boy of any race or nationality whose parental rights have been terminated.

WTF is 7(ish)? That’s drinks at the Algonquin round table. We were hedging because we wanted to start with a younger kid and work our way up chronologically with each kid – it seemed logical. Our forever home – that’s what we were offering truly but it sounded so Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

One of the parents in our foster/adoption class had made laminated bookmarks with their family bio on it and she had tied fluffy yellow yarn pulled through perfectly punched holes at the top. I hated her. What if this junior Martha Stewart got our kid with her artsy crafty ways?

Why is it when you want something or someone you think you are battling those others for it? I had heard from a DHHS worker who had been in the business for 20 years and seen hell that you get the child you’re suppose to get. She’s right, but you don’t know that until the end of the process. Note to self – remember this next time.

I also trolled the State’s “heart gallery” weekly to find our kid. These are online photo listings of kids in foster care – all states have them. They are in a word heartbreaking. I think the hardest profile to read was of the 17-year-old boy (young man) with a mustache who was still holding out for a family. That’s when you realize the term forever family doesn’t seem so dumb. I branched out to, which has kids from all over the country listed. I didn’t know so many kids had to eat through gastrostomy tubes or nasogastric tubes. I didn’t know what those things were until I looked them up.

The last time I looked on these sites was January 2009. I checked tonight before writing this and I see some familiar faces from our months of searching. I see that not everyone is as lucky as us.

This entry was posted in Adopting, By Notatypicalmom, Foster care, Special Needs by Kari Wagner-Peck. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kari Wagner-Peck

Kari Wagner-Peck lives with her husband and son in Maine. She is a writer & storyteller who home schools with her son. She is the author of the memoir Not Always Happy: An Unusual Parenting Journey, May, 2017, Central Recovery Press. She has been published at CNN, Psychology Today online, The New York Times Well Family blog, The Huffington Post, The The Good Men Project, The Sydney Morning Herald Daily Life blog, BLOOM and Love That Max among others. Author page: Twitter @KariWagnerPeck and Facebook: Email:

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