I began to realize that a big part of this process is hope. We can do all the things necessary–buy you clothes and a crib, make the house safe for someone your size, subject ourselves to the scrutiny of the process–but in the end all you have is hope. Hope means that I can envision the three of us together. The fun things we will do, the happiness in our family, the joy that the dogs will have being around you and you around them. I have hope that the process we are wading through with the Baltimore City Department of Social Services will unite us with you, our son.
About midway through the training we considered abandoning BCDSS and working through a private agency. I don’t think either of us wanted to do that but the process was looking more and more grim. We had had dinner with a couple who had adopted an infant through a private agency who was now a wonderful little two-year-old. They shared their mostly positive experiences and their desire to adopt a second child. We were both energized by the possibility of moving in that direction. But I think we had committed ourselves to going through the process with BCDSS. We determined at that point that we would only continue down this path as long as it still seemed likely that we would find you. So, there was still hope in what we were doing. That hope was buoyed during our completion of the training classes with BCDSS. One of the workers who had been friendly towards us mentioned during the last day, that we were part of a initiative that included these intensive day classes and a ramped-up process designed to certify foster and adoptive resource families within 120 days. She told us that she had advised the manager for the office that would handle us next, to be prepared, that they had completed the training in record time and we were ready to be handed off for the next stage of the process. For me, for us, this was a little bit of encouragement at a point when this experience had all but beaten us down.
We now have a renewed hope that BCDSS in spite of itself, will not let us slip away. We are the only adoptive family going through their new process (everyone else is seeking to foster the children of relatives). Unfortunately or maybe fortunately we are their guinea pigs in more ways than they had wanted both because we are in the new process and because we are a family with two dads. We may move through this system in what for them is light speed. We would be the right parents to do that: tenacious, conscientious, responsive, unwilling to sit and wait for things to happen. If this process is going to move fast, we are more than ready for the ride. Because, we have hope in finding you.