Last Friday there was an Adoption Networking Event in Victoria, BC.
While I wasn’t able to attend this year, I had some other pre-adoptive parent friends who attended and gave me updates.
One parent friend sent me messages throughout the day on the different kids profiled and it was great to feel like I was still participating. Thank you!
It seemed that there were a lot of younger kids profiled from what I heard compared to last year. And that made me wish I’d been able to attend.
By far the majority of the kids profiled at the events I’ve attended have been teens.
The notes I read from the event about the current adoption statistics that were provided to the group surprised me:
There are approximately 956 kids currently waiting for adoption in BC. This is actually great news that the number is currently below 1,000.
Of those 956 kids:
- 40 are between 0-2,
- 193 are between 2-5,
- 373 are between 6-11,
- 350 are 12+.
This seems to have changed quite dramatically from the numbers that were provided last year where over half were over 12 years old.
I found this interesting and my hope is that the campaigns throughout the adoption community over the past 12 months promoting and supporting the adoption of older kids has paid off. If so, this is good news.
I also found the numbers for the kids between 2-11 interesting because my impression over my adoption waiting period has been that there were “no kids” available in this age range.
(my personal age range of choice is 1-9 year olds, with preference for 4-7 year olds)
All of the statistics are heartbreaking.
While it is great that the number is under 1000, it’s still pretty close.
That there are nearly 1000 children without a permanent family in BC is heart wrenching and in an ideal world there would be no need for adoptive parents at all.
But this is where we are, and the need is great.
As a result, approved adoptive parents like myself get to choose preferences for the type of children we’d like to make a part of our family.
Sometimes I feel uncomfortable discussing my personal preferences, and ashamed about the hope I feel at the numbers above within my personal preference age range.
It feels wrong to be happy about the number of children waiting for a family.
It feels wrong to be limiting myself to an age range of available children or any type of criteria at all because ALL of these kids need a home.
But again, this is where we are and this is how it is.
From the event, it was suggested by a friend that I follow up on four of the kids presented. Two are a sibling group, both girls, aged 3.5 and 1 years old. The other two were individual children of around 1 year old.
I got to read the profile for the sibling group and liked what I read. They did sound like great kids and I’m told were super cute too. I didn’t get to read the information on the other two but I’m sure they were also wonderful kids.
Then I connected with some of the other families that I know who went to the event and they mentioned they are interested in the same children. They have already asked our social worker (because we are from the same town with the same SW) to follow up on them.
Knowing this, I won’t bother asking for more information because they are both wonderful two parent families, and I am a single parent. Enough said.
Reading the forums after the event last week, many people mentioned the feeling of being “in competition” with each of the families in the room.
I have felt this too. It may be the only downside to these events – that feeling of comparison with the other families, and for me as a single parent I often come away feeling like “what is the point?”
Comments from Friday’s event were that there were kids profiled, like those above, that many families in the room were interested in, all of them were vying for time with the social worker, all of them trying to put their best foot forward, and all of them wanting to “out do” the other families. To be the chosen one for children that resonate. Not with any malice, just because this is the way it is.
Of course the purpose is to match the child with the most suitable family, not the family with a child. I know and trust that the social workers are focused on the needs of the child and not the family. However, between the families themselves, they have to do what they can to stand out, to appeal, to get noticed, to not be overlooked, and to eventually be chosen.
You can not be a wall-flower.
Because of this it is almost impossible not to compare your own family situation to that of the others, especially if you know them better than a name at an event.
And if in that comparison you come up short – as I feel I do when compared to the other waiting families with two parents and tonnes of experience – then its easy to give up hope.
When two or more families are from the same town, within the same support groups, and are interested in the same children, it makes the process even more difficult. We all appreciate and support each other; we don’t want to be fighting to “win” the children that fit our ideals.
There is another event coming up in a few weeks on them mainland that I will be attending. I am looking forward to getting to participate and will do my best to make a good impression and at the very least not be overlooked.
Fingers and toes crossed.
I have not yet heard any further information for the two children that I saw at the Be My Parent event a few weeks ago. I know these things take time, so I’ve not given up hope just yet.
The key to the waiting period, I guess, is to trust in the process. And trust that when the right kids come along, no one else will be in the running.
That is my hope at least!
How about you, did you attend this event in Victoria? Attended one like it elsewhere? Planning on attending the one on November 19? Or feel like you are competing with other families during this waiting period? I’d love to hear from you!
Warm smiles and Love,