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A Precious Update

I haven’t said much about the case of Precious, what we’re expecting to happen for her or how everything has been going. It’s been 3 weeks—is that all?!—and we’ve fallen completely, hopelessly in love with this little 13.5 pound bundle of slobbery smiles. I mentioned that a lot of sadness was stirred up initially as we realized how much we were still missing Ladybug. That has improved. We still think about her everyday and I’m sure we’ll always have a hole in our hearts from the chunk our first child took with us when she left. But we’re doing better.

There is some exciting news about Precious. She needs to be adopted! However, we’re not the for-sure top choice for her. All of the options have to be presented and ultimately a judge will make the decision about what he thinks is best for her. The decision is very “legal”… by that I mean, it’s not like the judge is going to look at who we are and compare that to someone else and decide who would be the best fit or be able to offer her the most ideal life. It’s more like “does this person have any stronger biological ties than this person” and “is there a necessary cause to move her out of the home she’s already in” and “does she already have a relationship with these people.” That’s my take on it anyway.

So… that’s exciting. And nerve-wracking. And it’s one of the precipices I was referring to on Monday. Sounds like there is a pretty good chance—75% maybe?—that we will have the opportunity to adopt her. Someone asked me the other day, “Are you ready for that?” which puzzles me a little bit. Are we ready for that? I don’t think adopting her is going to be any harder than fostering her… I mean, I have been fondly referring to foster parenting as “the torture program” lately. Fost-adopt parents please enlighten me… is parenting an adopted child harder than foster parenting? Is anything? Just kidding.

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9 Responses to A Precious Update

  1. Annie says:

    AHHH!!! That is so exciting! I really hope she stays in the loving home she is in. YAY!

  2. Julia says:

    what huge news! is the adoption process shorter if you are already in the foster care program? will say a prayer for precious

    • mahlbrandt says:

      I could probably write a whole blog post just as an answer to that question. Shorter than what? Shorter than international adoption: usually. Shorter than infant adoption: usually, if you’re counting the time on a waiting list. Shorter than adopting a child already waiting on adoptUSkids.org: I don’t know. The main difference with adopting through foster care is that the child is already with us and won’t ever be moved out of our home if we’re going to adopt her. The actual timeline from placement date to adoption day varies greatly from case to case. I’ll be curious to see how long it ends up being if we can indeed adopt her. And this seems like a pretty cut & dry “easy” case.

  3. Valerie F. says:

    We just finalized our adoption of two brothers through OK’s foster-to-adopt program. I haven’t had any other foster kids to compare to (yet), but I can’t imagine that it would be any different adopting than fostering the same baby. How exciting! We’re thinking about jumping into the world of foster babies and would love to eventually get to “keep” one and adopt, but I’ve been anticipating it to be a slow road for us. That just makes me all the more excited for you if this baby is already close to being considered for adoption! Here in OK I think the process for babies in the system probably goes a lot slower than that…

    • mahlbrandt says:

      Thanks for your feedback, Valerie, and congrats on your recent adoption! I think the process here could be slow too (and I honestly don’t know how long they’re going to drag this out.) Case by case differences have more to do with it I would imagine. Precious’ birthparent voluntarily terminated parental rights due to past circumstances with other children so that’s why we know already that she will need to be adopted. However, the actual timeline is still a mystery at this point. We’re fostering children up to age 5 (at this point) so we were quite surprised to get a call for a 2 month old! I was anticipating our next placement being more in the 5 year old range since most of the previous calls we had were for siblings 5+.

  4. Bobbie says:

    “…is parenting an adopted child harder than foster parenting?”
    As a foster parent, I agree nothing could be harder. I’m in the process of waiting to see if I’ll be able to adopt two little girls I’m fostering (2 & 3yrs). According to a friend who was successful in adoption through fostering, “It’s so much easier without the social workers.” As much as I love the children I foster, adoption would lend a completely different experience. Knowing they’re not leaving changes everything. And I can do what I know to be right for them. I work for a private fostering agency in Canada. I have two sets of eyes and opinions weighing in on everything I do. And the social worker’s opinions and approaches don’t always line up with my values or how I’d like to raise my kids. The thing about fostering is that they’re not entirely mine.
    Looking forward to hearing about your journey. Please keep posting!

  5. rachel says:

    You guys are amazing. I hope that the adoption works out with this little angel!

  6. Charlotte says:

    Parenting in foster care is hard and you have an infant. Just think of what it would be like with a 2yo and that is what I started with. 20 months later he is adopted. We had huge strikes against us because he is Native American and we are not. The thing that really surprised me was how fast he came into our hearts. After one week, my 14yo daughter said ‘It feels like he has been in our hearts forever.’ Of course, today when he had a major fit as we were walking through the mall, she probably didn’t have quite the same opinion. I hope this is your little girl, but if not, I am sure there is one to fill your hearts. Adoption is just the paperwork that confirms what love has already done.

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