If you have an approved home study and have ever requested information about one of our kids who’s available for adoption, you know that the child’s profile we send back can contain some potentially intimidating stuff.
One of our boys’ profiles says he doesn’t want a dad. Another described a boy who became aggressive when someone touched his toys. Many of them come with that alphabet soup too: RAD, PTSD, NOS.
We are required to be as honest as we possibly can about our kids. We don’t want to set them or any families up for failure. But because of that honesty, what ends up happening is essentially a collection of “everything the child’s ever done wrong in his life,” says Carrie Fiasco, one of our permanency managers. “Imagine what your list would look like if someone wrote down everything bad you ever did.”
Here’s what we hope you’ll remember: Context.
There’s a proper context for everything. That boy we mentioned who fought over his toys? They were his only toys. And that fight over them was three years ago, when he was 5. He’s a very different child now and doing well in his adoptive home.
Workers like Courtney Osborne are happy to talk to prospective parents about available kids. The boy whose profile says he doesn’t want a father, for example – she knows him well. The boy declared that after having a bad experience with a man in a foster home. With some distance from that experience, the boy is no longer insisting on having only a mom.
Also consider: Many of these issues that come up when kids are in foster care disappear with the structure and love of a good permanent home. A couple of years ago, one of our girls had to be moved into a new foster home because she threatened her sister. Now adopted, she’s almost 11, getting As and Bs and won the MVP trophy this year from her soccer team.
So please – when you inquire about one of our kids, feel free to ask to speak to their worker. And their recruiter. And their guardian ad litem. And anyone else who has played a part in the child’s life. All of these folks want the best fit for the child and the family.
Get the context rather than just what’s on paper. We would really appreciate it.