Visiting Raj

What a lovely afternoon we had last week.
We went out to lunch with the not so little Raj and his beautiful new parents.
So much love in one room.
Boy has Raj gotten big in the last three months.
My lap was a little bit happy when I handed him over to MM, I think my leg was going numb. But, that said he is so round and squishy and snuggly, it was just lovely having a cuddle with him, even though he had absolutely no idea who we were.

It was lovely to hear that they have followed the routine we had him in and that it’s working a treat for them. They are still wrapping him for sleep, but he has grown so much they need to use a cot sheet….had a big giggle over that. Raj was only waking once a night for a feed when he was here, and is doing the same for them, and sometimes sleeping through the night, so they are super happy with that.

We have received a photo every month on his ‘birthday’ and the occasional phone call and chat. It’s probably he hardest part for us, not knowing how much we can/should message them. We don’t want to be a pest but at the same time we don’t want to not appear interested. So we wait patiently for the next month photo to come along and then have a catch up chat.

They are just so happy together. Raj is  happy and content and both of his parents just glow with the love they have for their little man and are already talking about a second.

It has been such a blessing to be able to care for this special little man while waiting for the process to do it’s thing and it’s even more of a blessing to still be able to be a part of his life with this lovely couple.

Raj

We have another baby.
If a 17 month old wasn’t enough, we added a new born to our home.
Baby Raj was just 3 weeks old when he arrived and he is so gorgeous.

He came to us from another carer in our agency. She sadly got ill and couldn’t care for him as she needed some medical procedures.

It is truly an honour to be able to care for this little man because he is super special.
Raj is up for adoption.
Last year in our state just 3 children were adopted, so it’s such a blessing to be able to care for this little man while the system does it’s thing.

It’s interesting to be a part of this process.

Before his tummy mummy can sign the consent forms to place him for adoption she has to go through counselling to make sure this is the right decision. Then once she has signed the consent forms there is a 25 day waiting period. I’m sure it has a proper name, but it’s like a cooling off period. Time that mum can change her mind, go into the office and rip up the paperwork. Then things move super fast. The first call to a suitable family is made, they have 24 hours to make a decision, and within the week baby Raj and I will meet with them, and if they are happy to proceed, within the next week Raj will transition to their home.

We have waited and waited for tummy mummy to sign, and this week she has.
It must have been such a huge decision for her to make. I can’t imagine how difficult it was for her. I’m so proud of her though, to put the needs of her child first.

Now the countdown has begun.

In approximately one month, our gorgeous boy will be adopted and live happily ever after.

What made you decide to foster?

I have tried to write this blog several times and it gets deleted and put on the back shelf. Re-written only to be deleted time after time.

Today is the day.

I’m not going to go into a long medical history story, it still makes me sad.

So, the short version is:

I can’t have children.

Simple as that.

Adoption is too expensive and time consuming (looking at at least a 5 year process).

Where I live, you have to source your own donor eggs. I asked my sister, she said no.

What about friends you ask?  I had had such a hard time with the egg collection process that I couldn’t ask someone to do that for me. I would hate for them to feel obliged to say yes because they are my friend. They knew the deal, they never offered and I never asked.

So, after my 3rd doctors opinion of “it’s not hopeless BUT….”

I looked at fostering. It was something I’d looked at years earlier, but it was time to revisit it. The brochure that I received said to wait for 12 months after any major life changing event. Marriage, divorce, death of a loved one, finding out you’re unable to have children. I ticked a couple of those boxes so I waited for 12 months. Marked the date in my diary and went on with life.

12 months later,

I started looking again at fostering.

I went to an information evening.

I filled out an application form.

And, the rest is history.

 

 

Why didn’t we adopt?

Here in Australia adoption is hard.
To speak ‘Australian’…..it’s bloody hard mate.

At the time I was looking at fostering, I was single, and we can’t adopt here unless you are a couple and have been in a marriage relationship for more than 3 years and more importantly, “Since 1996, there have been 4 – 6 children under the age of 12 months placed for adoption each year in South Australia. No older children have been placed in recent years.”*

Adoption of overseas children here starts with fees approximately $11,000 yes that’s Eleven THOUSAND dollars, and that’s before you travel overseas to collect the child, so, it’s a very expensive process, not to mention lengthy. If you think becoming a foster carer takes time, try to adopt here. It can be years. I’ve met a lady that was waiting for 5 years, before she gave up and fostered.

So, because I wanted to have children in my life, fostering was the only option available to me.

Very few children who are in foster care here are ever put up for adoption.
Court orders can have a child placed in care until they are 18 years of age, and if you are registered for long term care, it would be ‘like’ adoption, except, it’s not.

I know that sometimes a child’s guardianship order can change from being under the guardian of the minister, to Other Person Guardianship, which is the closest to adoption you can get. It gives the carers the ability to make more of the day to day decisions for the child without having to go through the department for permissions. This is always on a case by case basis, and at the moment I only personally know of a few instances where this has happened. I hope in time to find out more about the numbers of children where this happens.

Still to come…why did we do respite and emergency care and not long term care….I’ll keep you posted (pun intended).

* From Adopt An Australian Born Child on the DECD website