When we last left our story, we'd said "no" to the three jawas and decided to pursue Lovely Boy. We're at January 2010.
By this time, Lovely Boy was featured on various adoption websites and featured on our local Fox Station as a Wednesday's Child. Hubby and I both felt that someone else must have seen his wonderfulness and put in for him. He's charming on the tape that ran on TV: quiet, smiling, sweet. Surely other people saw his potential and put in for him.
When we called, it took a couple of days before we received the word that our profile matched Lovely Boy's needs. We agreed to the next step: full disclosure.
At a full disclosure meeting, our social worker, and LB's two social workers (one regular and one adoption) sat with us to disclose the "good, bad, and ugly". We also received documentation regarding Lovely Boy. However, we asked that we not receive his full file, just the overview documentation. Overview documentation exist of a written "snapshot" of where the child is at on all levels: emotionally, physically, academically, etc. It lists known relatives, the meds the kid's on (all foster kids seem to take some sort of med), any major illness/injury past and current, etc. The snapshot allows us to see Lovely Boy in the moment without prejudice caused by previous events in his life.
While we saw nothing alarming I found myself voicing this one concern: why hasn't this kid been adopted long before now?
The reality? Federal law requires that public agencies must attempt to reconcile the child with a blood relative. Every time our Lovely Boy received an opportunity for placement with a non-relative, someone would show up and say "I want him", so the agency would work to place him with that relative...only to have the placement fail and LB return to the system. Sometimes LB was moved from a foster home because Federal & State law require that siblings in the system be placed with one another if at all possible. So, LB would pack up and move to a new foster home to live with a sibling...and it would fail and he'd pack up and move again.
He moved SIXTEEN TIMES in 14 years. He's attended TEN schools.
His history makes him appear unadoptable, however, hubby and I previously spent time with this kid. We already had initial impressions of a bright and wonderful kid. A NICE young man. We wanted to move forward. We heard only heartbreaking news on his behalf, nothing that stopped us from wanting him.
We're not idiots, though. We knew we needed help. That's where TIES for Families comes in. I'll write about that in the next adoption post.
You see, getting TIES involved means that the adoption process comes to a halt. It's suppose to take 4-6 weeks for them to evaluate the foster child. For Lovely Boy? It took FOUR MONTHS.