On Thursday, we were supposed to do a simple meet-and-greet with the placement team at our foster care agency and fill out some paperwork. (How can any visit be complete without paperwork? :p)
But… one of the placement team members got a call in the middle of a night about an emergency move for two kiddos and began pitching those kids to us impromptu.
We said no. And it was really, really hard to say no. It’s tearing me up.
So, why did we think we weren’t a good fit? Reasons in no particular order:
1) Age. One of the kids was four years older than our top age range. I like teenagers, but we don’t want to add children who are older than our existing kids. Our daughter very specifically has said she wants to be older.
2) Language. The kids don’t speak any English. We only speak the tiniest amount of Spanish. So, there would be communication issues until we learned each other’s languages better.
3) Medical Needs. The younger child has significant medical needs. He is in elementary school and is learning to walk. It sounded like there would be a lot of doctor appointments, PT, OT, special ed, and therapy appointments.
4) Adoption Wildcard. It’s unclear whether the younger child would ever live independently. While adulthood is more than 10 years away, we want to make decisions about foster placements as if that child would be with us forever. Why? Imagine that the kiddo is placed with us, lives with us for several years, parental rights are terminated and the kiddo becomes available for adoption. If we didn’t say yes to adopting that kiddo if offered the opportunity, the child would feel rejected. We don’t want to traumatize a child who has already been hurt. So we want to decide now if we’d adopt the child. And committing to be a parent to a child who will never live independently is a bigger step than we are currently willing to make.
Have you ever said no to a placement? Does it ever get easier to turn people down?