It has been a while since I have updated the blog. A lot has happened that has really thrown a wrench into things. The first is Darwin’s passing. Making the decision to let him go was one of the toughest things I have ever done. To be honest, it will probably take me a long time to recover from his passing.
Shortly after Darwin’s passing, Matt had a herniated disk. This put him out of commission for six weeks straight. I felt much like a single parent. Running around, completing all the chores, purchasing all the groceries, managing meals, and taking care of the dogs. It was a lot! I am not sure how single parents do it to be honest.
I did learn a lot from the experience. One of the main things I realized was that my work schedule was not conducive to me running around after work to complete tasks if Matt was out of commission. I have since changed my work hours so that I am starting an hour early and leaving an hour earlier. I hope this will translate into more family time, as well as setting me up to be more flexible to manage children (should Matt or the child become ill, I will be better prepared and able to slide into whatever role is needed).
I also began taking stock of the financial situation. Sadly, most of the money that we have is the bank for the adoption is from straight donations. Very few have come from the events and the bags that we have been selling. Both events and the bags require a lot of time and effort, and the payoff doesn’t seem to be there.
I have recently concocted a plan to breed and sell snakes- now hear me out! Ball pythons are very docile and require little space. There is a lot of genetic mutations out there that allow snakes to be sold for anywhere from $100 to $15,000 (an event can make $150 and we may get $200 from bags every 4 months). The snakes have clutches of about six eggs. The effort level is low. After the female reach maturity, I figure we could make about $1,000 per clutch. If we have four females, that’s $8,000 every six to nine months. This feels like a no-brainer.
Additionally, Matt and I have consider adopting an older child. For one thing, an older child would fit into our lifestyle easier. Matt and I want to take our child(ren) on vacations, play board and video games, and maybe even travel. With an older child, we could do that right away. We wouldn’t have to go through the pains of having the child learn how to sleep through the night, eat, walk, talk on their own, potty-training, etc. And yes, those are milestones that we would like to be there for, but we also recognize that there are perks to having skipped over those years.
One of the things that you have read in this blog is my concerns over trauma and attachment. When adopting an older child, there is not much you can do to curb some of the symptoms of the trauma, other than proper mental health care. But on the flip side, you would already have medical documents and school reports to let us know what those symptoms are so we can make an informed choice about whether the child would be a good fit.
Another way to look at it is from the child’s perspective. An older child would have opinions about the placement and would feel some responsibility and ownership of the adoption. This means that there would be more of a chance of investment in the creation of their family. The story of trauma remains the same, but it ends with a sense of self-empowerment (hopefully). It may also reduce some of that “savior” narrative since the child would take a larger role in the process (I don’t see Matt or myself adopting a child who does not want us as parents… I’m not sure what set of circumstances that would ever be a thing that we could consider).
What’s also nice is that we can share an already developed sense of humor and interests (of course we could always facilitate more interests via exposure). That may assist with the bonding.
On the flip side, I am concerned about the child having enough time to see us and experience us as family (and vice versa). I would be very disappointed if this all devolved into an obligatory roommate scenario with a traumatized teen (I guess technically that’s exactly what it is, but I would prefer the feeling of “family” and “connection” being present).
As you can see, we are still kicking around the idea, but I don’t think it is a bad one. I have been contacting Adoptions Together in order to gather more information about this route to adoption as well as contacting the Facebook LGBTQ adoption and foster sites. As per usual, I will be keeping you updated as we continue to soul search and take actions to enhance our family.