Stella and I had been talking recently about a possible sibling for Amy.
She has the feeling that it's not the right time now to have another child, but has been wondering recently whether this is due, in small or large part, to the fact that it might not be the right time to physically bear another child rather than specifically due to the presence of a child in our family.
She'd been considering for a while getting a planned C-section if she did have another child at some point, to avoid getting a repeat of last time. But when she thought about the prospect a bit more seriously the other day, she had a dream about bleeding to death during the birth anyway and that made her think about whether the birth part was a problem.
So she asked me how I felt about adopting.
Several years ago, I wouldn't have liked the prospect -- I think I would have felt that an adopted child would not be "mine", or at least that I wouldn't be able to treat it the same as Amy. However, I seem to have changed attitudes on that, since I'm no longer specifically against it.
If we did adopt, I'd prefer a child as young as possible, so that it'd grow up in our family and essentially only know us as its parents. (Emotionally, that is -- I mean, it would form a bond to us in the same way as a natural-born child, rather than, say, a five-year-old who has relationships already and where it would probably be more difficult for all around to treat them the same.)
(This is still all hypothetical at this moment, BTW.)
I wonder what our chances would be. I would imagine that healthy white infants would be in most demand and, therefore, most difficult to "obtain", but Stella said she saw a web page saying that Hamburg had about one child for every three potential adoptive families, whereas other parts of Germany have ratios of one to five or one to seven, so the waiting list might not be that long here.
We also talked about foster care (? - Pflegekind), but I think I'd prefer a child that was mine. Some families do have foster children for years and years, but others only have them for a few years or even less, and I think that would be harder to integrate into a family if you know it might go away again in a few years' time. Basically, it's not what I'd be looking for.
One thing I worried about was what other people (e.g. at church or in our family) would think or how they would treat the child. I think if we did adopt a child, we wouldn't want it treated any other way, and I worry that some others might keep reminding it that it's not our "proper" child. But then, I often worry too much about things so it's hard to know when I'm being paranoid and when I'm merely being cautious.
(A friend of ours suggested that Stella not attend church for a couple of months before reappearing with an infant, essentially faking a pregnancy, so that people would treat the child like a natural child -- but I doubt that kind of deception would hold water for very long. Not to mention that I imagine you usually don't get several months' notice that there's an infant who could be placed with your family.)
Do any of you have experiences with adopting? (You were adopted; you adopted a child; your parents adopted a child before or after you were born; you know people who adopted or were adopted; etc.)