I Can Adopt
I have not yet considered myself a candidate as an adoptive parent. Having said that, I would do anything to protect my children from harm and give them every opportunity for a successful and productive life. When Julaine, the social worker assigned to evaluate and make permanent recommendations for Nina, asks if I am willing to adopt Nina, I do not know what to say. I think for a moment and decide to share my feelings as well as I can. I say that I want to keep Nina forever. My family wants to keep Nina. I am 47 years old, a single parent and having such a young child will prevent me from re-entering the work force anytime soon. It is not a matter of choosing to work over being Nina’s mother; it is an issue of me being able to support her. I receive a monthly stipend for each foster child in addition to complete medical benefits. Julaine tells me that there is adoption aid to financially support the child and complete health insurance to the 18th birthday. I am most certainly interested. I do not have to worry about this now. Adoption is down the road. Nina still has a birth mother with rights. At this moment, I have 4 daughters in addition to Nina who need me, and Nina has not completed the health piece of her intake process.
In addition to a complete physical, Nina must be re-immunized because her shot records have been lost. Allegations made by family members imply sexual abuse, so examinations to confirm or deny must be performed. A blood test to rule out HIV is required. Her broken arm has healed and the cast needs to be removed. After the physical part, a complete mental health evaluation will follow with a bonding assessment.
The basic physical exam is completed and Nina is in good health. She is in the 95th percentile for weight and the 15th percentile for height and has an odd walk. Next, we need to go to the injection station where Nina will receive 8 vaccinations and a TB test. Nina does not cry for the shots, the TB test is the final poke and she whimpers. Nina leaves the clinic with an armload of stickers and a book. I want to take her some place where she will have fun, but she says: “We go home now, Mommy.” I say: “Yes, we go home.”
We arrive home just before school lets out and Mona, Ivy and Lea return. They are all very happy to see one another and I tell the girls about all of her shots and the big sisters are horrified. They all want to see where, and Nina is very proud to show, and give them “skickers.” Two days following the shots, we need to have the cast removed. There is a very loud saw noise, but absolutely no pain. Nina yells horrible, piercing screams. The next few days, I make an effort not to have any appointments scheduled for Nina. She needs a break.