Saturday, April 27, 2013

An adoption myth debunked

Okay, I can't bite my tongue any longer and must say something b/c it recently came up again and really is bothering me. I know I shouldn't let it but it's getting to me a lot.  I guess we have now earned the status of adoptive big family.  I get that though I don't see us as a 'big family.'  Just a family.  Apparently, amongst people in America, many still believe that families who adopt get a stipend.  You know, a monthly check and make a lot of money from said check.  I'm here to clarify a few things.  We do...not...get...squat!  Not a check, not a stipend, not a single dime from anyone anywhere.  Nope.  We raise them on our own, with our own money, our own time.

I do know if you do foster care, there is a stipend.  However, I also know it isn't all that much.  I do know some parents of special needs children apply for SSI and can receive payments or help w/ medical care via medicaid.   We have chosen not to apply for any of these things.  I do not have anything against people that do.  Not starting that fire storm.  However, I feel if we can provide and do alright, I will not apply for financial aid.  Warren and I made that decision long ago.  Fortunately, Warren works for a company that has excellent insurance benefits.  Our medical is covered (for the most part), our dental is covered, speech is covered, surgeries are covered, etc.  We pay a monthly insurance premium but it covers it.  We also have a vision plan and prescription plan though that changed dramatically this year.  I know I can't get the extra therapies but that's okay.  In the past, I've gone to a few therapy sessions, and then continued on at home.   This is what I did for Bojan's PT.  You find ways to make things work.

Our goal is for our children to be as independent as possible.  To reach that goal, we feel we should practice what we preach.  Now, does this mean everything in the world is covered?  NOPE!  And that's when some times I wish I had the ability to just shell it all out.  But then I'm reminded by others that God will provide.  Things will indeed work out.  Recently, we were given a beyond generous gift.  Gift card to the Apple Store to buy our kids a few IPADS.  It was what we needed to help them become more successful.  It's the kindness of others that has allowed us to do what we do and help our kids reach their fullest potential.  When folks donate clothes to us or food (BIG HELP), it then allows us to focus on some other needs.  We have a new van.  This is not a low to the ground van and is very difficult for some of my kids to get in and out of.  Unfortunately, it did not come w/ running boards.  We have to purchase those separately at $300.  Fitting the house for some extra grab bars are things to think about as far as costs go.  Things not at all covered by insurance but really do become necessary.  Things such as an FM system is what we really need for Nik.  Ear gear to cover his implants.  Special drying box, etc.  Trampoline for sensory issues.  All needed but not covered by insurance obviously.  But as in any family, you find ways to get what  you need for your children.  Special needs or not.  Doesn't matter.

How do we do it?  How do we as a family now of 14 provide for this many children w/ out any assistance?  Well, you just do it.  You budget.  And re-budget.  You appreciate the kindness of others.  We shop at yardsales, consignment shops, craigslist, etc.  Does that mean my children never get new clothes?  No.  They do indeed get new clothes as well.  Granted, it's not a celeb type of wardrobe but it will do.  My kids are healthy, happy (when not grounded), and well adjusted.  We are proud of raising them.  I know we don't get a check every month for having them.  We never ever expected to.  No one expects to get money for having kids, they just expect to love them.  And that's what we do.  So, to debunk the myth that there are large adoptive families out there b/c they get paid to do so, is just that...a myth. Just wanted to clarify that just because we are a big family, with many special needs, does not mean we get paid to do so.  We are a big family b/c we WANT to be a big family.  Do I wish we received extra money each month?  Of course.  Who wouldn't?!  LOL.  I just do not like people thinking that is the only reason we have our kids.  We love each one.  And definitely not for all the grief they give us at times.  Remember folks, we have 5 teens in this home at the moment!  We love them for who they are.  I don't like people thinking otherwise b/c eventually, the kids will hear that and think the only reason we wanted them was for a check.  When in reality, we've fought and sacrificed like crazy to get them home.  Sometimes others outside looking in don't see things as clearly.  I would like to think that is the case with many who have adoption myths thrown their way. 

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