And 3

Last week, my CCC course brought me to Brooklyn Family Court, where I sat in on two juvenile delinquent cases.  Both 16, one resulted in being sent to a non-secure detention home because while on probation, he'd committed robbery, and the judge wanted to keep him from committing any more crimes as an adult. The other was a young man, who spoke no English, had been arrested for carrying a machete on school grounds.  I didn't stay long enough to witness the case's outcome, but the lost look in the young man's eyes was heart-breaking. More than 30% of juvenile delinquents have a history in NYC's foster care system, and more often than not, their IQ falls below average indicating they have grown with some developmental disabilities.  

My eyes welled up as the judge sentenced the first youth to detention as he handed his possessions to his father who sat in the back of the room.  In between cases, the judge clearly exhausted by the inefficiency and lack of improvement of 'the system', was kind enough to chat and share his insights with us.  Young people are under a tremendous amount of peer pressure, and for those who are from the poorest of families, that peer pressure is everything.  Not to mention their already traumatized lives as children who've been in the foster care system and who've also struggled through school without getting the proper assistance.  

My weekly site visits coupled with waiting for our child referral make for interesting processing.  A vast majority of young people seem doomed to fail in 'the system,' while I work my small piece to improve it . . . and while I am in the process of  bringing a child into our family.  Will we be able to provide the support that our child needs to keep him/her out of trouble, to succeed in school, to make the right friends, to make the right choices . . . ?

And 3

Our 10-year-old nephew, M. came over for a few hours last night while E. & W. attended an adult-only party.  M.'s visit gave us a short glimpse into what it'll be like when there's a third in the home as we sat for dinner -- turkey burgers with veggie fixins plus sweet potato fries and onion rings on the side AND pumpkin pie for dessert.

I'd just spent the previous couple of hours searching on youtube for adoption referral day moments . . . crying my way through a few.  I need to do this every so often, and it's been some months since I've searched for adoption day videos.  The referral day is just as important as the gotcha day.  Some days, the wait seems longer than others.  I find myself thinking about our referral day more as we receive invitations for upcoming baby showers, anticipate new family births and attend christening celebrations.  Of course, I am thankful to participate in these festivities.  But sometimes I am left aching fiercely for the moment we get to beat our drums loudly at the welcome of our long-awaited third.  

Yes, we're still adopting.  No, we haven't heard anything yet.  But every day brings us closer to our child.