My friend Kari's parents (hi Marge) adopted kids out of foster care 30+ years ago -- back when nobody knew anything about FASD or attachment. I don't think there was even subsidy!?!
And so when we complain about how slowly the system changes, I think it's important to note that things are getting better for adoptive parents.
1) We have subsidy and some states are increasing it all the time. In fact,
Washington DC just extended subsidy to 21.
2) We have the internet. Wow has this made a difference for adoptive parents. We can connect and research on the phones in our pockets. We have access to the whole world in our hand. And when it comes to support and information for adoptive parents this is so awesome.
3) We have each other. Never before have we been more connected as a subgroup of society - and as we have seen this can be positive or negative. I see it as a huge plus that we can encourage each other -- not by always being sunshiny Polly Anna people with heads in the clouds -- but by demonstrating that it IS possible to live through hard times victoriously and with hope.
4) We have organized Post-Adoption Support. Most states have programs that help adoptive parents.
5) We have more information than ever about FASD, attachment, and brain trauma, things that effect our kids on many levels.
6) We have the tax credit. And even though we still don't have ours, I have met people who have received them. Instead of complaining that they are taking it to long to get it to us, I'm trying to focus on the fact that we are getting a nice chunk of change that was totally unexpected.
7) We have agencies and organizations that "get it" that are increasing their ability to reach people with information and services.
8) As people become increasingly more aware of issues, things are improving in our churches, schools, and health care systems because of the advocacy that we are doing to make changes.
I could go on, but you're getting the picture. Sometimes it's good to realize that while the system is full of flaws and our lives are hard.... things are better than they have ever been for adoptive parents.
So today I'm choosing to focus on that and be grateful.