We have still heard nothing new on the two sibling groups in our state that we have put our homestudy in on.
A couple of weeks ago I found a sibling group of two girls (7, 1) in a nearby state. After inquiring. we found out that the 7 yr. old was just diagnosed with autism. All the testing has not been completed but from the information we have received we have concluded that she is on the milder end of the spectrum. Autism is one of those things that on the check lists of what we were willing to consider in an adoptive placement we always checked no. I have worked with autistic children (on the severe side) and just didn't feel that we wanted to add that to our family. BUT both Mike and I keep feeling a pull to these two girls. So we have asked lots of questions and finally last night we came to the conclusion that we are ready to submit our homestudy and see what happens.
The only real concern I could come up with when thinking of them was wondering if the autism would hinder the bonding/attaching process for both the 7 yr old and I. But really I worry about the bonding/attaching with every child we consider. Before fostering I had the attitude and naivety that I would be able to love and bond with every child. It was a total blow to my world when with our third foster placement I found myself having a hard time liking the child much less feeling love or a bond. This situation repeated itself two more times for me during our eight years as foster parents. Each time it happened it took me by total surprise and caused much self doubt. It took me a very long time to come to terms with the fact that not every child that came through my home would feel like one of my own...sometimes because of my own feelings, sometimes because of attachment issues of the child. I cared for each child the same way...that love and bonding came very quickly with some of the children, a little slower with others and with some sadly never.
So as we think about adopting again I worry. I worry that because the child(ren) won't be in our home as a foster placement before adopting we won't have the opportunity to discover if that bond will come easily or not. But I have hope that because we'll know from day one that this child(ren) will be ours forever that I can open my heart even wider to allow that love and bonding to happen. I also know that if there are issues with bonding/attachment that we can get the help we need quickly b/c these will be our kid(s)!