My babysitter from years ago had adopted from foster care. I knew this from FB so I messaged her to ask her questions about it. She was very open and helpful. She wanted me to call her and we ended up talking for about an hour. She told me the ups and downs and things to look out for.
For instance, have you heard of Reactive Attachment Disorder? I hadn't. I knew that children from Russia and similar places where they are one of many in orphanages had some issues bonding (that was the reason we were looking into Korea, where they don't use orphanages), but it can also happen with foster children here. Wow! Scary!
She told us to make sure the terminate parental rights, we get a social/medical history... etc.
The most exciting thing might be that she said that they would use our home study that we have through our adoption agency, CFLS (she's not positive because she's in another state).
If we do foster to adopt, they would have to be TPRd (termination of parental rights) and then we foster for 90 days before we can legally adopt. (at least in her state, which I don't think is all that different).
We could request for Daughter to remain the oldest, which is apparently normal, and would keep our potential adopted child basically an infant. It's pretty important to keep the family "constellation", I was informed, so the social workers should understand that and be willing to work with it.
She also told me that my disability should not be an issue. She knows of a couple who went through the foster system and the man has no arms or legs.
I contacted the ND foster care system on Wednesday but haven't heard back yet.
Also, my awesome mother has been looking into other adoption agencies in ND. She contacted God's Children and told them our story (I'm not yet to the point where I can talk about it without crying) and the woman with whom she spoke told her about a wheelchair bound woman who was turned down by the first birth mother, but approved by the second.
God's Children also works with more states than just MN and ND (unlike our current agency, CFLS)
So... there are a lot of options. We are meeting with our pastor, praying fervently, and honestly I have some peace in my heart that we will have another child.
We'll probably go ahead and update our home study through CFLS for an infant adoption (right now we only have an EA home study done) and then possibly have God's Children or the state take it. We have to find out if God's Children will allow another agencies home study.
That's a lot to think and pray about. God grant us discernment!