I've heard it said 100 times by social workers. "We are not trying to find children for families. We are trying to find families for children."
In the process, putting the children first seems to be abusive to prospective parents. There are so many different ways in which families can get hurt in this process. In the list of ways a match can fall apart you can see how parents can get emotionally devastated. But if you can separate yourself from the situation and remind yourself that "it's not about you" it makes the process easier.
We tend to get tunnel vision when it comes to wanting children into our homes to the point that we don't put the kids first. A great example is when a local family is chosen for the children. Sure, we believe that we would have been just as good for the kids and it wouldn't be so hard for them to move across the country. But if a child is perfectly content in Florida and there is a family for them there, is Montana a better choice for them simply because I live there. Would moving across the country to a different climate with folks with a different style of living be best for the child? It may not harm them, but it's possible that allowing a child to be in a similar environment would be best for them.
Or what about a child who grew up in the inner city? Sure, we think our fresh air is preferable on our dairy farm, but what if the kid LIKES the city. What if that is familiar and comforting? If a child can stay in the same are where there are positive connections, might that not be best?
Some social workers take this to an extreme and sometimes almost mistreat prospective adoptive families. But there focus is going to be on what is best for that child, not how the "rejected" hopeful adoptive familiy feels. They know the children, we don't. They are going to do their very best to come up with the best option for them.
Yes, we are going to be upset when we are not selected. But we need to remember that it isn't about us. It's about the kids and THAT is how the workers will make their decisions.