Monday, July 26, 2010

Questions #1 and #2 answered!

Question #1-
I was wondering, as you prepared for your girls did you buy all of their clothes, shoes, toys etc. prior to their arrival or have you saved some of the shopping to do with them now they are home?

I've been thinking about what would make our girls feel more at home: arriving and finding their closets and drawers already filled and waiting for them, or just barely filled and they help shop with us to fill them.

What are your thoughts on that?

Jean Says - I tried to prepare for the girls ahead of time as much as possible. Taking them shopping would be quite a challenge in the early days of being home (it depends on how many girls their are and their temperament). Everything is so new and overwhelming to them- usually they need to take it slow. I just like to "be ready" as much as possible- it feels good to me. Buy enough to have for a week or two (with washing). Then after you figure out more of what the need and go and get it when you think they are ready to be in the store.

We bought a few toys for the house with Anna- she was young when she came home. With Sarah we purchased a few arts and crafts things to have for her. Our toys have slowly accumulated with holidays and new children. We already have more than we want...

Question #2
Did you wait until your biological children were older to adopt because you had specific reasons or Is it just the timing the Lord gave you? Would you recommend waiting or adopting while your bio children are still "being raised" as well?

What are the biggest challenges that you and your husband have come across while adopting older children?

Did you work while raising your bio kids and do you work now? How did you decide how to balance between working and raising children?

Jean says - We did not hear the call to adopt until our children were older. It was so awesome how God spoke to us during a time that only 2 of our children were still home. It was like a lightbulb went on and we knew that was where he was leading us! For us waiting was a good choice. All 4 are special needs and their needs vary- I feel like I am able to devote myself to their needs at this time in my life. I also feel like our older bio kids had their needs met when the needed us the most. We are always still there for them but 3 of them are independent now- college grads and working. This way just worked best for us. Many families do just fine with mixing their bio and adopted kids.

Because the process can be long do wait too long to get started. Actively pray now and God will guide you to your children!

I think the biggest challenges are that children who have not had parents have no idea how to act in any situation. They have so much to learn and they need love, time and patience to learn and catch up to other children their age.I think we may be in our most challenging time right now. However when/if we adopt more- I'll may be saying this again! I am just not sure where our Emma will fit in academically and socially. I believe she may have more underlying medical needs than we realize and I also feel she will have learning issues- she is a hurt child (more so than the others) and needs lots of love and constant watching.

Also give your child time- do not judge them by how they act the first couple weeks. We have been amazed at the progress our new daughters have made already. Try to understand how their whole world has been turned around- nothing is familiar to them. Every once in a while I see the girls silently mourning all they have lost. They may be quiet or staring out a window with a little tear running down their cheek.

It was also very challenging for us to be as firm as we needed to be while in country (China). The girls were out of control and we needed to be firm, follow through and loving at the same time. We needed to show them we were in control and they were in good hands! That was very challenging but by doing that we have made many positive steps!

We love older child adoption. We feel it fits our family. Many times you have a child that can integrate into their new home and life without many issues. Their are no guarantees with older child adoption- it's really about trusting God. He gives you the children he thinks you can handle and that are meant to be yours to care for, some are easier than others.

I am a stay at home Mom right now. I graduated from a 4 yr college with a BA degree and ready to be an RN. I worked 5 years, stayed home for 14 years, worked 4 years and now I am home again. I feel like I am needed at home right now. I am not planning to going back to nursing. I am planning to care for our children and then advocate for other adoptive families in the future.

Blessings on your journey- it is so awesome and a little scary- trust the Lord!


Dr. D said...

Thank you, Jean. That was very helpful. Blessings to you and your family.

LedaP said...

Thank you for this! We are LOA for a 9 year old right now and I'm excited but also nervous to face these issues. I hope I handle them as eloquently as it seems you have!