Recently, a few others have spoken out about older child adoption. It is a topic that needs to be discussed so families that are considering older child adoption can go into it with their eyes wide open.
Often times there is a push to adopt the waiting older child. The one that is about to age out... Often times families agree to bring this child home with an open heart and hope for success. But much more than hope is needed in this situation.
Our friend Vickie wrote about it on her blog and I really encourage anyone who is considering older child adoption or adopting an aging out child to read her blog post. Click on the link and it should take you there.
I am not by any means discouraging anyone from adopting older BUT instead encouraging anyone who is considering it to do so with an arsenal of reading (books on the issue) and support behind them!
Mia will be our oldest child adoption. She will be 11yrs and about 5 months when she comes home.
Sarah was 8 yrs and 9 months when she came home. We were a little shocked but because we had done our homework we believe we were prepared. Sarah responded well and within 6-9 months was a delightful young girl. She came to us with many unknowns, many fears, defense mechanisms and control issues. Over time she was able to adjust to family life and the walls came down.
We have no regrets and we feel like the results- a lovely daughter, were well worth the challenging journey.
We were tough and we had to be. We had to show our new daughter who was running the family. We had to show her that we were competent to do the job and we had to show her... her place as a family member.
I had done most of the reading and had to give hubby on the job training. Praise God he was a fast learner and in time could see the underlying control issues that our new daughter had... She was trying to divide us instead of uniting as a family. One by one she attempted to draw each family member to her "side" but we had already talked to the older children so they were aware of what was happening.
The older kids showed their support for their parents and all sibling- she learned so much from how they handled it.
It was not wrong of her to do this... she had lived in survival mode for 8 plus years. This is all she knew.
Other older adopted children may exhibit different behavior but no matter what they do it is all an attempt to survive.
Now Sarah is lovely and a blessing beyond belief! We cannot imagine our life without her!
Emma and Ellie came home a day before they turned 8 and 10. Emma was a challenge that we never anticipated in China. We actually considered not going through with her adoption, but God was so present and we put our trust in HIM. We are thankful we did... however Emma presents challenges that we were not aware of and did not anticipate. Still she is a blessing to us.
Many families had adopted children that are close to aging out. At 12-13 yrs old they are considered teenagers and often have hormones that can add to the challenge. I actually think adopting at this age is different than adopting at the 8-11 age- but we will see AND I will let you know when Mia comes home!
We also adopted our older daughters when our birth children were significantly older. In our opinion, it made it a lot easier. Our birth children did not ride the roller coaster that our new daughters were on... and actually wanted everyone in the home to be on. Being a bit older than average parents also helped, we were able to see what was happening and we (the parents) hopped off the roller coaster asap!
We do not regret any of our older child adoptions. If we did, we wouldn't be doing it again!
BUT, it was very challenging. Our family situation seemed to be a good fit for it. NOT all family situations are a good fit for bringing home an older child. If a family decides it is in the best interest of the child and the family to re-home... who are we to judge?
Honestly, sometimes it just doesn't work out and re-homing is the best option.
Please read the post I have linked to- it is a good one.
Before rushing in to adopt an older child please pray, pray pray about it and educate yourself as much as possible.