Thursday, May 17, 2012

Older Child Adoption

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.


Mom Of Many said...

Excellent excellent excellent!! Thank You Jean for speaking truth and hope....I am so thankful for you and Jim and your sage wisdom....Sooooo needed in the adoption you and honored to call you friend!!

Love for Lilly Yin said...

Jean you are such an inspiration to me. I would love to bring home a child between 12-10, but our SW will not allow us to adopt out of birth order.
We adopted a 5 year old 3 years ago, and a 6 year old last year, and it has worked out beautiful! Our first adoption has some emotional challenges, but she is so sweet and precious, I would not change a thing!

Rebecca said...

A friend of mine sent me this blog post a couple of days ago. It really is very insightful. Jennifer Logue sent me a list of about 15 or so questions when we were considering older child adoption. They were very to the point and necessary to consider. At first we felt like there was no way we could take that on, but after MUCH prayer and thought, our fears started to melt away and our 13 year old daughter will be home sometime this fall. One of the key factors is does the child have any desire to be adopted? If not... Well, why force it? It just makes the uphill battle so much harder. Our daughter has written to us and said she is very happy to be coming into our family. We are so excited. Gods hand has been upon this adoption since day one. We have no doubt that this is His will for us, but in the back of my mind I still get nervous about my other little ones being negatively affected. Please, anyone reading this, please, would you pray for our family and for the heart of our daughter?

Love for Lilly Yin said...

Jean I just sent you an email

Sarah said...

This is good, Jean! Thanks for posting it! I so wish that I had known more with our first older child adoption, but thankfully, God is faithful and we learned a lot. But, it takes a lot of faith and perserverance. It's definitely different than adopting a young child.

"Are These Kids All Yours?" said...

AMEN to honesty!!!!! :) THANK YOU!!!!

OH and I am sooo praying for ABBY!!!!! GOD KNOWS!!!!!

Chris said...

Amen and Amen. Our older kids need to be acknowledged in the success of our last adoption.
We were very open with them on the possible challenges.

Cari said...

Thanks for this post Jean and the link to the other blog. That post was very interesting. I agree with everything said. One thing I would change with our older child adoption {if I could have a do over} would have been to wait until our birth children were older like you did. That has been such a struggle in our situation. But God did know all this when He called us to bring her home, so I continue to trust and hope in His promises.

The Byrd's Nest said...

lol....I educated my husband on an "as needed" basis also:) Lottie came home with so many control issues at the age of 9 months...I'm not kidding! I can't imagine have 10 or 13 years to perfect that control....lots of prayers coming your way my friend:)

Sue said...

As you know I adopted "aging out" child. I am very lucky to have talked to Vicki (the blog link) among others, it helped me greatly, I have told many people that you need to expect the worse, to read about the worse and hope for the better, it will prepare you a lot more.

God's Grace said...

We met in China while adopting our "older" Child :) Challenging doesn't even tip the iceburg, lol! But there are continual rewards that far out-weigh them... and I agree, it's not for everyone. I think I was prepared. But not for everything. But looking back I see how far we have come. How for Arielle has come. She is a blessing beyond anything I imagined. So helpful to us all and very loving! I think her hormones are the most difficult thing to deal with. It brings up all those feelings of neglect, insecurity, etc, that she has deep within. I've been reading Silent Tears to help me understand some of the treatment she has gone through in her life. A lot of what she does really makes sense to me. But most of it only surfaces during specific times in her cycle. tip: I got an app on my iphone to track her period. Now that we can "see" how her mood relates to her cycle, its much more managable during those times... lol! it really worked for us. Your family is beautiful, God Bless!

Kelly said...

Goodness, I lost track of you! BEAUTIFUL FAMILY!! And adding another yet again? You go girl!

Karen Ross said...

Such a beautiful article on child adoption. It is a beautiful thing to adopt a child and give him/her the best care and love that he/she deserve. I'm looking forward to read more of such informative blog. Thanks you so much for your work.

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sheila olson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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