Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thinking About Changing Mia's Age?

Mia turned 11 on October 10th?

But did she really?


Pic taken in 2/2008
(6 yrs 4 mos. old,  this is the youngest pic we  have of her)


The children in China are given birthdates. Often times it coincides with when they were found and how old they estimate the newborn child to be.



Pic taken 12/2008
(she would have been 7 yrs old)


But more often than not the records are not accurate... 
at 
all...

In fact they may even say that the child was found as an newborn infant and they were actually left around the age of 4 yrs old.
And then, maybe they estimated 5 yrs old when they were really 4 yrs old??


 Pic taken 1/2009
(she would have been 7 yrs 3 mos  old)

Then,

 put a child in an orphanage for 8 plus yrs and the result is a child who has not been exposed to anything and has not had much opportunity to learn.

When we read Mia's file something inside of me questioned the information given.

I did not question that she is indeed an orphan in need of a forever family.
BUT,
her referral sounded pretty much like every other child around her age coming out of this orphanage. Why would they keep these children for 10 plus years with such a minor disability?


Pic taken 6/2009
(She would have been 7.5 yrs old)


With these thoughts we hesitated,
we do not want to reinforce untruths in adoption.
We want to bring home, love, raise, educate and care for children that really do need a family.
We do not ant to take a child away from an existing family.


10/2010
( 9 yrs old?)

BUT, Mia was older and by the time we could get to her,
she would be 
even 
older.

We prayed about it and felt God encouraging us so we moved forward.
Just so you know when I saw her pic my heart leapt and hubby said an immediate YES!

Once I joined the orphanage yahoo group I found a plethora (I love that word and it may be the only big word I know, so I use it ;-) of pictures of our new daughter!
It was like Christmas in July!

All the pictures were from 2008 - present.

We also got her finding add, it was from 2007.
Now, before we come to any conclusions that was the first year they did finding ads in her Province.

So does that mean she had been at the orphanage for 5-6 yrs prior and they finally put it in the local paper because that's what they did for all the children who were previously in the orphanage? 
OR was she found in 2007 and so they put her in the local paper in hopes to find her family?

The point of this is to say we do not really know how old our daughter is? 

Now the orphanage could blow our hypothesis away by giving us younger pics of Mia.
I would love that!

We had seriously considered making Emma younger but once she was home and we went to the Dr, the dentist and other specialist we could see that Emma really was near her given age. 

This could happen with Mia, too.

Currently our new daughter Mia, is 4 feet 2.5 inches.
Her weight is unknown but we are estimating 55 lbs.
Her feet are 21 cm, about a 1-1.5 size shoe.
Mia has 13 baby teeth and 7 adult teeth.
(we do not know which molars she has)
BD 10/14/2001

Our Ellie has been home for 2.4 yrs.
She is supposedly 9 months younger than Mia.
Ellie is 4 feet 7.5 inches tall and 74 lbs.
She wears a size 3 shoe.
She has all her adult teeth and she is getting her 12 yr old molars.
BD 7/20/2002

(BTW- Being home makes a BIG difference)

Ava  has been home for 1 yr 8 months.
She is 4 ft tall and 54 lbs.
She wears a size 13 shoe.
She is supposedly 3 yrs 8 months younger than Mia.
Ava has 6 adult teeth and 14 baby teeth)

Mia's orphanage is very poor. 

Soooooo, 
our feelings are that Mia is younger than the age on her referral.
At this point we could easily see making her one year younger and having her birth year 2002 or 1.5 yrs younger and having her 9.5 yrs old when we meet her.

However,
 we will wait until we see her and gather all medical, dental and developmental information.

What are your thoughts?
Have you changed your adopted daughters age?

17 comments:

Our Faith Walk said...

My Mia was adopted at age 8 (now 10), although at the time, she looked four. She only weighed 42 pounds.

After bing in the USA for six months, she had gained 13 pounds and four inches. Her dentist believes she's older (closer to 12). Today she is 4' 7 1/2", 70 pounds, has all of her adult teeth and all but one molar.

We left her b-day as is. Dr's said bone scans could be inaccurate due to early malnutrition, so we didn't pursue it.

Hope that helps,
Luana

julie said...

Hi Jean,
Our Mia (how funny that we all have Mia's!!) was very tiny when we got her. At age 9 1/2 she weighed only 40 pounds and was 3 feet 10 inches, her shoe size was about a 12. We thought surely she was younger than we were told. After returning home she saw an international adoption specialist who ran many tests, including a bone age scan. The doctor felt confident that her age was correct.
In the 15 months she's been home, she has grown like a weed!! She is now 4 feet 3 inches and weighs 55 pounds. SHe now wears a size 2 shoe.
I hope this helps.

Sarah said...

Wow! It really is so hard to tell. Grace is now 8 years old and weighs 38 pounds. So, I can see her being around 55 pounds at age 11. Sometimes I think that she could be a year younger, but she fits in great with other 8 year olds, so we figure that she's just small!

Jennifer P said...

Joshua, holding at 39 pounds and 9 years old, had a reasonable bone scan correlating with his age. He was found at 8 months and we have quite a few pictures. I imagine they are a few months off one way or another. Joy, on the other hand, is WAY behind developmentally. We are getting a bone scan for her. I gleaned that many of the girls at her orphanage were tiny. I think she is in the camp that between her heart condition/nutrition/care, she slowed her growth. I think I have her finding ad, I will go back and look harder at the dates. Good point.

likeschocolate said...

I just read some of the comments above, and wow being 8 years old and 38 pounds. I have a son who is a heart baby TOF and he is 5 and weighs 38 pounds and wears a shoe size of 13. We are average size too! On the other hand his baby sister is 17 months, but weighs 19 pounds and is only 29 and 3/4 inches tall. She wears a size 12 month clothes. She is tiny. I have heard that some orphanges like to hold on to the kids to have a full orphange, so maybe they have made a child older or younger to get people to adopt the child. I wish I had more info to help you with. I would maybe ask to see if they have her birth finding announcement. That might give you a better clue because the diet and care really seem to have a huge effect on the growth of the child.

LaRita said...

Hi Jean. We did change Elaina's age back one year. She's been home for 2 years now. We were told her birthdate was Feb 8, 2003 making her 7 when we adopted her. When I received her she was only 25 pounds! After a bone scan, visits to the dentist and pediatrician, the collected thought was 4 years old! We felt like that wasn't correct either since all agreed malnutrition would play a large part to her size and development. So after much thought and prayer we turned back the clock for her by 1 year.

Now we have her sister, coming from the same orphanage/foster family. Same age questions. They had her birthday just one week after Elaina's. First we thought that was just a convenient guess. Now again after visiting everyone they think she is 7 not 9 so we have decided to do the same and keep the girls 1 week apart and have both birth years reflecting 2004. While confusing to many, we've explained to Elaina (who understands English quite well now) the confusion to her age and why we decided to do what we did. She seems very satisfied with our decision. Please don't hesitate to call on me if you would like to discuss this. I'm happy to share! LaRita www.curlymonkeyshines.blogspot.com

Our Faith Walk said...

Oh, I forgot to mention that our Chinese guide told us that the finding ads are placed in the newspaper just before the children are listed on the adoption agency list. Hence the reason why many of the older children look older in the finding ad pic.

Oh, and now at 10, Mia has a size 3 shoe!!! I keep praying she'll be tall as we're a family of giants! Hee-hee!

Luana 5'10" ;)

Eileen said...

My husband is a dentist who sees many, many children in his practice. He said that dentally, with only 7 permanent teeth, he would guess she's younger than 11. It's technically possible, but would be extremely delayed dentally

Dawn said...

We are another family that will be changing our children's ages. We are going off of the dentist's report as well as other people who knew them before we adopted them. Your best bet is to have her seen and evaluated by a dentist and go from there. :)

Julie said...

We have had serious questions about our daughter's growth and development since she came home. Bone scan and the dentist say 5. Orphanage says 5. I just wish I could go back to her orphanage and sit with the director and her nannies and ask them some real questions. When we were there meeting and adopting her everything was such a blur and I did not want to be pushy or rude with my questions. I feel now, in hindsight, that I could have been a little more pushy. It is just such a shame that so much of our kids' early lives are so utterly lost.

Julie
mom to Emmeline

Susie said...

Both of my girls have had bone scans to tell us about their growth-we have no reason to believe their age is not accurate. Our now 8 yo was adopted at 8 months. We had her scanned when she was 6 and had stopped growing on a curve. Of course, had we adopted her at 5, we wouldn't have known that she was at one point growing "normally." Turns out, she is just delayed in growing! She is 8, weighs 44 pounds, and wears a 5/6 in pants. If we had adopted at 6 and scanned we would have thought she was 4. She has lost 7 teeth and has a loose 8th one. She behaves like an 8 yo, though! It IS really hard! My 4 yo is a shortie with less of a growth delay, her bone age is only 18 months behind, not 2 and a half years. She was so delayed in motor skills we might have thought she was younger. We have pics of her as a baby that have us believing that they are accurate records. Hopefully you will have more info when in China! She may even be able to tell you something about her beginning! Hopefully your guide can help ask the right questions!

Wendy said...

Hi Jean,

My daughter was left with a letter, supposedly from her birth parents. We had it translated. It gives her birthdate. We feel this is correct from a medical and dental standpoint as well and it gives me some sense of security knowing if she ever questions anything, we can show her the letter. I don't know if it is real but I am going to have faith that it is. What I do find interesting is that she was abandoned at age 4 months but her finding picture has a full set of teeth. From what we were told, she grieved when she left the orphanage and was in a foster home. Leads me to believe she was very much loved by someone. She also grieved when we adopted her and it was very healthy. She has bonded so well with us and we have been very blessed as well as she is blessed to be a secure 10 year old. She never just gravitated towards people she was unsure of and seemed to always want us next to her and knew we were who she could count on and trust. I am saying this because I truly believe there was someone in China who really loved her. Who knows when she was abandoned. What is important as she is loved now and had love in China. Quite possibly it was the same for your new daughter. It would probably be a benefit if she is actually younger than you are lead to believe as she will be that much closer to her emotional age. I cannot wait to meet her on your blog. She is a beautiful child...simply beautiful.

Blessings,

Wendy

Janet said...

I have had questions about all 6 of our stories. Our pediatrician feels as long as they are growing and progressing, we shouldn't worry. Our 7.5yo only weighs 42lbs, but has had 5 years of good American nutrition. The ped agrees she is just tiny! Look around at the Chinese women--most probably do not weigh 100lbs!
Another thing to consider, is that she may not be producing growth hormone. We have one of those....he gets nightly shots. After not growing AT ALL for 2 years, he has grown 1" in a few months with the shots. I don't know that he will ever catch up, but at least, witht he shots, he will not continue to fall further behind.

Vicki said...

I did this. Would be happy to discuss with you in an email. NO big deal...whatsoever!

Robyn said...

I am VERY interested in HOW ages were changed. Our son was adopted in 2008 and was "5" years old at adoption. He was 2 foot 11 and 25 pounds. Now at "turning 10" he is only 39 pounds and 3 foot 8. We believe that he is 2 years younger....doctors and dentists agree. Here is a blog post I wrote about it: http://cunninghamkids.blogspot.com/2012/08/lets-talkabout-reed.html

Robyn said...

Robyn again from the above post....I have looked into changing his age legally. IF we change it on his birth certificate it will not match his US citizenship certificate. IF these two documents do not match you can not get a passport....and possibly future documents or government scholarships, etc... And I have been told that it is IMPOSSIBLE to get immigration to agree to change the age on a US Citizensip certificate. Has anyone done this? We have changed Reed's age back 2 years in all areas of his life, just not legally. Please comment if you know how to do this legally on all docutments, not just the birth certificate. Thank you so much!!! Robyn Cunningahm

Felicia said...

We adopted from Guatemala and actually changed our daughters age up by 2 years. They said she was 8 but we met the biomom and she said she was 10. When we met her we knew that she wasn't 8. We got documentation showing that she was 10 from the dentist and had it done when we readopted in the US.