Friday, August 23, 2013

Adoption and Birth Order

A friend has emailed me and ask me to post on this topic.
So this post is from my perspective.

When you look at our family and you see who has come home  first, second, third, etc and in what order they have come home in, 
it looks like we have broken EVERY rule on adoption and birth order...
(I know... run on sentence...)

One glance and you would say-
holy cow this family is in trouble!

BUT first, before you come to any conclusions,
let me explain.

There are a couple points I'd like to write about.

 The first one is mixing in adopted children with birth children.
An example would be having a 10 yr old girl and then adopting a 10 yr old girl.

The safest way to adopt is to not disrupt the birth order of your birth children and to not artificial twin with a birth child. 
You will have issues, I guarantee it (oh my, it sounds like I'm selling men suits!).

BUT then,
 following God is not always easy and sometimes we are called to do things that don't seem to make sense. Often times it works out but sometimes it can cause a lot of heartache especially from your birth child.

If you have prayerfully gone into this potential adoption
by educating yourself,
talking to your social worker about the possible challenges,
 you have read all the recommended books,
talked to others who have done this,
you still feel this is your child...

 Then move forward with GOD as your guide!

Sometime God wants us to experience
Life is not supposed to be easy.

As an adult and as parents I  feel we can make our own decisions (with our spouse) as to what is best for our family.

Some challenges are doable to some families while those same challenges could bury another family.

Closely examine why and what you are doing.
Your thoughts and feelings along with your your spouses thoughts and feelings.

I do not think our birth children would have done well if we had adopted "out of birth order" and added a new child somewhere randomly in the mix.
There would have been a lot of feelings going on.
It would have been very uncomfortable and challenging for hubby and I.
We would have been very confused.

That being said...
some families have done it beautifully!
I truly admire what a wonderful job they have done!

Many agencies have rules regarding this issue.
Some hold fast to every rule while other agencies have more flexibility.

I feel that the parents should be able to decide what is best for their family.
They should be educated on the pros and cons and put in touch with families that have had experience with adopting out of birth order.

We have made a delebrate decision not to adopt older than Sarah. Sarah is a wonderful older child and a natural leader. She has asked us not to adopt a child older than her. We agree with her request! Sometime the children have a better insight than we do, as parents.

If you are considering adopting out of birth order you may want to hear what your children at home have to say about it. They may bring up some good points that you did not consider. Plus it would be interesting to hear their responses and reasoning- it may provide you with insight to proceed or retreat.

Second is the birth order amongst the "new children".

So why has adopting random ages worked for us?

Hubby and I think it has worked for us because -
The new children are and never will be the oldest- there is already 5 older than them. And even though they are significantly older they are a valued and active part of the family.
They haven't been in their new birth order position long enough to have their identity hinge on being the youngest, oldest or middle of the new crew.
They are learning empathy and understanding for the new child coming into the family because they have BTDT.

We still have a plethora of feelings and an adjustment period each time new kids come home but because so many have come home in a short period they seem to adapt quite quickly.
Hubby and I have no tolerance for unkind and angry behavior.
We have a pretty even keel attitude around here and they seem to in a way "take it on", too.
We are not much for drama- don't get me wrong there is a lot of excitement and energy in our house just not emotional drama- of course with 9 girls growing up I may be proven wrong!
We are with the children a lot! We homeschool and do all activities together.

So in other words we have no idea why this pieced together family works,


Don't let fear run your life.
Bring it to the best counselor- GOD!

Go with your gut- you know(God knows) what you can handle and what just won't work.


Rebecca said...

I totally agree and I believe prayer is key... And knowing your family. We adopted out of bo but we had the blessing of our eldest. So far, so good!

Lisa said...

Wow. This was a really good post...and timely too.

Lisa said...

I pretty much agree that each family is different and we all have to prayerfully decide what will work in each of our families individually. That being said, we have way.... too much drama in our home. We have very emotional kids - I think it's just their personalities being so similar and needy (even though they've all been home from state foster care for a long, long time now) and I wondered how you would respond to that within your home. I have no tolerance for it and have tried one thing after another - but I keep getting sucked back in to the drama. It's frustrating because I think we spend way too much time on it (talking, redirecting, having "come to Jesus" meetings on how to behave within a family) and since puberty hit, it has just gotten worse. Any insight on that subject would be appreciated!

Stephanie M said...

Thank you, Jean. This is so helpful!


Sarah said...

Great post, Jean!

The Taylor family said...

It is a very personal family decision. But we have adopted out of birth order 3 times, and if we adopt again...we will stay in birth order. Our last our of order has been so very rough for all of the younger kids. It has been just over 2 years, and the waters are calming, but our daughter came home with so many issues and the little ones have felt the brunt.

Adrian Roberta said...

Excellent post Jean :)

Janet said...

It drives me crazy when agencies have rules that are "thiers" and not the country's. When we hopped around to different agencies (when we had not yet identified a child), I would always ask right off the bat, what were the agencies "extra" rules.
We have older kids, a 10 and 12 year gap between bios and adopted.
Within the adopted kids, we went out of birth order, and even made the oldest child become the 2nd oldest. But, she still has the role of the oldest, since her brother is mentally challenged.
When God puts it in our hearts, who is an agency to question it?!

Anonymous said...

This is really a great idea. This will help both the birth child and the adopted child to mix with each other.
private adoption florida

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