Adoption Voices

I asked my mom who adopted me, my brother and my sister why it is that people have to wait so long for adoption if there are so many kids that need homes. She told me it's because most people are looking for babies. And of course that understandable and It seems obvious but it just wasn't for me. For me adoption is a lot more than just taking a child home. You are an answered prayer for that child. I feel compelled to advocate sdoption for these older children that are left traveling from foster home to foster home. sure they might be a little more work because of their past, but why be selfish. I feel like their should be something done more for these children. I couldn't even imagine if I had not been adopted at 10 months old and waited my whole like for a family. I think this is really sad. When I am older I plan on adopting an older child to show people that it can be done. Has anyone had an experience with adopting older children, or was adopted at an older age.

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I adopted both of my children internationally. My second daughter came home at the age of 7 (although she was 5 on paper). It has been great. I met her on July 5, 2008 and we arrived home on July 11, 2008 so we're coming up on 1 year. It really has been great. Her transition was actually much smoother than that of my younger daughter who joined me at 8 months of age.

I recently started a blog, http://adoptingolderkids.blogspot.com, to share the reality of older child adoption with those considering it. I would love for others to take time to share their stories.
We just came home from China with our 5 year old daughter. We started out wanting an infant. When we saw her and read her file our lives changed forever. We will adopt again and we will adopt an older child. It was perfect for our family.
Today is her 6th birthday and we are going to PARTY!
LISA
Wow. thank you girls. This is great. Glad to hear it! have a great party!
My sister in law is fostering a boy who is 12 and has a lot of neurological things wrong with him. He has a from of Autism (Astburgers) which has been hard on her. She has a 9yr old from her previous marriage and now is 5 months pregnant with her first girl with her husband now. Its been hard, but Cody is def. a different kid since he has lived with my sister in law and I know he has a better life and appreciates this second chance. He even is starting to call Angie by mom now out of his own choice :)
"a little more work" is not a little more work for some families, it ends up being a lot more work. We adopted a son from Hong Kong when he was 8 years old. We already had three other children at home (two internationally adopted as infants and one bio. son), so despite being "veteren" parents and avid readers (to prepare ourselves for what might come up), nothing prepared us for living with the behaviors and issues our new son brought into our family. We knew he had ADHD and had never really lived in a family setting, but we did not know he had a mood disorder or an attachment disorder that placed him on the RAD scale. To say the least, life was turned upside down for our entire family. That being said, we still believe that every child deserves to be in a loving family; however, We advise prospective (older child) adoptive parents to thoroughly educate themselves via books, conferences, and time with other parents of older adopted children BEFORE adopting so that they enter into things with their eyes wide open.
Sara, you are going to be a wonderful mom to an older child someday! Thank you for posting this!! There are thousands of kids who need homes. Your post gives me hope that there are families for all of them.

ADVOCATE away! You're the perfect example - one who was adopted as an infant, but wanting to change the world of an older child!!

Someone told me recently that it might be in my interest to use an agency which works with the State I want to adopt from. That way I have an advocate, and am not at the mercy of the State/County. I am still considering it, as the State of Hawaii, where I live currently, is not cooperating in adoption. (I've been told, "Our objective is to keep Hawaiian children in Hawaii," that "We're no longer recruiting families who want to take the age groups you want," and "We have our systems in place, so you may never get a placement.") What it comes down to is that my husband is in the military, and they don't want to place kids with us because we're going to leave the state in a few years.... they don't even want us to provide foster care.

We want siblings kept together. That's our primary objective - sibling groups. I can't imagine how hard it would be to lose my sibling after being taken from my home.

After 12 years of infertility, I had two miracle babies in 14 months. I love them with all my heart. I know what it's like to hear my own child cry, and to have experienced morning sickness... and get VERY fat! No, not just pregnant - hugeness! :) But as much as I would never want them separated if anything happens to my husband and me, I want to keep other siblings together as well!!

Jesus is bigger than the State of Hawaii, and obviously, He is not done working on us yet... He is perfecting the work He began in our hearts. When He is ready, He will place the right kids in our path.

What a blessing it was to read your post!! Thank you!!
HI Sara,

I have to agree with Heather. This is not "a little more work"! Older children are often "in the system" because they have endured long term abuse and neglect. This type of complex trauma has tremendous negative impact on children. For example, a brother and sister I know who were adopted at 6 and 8 years old, now as teenagers have serious, serious problems. Despite years of therapy and specialized parenting, their behavior is out of control -- they both steal to the tune of thousands of dollars, they both lie - even to the point of reporting abuse that didn't happen, the brother refuses to bathe or do minimal chores, he cuts, and has threatened suicide, his sister doesn't come home at night, and she is under 16. They both have abused drugs and alcohol and are sexually active.

Their parents, while not perfect by any means, are all doing their very best to love, cherish and protect their children and spend hours and hours trying to get the services and support their children need, fighting with child services agencies, school systems and insurance companies for therapy and programs few can afford out-of-pocket. Adopting older children is not easy, and it is not for the faint of heart!

I appreciate your advocating for the less fortunate. What we need to help these children are better educational programs for potential adoptive parents and better services to help them earlier in the process. No child should be passed from foster family to foster family. And adoptive families need to be better screened, better prepared and better supported. That takes commitment and it takes money.

Ilane
I have been doing a fair amount of advocating for some of our children over the last few weeks. It started me thinking about all of the details and steps that I take to wade through all the red tape, make contact with the right people and follow the proper channels. Sometime in the recent past, I had a huge revelation…not everyone is like me! While I am sure this goes without saying, the point I want to make here is that not everyone likes to go toe to toe with an adversary (or perceived adversary). A lot of people would rather avoid locking horns with authority figures. Some people just do not like confrontation, while others (like me) sort of live for it!

Cherri W.
Yes three of Our four children were older at time of placement and adoption.
Terrie
All children are keen to have a family. Babies or older children. But most people are concerned Babies . And it can be a disadvantage to older children. They would like to have a family like newborns. Everyone should advocating adoption of older children. For me, just need is children - I will agree all .

Jamal & Lily

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