Friday, October 12, 2012

“If You Are Thinking of Adopting Don’t Rule Out Older Children” One Parent’s Story

There are a lot of great reasons to consider adopting an older
child. Here is one stories first person considerations and
experience adopting older children.

From the family blog:

On a number of occasions now my husband and I have been asked to
talk to prospective adopters about adopting older children.

Five years ago we were approved to adopt one or two children
between the ages of 2 and 8 years. We spent a long time during
home study considering this age range and whether to adopt
siblings or one child. In relation to age we were guided by some
practical reasons, firstly both hubby and I work and we knew we
would need that to continue after the children were placed.
Adopting a younger child would have made that more difficult.
Secondly our goddaughter who spent a lot of time with us and
stayed over a lot was 10 years old so we felt it important the
children were younger than her.

But for me there were also emotional reasons, I didn't feel a
real passion for adopting a younger child. Don't get me wrong I
have lots of nieces and nephews and I have loved being involved
with them as babies and toddlers, but felt more drawn to older

I think hubby and I also understood as we went through the prep
course and home study that many children in care have had
experiences in their life that mean they are emotionally younger.
So we felt that adopting older children wouldn't exclude us from
sharing in lots of experiences with them that you would normally
expect with younger children.

When we were first approached about the brother and sister who
eventually went on to become our children they were aged 4 years
and 6 years. It was quite clear in all the documentation we were
given to read about them that emotionally and developmentally
they were much younger.

This was very true and we have found in the last four years that
we have had many experiences with them that really you would
attribute a younger child.

In terms of their relationship with us they needed us to treat
them in relation to how long we had been together and not their
chronological age. In the first 12 months we helped them to
regress and had lots of babyish experiences with them. Hugs and
cuddles all wrapped up in blankets. We have rocked them and sung
nursery rhymes (in my case probably quite badly) and played peek
a boo. I will never forget the overwhelming feelings of love that
I felt for the children as we bonded over these experiences which
were a nightly experience. The first time eldest looked me in the
eyes while I sung to him was just amazing. At other times we fed
them with a bottle or fed them their meals like you may a toddler
Everything in life at home was aimed much younger and we played
much younger games and toys with them. We spent lots of time
experiencing new things and learning about the world.

We have helped them to learn how to do new things like riding a
bike, or climbing on play equipment, to swim and how to play and
have fun.

Over time they have developed in confidence and we have left many
of these things behind as they have got older. But sometimes when
they are emotionally wobbly we revisit some nurturing activities
to help them feel secure again.

There are of course some challenges to adopting older children,
attending school soon after placement being the biggest one. It's
a fine balance to work out how much time they should have off
school when they are first placed. When children are already
behind in their learning it is tempting to think they need to
miss as little school as possible, but actually what the children
needed was time to be with their new family. They are unlikely to
learn much while they are experiencing the emotional turmoil of
moving to live with a new family.

Then there are all the missing bits from their lives before the
children came to live with us. Not being the one person who knows
all that has happened in their lives is common for all adopted
children. But the older they are the more time there is to have

Now having been a mum for only four years I have a 10 year old
and 8 year old, that feels a bit strange at times, but I wouldn't
change it for anything.I can't put into words how great it is to
be mum for these children, yes I wish I could have been there for
them sooner and have prevented some of the hurt they experienced,
but that isn't how it was. All we can concentrate on is being a
family enjoying life together and if we can heal some of the hurt
along the way then that would be great.

But what I would say is if you are thinking of adopting don't
immediately rule out older children. Yes there maybe challenges,
but there are also many positives and it maybe quite different
from what you first imagined.

If you or someone you love would like to expand your family,
provide a permanent home for a needy orphaned child, welcome a
sibling for an existing child or discover an alternative for
infertility treatments - contact us to learn more about Ukrainian
adoption, Adoption Services International can help.

Adoption Services International unites loving US families with
Ukrainian children. We provide a unique combination of western
quality service (including a maximum guaranteed adoption fee),
personal adoption experience, affordable local cost and 20 years
Ukrainian experience.


powered by

No comments:

Post a Comment