The majority of children adopted from Ukraine are not infants.
They are children with personalities and a past. In this article
a mom and her daughter, adopted at age 9, share lessons learned
about older child adoption in this beautiful article.
Every child is unique and every adoption and family experience
will be different. However, as an adopted parent of an older
child much of this story resonates with me.
Since it is a very long piece, I have broken it up into segments.
My comments are in "quotes".
What We Wish We Had Known
By Judy and Sara Myerson
She was the one whose picture we kept going back to, the one whom
we couldn't turn away from of the hundreds of waiting child
pictures we studied for months. She looked out at us, unsmiling
eyes shadowed by heavy bangs. My son, Daniel, then 11, called her
"the sad one" and said, "Take her, Mom, please." I said, "But,
she's older than we planned. She'll be eight or nine by the time
she comes home." He replied, "Take her." So we did.
Adopting an older child, one who comes "ready-made" with a
distinct history and personality, is a decision that ultimately
comes from the heart. The journey of adopting an older child
sight-unseen is a leap of faith on the part of the family and of
enormous courage on the part of the child. It is also a journey
we entered into, like many well-meaning parents, somewhat
naively. Prior to Sara's adoption in January 1997, we were a
family with two parents and two children-12-year-old Daniel
(biological) and two-year-old Mia (adopted from China as an
infant). Now, four years, one marital dissolution and a lot of
turmoil, tenacity, reading, professional help, hard work, and
heart-opening later, we are a family of five, with a different
configuration. Sara is my very own daughter and I am, as she
recently told me, her "real, not pretend" mother. Of all my
children, she is the one who has caused me to stop, look, and
stretch myself the most. I would not take back any of our last
four years; however, there are things that we both wish we had
known before her adoption, things that might have made the
"I think it is a major advantage of adoption in Ukraine that you
don't adopt a child sight-unseen. You get to meet them and spend
time with them on their territory."
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Ukrainian children. We provide a unique combination of
professional, individualized, quality service (including a
maximum guaranteed adoption fee), personal adoption experience,
affordable local cost and 20 years Ukrainian experience.
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
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Ukrainian Adoption 101:
Conversation On International Adoption: Opportunity, Process,
Concerns and Questions
Monday, November 12, 2012 6:00-7:00PM
Location: Califon Book Store: 72 Main Street, Califon, New Jersey
Ukrainian Adoption Information Meeting
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 7:00-8:00PM
Location: Wellness Rocks: 133 Rupell Road, Clinton, New Jersey