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". Enjoy.
What We Wish We Had Known
By Judy and Sara Myerson
I did not really have a chance to say yes.
When they told me there was a family from America who wanted to
adopt me and asked if I wanted to be adopted, of course I said
yes. When they gave me photos of my new house, family and
friends, everything looked so nice. I felt special; everyone
treated me differently and paid attention to me.
When my new family came, I was excited and scared. As soon as I
met them, I left with them and was adopted. Other children had
gotten to visit with their new family, then the family left and
came back again the next day. I thought that was going to happen
to me too. But, I never had a chance to go back, think, and talk
to my friends about it. I never really got to know this family,
to say no or yes to this adoption. I would have said yes, but I
would have liked to have been able to choose.
"This is a really important point. When adopting from Ukraine,
you as adoptive parents get this great opportunity to spend time
with your adopted child. Make sure if they want to spend time in
their group with their friends once in a while, you let them, and
don't feel slighted. There were times my son said, "can I play
with my friends for a little bit?" I sat and spoke with his
caregivers and watched him interact with the other children. It
was great to see his personality come out in a group."
"I highly suggest having a small going away party for your
Ukrainian adopted child and his or her friends or group. Ask the
caregivers what is appropriate. Don't go overboard, listen to
their advice. However, if you have ideas, please bring them up.
We bought play mobile phones for all the kids once the caregivers
agreed that would be okay."
Children in placement and in orphanages are kids whom things
happen to. They have been abandoned, neglected, and mistreated.
They've been removed from families, sent off with new ones,
placed in orphanages and group homes by adults, usually without
explanation, preparation, or warning. They do not get to choose
much of what happens to them, often growing up feeling powerless.
To Sara, her adoption was merely one more thing that happened to
her. We should have insisted that Sara have several visits with
us prior to adopting her. At the very least, we could and should
have allowed Sara the opportunity to say yes (or possibly no!) to
"While we all want to get back to the States as fast as possible
with our newly adopted Ukrainian child, those weeks we spend with
them before and after court mean a lot. Give your child every
chance to make decisions. Start by offering just 2 choices
though, because having not been used to choosing anything, too
many choices can be overwhelming. They can be what he or she
wants to read, eat or play with. It starts to give them a feeling
Adoption Services International unites loving US families with
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
infertility treatments - contact us to learn more about Ukrainian
adoption, Adoption Services International can help.
Ukrainian Adoption Information Meeting
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 7:00-8:00PM
Location: Wellness Rocks: 133 Rupell Road, Clinton, New Jersey