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Adoption Blog: Groups

Adopting an Older Child
Filed Under: My Family

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Thank you for sharing Jeff! 

When we met our daughter, all the other children in the transition house had been matched with their forever families.  My husband and I talked about how heart wrenching it would have been if that wasn’t the case.

By Ellenore Angelidis on Friday, April 01, 2011 at 6:59 am.

Hi Jeff,

My daughter Didi was 5 1/2 when I went to pick her up in India. Her children’s home had very few babies and toddlers—the majority were older children. On the day she left, I bought some candy so she could “distribute sweets” to her friends, which as you may know, is an Indian tradition for a day of celebration. The person who is experiencing the good fortune gives something back. The photos of that day are wrenching. My daughter looks excited and hopeful—and the other children are sad, wistful and teary to see her go. They all were old enough to know I was Didi’s mother, but it didn’t lessen the pain of seeing a friend go and being left behind.

Beautifully written, Jeff.

By Sharon Van Epps on Friday, April 01, 2011 at 3:13 pm.

Our daughter was twelve when we adopted her. She was in a group home here in the united states. Most of the girls there had been taken awy from there families for one reason or another by DFCS.  My daughter was so thankful to fianlly find her forever family but I some times think about those other girls and wonder how their lives turned out.

By georgiamom on Friday, April 01, 2011 at 6:32 pm.

We adopted our children domestically through foster care. Prior to the placement of our sons, we had only fostered babies with the hopes of adopting.  We had never planned to adopt a child older than 1yr old but after two placements result in reunification with their parents our adoption social worker called us about two little boys ages 4 and 22 months old.  Their case was further along and was almost certain to lead to adoption and she wondered if we might consider them.  All it took was one meeting with them for us to fall in love and decide to take them home.  While we had to shift our original vision of what adoption would look like for us, it has been well worth the adjustment.  About a year and half after the boys came to live with us our daughter, who was only a month old, was placed with us.  While I’m happy we were able to experience raising a child from infancy as we have done with our daughter, I’m very happy my wife and I allowed ourselves to go outside our comfort zone and adopted our boys.  Along with our beautiful daughter, we have two wonderful, loving boys who have brought so much joy to our lives and have taught us so many things.

By Nick on Friday, April 01, 2011 at 6:35 pm.

Jeff, I know my family is still very early on in our adoption journey and, quite honestly, I don’t know how we’ll manage being a family of five let alone six. But I must confess that I harbor not-so-secret fantasies of adopting an older child several years down the road. Thank you for sharing this post. I’m so interested to see where your next adoption leads you.

By Meghan on Saturday, April 02, 2011 at 3:41 am.

Jeff, now I can’t help thinking about that little girl, too and all the others out there. Well said. As you’ve written before, adopting a child changes so much—we never see the world the same again. (On a personal note, tonight I am graduating from a training program to be a Guardian ad Litem. It is my hope to help in some small way to guide foster children back home or into new loving families before their childhoods are gone.) Good for you and your wife taking on older child adoption advocacy. Maybe we’ll be reading about your 2nd adoption soon?!

By Stacy Clark on Monday, April 04, 2011 at 3:41 pm.

Jeff, Thank you for posting this comment.  Your experience was heart warming and gut wrenching at the same time.  The readers of your story should understand what an undertaking it is to adopt an older child.  We adopted my daughter at the age of 7 from an orphanage in Russia.  The trauma an abuse that befalls these older children is severe.  Parenting these children requires a tremendous amount of patience, emotional and financial support, and stamina.  It’s one thing to think about adopting an older child and another to raise them.  My daughter has been a gift to our family but she is not for the faint of heart.  Before anyone considers this option I implore you to talk to others who are living through it, and make sure you are ready for the lifetime challenge and commitment.

By Vanessa on Friday, April 08, 2011 at 6:59 pm.

Thank you for your stories.  I always enjoy them.

My husband and I are trying to adopt a (truly) older sibling group (Domestic/Foster) that are 12, 13, 14, and 16.  We couldn’t be more excited and wish more people would consider this route too!

Not all older kids have scary behavioral problems and some babies will.  For us, it makes more sense to know exactly what we’re getting into.  Also, I would have been devestated to have my baby reject me, but I sort of expect not to be considered Mom yet by these kids.  As someone who grieves her infertility too, I understand why people first go for babies.  But eventually, I came to the point where I let go of the “normal” way to start a family.  Now, we look forward to bike rides and high school dances right away! smile

By AuberrySwirl on Thursday, April 14, 2011 at 2:13 pm.

I adopted two children, from Romania and Vietnam, both infants…10 months, and 14 months, respectively.  After the death of my husband in 2003, my children who where then 7 and 11, asked me to consider adopting again.  I was turning 50 that year and thought it was out of the question.  However, the “adoption” bug took over and we ended up traveling to China for an 8 year old girl.  She looked more like a 4 or 5 year old and is two years behind academically, she has been my hero.  We continue to struggle with the language and with reading/writing issues, but she is now in middle school and “making it” with support and tutoring.  I have since remarried and their relationship is fabulous.  One thing I notice about this adoption/child as opposed to the others is that she truly appreciates her life here in America and all it has to offer.  She is Americanized, yes, but she hasn’t forgotten from where she came and soaks up every part of American life she can.  She has great enthusiasm and she has made an impression on everyone she has met.  Best thing I ever did!!!


By gabigwen on Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 2:28 pm.

Thank you Jeff and everyone for sharing your thoughts, feelings and experiences. We are considering to adopt an older child in the future, when we can devote ourselves to her/him and be ready for all the challenges. Now our youngest is just 2 years 8 mo old and were (are) very blessed with our first adoption (toddler at 18 mo, our second child). Congratulations to all of you who have adopted or are in the process to adopt older child(ren).

By MonicaGG on Friday, May 06, 2011 at 7:30 pm.
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