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Old 07-15-2008, 04:38 PM   #1
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Adopting older children.

I thought I would always adopt my children. My DH wanted at least one of his own. We have our DD who is 18mo and were talking about having another. I didn't think he was on board with adopting (from past talks) and now it seems like he is. But he is thinking more of an older child.
I am a little apprhensive just because it seems that older children come with more"baggage" not that it's there fault at all. Is there any resources I could look at to see if it's something that I could accomidate? I would like to be able to help the older children that seem to get stuck. I just want to make sure I am doing the best for my current family as well.

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Old 07-16-2008, 02:22 PM   #2
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Re: Adopting older children.

Anybody?
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Old 07-16-2008, 02:25 PM   #3
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Re: Adopting older children.

My old pastor had foster children and adoptive children and (5) biological children. She said that in retrospect, she would have only gotten children younger than the ones she already had. She said it was like a pecking order thing. She was not aware, but the older children were not being nice to her children. She felt that they had the need to compete. So, her advice to others was to get younger than what you have. Not sure if that helps.. but this came to mind when reading your post.
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:12 PM   #4
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Re: Adopting older children.

Thanks.....It certainly does make sense that they could feel the need to compete. I think If I did adopt I would think I would want them to be younger just so the older ones could set a good example KWIM?
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Old 07-16-2008, 05:57 PM   #5
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Re: Adopting older children.

I don't have any personal experience to give you, but my agency highly discourages placing children out of birth order. They don't really give too many reasons, but I think it's a good idea. Have the new child in the home be the youngest is helpful for me, too, because I have some idea of what to expect from that age. (My agency doesn't really want to "twin" my daughter, either, so they are having us adjust our age range...we were initially putting 0-2 years thinking our wait will definitely be longer than when dd turns 2, but they've had us go down to 0-18 months.)

I hope you get some answers!
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Old 07-16-2008, 07:56 PM   #6
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Re: Adopting older children.

I hope I don't get blasted for this but here goes-

Kids in the system have seen more than many children have. They have learned coping skills to help with their survival while either in their birthfamily or in the system. I would not want to put a younger child with an older child that may have learned maladaptive coping skills. It could lead to unsafe situations.
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:06 PM   #7
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Re: Adopting older children.

At the same time, most older children can, will, do and desperately want to heal and to have a forever family.

I would never adopt an older child who vocally was not in agreement with the placement. That is a recipe for disaster. But, we have thrice adopted out of birth order, including adopting older than the oldest with 3 existing children in the home. Two of these adoptions have been HIGHLY successful. The third is far too new to know what the final outcome will be. He is by far the most significant behavioral issues of the 3. He is the only to come from the foster-adopt system. And, he was the one we were outright lied to about his behavioral issues.

That said, he is also only older than 2 of the children. IQ and maturity wise, he ranks lower than all but the toddler. And I will willingly admit that managing his signficant issues is easier *because* 4 of the children in the house are older than him and 5 are more mature than him.

My best recommendation for considering adopting older children is 2 places. I would tell you to read up at www.olderchildadoption.com but I just checked and its down at the moment. My preferred book that gives an HONEST assessment of what you can and will face with older children is Adopting the Older Child by Claudia Jewitt. Its older. But, its still very relevant to the issues in older child adoption. And, she gives some excellent self-assessment tools to help you think through the process of whether you are prepared to face this journey.

There are quite a few other resources I could share. But, I honestly recommend reading Jewitt first and honestly looking at your skills and family dynamic and deciding whether you want to still move forward before saturating your brain with other resources.

Older children desperately need and deserve families. They may not be cute and cuddly, but they are not monsters. They don't routine attack and threaten the children already in your house. They do come with pain. They do come with abandonment and fear issues. But, there are terrific things about them too. They expand your family's horizons as they bring their own already formed personalities and interests into the family. They bring a LOT of love. They know what its like to be without and when they learn to trust they tend to love fiercely. They should not be written off automatically because of their age. Nor should they be adopted by those who are not prepared to honestly and stubbornly stand beside them and help them process and come to terms with their pasts.
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:33 AM   #8
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Re: Adopting older children.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TestifyToLove View Post
Older children desperately need and deserve families. They may not be cute and cuddly, but they are not monsters. They don't routine attack and threaten the children already in your house. They do come with pain. They do come with abandonment and fear issues. But, there are terrific things about them too. They expand your family's horizons as they bring their own already formed personalities and interests into the family. They bring a LOT of love. They know what its like to be without and when they learn to trust they tend to love fiercely. They should not be written off automatically because of their age. Nor should they be adopted by those who are not prepared to honestly and stubbornly stand beside them and help them process and come to terms with their pasts.
This was a great post. We too are discerning whether to adopt an older child. Our DS is 9 yrs older than our next (adopted) child. We are thinking about adopting a boy closer to his age, maybe between 6-9 or so. But we also have the 2 little girls (3 and 1) to consider. It's so hard to figure out what is best! I'll try to find the book you recommended and start from there.
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Old 07-22-2008, 08:20 PM   #9
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Re: Adopting older children.

Our first DD was 3 1/2 when we brought her home. We didn't have any other children (except my furbabies) at the time so we didn't have to consider birth order. It was much harder bonding with an older child than an infant. I loved Sasha from the first second I heard her little voice but it took us a few months to fall IN love. Am I confusing anyone yet??? It took a lot of LOVE and time and teaching and holding and more loving, but it was worth it. It seems like we've been together since she was born. I would never discourage older child adoption but just make sure it's right for your family.
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Old 07-24-2008, 06:35 PM   #10
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Re: Adopting older children.

we are considering as well adopting an older child and i had most been worried about how to include in the household without making it seem unfair since the younger biochildren being toddler and baby cant do much .....
maybe i am just naive
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