adopting older children..
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  1. #1
    Registered User PplAmanda's Avatar
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    Smile adopting older children..

    My husband and I have started the paperwork to adopt in Arkansas. We are hoping to adopt a school age child. Has anyone adopted an older child here? We are very excited and are starting to educate ourselves so that we can provide the best home possible. We are hoping to adopt a sibling group, since that is one of the groups with the greatest shortage of families.

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    Registered User jantana's Avatar
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    Good for you! We have been doing foster care for the past 10 1/2 years, many kids have come and gone, and it breaks my heart to see that so many older children are not given that chance to have a family again. We had one child that was with us for 8 years, he had been in the system for so long he made it clear that he didn't want to be adopted because he didn't want the heart ache of being passed over because of his age, at that time he was 10.

    We get sibling groups, not that often but the ones we did get usually went back home.

    I applaud what you are doing. Whoever you decide on will be eternally grateful for a second chance at a family.

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    My sister was adopted by my parents when she was 3.5 years old and I was nearly 5. I really enjoyed getting a sister I could play with, as opposed to my friends at school, whose parents had BABIES that would only sleep and cry. I want to wish you all the best with this decision.

    I'm quite sure it'll get mentioned in the support group or training you'll get, but just to emphasise: the adopted child will test the boundaries of your love. My sister would argue with my parents, and even kick my father until his shins were black and blue, just to see if there would be a point that they would say: 'enough! we're sending you back'. Obviously, my parents never said that, and my sister has come to terms with being adopted, but it has taken some time.

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    Registered User Pemberleyan's Avatar
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    I just wanted to say I am so glad you're doing this! At this point in our lives, DH and I don't expect children to be a part of our lives, (endometriosis, etc.) and adoption is out of the question for us. My sister adopted from a Russian orphanage, a child about 5, and there were some rough years because of this child's emotional baggage. Now she's a teenager and my sister doesn't know what she'd do without her.


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    Registered User mommy4ever's Avatar
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    Older children are often a huge challenge. My bother adopted a sibling group. 5, 7 and 9. There are attachment issues, they will either cling or be standoffish. There can be behavior issues, as you never fully know what has happened in their past. They test, and test and test. I'm not sure how long it lasts, or when it changes from testing to being the normal bratty tween and teen that all kids become. Is it worth it? According to my brother, absolutely!

    But in the end, it depends on every child, every prospective parent. My brother said something I kinda chuckled at. He said he wasn't sure what to expect, and he was expecting worse case scenario, his kids were in an orphanage, the youngest since she was 6mo old. They were abandoned leaving the eldest(then 4 or 5) to care for the youngest 2. He figured it would be his worst nightmare when they got home, then he figured realistically 100 times worse that that. He expected the absolute worst of it. And it hasn't been that bad. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.

    Educate yourself. Ask the tough questions when looking at the profiles. Are there learning disabilities, are they at grade level, are the mental issues in the parents(some are genetic), get as much information as possible and see what you are ready to take on. Sometimes, it's as simple as a loved family, but parent died and no family to take the kids. Other times it's abuse and neglect. As you said, there are lots of sibling groups out there, learn and chose to suit what you can handle.

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    Registered User Debbie-cat's Avatar
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    Good for you! It will be an exhausting, scary journey I am sure but the rewards will be worth it in the end.




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    Registered User tigo's Avatar
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    We have. The youngest we adopted was 7 - the oldest was 15. Yes there are issues. However, there is very seldom something so big an issue that the proper treatments (including counseling - for both the child on their own and as a family) that can't be worked through. Easy? Heck no- we had attachment issues with the oldest (15 yo) but now she is 24 and a mom herself. She understands a lot more of the why on the things we did. It has really been a wonderful experience and the issues were no tougher to deal with than the issues we have with our birth kids.

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    Registered User PplAmanda's Avatar
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    We have advanced to the next step of filling out all the background checks. My hubby is alot more worried about things than I am. He has a son who is 12 and is concerned that he will feel differently about the adopted children as opposed to his birth child. Since B. is my stepson, I don't feel that I will have that problem.
    We will continue slowly and with much prayer.

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    Registered User Nishu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PplAmanda View Post
    We have advanced to the next step of filling out all the background checks. My hubby is alot more worried about things than I am. He has a son who is 12 and is concerned that he will feel differently about the adopted children as opposed to his birth child. Since B. is my stepson, I don't feel that I will have that problem.
    We will continue slowly and with much prayer.
    I remember what it was like to be pregnant with my second child. My oldest was 2 years old, and was the absolute love of my life. I didn't mention it to anyone because I didn't want to freak anyone out, but I worried quite a bit about how much I would love my second child because I could not imagine loving anyone as much as I loved my little girl. Honest to god, I just didn't think it was possible. I imagined my relationship with my youngest being awkwardly distant while my oldest was treated like a princess...

    That didn't happen. As it turned out, I loved my second just as much.

    Anyway I think what your husband feels is normal, and it doesn't at all mean he'll have troubles bonding. I experienced the same anxieties with #2 and they turned out to be completely unfounded.

    Good luck with the adoption.

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    Where you are in the process now? One of the reasons we are so adamant about getting out of debt is because we are thinking of adopting.

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    Registered User Suzanne Sky's Avatar
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    How wonderful! We have three adopted children and two biological children. Stewart was 13 and Reagan 8 when we adopted Garrett who was 3. Then when Garrett was 4, we adopted Ashley (4) and Andrew (2). So they were older than babies, but not school age yet.

    We've dealt with a variety of issues - racial problems, eating problems, abandonment, abuse, health issues, a learning disability, educational issues ...and then came the teen years. Haha! It hasn't always been easy, but we've made it, and I cannot imagine not having all five of our children. They really are a blessing.

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    Registered User Rebookie's Avatar
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    congrats!! They will thank you for it!

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    Registered User Molemommy's Avatar
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    You can have most of these issues with biological children... children dont come with a handbook (darn I realy needed one of those LOL) But I am glad you are able to do this and wish you all the Best. Keep us posted...

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    Registered User frugalbutterfly's Avatar
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    I was want to add what a couple of other ladies have added; you can have some of these very same and possibly worse issues with your biological children.
    We have our own from one extreme to the other, yes you it is survivable. Biological or adopted. It is very tough parenting, regardless, we don't get a manual about handling this issue that will come up or possiblities that can come up with our spirited children. We learn as we go and do with our children, just as they do.

    We are in the starting process of getting licensed to be foster parents. We are being more specific, unless it is a disabled child/ baby (we'd be Love to share our home and love, even more).
    This has us somewhat thinking more long term, there already has been multiple adoptions and kids I raised and "they are MINE!"

    How has your process been going? Are your guys still moving forward? Any news on a child yet?

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    Registered User PplAmanda's Avatar
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    We have finished the 30 hours of required classes. Both my husband and I have passed our background checks, had physicals, TB skin tests, and completed ALMOST all of our paperwork. My stepson went to the ER the Sunday after Thanksgiving with a perforated appendix, so everything in our world kind of stopped until he was able to have his appendix removed in mid January. He is doing well now!
    At this point, we are only waiting on stepson's physical, immunization records, and TB skin test before we can start our home study. Since he is with his mom the majority of the time (we have every other weekend visits), his dad is talking to his mom today about coordinating this. I am a bit worried that this will be an issue, but am thinking positive.
    Once we get his information, we will be ready for our homestudy. That takes 45 business days and then we will be ready to be matched with children.
    The process is long, but well worth it. I thought we would be matched by now, but with the 2 month haitus, we are not quite there yet.

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