I am often asked about older child adoption – as we have done it multiple times. The answers come harder when you don’t have a child who seamlessly enters your life and moves on into their new life. We’ve had children like that adopted at older ages. And we’ve had children NOT like that adopted both at older and younger ages.
It can be easy and wonderful – as many of us read on people’s blogs and posts. Some children are super resilient or have not experienced too much trauma and have had great support along the way. But it can also be VERY HARD – and those people are often the ones who don’t have time to post because they are just trying to survive each day, just as their children had to learn to survive in China. They bring their survival coping mechanisms with them to their new families, and sometimes it’s not so great.
This is why I want to encourage anyone considering adopting an older child to read, “An Open Letter,” a blog post written by my fellow LWB volunteer Karen Yingling (seen above with her gorgeous family). This is the reality for many who have adopted older children from China. Not a reality that people often want to hear about or believe as they are contemplating adopting an older child…but a reality that they need to be ready to live if they commit to an older child. As with any of our children (bio or adopted), you never really know what you are getting, but you need to be committed to help them live a full and productive life. Some kids just take a LOT more parenting and a different kind of parenting than we are familiar with. But I firmly believe that in order to help these children reach their full potential, we parents need to be willing to change and learn different ways of reaching them to help them heal. Not always, but often. And even then it is a long, lonely and hard road.
Kudos to Karen for taking the time to write this beautiful post.
~Sandi Glass, Director of Special Events for Love Without Boundaries