Thursday, December 20, 2012

Advocating for the older ones

There has been quite a buzz lately in the adoption community about adopting out of birth order, and adopting older children.  This is kinda a tough topic to write about, but I'm gonna try to tackle it a little here today.  Here's the deal, the other day you read Beth's awesome post about inquiring about a child on the WCL.   Back it up a bit if you don't know what WCL stands for: Waiting Children's List.  That's your adoption lingo translation for the day :)

Definition of WAIT:
  1. 1.To stay in a place or remain inactive or in anticipation until something expected takes place.
  2. 2.To be ready or at hand.
  3. 3.To remain temporarily undone or neglected. 
This definition describes millions of orphans around the world. They stay in one place, waiting with anticipation to be chosen into a family. They are ready, expecting, yet day after day they sit and wait for a family to call their own. Some will find one, and some will not.

You might have some questions right away when you think of adopting an older child...  
"what about the language barrier?" 
"how will they get along with my other children?"
 "what do you do about school?"
 "what are their expectations when coming to America?"

These are all very valid questions and concerns.  And each family is different and each child is different.  What works great for your family might not work for another family and that's ok. You'll face challenges with any child regardless of age, every child has to mourn-weather they're morning for the family they lost (and are aware of) morning for the nannies they grew close to in the transition home or simply mourning for their country. Just like Beth said the other day in her post, if someone tugs at your heart, give them a chance to plead their case, learn more about them.

And ps did you know there's an app for Amharic you can get on your iphone for easy translation? That could definitely help the language barrier a little ;)

I've talked with some families who have adopted older children into their families, and they have given wonderful advice and been able to give a first hand account on what (at least with their family) you might expect.  That's the awesome thing about the adoption community, you can talk to tons of people and get advice on what they've gone through. Here's a few great blogs you can check out about families who have brought home older children:

Crockett Family
Verme Family
Hathaway Family

If you're interested in adopting an older child into your family, head over and read this post by Brittany.  She and her husband brought back their son from Ethiopia earlier this year.  She wrote a truthful and honest post about their journey so far, it's a great read.

I would seriously encourage you that if you have any questions, no matter how small or big, that you reach out to these families. Who knows, maybe your child is one on the waiting list...waiting for you :)

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