Adopting an Older Child part 2: Lack of Knowledge

A friend of mine told me about a friend of hers who doesn't publicly speak about the trials of adopting older children but privately she tells people to not do it if they have small children in the home. But like I told my friend, I would not say that as a blanket statement. I think every family is different. The key to the break down I think in that situation is that her friend expected one thing and got another when their adopted kids came home. They were not prepared for worse case scenario so they parented the hurt child like the other kids and it just didn't work. This family lacked the knowledge they needed.

Parenting an adopted older child is not harder then parenting a birthed child or an adopted infant, It's different.

And that is the core issue here. We read up on how to parent our birthed children and babies, we talk to other mothers, get advise, and watch other families doing it. We even get to call friends after the baby is born for advice, if the baby spends months crying due to Colick, or never naps, throws temper tantrums or bites every child in the nursery, we call people or read a book on how to deal with these things. BUT adoption of older kids is so rare that agencies and adoption advocates don't want to tell families the issues specific to parenting adopted older children for fear they will be scared off. Other families that have adopted don't want to be open about the issues for fear of people saying "I told you so" and they also fear it will scare people off from adopting. So, we have a deficit of resources. but what's really sad is we are dealing with issues that are not harder they are just foreign to us, not a part of our culture, our family discussions, friends, church, work environments, no one is sitting around discussing the issues related to adopting an older child like we discuss all things pertaining to our birthed children.

The goal is having healthy, attached, loving families. So we need to all be able to talk freely, ask for help freely and then we can really be an encouragement to each other and give strength and help to each other. Adoptive parents need more resources offered and more education BEFORE bringing their children home so they will have the information needed to parent effectively and people who adopt need to stop romanticizing Orphans and start learning how to parent them.

God is in this adoption thing. Anything worth doing is hard work and parenting a child, no matter how or when they become your child is VERY WORTH DOING.


Erin Moore said…
I'm hanging on your every word on this topic. Great post.

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