Monday, April 29, 2013

adoption :: is age really just a number?

In this crazy process of adoption, we have been asked literally hundreds of questions as we think about the child or children that we will one day bring home... Domestic?  International?  Boy?  Girl?  Special needs?  Race?  ...And age.

Age was the one question that I didn't think we would have any trouble answering.

Newborn.  Done.


Well... it seemed simple enough.

But once we decided that our adoption endeavors included not just 1 little tot... but 2 instead, (meaning possibly siblings)... our hard and fast "newborn" answer shifted slightly to, "newborn - 3 years old."

3 years old still seemed manageable.

Then our agency called.  Knowing we are interested and open to sibling groups, they strongly encouraged us to consider "newborn - 4 years old."

Okay... 4 years old.  We could still do that.

Then... our agency sent an email out to all the families in their Uganda program... It was an email regarding 2 separate sibling pairs... both pairs older than our "newborn - 4 years" range... one sibling pair was a 5 and a 7 year old... the other was a 4 and an 8 year old.  The email was pretty general... mostly information from our agency about the advantages of adopting sibling pairs... a couple of sentences about the kids...

And pictures.

Photos.  Of the sweetest faces I have ever seen.

Oh, my heart.  My once convinced "newborn - 3 years old" age range, suddenly began to waver.  Both Lance and I found ourselves sneaking glances at that email... staring at those sweet faces... wondering is age really just a number?

Such a hard question.  One we still don't entirely know how to answer.  We desperately want to be responsible as we continue to push through this adoption process... knowing that God will give us the strength and wisdom to love our children well... regardless of their ages.  But none-the-less... it's scary.

As parenting should be.


Ariane said...

I totally understand. Those checklists on what you will or won't accept in a baby/child, birthmom, or birth dad were hard enough and then if you see of kids who need a family desperately. I don't know the answer for your family. One thing my husband always says as we looked at each situation is that it isn't a service project it is our life, our forever family. If the answer is no, then you just hope the answer is yes for another family and those kids will be taken care of. Good luck!

hillary c. said...

I love you guys and love your hearts for adoption. I don't feel like age is just a number though. The older the child, the more potential problems emotionally that you all would need to be prepared for... which would most likely be a full time job. Younger the child, the less they are going to remember from their past life, i.e. the "easier" the transition could be for everyone. Older children, while they need families, and maybe you are up for the challenge, are going to have had more opportunities for terrible things to have happened, and/or families to remember... years of emotional trauma to process through. I don't mean for that to be callus and anti-older child, just pointing out the realistic issues that do come with that higher age number. I wish they all could end up in loving homes like the two of you would provide. Maybe these older kids are meant for you, but I lovingly caution you guys to not get caught up in how fast you could have them because you've seen a picture that you love, and be prayerful that whatever pair you decide to go for is what God is leading you to. Patience. God's timing is perfect.

mleslie43 said...

Loved what Hilary said above. So true, it is hard not to get caught up in the photos and see these darling children that do desperately need homes but it IS so much more than that. Praying for both of you and for God to help guide you through all of the process. Love you both so much!

Jaimie said...

Having never been through this process, I don't really know what to tell you, except what you already know--God already has a plan for you and Lance and the little ones you'll adopt, He KNOWS who they are, and He will get them to you in His absolutely perfect timing. Keep your hearts open to His leading, seek His will in all things, and leave the rest up to Him.

Love you--and praying!

Rachel said...

I'm sure that's hard. I agree with above as well - with the older children. But the older ones often are not adopted b/c of that. The best part... God already knows which child(ren) are yours!
What a picture of the Gospel

Salena said...

What a touching post! Sometimes it is so hard to know what God is leading us to do, and then all of a sudden our eyes are opened. I pray that you have two little matter their home with you very soon!

Anonymous said...

Oh wow. Lots of decisions to be made. Just keep praying - one day two of those little faces will be yours. And then the real adventures will begin :)