Adopting Older Teens: Should You Consider It?

Today I came across Nissa Gadbois’ new blog “At Home with the Gadbois Family.” They are attempting to raise $30,000 in order to bring home three teens from Ukraine. (If you would like to help, a link is on her site to the Paypal account set up for this purpose.)

I admire Nissa’s passion and resolve on behalf of these kids who, without her help, are very likely to “age out” of the institutional care they currently receive. It’s heartbreaking to even contemplate.

I’ve come to believe that God puts a custom-designed hole in the heart of every adoptive mother, that only the children HE has in mind for her can possibly fill. And once that hole is there, you want to move heaven and earth to protect and nurture that little soul. The thing is, it doesn’t feel like anything extraordinary, just what parents are supposed to do. Because you love your kids, no matter what. That’s what that “custom hole” is for.

Clearly, Nissa has that kind of hole in her heart as well, which is giving her family the courage to respond to the call to adopt these three kids. At the same time, I would urge caution to anyone considering adopting an older child: Be sure you go into it with your eyes wide open. The older the child, the greater the chances of trauma that all the love in the world may not be able to undo entirely. Yes, these children are a gift, and may be God’s gift to your family. But do your homework, all the while realizing that you may not uncover the full story for years. Attachment and bonding issues (especially with sibling groups or institutionalized children), drug and alcohol syndrome/exposure, sexualization, and other kinds of trauma and impairments may be in store.

That’s not to say “don’t do it.” Only, “Go into it, prayerfully and cautiously, knowing that you are heading down ‘a road less traveled’ and will need extra help along the way.”

God bless you! (And please help the Gadbois family if you can.)

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20/20 Russian Adoption Special: Carrie Craft Follows Up with the Mulligans

mulliganToday I received this link to Carrie Craft’s interview with Mike and Tanya Mulligan, who adopted three special needs children from Russia. Their adoption experiences were featured on an hour-long 20/20 special that drew a strong response (Tanya says it was 80%  positive, despite the obvious difficulties the family was having).

If you are considering international adoption, please take some time to read this!

Outstanding International Adoption Websites

Today I found an international adoption website that I can’t refer specifically by name because they need to keep the blog private for the present due to the special circumstances related to their adoption.

However, I wanted to share with my readers three sites that those who are seeking international adoption will find particularly helpful. I’ve saved them in the “International Adoption” blogroll.

The first, “Informed Adoptions,” offers a wide variety of articles that are especially good for transracial adoption, particularly those from Guatemala.

The second, “The Hague Convention Guide for Prospective Adoptive Parents” is a primer for those who want to better understand the changes in the adoption this year.

 “Adoption Agency Ratings” offers a list of 1200 adoption agencies, there for your researching pleasure.

Finally, those interested in foster-adoption may be interested in this online resource, the “Child Welfare Information Gateway”

When I get permission to list my “source” I will do just that — thanks, K!