Reasons to Adopt Older Children
Reasons to adopt older children
It’s estimated that there are about 100,000 Children in FosterCare awaiting Adoption in the United States. Majority of the children waiting are older children ages 6-17. I’m a former foster parent now a single Adoptive Father of three. Two of my sons came to me around ages seven and eight, while my youngest came at the age of four. One thing Hopeful Adoptive Parents need to understand is there are tons of reasons adopting an older child can be a great thing! In this article I’m only going to give you a few. Don’t get me wrong, I could on and on, but I dont want to take up too much of your time.
Older children are more independent. Especially the children from harder backgrounds who have been in “survival mode” for while. They can pack their own lunch,I’d probably check behind them to make sure that is not a bunch junk food, their teacher will thank you later. Older children are capable of dressing themselves in the morning (Well, at least my boys are anyway) so that can be a timesaver for you. You can teach them to use the microwave and PRESTO they can feed themselves on occasions. I actually enjoy (sometimes) teaching my boys to cook. I can definitely see the progress they’re making with each dish they prepare. I’ve always taught my foster children to do their own laundry and how to put it away. My youngest usually just folds his after I wash them, it gives him a sense of responsibility. So many more independent things they can learn. Never to early to learn life skills in my opinion.
One of the Things I love about having older children is we are able to communicate with each other. Sometimes they communicate a little too much, but at least I can understand what they are saying unlike playing charades with toddlers as they cry uncontrollably because you wouldn’t let them eat the cookie they found on the ground at the playground. My middle son and I watch the news sometimes together and talk about current events. My oldest is preparing for life after HighSchool so we have been talking about the “Do’s and Don’ts” and my youngest enjoys wrestling, therefore we watch it every week together. We each bond over something, the boys have three very different personalities and interests, I enjoy it.
The 1st -
I know when having the little babies around, we get so excited about their “Firsts” which includes first words, first steps etc. Older children have some “Firsts” as well, I’ll name a few. There’s the first day of School, I know I still get my boys together for the “First Day” photos especially as they enter kindergarten, middle or HighSchool. First bike rides, did you know there are children in care don’t know how to ride a bike or never had a bike?! Learning to swim, personally I don’t even know how to swim but if I ever learn I’ll be learning with my boys. Learning to drive, which is the most nerve wrecking experience I’ve had to date! Y’all, I can’t deal! I’ll have to endure this experience two more times! Send me positive vibes, Neighbors! Also calling their adoptive parents “Mom” or “Dad” for the first time. The list goes on.
Older children know what they want-
When it comes to adopting older children they will be able to let you know if you are the right fit for them as parents. Older children usually have to consent to being adopted, which is a good thing! Older children can already tell you their likes and dislikes when it comes to food, fashion and general interests. That’s another plus because you will know what foods to buy (Compromise on healthy eating), what type of clothes they will wear (another compromise) and what programs you can get the child involved in to keep them well rounded.
These are just a few. What you also need to understand is adopting older children can be a very emotional and stressful journey. You will be dealing with children who have experienced some difficult losses in their lives. We’re talking the loss of siblings and a way of living they considered normal. It’s extremely difficult to continuously start your life over and over with strangers. Remember that’s who you are in the beginning, a stranger. Older children will not trust you in the beginning, it’s perfectly normal for them to have their emotional walls up. Over time, with a few difficult moments in between, a bond will hopefully grow.
Get Connected, Stay Connected.