I had it in my head that I would adopt a newborn, and there weren’t any other scenarios that ever crossed my mind. When my husband and I filled out our adoption paperwork, I marked the little box next to the newborn with a checkmark and moved on. It wasn’t until we were contacted by a birth mom, Sadie, who wanted to place her 15-month-old son with us, that I considered adopting an older child and fell in love.
To say I was scared would be an understatement. One of my biggest fears was that this little 15-month-old boy wouldn’t attach to me, and we would struggle to bond. This didn’t just frighten me because he was 15-months-old, but also because I felt slightly disconnected from the whole process as we had just gone through a reversed adoption and a failed placement. I was so afraid that I would become too attached and that the worst would happen. My heart couldn’t survive another loss.
My husband, Josh, and I met Harley the day after Thanksgiving. He was playing with a few toys that the agency had pulled out for him. From the moment he looked up and smiled at us, he felt familiar. It took less than a second for the fears I had coming into the adoption plan to be washed away. I loved Harley from the very moment I laid eyes on him–he was worth tackling my fears.
We flew to Texas for two weeks to help Harley transition from Sadie’s care to ours. It was a slow process, and we didn’t want to overwhelm Sadie or Harley with too much change at once. Josh and I were blessed to have an amazing caseworker as well as a therapist to help us bond with Harley and to make his transition into our home as smooth as possible. Harley was a rock star, and he fit right into our lives like he was always meant to be there. We are firm believers that he was, indeed, meant to be our son. He just extraordinarily came to us. Josh and I wouldn’t expect anything less from our Harley.
It truly feels like Harley has always known us and that he was waiting for us. Adopting an older child, whatever age that may be, is a scary journey, but if you know it’s what’s right for your family, go all in. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the love you find.
Do you feel there is a hole in your heart that can only be filled by a child? We’ve helped complete 32,000+ adoptions. We would love to help you through your adoption journey. Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98.