Long post sorry, My DH and I have been on the waiting list with a large adoption agencey for about nine months with no success. We are having our profile considered, through our present agencey, for a 2 year old in foster care with some risk factors, which from what I have read are things we feel that we are capable of handling. We have no children due to infertility and we want to be parents so this is why we are choosing adoption. I have pretty much got over the fact that I will never experience pregnancy and will never have a Biological child, we could have done more on the ART front but moved on to adoption instead and I do not regret that decision. Here is the thing I would like a baby because I have never had the opportunity to raise an infant, I gave up on the pregnancy fantasies but kept the baby fantasies. We have been exploring the older children available for adoption for the last several months and comparing this child and to what is available she seems like she has a lot less risk factors than others that are available. We had always considered older child adoption for a second child or if we were not having any success in the infant program, which is where we feel that we are at now. I am looking forward to the possibility of parenting this 2 year old but I never want her to feel like she is a second choice, plan B, so to speak, every child has the right to be loved and chosen for themselves. More than any thing we want to be parents but want to do what is right for this child and for us. If we adopt her it is very unlikely that we will go back in to an infant program for reasons like age, finances etc. Finally my question, have any of you, esp those of you who have never raised an infant either Biological or adopted chosen to adopt an older child and do you regret missing out on all that fun, rewarding baby stuff (I know it's not all fun but it's like that saying to a starving person any food looks good) ?
Its funny how you get stuck on wanting an infant. I too wanted an infant and after 4 failed adoptions I got a 3 year old and a 7 month old. AND I was surprised at how much more I enjoyed the 3 year old. The baby really did just eat, sleep, pee and spend most the time strapped to my chest. Dont get me wrong -it was magical I did just sit there watching them breathe but the 3 year old was so much more interactive, he really blossomed. With all that said I do sometimes still have a "baby" pang which to me is surprising because I didn't find the baby years all that much fun. I think its more of a hope for a girl pang. If your heart is really set on an infant stick with it you will eventually find your child. It sometimes is much harder to go back and "get" that second child.
:thanks: to all of you who replied, It was interesting that each of you brought up different points which I had already been mulling over. After really thinking about it I realized that some of that fun baby stuff I was dreaming about was superficial. I have many relatives this age and you know what this really is a more fun, rewarding age than infancy. Naturally we would miss some of the firsts and that would be disappointing. Before I knew we were infertile I would not have anticipated a time when I would OK with the fact we would never experience pregnancy or Biological kids but I am there now. I get wistfull and little jealous over other's pregnancies and newborns but I'm OK with it. If we adopt this toddler I am sure I will feel the same way when I hear about or see some of the milestones I missed. BTW I keep saying I because while my husband really wants to adopt he dosen't seem to care about that baby stuff. When we look at the older kids's profiles on the waiting child list he gets a tear in his eye has to stopping reading, and this a guy who doesn't show a lot of emotion. My husband and I haven't had a perfect life, who has, but we have lived our life with out regrets because we have manged to make the best decisions with the information we had at the time.We know if we pass up this opportunity and another does not come along we will regret it.
We've adopted three times: two infants (five and seven months) and one 4yr old. I've never cared all that much for the young baby stuff and started out wanting to adopt a preschooler or toddler. That is when we adopted our seven month old (DH wanted a baby and I settled for a baby rather than the toddler I wanted). The first few months were hard but developed a very close bond between us and I love her more than anything today (she's six now). Two years later I got my desire: an older child (three at the time we started) and a boy. It has been a disaster-- after four years there is still ZERO attachment. When we decided we wanted #3, I RAN back to the baby option-- not cause I really wanted to do the little baby thing any more than I ever did, but because the longer wait for one and the time put in with a baby is worth it for the relationship (for me anyway). Today that baby is 16 months (an age I really like alot more than little baby) and I consider every bit of "baby" time to have been worth it for what we have together now. Others, however, have much different older child experiences than have I. That said, I really don't think nine months is all that long of a wait for a healthy newborn and if you haven't lost the urge for a baby yet you probably need to follow your heart and hold out. The last thing you want to do is settle and then later regret not having held out a little longer.
When I did bonding evaluations with my son (he's my son in my heart and I'm "mom" in his) the doctor told me there's a significant difference between attaching with a 2 year old and a 3 year old. Her opinion was a child under age 3 can form a healthy bond and if that bond is broken the child CAN go on to attach again (assuming he/she had a healthy attachment). After age 3 however, her opinion was it's much harder to break a healthy bond without the child having life long affects. My son came to me at 21 months and wouldn't even look me in the eye. I mean it was like it pained him to look in someone's eyes (a sign of attachment disorder). He also had the speech of a 12 month old. He qualified for EI and the speech therapist did a beautiful job with him, Over time, he blossomed before my very eyes - it was beautiful to see. I'm pursuing private adoption now as I just can't stomach the thought of another long term foster placement that could be reunited. However, if I KNEW I could adopt a 2 year-old, I'd forgo an infant in a heartbeat. Blessing to you and your husband as you make your decision!
Thank you for your replies ladies, This child has been with her foster family since she came home from the hospital as an infant. From what I have read so far her foster mom is very proactive in meeting her needs. This is part of the reason that I feel comfortable pursuing this situation further. I have done alot of reading on attachment in toddlers and I am confident that this child has had her needs met by her caregivers. I am sure that she is attached to her foster family. If we do adopt her I preparing my self for tough road for the first several months (or more). vernellinnj, Your foster children have and will continue to benefit enormously from your love and care, you gave them a great start that will serve them through out their lives. I will pray for you, I and this little girl that we may all find our forever families.
Thank you for your replies ladies, This child has been with her foster family since she came home from the hospital as an infant. From what I have read so far her foster mom is very proactive in meeting her needs. This is part of the reason that I feel comfortable pursuing this situation further. I have done alot of reading on attachment in toddlers and I am confident that this child has had her needs met by her caregivers. I am sure that she is attached to her foster family. If we do adopt her I preparing my self for tough road for the first several months (or more). vrnellinnj, Your foster children have and will continue to benefit enormously from your love and care, you gave them a great start that will serve them through out their lives. I will pray for you, I and this little girl that we may all find our forever families.
We've adopted 4 times...3 infants and one pre-schooler. I definitely wanted my first to be an infant. I wanted (as crazy as it sounds) the 3:00 a.m. feedings...everything. Our second child was an infant also. Our third was an older child, and our last child was an infant. I haven't read all the replies, so forgive me if I'm repeating something that's already been said. If your heart's desire is to have an infant, then I think this is what you should wait for. For me, and only me, I found it easier raising infants. I've dealt with attachment issues with our older child, and it was very, very difficult. I'd never go through that again. I know my family is now complete, but if it weren't, I'd only consider adopting infants again. Good luck with your decision. :)
I adopted both of my sons at just under 2 years of age (Big Boy was 23 months - Baby Boy was 21 months). I don't regret it at all. From day one they were my sons. They knew me, they talked to me, they played, they connected in a way that an infant doesn't. At that age they are still very infant like anyway. Mine were still in diapers and strangely one was still doing bottles. They woke in the night - even now baby boy does that - they cuddle in a different way than an infant does - you hold the infant, but the toddler lets you hold them and they hold you back. I would go for the two year old. I'm actually trying to do it again as it is such a magic age and time. As for missing out on an infant, I was never the infant mother type. I did not have infertility, nor did hubby, we just chose adoption because we wanted to be parents and there were kids out there looking for some. It made sense to us. A girl of two... what joy. Do your pro and con list and ask yourself the tough questions, but I suspect you know what the answers are. We always do, we just have to listen to them. Wishing you great joy in your journey.
When we went for our foster interview with our licensing worker, I was honest that we were open to a toddler but we hoped to experience "the baby thing" at least once. Our first placement was a foster adopt 2.5 year old boy with RAD. Thank God we were too stupid to know we could say no because he is now a securely attached, perfectly adorable 7.5 year old boy... who had a new sibling born a few months before our adoption. That newborn was placed with us and it was FAR from a sure thing as there were different biodads involved, but in the end we adopted him, too... the newborn we secretly never really thought we'd have. Since then, we have had the joy of fostering several newborns and we have lovingly done MORE than our share of "the baby thing". :D I say this only because you can STILL do the baby thing and wait for an infant while you parent an older child. There is no reason you can't have BOTH. For our 2.5 year old, I felt a LOT of pain in the beginning that we didn't know him from birth, that he had some bad things happen before he was placed with us. I grieved that time he wasn't with us. About a year into our relationship... the pain was much less because we had built our own memories with him, we developed our own history and that was so healing. Finally, I was worried our older son might have some angst about us having his brother from birth but not him. It was SO HEALING for him to see us with the baby, he had an idea of how parents were supposed to love baby, how we would have loved him and treated him, etc. It was WONDERFUL for us and we wouldn't have it any other way. It just IS our life. We love our baby experiences. Cherish them. But we would take a toddler again in a heartbeat. I hope you'll consider it, too! :)
Thank you guys :grouphug: If we are matched with this little girl I am sure I will have some moments where I will be little jealous of new parents with a baby. I had dream pregnancies and Biological children and have moved on better than I thought I would. I naturally have a dream adoptive baby situation. I know of several people who gave up the opportunities to be parents waiting for their dreams to happen, one couple my husband knows have waited for 10 years. I am choosing to pursue a real flesh and blood child over a dream child. My original dream child is already being replaced in my heart by this little girl. I am off work with broken elbow and I am anxiously awaiting the toddler adoption book I ordered from amazon to come in the mail today. If we don't adopt this little girl than all this research and soul searching will better prepare us for the next possible placement. Thank you to all who answered my post, all of your replies have helped me with this process.
Enjoy the process. I have never seen myself as an infant person and actively pursued toddler/preschool matches.....well I did get matched 2 times and both fell through due to one reason or another Then I got matched and placed with an infant...ha ha ha so much for what my brain thought was an "ideal" placement (i'm a speech therapist and love the 3-5 year old range....i'm also single so I was worried about such a little person who can't talk or walk yet) I may not be the ideal "infant" person type still, but my L has been my light and joy and while I don't miss the infant stage if I'm honest (she's now almost 2) and I LOVE the toddler stage, I'm so glad she's my child. If this match is meant to be, you will feel the same way I have a feeling :woohoo:
Alice, I know that you have an idea that you will have jealousy and longing for that infant experience, but trust me when I say that if you adopt this child and fall in love with her, you will not even remember that longing. It will be replaced by all the love and other things that go into being a mommy. The little girl, if she is meant for you, will fill your heart. Wishing you joy in your journey.
That is the conclusion I have come too also. I just wanted to make sure in my mind that I wasn't "settling". I know now that I am not . I am very excited about this opportunity, it feels right. :woohoo:
I know that you have an idea that you will have jealousy and longing for that infant experience, but trust me when I say that if you adopt this child and fall in love with her, you will not even remember that longing. It will be replaced by all the love and other things that go into being a mommy. The little girl, if she is meant for you, will fill your heart.
well, one good thing in making this decision is the birth order issue...since this little girl will be older when you adopt her, she'll still be oldest in the family! No reason why you couldn't still adopt a newborn later...
Alice, that is really great news. I know you are looking at this from all angles. I am waiting for number 3 and still have so many questions of myself and my family. It's great to see you pondering all areas. It means you will make a great mom!