[FONT="Palatino Linotype"]My husband and I are moving to Florida in about 8 weeks. When we do, we plan on starting the adoption process. :cheer:
We are 21 & 22 years old. He is military. We will be living in a 4 bedroom house. We will be first time parents but both have significant experience with children.
We are hoping to adopt a sibling group of 3 in the county where we will be living... From what we know, they have been in the system at least 3 years (from pictures on the websites). There is a 9 week class we must take, and if approved the home study should be 3-6 months from what we were told. Because we are interested in a sibling group, our home study will be prioritized. The sibling group has a girl, 8 years old. A boy, 6 and a boy, 5.
If anyone has any advice, tips or stories to share involving adoption in Florida or sibling adoptions please let me know. I am looking for a kind of "mentor" who has some kind of experience in this. :thanks: [/FONT]
I had a reply written to you, then my internet went down and it didn't appear!
Summing it up:
Please be very careful when considering older child adoption. Bravo to you for considering it at all and wanting to help older children in their lives. However, realize parenting older children is NOT the same as parenting children adopted as infants.
It will require a totally different way of parenting; it will require a lot of one-on-one time with each of these children as they may have been sorely neglected, abused and hurt. The neglected part may be the worst of it all because with this, often comes RAD (reactive attachment disorder) which can be a VERY, very hard issue to deal with---for life.
I do not mean to be such a downer about this, but am coming from our own experiences and what we should have known from the beginning. But, we were very eager to parent older children and we had had extensive experiences and education (over and above the required classes) so that we thought we were prepared.
We were not. In months and years down the road, we often said, "If we'd only known.'
Yes, there are *some* older child success stories; but you'll find those that are more often than not are those from parents who have the scars to show it. They would tell you this has not been easy or 'fun' for the most part. They would tell you the success lied in a different way of thinking, but their child has learned to love life and themselves.
I'm glad you're thinking ahead of time. Take the courses, not because they're required, but because through them, you may meet up with parents who've BTDT and can supply the support and resources you most likely will need. Those seasoned parents will be the ones to really know 'what it's like'...and not the parents who've been doing this for a few months or even a couple of years. Talk with the parents who've been doing this for many years. Their experiences and advice will be invaluable. (If your state courses don't link you with a support group---an independent group not affiliated with the state----search and find one.)
It will also be helpful to read the 'foster care forum' and the 'disrupted adoption' forums. Reading experiences from those who've BTDT is only helpful, even if their experiences don't exactly mirror what you're hoping to do.
You might also find helpful, volunteering with residential homes for children. You can become quite educated by being around and helping with children who have been in the system for awhile; or those who are unable to ever live in a traditional home because of their behaviors.
Good luck to you. Please feel free to pm me if you'd like.
I have adopted 2 older children and one younger sibling, but not at the same time. We are a successful and mostly happy family, with some extra issues. It's the most challenging thing I have ever done, and it's also the best. And yes, for my older two, I do have scars as well as joyful memories. But I have found I like this way of being a parent. I am thinking about adopting again even. I have a bit of advice, although I'm not a sibling group adopter.
If you have only seen short web profiles for this group, then my honest advice is not to fall head over heels with them now. If you want to adopt older children and sibling groups then you would probably be able to do that at some point, but now is premature to be picking out which children
The homestudy/classess etc are an important time for you and your husband to be thinking carefully about which children you think you could take on, as you learn more about it. You also know very very little about these children. If you recieved more information, you may quickly find that they have issues/behaviours that you cannot take on. Short profiles present a very incomplete, tiny picture and in quite a few cases they don't represent the real child at all. I think it's best to go into the adoption process with an open mind about possible children you could adopt. Of course by all means ask specifically about those children if you are drawn to them - be prepared to be told that you can't have more information without a completed home study - but decisions have to be made with your head as well as your heart. Be aware that these may not be your children.
Also, do as Linny suggests and read and talk to parents. Older child adoption isn't for everyone but it's perfect for some people, and you should get a better idea about whether this is what you want by doing that.
Good luck :)
The children on the photolisting need a family now. Hopefully, by the time you move to Florida and because licensed to adopt, those kids will be in their forever home. Kids on adoption listings can't wait the 6 months or more that it will take to license you.
There will be other kids, though. It might be hard to convince a cw to give you a child who is only 11 years younger than you. That would be more of a sibling age difference than mother/daughter age difference. Kids who were abused and neglected often need experienced parents. (People who have cared for hurt children with significant behavioral problems).
You could probably have young children placed with you. It would give you a chance to get your feet wet. Raising children isn't anything like babysitting. It's much easier to care for other people's children than your own.
My husband and I are pretty young, we are 26. We started this process at 24 and area in Florida.
Keep in mind the children on the photolistings are there for a reason: they are very difficult to place. For some reason, the foster parents of this sibling set are not willing to adopt- find out why and believe everything they say.
We picked a sibling set from out of state, as the Florida kids seemed to find homes very quickly (however, we have seen many of them become available again after failed adoptive placements). We ended up having to disrupt with the boy our sibling set after he tried to kill our dog and plotted to kill us. Of course no one ever disclosed this info. We were told he was a sweet boy and is a "little" behind in school (SIX YEARS!). Now we just have his sister, who is quite the handful alone. I can't imagine having another child with all of the supervision she requires.
I'd be happy to share more with you and help you through the process. It's a pretty messy process.... PM me if you want to chat more.
By the time you get licensed, they could already be adopted out so bare that in mind. Another issue you might have is many case workers want to see at least a 16 year age difference between you and the kids. Not meaning to discourage you though, if your capable the more power to you! Nice to see a younger couple adopting! We are also a younger couple in the adoption process.