When you make the decision to not adopt again...
This is kind of in response to the previous thread, posing the question about age and adoption....
When we applied for our first daughter, I was 43 and DH was 38. We finalized our International adoption when I was 45 and he was 40. 10 months later, then decided to adopt again, and we expected it to take 2-3 years to finalize our next International adoption. It's now been almost 6 years since, and no end in sight for the wait, DH and I are looking seriously at backing out. We have to look at all the variables. I'm now 51 years old, and if we continue on our journey to adopt again, I will probably be around 53-55 years old when we get a referral. I don't like the sound of that. I feel young, and look very young for my age...I have to ask myself if we really want a teenager when we're in our 70s? Would that be fair to the child? Would that same child have a better chance with another family? Would that child get another family? These are all questions I have to answer for myself. But it's so hard to make the final cut.
It's tough deciding not to adopt again. I feel like I'm mourning the loss of a child that might never even be born or conceived. But in my mind that child exists. She has a name. But it will be up to us if "she" even really comes to be.
There's nowhere to really place our feeling of loss. There's no lost child. We have our first daughter, so there's no real emptiness. But there is a sense of loss. When a child or fetus is lost, people understand. When a foster child is give back to the parents, people understand the loss. When an adoption of a placed child fails, people understand the loss. But when someone is waiting for a referral that never comes, it feels like no one will understand because there is no "real" loss. About a year ago, we told our daughter that China is not adopting as many children internationally as before, but she kept the hope that she would have a baby sister. Again, at about 3 months ago, we told our daughter that it might or might not happen, and she tried to barter with us. She is healing now, but she took it hard, she was mourning...she went through the stages of grief gradually...anger, bartering, sadness...I think we are all finally teetering between disbelief and acceptance..with a little of the other three coming out every once in a while. But, there is no societal acceptance of grief with a planned adoption that does not manifest with an actual referral of a child. It feels like a perpetual state of limbo, and no place to really put it. KWIM?
This is a place with lots of us who understand. There are certainly people on this board who have waited for placements that never happened. I know when we were waiting and it didn't appear we were going to adopt (paperwork expiring and no real desire to continue on with renewing it again)...we experienced all the things you are mentioning. It is a loss...even if it's not an actual child you are mourning. I guess it's similar to the loss experienced with infertility...it's that potential child you are mourning.

I am sorry things are not working out for you and your family. I pray you find peace with whatever you decide.
I'm so sorry. I understand too. It's definitely a loss. I was wondering lately where your process was. Do you really think it would be another 2 years?
I'm sorry. I completely understand. I told my husband that if our adoption plans didn't work, I would really, really grieve. It was a many year pregnancy! To me "pregnancy" in this respect is the expectation that you will be adding a child to your family. That's exactly what you had, and it's a big loss.
Hi Karen, just wanted to say that it is good to "see" you again. I have been thinking about you since you lost your mom. How are you doing?

I am sorry that you are mourning this...it is a loss...the loss of a "dream" for both you and for your daughter. And after being in the process for so long, it must be hard to decide to stop. I don't know what that feels like, but I am sure it is dang hard.

Anyway, obviously you will make the right decisions for your family. Hang in there!!
It is definitely a loss and grief process. In the counseling world, we call it disenfranchised grief. I didn't experience this in relation to adoption, but I did with infertility. When you can't get pregnant, like you said, there's nowhere to "put" the loss or grief, and others don't usually know about it or recognize it, but it's there.

There is no right or wrong decision in whether you decide to keep waiting or not. I have to say, I don't think I could stand waiting for 6 years, especially if it was impacting one of my kids. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
We adopted our first baby 15 years ago...I was 32. When our son was around 2, we started the process again. Our first adoption happened so very quickly. We never imagined our second one would take so long. We waited 5 long years, and just one month prior to calling it quits, (when I turned 40) we got the call we had been praying for. We brought home two more children very, very quickly after that. At age 42, our last baby came to us.

Only you and your DH can make the decision. I understand your feelings completely.

I wish you much peace with whatever decision you make.
Thanks for the responses and for the support. My heart aches for my daughter. We dont talk about it much, and she tends to change the subject when it comes to loss. So, we will let her lead in her thoughts and feelings, when she is ready.

Thank you, loveajax, for inquiring about our situation with my Mom. She lived for 3 and a half weeks after finding out she had pancreatic cancer. It was rough, but I was very fortunate, in that I was out of work at the time, so my brother (who is self employed) and I were able to spend the ENTIRE 3 and a half weeks with her, at her house before she passed. I have some wonderful memories from those three weeks. My dad who is an attorney in another state, was able to make her a Trust to replace her Will, which only had to be signed by an attorney in our state. So, the process with her estate went very smoothly. (BTW, for anyone with anything to be passed on, Trusts are sooo much better than a Will for the survivors).

My mom got out the old pictures and we went through them, and she was able to name great, great relatives for me....what a treasure. Her spirits were kept high, although there were times she was scared. But, I slept in her bed with her at night, and held her through the rough times, and the bonding was AMAZING. We witnessed her passing, and although I would love to have her back, it was a very beautiful time to have.

It was very hard at first. She passed in May, and I lost almost 60 lbs and a lot of hair from the stress in the two months that followed.

I went in to illogical mode and started analyzing the fact that she was only 20 yrs older than myself, and I soon went in to panic mode about my life, and what might be left of it. Of course, none of that makes a lot of sense now, except that I have to live life to the fullest for as long as God gives me here on earth.

After consulting with my dad, we sold our house in a short sale, because we owed about twice as much as it was worth (California Real Estate bubble), and we needed to get out from under it before inheriting anything from my mom, or there would be a possibility that we would be stuck with the house, which would probably NEVER see the value again. Sadly, our bank worked with us as if we were their golden customers on the short sale, whereas, they would not give us the time of day when I tried working with them only a year earlier, and again 6 months earlier, on an interest or principal reduction. We were never late on our payments, and that worked to our disadvantage, apparently.

Needless to say, DD lost her house, her neighborhood that she had grown up in thus far, her two dogs (because we moved into a rental that said, "no pets"), her cat that ran away after bringing him to the new rental house, her SAHM - because I started working again in September, she also lost much of the process of waiting for a baby sister, and her grandma...all within a 5 month period. AND during that time, I was a wreck, trying to mend my own heart.

She is such a positive person though. She is such a good kid, and I wish so much that we could give her a sister. She would be an awesome big sister! But Ive come to grips with the fact that it is probably not a practical decision any longer, because she will be so old by then...Gonna wait it out and see.

This has all been a linked process. My mom's passing made me really think about whether or not we should adopt again. And I am coming to terms and realizing Im okay with it. DH still wants to keep the door open, and he was very reluctant to give things up when we moved, that we had been holding on to. Old baby clothes, the two car seats, things that we had been storing in the garage for years. It was difficulty for me to do, but once I did, it was a healing process for me to give the items away. Im still holding on to the precious items that I have memories of..some of the baby clothes, etc...just in case, and also because they remind me of DD as a baby.

Im feeling like there is light at the end of that dark tunnel I was in, for about 6 months. Im glad we moved now. I can see the positive aspects of raising my daughter without a younger sibling. We can even buy another house in a year and a half. In the mean time, we live in an upgraded house for less than 2/3 what our mortgage was.

I do miss talking with my mom, but it comes in waves...and I ride them out. My brother and I decided to keep her FB page up. And I go there when I feel lonely for her, and post on her page. Her friends do too, and they respond to my posts, which makes me feel she is close, as well. It might sound strange, but it gives me closure, and helps in the healing.

But for the most part, we have started a new chapter. And we have found some resolution. I know I will be sad if we make final decision to not adopt again, and our referral time comes and goes...it will be difficult to turn it down. But, whatever we decide it will be the best decision for our family at the time it happens.
I know I will be sad if we make final decision to not adopt again, and our referral time comes and goes...it will be difficult to turn it down. But, whatever we decide it will be the best decision for our family at the time it happens.

Can you just decide when the referral comes? It's been so very long ago when our own family adopted internationally----but we lived overseas too. Made a huge difference, I'm sure.
Still, I want to say dh and I adopted our last much older than you are now. It was a decision not taken lightly; and some things have happened in our family that can make raising a little one more difficult than I expected. (Dear Baby ended up being very special needs.) But.......it's not a decision we regret. My thinking was always if you feel healthy, if you're able to keep up and still want to adopt in your heart, go for it. Like the discussion in this forum pertaining to age and adoption----you never know what life may bring to your plate---regardless of age. If *you* can't see yourself adopting as an older mom/dad....that's an entirely different thing. But even adopting as a younger mom-----you had no idea how life might go. Take it in stride. One day at a time. If the referral comes about-------make your *final* decision then.

My best to you.


There is an instinct in a woman to love most her own child - and an instinct to make any child who needs her love, her own. ~Robert Brault
Linny- Thanks for the words of wisdom. DH has asked that we keep the door open till the time comes, which is exactly what we will do. Right now, Im leaning toward not adopting again, but the door is open. What I do NOT want to do, is make the decision based on my feelings about my mom passing recently. And coincidentally, my thought process on this started happening since she passed. So, no door is closed yet, but we will have to see, when the time comes.

DH and DD really want to continue..and as of late, my thought has been, if I KNEW I would live to ripe old age, there would be absolutely NO hesitation whatsoever. So, my heart is still in it, my head is fighting my heart. Happy
adopting #2
i adopted DD#1 when i was 42. i started on the second one when she was 2y. well starting into year 5-i was tired of putting my life on hold-saving PTO, saving money, etc. i gradually started giving things away. it was hard. but we went to disney. i made some investments in my house.

i was going to let my homestudy expire this past October and be happy with one child but it wasn't what i wanted. i was worried because at this time DD was 7years old.

i got a call for a baby the week DD1 turned 7yo. i really had to think about it because i had emotionally let go. while i worry that i'm now in my late 40's i'm glad i said yes. she definitely has her big sister.

i'm not trying to say you should hold out no matter what. but i do understand that process of letting go. and i did grieve. it's a process. hugs. you will know what to do.
karen, sorry things have been so tough. i totally understand the "funk" after losing a parent (in my case, my dad). i sort of like the idea of not closing any doors right now and evaluating when the time comes.
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