People frequently ask me what on earth possessed us to adopt our youngest three children all at once. Fortunately, they typically ask this when they are all being self-controlled and irrepressibly cute. It’s probably a very good thing they tactfully do not ask when all three are having a public meltdown!
The truth is, it is not what we set out to do. We set out to provide foster care and were open to the possibility of adding one girl to our tidy little family of four. We had the world’s savviest social worker though, and she could see in us what we could not see in ourselves. She saw that we had the bandwidth and social support to take more than one child, and she began to introduce this idea to us.
In typical “Dreena” fashion, I responded to the new idea by researching it. Soon, I discovered how many adoptable youngsters had a sibling or two they needed to bring along. I pored over the websites, read their stories, and gazed at their faces. Here is some of what I learned in my research:
Almost half the adoptable children in the past several years in the US have been part of sibling groups. What this means to the prospective adoptive parent is that if you are open to a sibling group, you may not be waiting as long to form (or add to) your family.
When people they hear the words, “sibling group,” they sometimes fear that they will be asked to adopt four, five, or as many as eight children. While there are large sibling groups, of course, many are small groups of only two or three children. On one big adoption exchange, more than half of the sibling groups consisted of only two children. One-fifth were groups of three, and only one-in-ten had four or more children. The big sibling groups make the news, but they are not the norm.
Now that we have put the rumors aside, what remains is this. Can you repaint your picture of your perfect little family to include more than one precious little one? Can you begin to open your mind (and heart) to the advantages of an “instant family?” Can you look creatively at your finances and explore how a larger family can fit into your budget (and your home)?
To be continued…
Photo credit: Dreena T