It is very exciting to have the opportunity to be a Families.com blogger on the topic of adoption. My hope is to share some of my experience, training and education with other families who are interested in becoming Adoptive Parents. I also hope to support those who are Adoptive Parents.
I am the biological mother of two adult children, Sean age 22 and Tori age 21. I was married to an adopted person. My ex husband was a newborn placement and his older sister was also. Ironically, she married an adopted person too. I did very well in this world of adopted family because I grew up with several adopted cousins and my Uncle Eddie was raised in a boys home and never adopted.
Three years ago my Forever husband, Andrew and I were selected, to become the pre-adoptive parents of two siblings Makala and Jeremiah. Our children were in state Foster Care because their birth mother was not able to care for them and keep them safe. Makala was 4 years old and Jeremiah was 6 weeks old when they were placed into a Foster Home.
They came home with us in January 2003 a few days before Jeremiah turned 1 year old and a few weeks before Makala turned 5 years old.
It has been a very interesting 3 years. We were warned about all the possible issues that may come up when adopting special needs children, but we believed it would be easier than it turned out to be.
By the time we found out we would adopt our children we had been trained, home studied and jumped through all the hoops for nearly a year. I think the slow and long ordeal of adopting waiting children is part of proving that we are they kinds of parents who do not give up. After all if we can navigate the social service system and make it to the end then we must have some level of dedication and drive.
When we were told our family had been chosen because the committee felt we would be the “Best Advocates for the Special Needs of these children.” We should have known then what that really meant, but there is nothing that compares to the reality of living though the situations and figuring out what the word “Advocate” actually means. I have learned how to advocate and get my children’s needs met. It has NOT been easy but, it has been possible.
I have been told that there is something magic about the 3-year mark when adopting an older child. I am starting to believe this might be true and I am seeing reason to expect that Makala is going to do just fine in her life. There are no guarantees with any child and there are certainly more risk factors but I am starting to feel she has a fighting chance to become a beautiful young woman. The strangest thing is that she reminds me more of myself then Sean or Tori ever did. The other day I had to tell my mother that she had been granted her big wish made while I was growing up–the one about me having a kid “just like me” one day!
I am looking forward to this coming year much more than the past two. Things finally feel settled and normal. Andrew and the kids keep thinking this is going to be our 4th Christmas together but it is only our 3rd. All of our special days happen in the next 45 days and that includes all of our birthdays, Adoption Day, Home Coming Day and Christmas and New Years all happen before February 2nd!
I have no idea why everything has ended up being all at the same time for our family but we are very intense. I suppose at least this way we get everything done in a systematic order and move on to the next things on the list.