Friday, March 8, 2013

The Stork A-Bomb: Older Child Adoption

I have written and re-written this post over again ... for about 18 months now.
(I'm not even joking about that!)

I've been trying to grasp the honest delightful and challenging aspects of "older child adoption", but I struggle to make the words come as they ought. I keep getting caught up in lesser things.

Perhaps, this is because I can't be judicious to PAPs (potential adoptive parents) while still being judicious to children?

The thing is, God may plan to give you a rolly baby or toddler, but then again I have come to realize adoption isn't about getting adoptive parents what they want. Adoption isn't about mail ordering a baby with latte skin and ringlets that aren't too tight and one that doesn't wake at night.

Adoption is about making an orphan a son.
That, can't be designed by little human minds.
That is the Stork A-Bomb... Older child adoption!

When we became children of God it wasn't based upon our age, our looks, our location, or our temperament. It had nothing at all to do with us. It had all to do with what He did and to bring Himself the greatest amount of glory... and about the beautiful fact that He shares that glory with us!

"For if, while we were God’s enemies,we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation." (Romans 5:10-11)

We are never "aged out" of the ability to become son's of God. We are never cast off or over looked because we are less likely to be able to adjust to family life or change or to be loveable. We were made to participate in hope, freedom, liberation, and glory because of His gift of grace.

Call me an idealist, but there are children of all ages who were made for these things too. Yet in the very literal sense of these words, are not able to participate in it, and much more... namely, family, belonging and love, just because they are "older".

To be honest, older child adoption scared me stiff and wasn't what "I wanted." I didn't want to sign up for all that it would require. But, mercifully, it fell in our lap, in the form of a sweet 4 year old baby boy!

He was considered by all current evaluations as an "older child" (a.k.a. "non-infant adoption") or anyone over the age of 3 years old. Most people warned us that he would already have a set temperament or character, or that he would have trouble adjusting to our family and values. We were also told that he had the potential to ruin the lives of our biological children... or our lives too!!!

While we knew all of that could very well be true, we also knew God is in the business of restoration, hope, freedom and glory (among other things).

We were told he had just turned 3. Then I met him and I found out our "just-turned-3-year-old" would be nearly 5 when we got him home (by an innocent mistake with math.)


When I heard the words "He is making five" it was like a brick dropped on my heart. That is a big boy... not the baby or toddler I felt was safe and comfortable and fit tidily in my life. All the ramifications of this ran through my head... all the implications... how it would mess with birth order, impact our other children, and potentially impact us. All the warnings we had received about adopting a "3 year old" reared up and shouted at me "Well, these warnings are even more true for a 4 (almost 5) year old! Run! It will be too much trouble!!!"

Then one thought surfaced above the rest... a feather to the brick.

"Can your child really be too old for you?"

Hum..."No. That would be impossible."

I admit, I was 6 months pregnant at the time Allan was born to us, (with his brother mind you...)!
Four months after Allan's birth we had our 3rd child.
Very inconceivable! (Haha)
Yes, impossible!

Yet, God makes the impossible happen. I recall the impossible birth of a baby boy to a laughing gray and wrinkled old woman and the impossible birth of another baby boy to a impoverished teenage girl who didn't even know about the birds and the bees... yet it happened!

And, so has my love for a child I was initially, sort of, afraid of.
It has happened.

I feared...
Would he love me?
Would I be able to mother him?
Would he need me for anything?
Would he let me hold, hug, kiss, cuddle him?
Would he respect me?
Would he love his siblings?
Would he think we took him?
Would he resent the idea of adoption?
Would he really feel like I am his mom?

The answer came a few months ago when I asked him what he knew or remembered about his biological mom... his reply took my breath away. He said...

"I never knew I had another mom..."

He really never knew.

I am really it. To him.

He remembers no one else as "mommy".
That breaks my heart.

Even if he had remembered, he feels me as his mom.
That is a gift to my heart.

Our 3rd day with Allan

He still prefers Daddy to Mommy, but I am cool with that.
He waited a long time for a dad.

Older child adoption is genuine adoption.
Older child adoption is real and for keeps.
Older child adoption is worthy.
Older child adoption is a dream of waiting children.
Older child adoption isn't as scary as it seems.
Older child adoption is God's heart.
Older child adoption is challenging. 
Older child adoption is a delight.


All these sweet boys have been waiting for FAR too long
for a mom and dad, brothers and sisters to call their own! 

Sweetest Oberon - 6 years old

Richard - 9 years old


Regina said...

Simply beautiful, Marci. Thank you!


Trena said...

One of the most beautiful posts I have read in a long time! I am an {adoptive} mom. I have a baby center in Kenya where are babies go for adoption if not able to return to their bio families. All of ours have been adopted by two years old, and as young as 8 months. But I have one who is six years old. She has CP but is perfectly fine cognitively. I fear for her future. I pray for her and her future more than any other of our babies. We have worked over three years to get her freed for adoption, and she is nearly there. But now I often fear and cry over the fact that it may be "too late." Not only are older adoptions rare anywhere, they are almost unheard-of in Kenya, and throw in a physically special needs child....well, God can work miracles. And I needed to read this post today. I needed inspiration to continue to fight and plead for her to be matched. I needed to be encouraged of the blessing of seeing and older child get their family. And this little girl I have, she has watched all the babies come and go and is fully aware of what is happening. Like you said, it is a dream of an older child. Thank you for the perspective and the reminder. Beautifully said!! And your honesty is appreciated.