Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Older Child Adoption and Attachment Issues

 The kiddos and us on Christmas Eve 2010
Before we adopted our kids, when we first started talking about adoption, we talked about the possibility of adopting older children instead of an infant.  My husband had worked in orphanages all around the world.  The older kids were significantly less likely to be adopted and he really had a huge heart to adopt older children and a sibling group.  I, however, was initially hesitant.  I had spent my professional career mentoring and counseling high risk teens...many of whom had experienced neglect, abuse, abandonment and more from their biological families...which experiences were the root of some significant emotional turmoil those youth were facing.  I wasn't sure if I was ready to open the door to the many unknowns (and potential serious emotional struggles) that could come with older child adoption. 

But God knew what he was doing and was faithful to change my heart and instill in me an overwhelming desire to adopt older children and a sibling group too!  As we started in on the process, we were blessed with a great resource!  A friend of ours had worked for a local therapy office that specialized in international older child adoption and specifically attachment issues.  We were able to learn a ton from this friend and resources she provided us with before we even left to receive our children.  We learned what to watch for, games to play to help foster attachment, how to talk with our kids about sensitive subjects and even how to discipline to promote attachment rather than work against it.  

Thankfully we have had absolutely no issues with attachment or any other significant emotional distress or turmoil with our children.  God really protected our children in their early years and while they faced some difficulties no children should have to endure, God protected them in the midst of those difficulties!

I read this article, posted on 'Hang On...' a blog from a fellow adoptive family who adopted an older children sibling group from Colombia as well.  I thought it was a fresh perspective on a topic that one often hears only the "other" side of.  It is refreshing to hear the word being shared that older child adoption can be a wonderful blessing and joy for both parents and children!

Read the article HERE

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