Friday, June 19, 2009

Adoption - Thoughts on Age

Jake and I got to speak with our social worker that is working on our adoption the other night as we were all together brainstorming for the Night Under the African Stars benefit gala. We were talking through adoption details again, info about our case, how things are progressing, etc. Since we are still currently waiting on those referrals that I posted about a week ago or so we began to talk about them. Anytime we should be receiving pictures and information on approximately 8 children that were living in an orphanage in Ghana that had just been shut down. Our social worker mentioned that she has a feeling that these children are all going to be ‘older’ children….5 yrs and up (she does not know boy-girl ratios or ages until she receives the info by email). I, too, had not gotten myself too excited about the referrals coming in because I had a feeling that they might all be older children not in our age range (originally we had specified 1.5 to 4 years). As Jake and I talked about that reality over dinner he casually said, “Maybe your ideal age of a child is not what God has in mind for us.” That got me thinking. Really thinking.

You see, Jake is ready to take on practically any child, any age, no matter what. My personality on the other hand is very detailed, specific, and not very laid back – I pick apart every single scenario. Not to mention I still have this highly favored recommendation in my head from my training that states when adopting you should stick with birth order….meaning any child that you bring into your family by adoption should be the youngest addition. This is just a recommendation but it lingers in my mind, even though this would not have been the case for our family had the Solomon adoption gone through. When I think about all these things my underlying thought is, “But I am most comfortable with a child 4 and under.” Most likely a younger child will have an easier time adapting, an easier time attaching emotionally, and will probably come with less ‘issues’ than an older child. This of course is not always the case, but in general. So, yes, there I go again trying to mold all of this into my ideal set-up. But, I can’t stop thinking about what Jake said. This is not to say that we are going to go and adopt a 13 year old or something, but I really need to pray about the possibility of us maybe adopting a 5 or 6 year old instead of a toddler or pre-school aged child. It is so hard to think of turning down any referrals….every orphan needs a home. The reality is that the older an orphan gets, the less chance they have of being adopted. Most families are looking for a cute, cuddly, easily impressionable newborn/infant/toddler.….including me….but, since we have been blessed to experience those stages once - going on twice - now, maybe we need to step out of the comfort zone and be up for an older child. When I mentioned that recommendation about birth order to a friend the other day she said, ‘But, God is bigger than that.’ She means, God can work it out. I know this too, but do I believe it? Am I willing to give up my ideal scenario, give up my control, and give the details to God? I want to be willing to do this.

His bed is ready….
I wonder who he is?


Jen said...

It is great to hear how you are processing this, Janel. I look forward to what God is going to do!

Jody said...

He? God has moved me out my comfort zone all my life and has taken care of all the details if I let Him.