Monday, January 25, 2010

older child adoption

A couple months ago when I took Macy to her doctor's appointment, I was standing at the nurses' station as she got dressed in the little exam room. The nurses all raved about how precious she was. Yes she is.

Then one of them innocently said, "Wow, are you guys just having a blast with her? Is she just LOVIN' it here in America??"

Dumbfounded and speechless, I was.

My compassion for this ignorant woman (I say that with all kindness) kicked in as tears filled my eyes as the reality rang loudly in my heart and mind.

I told her bluntly, "NO. She doesn't love it here at all. She misses China deeply."

The nurse suddenly felt a great deal of understanding come over her, or so it seemed. Bless her heart.

The truth is, yeah, America is super great. We have everything here. Everything. But you know what? Even though Macy (and others like her) CHOOSE to be adopted and move here, they are taken from a place that was their HOME. Bad as it might have been, it was all my sweet girl knew. Her friends and caregivers in the orphanage (she never speaks of her life before the orphanage...yet) were her FAMILY.

The food, the smells, the language, etc., etc...are now half a world away. And though she does enjoy many of the perks her new home has brought to her, she still grieves her loss.

But yet...a family is what she wants and it's what she wants for her friends still in China.

Several times she has come to me and said, "Do you know so and so (insert Chinese name)? He/she asked me on QQ (Chinese Facebook) if they have a family coming for them."

You guys, that question haunts me.

Sometimes my answers to her are, yes...they do have a family! But sometimes the answer is, I don't know....or, like it was last night, NO...not that I know of. It was all I could do to not burst into tears and I think she could see that.

I asked her if most of the older kids want to come to America to be adopted. She said that ALL of them do. Oh my heart. So I then had to explain to her why so many families want babies....and why most people are afraid of adopting older children.

Yeah, that was tough, my friends. Telling this sweet, shy, compliant child why so many people are afraid to adopt a child just like her.

I then explained to her that that's why I post things on my blog about her...so that people won't be so afraid.

Yes, it's true. There are horror stories of adoptions gone bad. Believe me, I've heard them, even had a sweet friend experience it. My heart goes out to those who have tried with all their might...only for their adoption to be much harder than they expected, or worse yet, for it to end in disruption. It's sobering. It's not something to enter into lightly.

But look, I've heard from so many of you through emails asking questions...because you feel that perhaps you are being called to adopt an older child. I can't say that your fears will ever go away as you take the leap of faith...but let those fears lead you to the Lord for courage AND let it lead you to educate (beyond what is required) and prepare yourself for such an adventure.

There are a couple of boys and a brother and sister on the WC list from Macy's orphanage (and MANY more from other places). If you want more info, go to WACAP's website. Email them to get the password....then look at the OLDER kids...say, 9-14 years old.

I dare you.

If you should choose to go forward with an older child...yes, they will go through a tough transition...yes, they will GRIEVE, yes, YOU will grieve. Everyone involved experiences loss...the loss of what once was. Your child might even give you a run for your money and you will question why in the world you chose this road (or rather, why God guided you there) and believe me, your child will question it also.

But it will stretch you like you could never imagine. It's terribly painful sometimes...but it's also pure joy, MOST of the time.

I was chatting with one of Macy's new friends (also from China) on Facebook recently. She's been in America for over a year now. I asked her if she misses China...she said, "I used to but not anymore...I really love America so much!"

It just takes time, a ton of love and PATIENCE.

I am amazed to look at how far Macy has come in four months (yes, it's been FOUR months!). She blooms a little bit more each day.

She is a delight.


**Please appreciate the great amount of courage it took for me to post this picture of ME between two teeny tiny Chinese noses! LOL.


********************************************************************
**Please don't think I'm minimizing the need for adopting babies (especially special needs babies)!! Oh, that's so not my point here. They need families desperately! My point is that I know many of you have a curiosity about older child adoption but you are fearful. Don't let fear guide you. There is too much good in it to miss out.

31 comments:

Marie said...

Thank you Lori for being so uninhibited to share your soul and heart for these children. I hope your words touch many people to take a step in faith.

Denise said...

Great post! I would love to adopt and older or younger child...but God hasn't given my hubby the call to adopt again...sigh...thank you for advocating for these children~

Brittne said...

Lori,

This post moved me to tears! I so wish Jon and I were not as young as we are or else i would adopt right now!! I was wondering, is it possible to sponser one of the children? If so could you email me with some good organizations? I miss you guys and can't wait till we come back (in june!) to finally meet both Macy and Lucy!!

Britt

Jill said...

Lori, this is something my husband and I have been pondering for a few months. Just not sure when the funds would be available, but we both have an older child on our hearts. Maybe we could talk sometime?
Jill

connie said...

From one mama who's livin' it with you, AMEN!!!!
Thank you for sharing your heart, my friend!

Anonymous said...

Lori
You are so right about it all! My daughters were 3 and 5 and a half yrs. old and both grieved and missed certain foods and smells and friends but have gone on to adjust beautifully. My 16 year old actually SAID just Saturday that she was LUCKY to have us as her parents! She does not disclose her feelings freely so this was a HUGE blessing to hear although I think WE are the lucky ones to be blessed with her ! People older kids are NOT always the problems that get put out there in the media. There are many WONDERFUL gems out there waiting for a family. Could it be you? Yes Brittne you can sponsor children in CHina and other countries. We are sponsoring a little boy in China through Holt International. You can choose a child to sponsor. Check them out on line.

Holly said...

I am so very thankful for you Lori.
I know we don't know one another but I check in on your blog ALMOST as often as you post. One of the reasons why is because it truly thrills my heart to see older child adoptions that WORK.
Ours was an extreme situation. While we are not alone in our experience, I do think we are in the minority. Yes, there are issues and adjustments...ALWAYS...but not in they way we experienced where personal well being and safety are minute by minute issues.
There are so MANY older children in need of families. It is NOT an easy calling...but what IS really?
So rewarding. I still cry sometimes at the way things worked out in our lives. Even though God is so good and we can SEE His hand and know that we did what He asked of us, it still hurts that it didn't turn out the way WE thought it would or should. I look at your family and cry tears of true joy because of your obedience...look how God is blessing you and shaping you....again!
I do think that there is a need for people to go in with eyes open, but we cannot allow fear to rule our decisions either.
I am going to email you.
Thanks again for sharing this.
love in Him Who is MORE than able to do IMMEASURABLY MORE than all we ask or imagine,
Holly from Purpose Driven Family

Karin said...

What a beautiful post. It breaks my heart that so many kids would give anything for a family. The thought of all that they are willing to give up, just to call someone Mom and Dad...wow...what COURAGE it takes for them to take that leap of faith. Praying that there are parents who are willing to make that same leap.

McNew Family said...

Thank you, Lori - well said. We are wondering!!!!

Mei Mei s and Mayhem said...

Thank you for such a beautiful post!! My eyes just filled with tears about all Macy's friends wanting homes. I hang on every word you say as we prepare to travel to China this year for an older child. And yes it is a Leap of Faith!!
I pray they all find forever families before it is too late!!

Cari said...

Lori, this is a great post. Thanks for sharing your heart and thanks to Macy for letting you share her journey as well as the rest of the family. It is a great opportunity for others to read your blog and be led by God to older child adoptions.

Adeye said...

Oh Lori, I absolutely love your precious heart, my friend. What a beautiful post. You are so right--we CANNOT allow fear to hold us back from the calling of God. We absolutely CANNOT! Fear will keep us in the darn boat every single time--and rob us of the amazing opportunity to watch God move heaven and earth on our, and our adopted children's, behalf!!! You and Macy are living proof of the fact that it is so much more wonderful walking on the stormy seas...and trusting Him every step of the way!

I WISH more people would GO!!!!!!

Debby said...

Beautiful post Lori.....
If China would just ease up on the single parent restrictions...I know so many more kids would find a family. It's shame.

Lou and Lorna said...

Lori,
It's time to introduce myself. My name is Lorna, and I check your blog daily. The reason? We have a 3-year-old adopted from China, and are in the process of adopting a 13-year-old from China as well! We hope to travel in spring or early summer (she turns 14 in Aug) to bring her home. I've been surprised by the reactions we've received. Most people have reacted wonderfully, but a few have blatently questioned the wisdom of our decision. That saddens me because nobody questioned our first adoption (of a baby). I just keep saying I don't need to go through the baby experience again, I just want more children. Then I go on to explain that I didn't necessarily choose such an OLD child, that just happens to be how old OUR oldest daughter is. That usually gets some confused looks, then they shut up. Thank you for your insight and your honesty. I, too, love hearing a successful account of older child adoption!

Doug said...

My wife and I adopted a 13-year-old son from China last March.

He really dotes on his momma. She'll tell him "I love you" at night before I put him to bed. He used to just kinda grunt. Now he says, "I love you too" and it seems very genuine. He's a great kid.

I'm pretty sure we'll do it again. We'd like for him to have a brother to go along with his 2 younger sisters (also from China).

Jaime said...

thanks for writing this post.
i'm going to send it to my hubs.
my heart feels that our next child is in the us foster system and is school aged... yet the hubs wants jax to be the oldest child. so, hopefully, God will use this post to soften his heart.
love you lady!

JR said...

Lori, that was a beautiful post! The photo with your precious girls really touched and warmed my heart. You're an amazing woman and I admire you so much. Thank you for sharing your heart and life with me through your posts. Bless you!!

Jean said...

I love this post- thank you for writing it and for being so honest. You did a great job of explaining to Macy and to the reader. It is an incredible journey- usually wonderful but very challenging. We are so thankful that God gave us this chance to add to our family to spread the love, to be challenged and to experience the joy. Sarah still love her China- I think she always will. She likes America- more than she says but she is cautious not to give it rave reviews...

Also want to let you know that 12:45 is not 12:45 it is 9:59 ;-)

Wishing you the best ;-) HS Lucy!
Oh my, your posts will be so funny!
Lovin the pic of the 3 girls! Jim always says to the girls- I'm sorry you don't have a nose like mine! I guess I'm just lucky!-The girls laugh and laugh at, I mean with their Daddy!
BTW you have a lovely nose!

David said...

We are currently waiting for our LOA for a 12-year-old girl in Shanghai and find your posts inspirational! We know there will be many challenges ahead, but any anxiety we feel is nothing compared to the grief our new daughter will face moving halfway around the world away from her friends. Hopefully she'll take comfort in the fact that she'll have a loving family to help her through the tough times.

Leah said...

Now here I am sitting in the middle of Panera's bawling like a baby! You know how I have struggled with fear during this adoption. But hearing this, the good & the bad, actually calms those fears and gives me courage. I think the biggest fear is of the unknown aspect of adopting a teenager. Thank you!

(And thank you for complimenting my earrings I made, I think I am actually gonna be able to sell a few! Posting them on my blog was alot harder than I thought it would be!)

Chris said...

Thank you for posting that, I know all about the worry/fear of jumping in w/ both feet. I know of a little boy whose file is supposed to go back next week (see my blog) and it is all I can do not to call CWA and ask for his file.
I showed it to DH if he even squeaks a "maybe" I'm a goner.

There are sooo many and I feel so small.

Chad and Kristy said...

WONDERFUL POST!! BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN! Gave me goose bumps as I read. I had a similar conversation between me and my assistant pastor and he replied.."how American of me.. I just always assumed she would instantly love and appreciate living in America and having a family..it makes so much more sense now." Keep on educating others Lori you do such a wonderful job! Love, love, love you for it!

Holly said...

Wow, 21 comments already..this one sure touched people's hearts, including mine. At least posts like yours and others like it will get people thinking, raise awareness, and get people praying about what God would have them to do. That's certainly what I'm doing. Thanks so much for being you and advocating for precious kids.

Nicole A. said...

Wonderful post! Lori, you rock! Thanks for being so open and honest, because it really is so helpful to so many.

All the best,
Nicole A. in OH

Kathy said...

What a beautiful and wonderfully
written post! When God first put
our daughter on our heart I laid
in bed at night talking to Him and
saying," But Lord she is twelve!" He
reminded me of how old I was when
I was adopted into His family. So I
prayed and left it up to Him to work
on DH's heart. 2 months later we started
our paperwork. We were questioned by
many about our decision including our
doctor. Even though I was fearful at
times. I knew God had called us to a
adopt our daughter. So we stepped
out in Faith and we are so very thankful
we did!

Wife of the Pres. said...

Thank you so much Lori for sharing. And thank you for educating that nurse ever so graciously. She definitely falls into the "need to know" category as she might be seeing another sweet child come across her path who is deeply missing all she knew. Even our DD, who came home at 3, misses China still and I suspect always will in her heart.

I wanted to tell you this really blesses me today as we got news of our son and it was not what we had hoped … and then doubt started creeping in about whether or not it is best for him to come home to us. I think I know the answer, but your post just helps me feel more confident in it.

Leslie (roomforatleastonemore (dot) wordpress (dot) com)

quilt-n-mama said...

Lori,
THanks for sharing your heart. When I met Macy, she reminded me in so many ways of A, the exchange student that spent a year in our home. Our experience with her was very different than most because she was totally scholarshiped and from a poor Asian country. She and her mother lived on less than $50 per month. THough she loved her time here, she longed for so much of home.
Thanks for sharing the needs of these kids.
Gayly

Michelle said...

Wonderful post. I heard similar comments after we came home with Kara, 11, six months ago. Thanks for sharing!

Terri said...

I am so glad I came across your blog. Your post truly brought tears in my eyes. We have a file on an 8 yr old in China & I am feeling so guilty for having all these fears but for some reason I can not walk away from this child that God sent us. Thank you so much again & I look forward to following along to see how things progress. Congratulations & I wish you well!!

Anonymous said...

Hi, My daughter will be 12 in 2 weeks...we are home from China 3 1/2 months, and it's been a bit difficult at times. Thanks for the encouraging words...it's what I needed to hear this morning!

Jesse, James and Lindsey's mom said...

What a wonderful post. My new son is nearly 7 and the transition has been rough. He misses his home and my heart breaks for him!! GOd Bless you and your family!!!!!

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