Monday, February 20, 2012

Adopting Older

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
Matthew 25:40
We are not adopting because we can’t have kids, because we have a boy and want a girl, because we think babies are cute and want one, we are adopting because it is in our hearts and there is no other way to explain it.  Children are a blessing from God and every child deserves a family to love them.  If you haven’t seen Depraved Indifference, please take a few minutes and watch it now, It expresses exactly why we are adopting better than I can put into words.

With that said, why does adopting an older child turn so many people off, so many Christians off?  They are children too and I have truly come to have a BIG change of heart from hoping for a child under 18 mths to really just hoping for the child God wants for our family and secretly praying for older.   There is something so special about an older child.  They know what is going on, they know their culture and it is so precious to have them share it with you, they just have so much to offer and I just pray that more people see this.  For our family, adoption is NOT going to be a one-time thing to say that we did it and move on, this will be ongoing for us and if is years from now that we adopt a girl or a younger child or if it never happens it truly doesn’t matter anymore.   I also want to say something about “birth order” and keeping with it when adopting…truthfully it is not even an issue in our minds anymore.  Reading blogs and articles about birth order lately, it has been brought to my attention that we focus on the birth order of the biological children in the home but not of the orphans.  What if a family has 2 children and adopts a child that was the oldest child in their family but is now the youngest or middle?  As long as that child is younger than the biological’s family’s youngest child does it really make everything easier for all?  The orphan is adjusting now to a new home, family, possibly country or state, a whole new life AND birth order.  Jalen is an only child and he really acts more like a “baby” than an “oldest” in my mind and I know he would adjust to either a young or older child being brought into our home but in my heart he needs some older siblings.

It is funny how God can change your heart so quickly to the point that when I hear anyone snicker at adopting an older child or hear the immediate negatives, it just makes me sick at heart and sick to my stomach.  I just wished they would really think about what they are saying.  What if you were a 12 year old who had lost your parents or couldn’t be cared for anymore, how would you feel if someone could so easily write you off because you are a few years older than what they wanted and thought was acceptable?  I’m just going to put this out there so you all know.  We are planning on adopting an older child now and we are beyond excited about it.  We don’t know who our child or children are yet but we know they will be older.  I am asking that if you don’t agree with it but love us, please just keep that to yourself.  If you truly would like to understand more about adopting older and have questions that we can answer, we are more than happy to share but let’s play by the rule of if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.  Believe me, you are not going to educate us any more than we already are on things we should consider about adopting older.  If you are new to the adoption world I can tell you, families have to have a lot of adoption education before they can pursue a child and we are very well prepared, probably more so than we were to become parents to Jalen.  There were no books read before he entered this world, no online and in person workshops were attended, just in the blink of an eye we were parents and he was here.  When he has his own problems, tantrums, issues, we deal with them in the best way we know how and will do the same for our future children.   I really hate that I have to say these things to people who are adults and often to those who are our friends but we get criticism like every adopting family does and after a while it just gets really old and becomes very hurtful.    I ask that you keep our family in your prayers as we have been on a emotional roller coaster lately but it is all good things and we are so looking forward to the day when we can introduce our child or children to you all, as soon as God reveals them to us.


  1. Good for you guys for following what the Lord is leading you to! I think it's a beautiful thing when people adopt ANY matter the birth order or age or whatever!!

    It sucks when people say rude and hurtful things, but just keep on the path that Jesus has set you on and He won't let you down!

    Praying for you guys as you go about your journey and I can't wait to hear when you get your referral! :)

    Lindsey :)

  2. Joely, We are so excited for you.

  3. So excited for you and your family! When we first decided to adopt I have to admit, I thought the younger the child was, the easier it would be. How untrue and selfish of me! We are now finishing up the process to adopt a 9 year old and cannot imagine it any other way! Our hearts too have been changed and we are now huge older child advocates!!! We will continue to pray for you!!!

  4. I'm right there with you. Our son (13) has been home with us for 3 years, and has told me repeatedly how the older kids at the baby home truly felt like they would not be chosen. Quite simply, they saw the younger ones being chosen first and knew the drill. The thought of ANY of my kids not being "picked" for something- even something like a kickball team on the playground- breaks my heart. How much more devastating to think you won't be "picked" for something as basic and fundamental a need as a FAMILY? God has affirmed again and again our decision to adopt an older child. We have no baby pictures of him, no idea when he took his first steps or got teeth, or how/when he was potty trained. We have had our firsts, though. Many, many firsts. And they continue. I will always advocate for older kids and be so thankful that by God's grace we didn't miss out. :)

  5. Hi Joely,

    I'd like to help you with your adoption puzzle fundraiser. Could you please email me at


    Matthew Lee

  6. I'm excited to see who God is going to bring into your lives!


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