#3 National Adoption Month

November 3rd, 2010

Lexi & Milo

Waiting for Yeshumnesh

November is National Adoption Month.

This is your chance to ask questions.

What do you want to know about adoption – the good, the bad, the ugly?

Adoption is a personal subject and it’s easy to open mouth and insert foot (trust me, been there, done that)

Now’s your chance…ask away, post under a fake name if you want. I’ll answer what I can.

I’m pretty good at these topics: international adoption, older child adoption, waiting child adoption, attachment, how to prepare your family/friends, transracial/transcultural adoption, how to talk about your child’s story (to your child), how to answer the questions that are too personal without making people feel bad, books to read, resources.

So, what would you like to know?

Family Photo!


Question 1: How’s it going with a teenager?

Answer: Um…she’s a teenager. Seriously, she’s doing well. For her sake, I won’t go into a lot of details but considering all she’s been through, she’s adjusting well. We take a couple steps forward and then a step back, then a few more forward. She talks about her future with us (“you’re going to pay for my college, right?” “you’re going to help me buy a car, right?”) which is a good sign. She also reminds me how mean I am because I don’t let her eat school lunch every day like everyone else or get a cell phone like everyone else. We’re taking it one day at a time and picking our battles….like I said – teenager.

Question 2: Adopting out of birth order.

This is a debated subject. Some say you shouldn’t muck with birth order but I don’t agree. The birth order of the children in the home does not trump the birth order of the newest child. For example, let’s say your kids are 8 & 6 and you adopt a 3 year old. But your 3 year old is the oldest of 2. Now he’s the youngest of 3….so who’s birth order is more important?

What I do feel is important is taking your family’s personality into account. Are your kids “go with the flow” types or are they very set in their routines. Can the new child handle being the oldest, youngest, stuck in the middle? We got lucky. Milo didn’t care. He was the baby and still is the baby. Lexi cares when she’s in a crabby mood. But I think she’d have the same reaction if she were still the oldest.

I think what worked for us is there is enough of an age gap between Yeshumnesh and Lexi (they are 6 years apart) that there isn’t a power struggle to be the oldest.

Question #3 How come you didn’t adopted from America? There are so many kids here who need families too.

Fair question. There are so many different types of adoption – foster care, domestic infant adoption, international adoption, Waiting Child programs, etc, etc. Every person/couple has to look at the programs, look at their current family situations and decide what is best for everyone involved.

When we adopted, we picked an agency we trusted. Then we looked into the programs they offered (and they offered everything) but the one that fit our family the best was Ethiopia and the more we looked into it, the more “right” it felt. It’s a personal decision that each family has to make.

We were aware of the need in America but at that point in our lives we didn’t think we would be the right parents for kids/teenagers who need that amount of emotional support.

I don’t think any type of adoption is better or worse. But there are programs that are better than others. When you are deciding on adoption you need to decide what type will best fit your family and then you need to evaluate how ethically an agency runs that specific program and make your decision based on that. (and ethics is a whole other separate post.)

Clear as mud, right?

One Response to “#3 National Adoption Month”

  1. Wendi Halleen on November 3, 2010 9:32 pm

    I LOVE how you posted the pictures!! LOVE!!

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