Thursday, March 13, 2014

Question #2 - Have you ever adopted breaking birth order?

Adoption Question number 2:

Did you adopt in between ages? For example did you adopt in order so that every time a new sibling came, they were the youngest or did the order change by adopting a 5 year old when you had a 3 year old at home? If so, how did it go?

We have brought 8 children into our family through adoption. At the time of our first adoption in 2005, our biological girls were 16 and 13. We adopted children in birth order the first three adoptions ....bringing our children home at the ages of 20 months, 30 months, and 26 months. So in 2007, we have children who were 19, 16, 4, 3, and 2. We then adopted a daughter in 2009 who was 6 months older than our youngest child. So we did break birth order for her adoption - however - she is deaf and was very behind in every way. So, even though we broke the birth order it did not seem like we did.

Six months later we adopted two more girls and "filled in the middle"
We added two adolescent girls into our family -- 11 and 14 yrs old. This was absolutely breaking birth order but really was a smooth transition. Both girls assimilated easily into our family and are well adjusted children for spending a great deal of their life in an institution.

Our last double adoption was of two boys ages 4 and 6 at adoption. So the oldest broke birth order and the 4 yr old is the youngest, This adoption was in 2012. Currently, the ages of our children are 25, 22, 18, 15, 10, 10, 8, 8, 8, and 6 The ten yr olds are 9 months apart and the 8 yr olds are 5 weeks and 6 months apart respectively.

Evert time we adopted our world was rocked for a period of months until the dust settled and everyone got used to each other. Every time we found a new normal....slightly different than the life before adopting the most recent child(ren). Birth order was certainly a factor but our situation of breaking birth order was a bit different because of the special needs of the children we adopted.

Every agency and family has their idea of whether or not to break birth order. If you have a very strong minded, "in charge" child you may not want to adopt a child that is slightly older and would usurp his place in the family. Many agencies do not allow out of birth order adoptions and also want the youngest child in your family to be 9 months older than the child you adopt. I never used any of these agencies so I did not have to comply with these rules.

I truly believe God equipped us with the instinct to know what is right for our family when adopting. Always remember that a child who is a bit older and has been in an orphanage will be socially behind and most likely developmentally behind a child of the same age raised in a loving family.