THIS, from Humans of New York.
“I met my mom when I was 14. I’d been abused so much at that point, the only thing I could think to ask was, ‘Are you good?'”
I am sitting here in my living room reading this, hiding my tears as #2 Cherub pets THIS DOG.
And then the Mom’s interview, where she talks about how often older kids are not even considered…or get turned back in (like that’s even a thing!?!)…because they’re not endlessly grateful and perfectly behaved; because they’re just regular kids.
I almost can’t breathe as I read. It is so true. And it shouldn’t be. Adopting older kids is one of the best things we’ve ever done. And yet it feels hard to make it seem like something other people can do.
(You know, people like YOU ;))
There are all these myths out there about domestic adoption – that it’s easier with younger kids because they’re less developed, that it’s expensive, that you need a perfect house, or some sort of sainthood anointing where your dream of the perfect day includes an ocean of children you’ll homeschool and teach to live off the land. (Okay I made that last one up. Not many people think that.)
Here’s the truth:
-Older kids can be easier, for two HUGE reasons: they can express themselves, and they can do things for themselves.
-Adopting from foster care is free. Raising children is expensive, but the adoption is free.
-Your house does not need to be perfect. Have running water, fire alarms, 50 square feet of bedroom space per child, and a gun safe for any firearms? You’re all set.
-The sainthood anointing. Okay, you might need a bit of this. But not in the way you think. You won’t earn your wings by adopting. You’ll earn your wings the way every other parent does: by doing things that are beyond you, over and over again. (See: Trish/dinner, Trish/Math homework, Trish/explaining AGAIN that the kids can set up their own social media accounts the minute they turn 35.) It’s fine to be HAPPY they go to school for part of most days, and to teach them to live IN the land, not off it.
Read the comments on the Facebook page. Many of them are from older adoptees. Some from adoptive parents. A few are from kids who never got adopted, but had great (or even just helpful) foster parents. It’s a treasure trove of stories, reminders that Happily Ever After is a real place, a place where God brings complex, hurting, loving people together and makes them into families.
It’s the weirdest sort of wonderful. You want to be part of it.
Tomorrow I’ll tell you how. Not the facts and logistics, but what it has looked like for us, step by step. Trust me, if I can do this, you can too.